Five photographers from the GCC will showcase their imagery from a photography expedition to New Zealand undertaken during the summer of 2011. The exhibition, titled “Light From Life,” will open on Jan.17, 2012 at The Ara Gallery and at its heart, focuses on challenging the familiar. The expedition, lasting 27 days from setting out on July 12, 2011, consisted of eight talented and motivated nature and landscape photographers from the UAE, KSA, Kuwait and Bahrain. The group shared a passion for exploration, adventure and the determination to discover and share with this region the unique landscapes of New Zealand, so novel and remote from their homes in the GCC. Furthermore, the group looks to inspire people through the exhibition that has been brought to life through their cameras and lenses. Travelling extensively through the country to their final destination of Mount Cook, the photographers gained various nature photography skills - a main objective of this journey - through photographing a wide variety of landscapes: coasts, forests, waterfalls, mountain lakes and finally, the harsh mountainous peaks themselves. Additionally, the photographers gained experience in living and working in unfamiliar lands where they camped in temperatures as low as -14°C and adapting to these snow-covered conditions, working successfully in a team photo-shoot and learning to read topographic maps which aided in the organisation of the expedition. “Light from Life” features five of these travellers: Abdullaziz Bin Ali, Abdulla Bin Touq and Mohamed Al Jaberi from the United Arab Emirates and Jamal Al Badia and Ali Al Otaibi from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Mohamed Al Jaberi says, “the trip had a positive impact from many aspects...especially in photography as I learned a lot in choosing the subject carefully.” Ali Al Otaibi adds that “it was a unique experience full of adventures and challenges faced along the way. The trip added a lot of value to my experience in nature photography and revealed the extreme challenges that a photographer could encounter.” With the intention to give the visitors a better understanding of their New Zealand travels, the team will set up their expedition and camping gear in the gallery as well as have a brief documentary of the journey on show for guests to see the photographers adventures and challenges in action. The exhibition takes its name from the knowledge that light is the main source to create an image; it is the only way we can view objects. “Light From Life” is a short explanation of light’s translation from life to form an image. A “Light From Life” and nature photography talk hosted by these five photographers will take place at The Ara Gallery on Jan.21, 2012 from 7pm. The hosts will discuss their photography techniques that yielded the imagery from the New Zealand journey and other experiences from the expedition. The talk is free and open to the public. The exhibition will run through March 3 and will be followed by a solo exhibition from Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazza Al Nahyan.