24 Hours in the High Country

Luke Moran-Morris is a freelance photographer, filmmaker and designer hailing from Islington, London. He has, for the last year, been travelling around the world and has put together his latest project 24 Hours in the High Country, which he has also made into a digital book that’s yet to be published. The project, shot over a period of 24 hours, follows the journey of four friends exploring the Victorian Alps (also known as High Country) in Australia.

The book also contains photographs by Moran-Morris’s new friends Alex Quinlan and Jess Marchbank, and a forward by his girlfriend Morwenna Murray, all of who travelled around together and explored what the High Country had to offer.

How did this project come along and why did you choose to do it in 24 hours?
Me and my girlfriend had just moved to Australia for four months and were living there, it was part of a larger trip which we took for a whole year. We had already been to India and Thailand, and moved to Australia to stay with some family friends and luckily met some likeminded people who were photographers, and we became really good friends with them.

The project 24 Hours in the High Country was formed when we went for a very short trip to go and visit where one of them was from. Me, Alex and Jess, and my girlfriend Morwenna were all involved in some way in the making of the book.

We took this trip fairly spontaneously to this little town in Victoria, we wanted to see a bit of that rural Australian lifestyle. We arrived there and it was this entirely new place which Alex and Jess were really excited to show us. It was where they had both grown up and explored as a child, and essentially they were rediscovering all these places. Then after that 24 hours we realised that we collectively had all these photos that would sit nicely together as a set. I wanted to kind of put a marker on that period of time and see what happened in that 24 hours.

So you had never met Alex or Jess before?
I met Alex six weeks before the trip, she was living in Melbourne, and Jess was one of her childhood friends who still lived in Benalla, which was the town where we had our base at when we went on that trip. So it was defiantly new friends exploring each other and the environment.

At the moment it’s in the form of this little booklet, are you looking to get it properly published?
Yeah in the past I've self published my work, and I've also co-published a book with Create Studio, which is a photography studio down in Brighton. So I would look to see if there was something similar, a photography space or shop that would be happy to co-publish with me. If not, I will self publish it. Although I do like making these online digital books, so I have something to show my work, giving it a kind of end. Otherwise they just sit on your computer or in your draw. For me, putting it into this format of a digital book, really says yeah that was that project, I’m happy and I can move onto another one.

How would you say that your styles differ from each other in 24 Hours in the High Country?
Generally I like to photograph in the moment, to not be a bystander, but someone taking part in the moment itself. You could say snapshot or immersive. Jess’s photos are beautifully considered and well put together, and Alex looked at more abstract things, rather than people, more about the details.

What are you working on now?
I am hoping to, in the next six weeks, put on an exhibition of photographs that will include the photos from 24 Hours in the High Country. It’s going to be a series of three projects, one from Thailand, one from India, and then Australia. I am hoping to have an exhibition of the three of them together. I am just working on a place to have the exhibition at the moment.