Let #GandalftheGuide show you New Zealand in this photo series

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2017%2f02%2f08%2f0d%2fchristinewangsmallcopy.10ff6By Christine Wang2017-02-15 21:31:13 UTC

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us," said Gandalf in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

New Zealand has become inextricably linked to Tolkien's story due to the fact that the film adaptations were shot there. An untold number of people have visited the country just so they could stand in the closest place we have to Middle Earth.

Amateur photographer Akhil Suhas embarked on his own six-month road trip across New Zealand, but he didn't want it to be just any trip filled with just any photos. He was looking for a unique way of capturing the beauty of New Zealand.

"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," Suhas explained.

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Image: akhil suhas/instagram

During the time when he was brainstorming, he was watching The Lord of the Rings movies (for the fifth time). And that's when the idea hit him.

Gandalf should be in all his photos.

So Suhas gathered together a Gandalf costume, and started his 15,000-kilometer road trip.

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Image: akhil suhas/instagram

"I realized that I was traveling solo," Suhas said. "I wanted to take the pictures [so I] tried the camera on a tripod with a timer shot, didn't work."

Luckily, he came up with a genius solution.

"I started meeting people along the way and asked them if they wanted to put on the outfit," Suhas stated. "They gladly said yes."

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Image: akhil suhas/instagram

"Who doesn't want to dress up as Gandalf?" Suhas joked.

He makes a fair point. When given the option, always dress up as Gandalf, especially when in New Zealand.

To help collect this photo series in one place, Suhas posted the pictures to his Instagram with the hashtag #GandalftheGuide.

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Image: akhil suhas/instagram

Amazingly, Suhas is not a professional photographer.

"I studied Operations Management and Finance at the University of Auckland," Suhas said. "I’m a self-taught photographer after spending countless hours watching YouTube videos and reading articles."

Suhas shared that he loves shooting landscapes, and would like to continue to travel to places that would make a great photograph.

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Image: akhil suhas/instagram

"Next on my list will have to be Iceland," Suhas said, "which is similar to New Zealand in terms of the diverse set of landscapes given the size of the country."

Finally, we asked what would become of Gandalf the Guide. With Suhas's future travels taking him outside of New Zealand, does that mean the Gandalf project will come to an end?

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Image: akhil suhas/instagram

"There’s no reason why Gandalf can’t leave the shores of Middle Earth and come with me on future travels to other countries," Suhas assured us.

Based on what Gandalf said about making the most of the time we are given, we think he would be very pleased as well.

You can follow Suhas and Gandalf on future adventures on his Instagram.

Topics: Conversations, Movies, jrr tolkien, Lord of the Rings, new zealand, Photography, Travel, Travel & Leisure, Watercooler

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