What better way to explore the far reaches of New Zealand … uhh, I mean Middle Earth… than with Tolkien’s Gandalf as your guide?
That’s what photographer Akhil Suhas was thinking when, while planning his 6-month trip across the country after university, he packed a Gandalf costume… just for fun.
“I wanted a recurring subject in my photos and with so many photographers visiting the country, I figured that I needed to do something to set me apart!” Akhil tells PetaPixel.
“I was watching the LOTR for the 5th time when I figured New Zealand is famous for 2 things: its landscapes and the LOTR + Hobbit Trilogies. So why not combine the two by having Gandalf in the landscapes?”
It took him 2 months to hunt down an appropriately accurate costume, but before long, he was on his way—15,000km with both camera and a Gandalf costume at the ready.
At first, the idea was to create self-portraits, but it didn’t take long for Akhil to realize that this was a lot harder than it sounded.
“I tried the camera on a tripod with a timer shot, didn’t work for me,” he said over email. “So, I started asking the people I met along the way if they wanted to put on the outfit.”