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Dodging The Taliban, Dreaming Of The Sea

Andrew Quilty stepped into an entirely new world when he left his native Australia three years ago. The 34-year-old photojournalist says he's gone from taking assignments that merely paid the bills to feeling passionate about everything he points his camera at.

Andrew Quilty stepped into an entirely new world when he left his native Australia three years ago. The 34-year-old photojournalist says he's gone from taking assignments that merely paid the bills to feeling passionate about everything he points his camera at.

Quilty spoke to RFE/RL from his home in Kabul about how he stays safe traveling the lawless regions of Afghanistan, and why he won't be returning to Australia anytime soon. (WARNING: Some graphic images.)
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Father and son prepare a field for planting in the village of Salhad Breuhil, in Afghanistan's remote Wakhan Corridor. 
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Father and son prepare a field for planting in the village of Salhad Breuhil, in Afghanistan's remote Wakhan Corridor. 

A roadside moment during a trip into Afghanistan’s Takhar Province. As a freelancer, Quilty is able to move more freely than many staff journalists but he lacks their security framework. The Australian says working quickly is often the best way to stay safe. "The general rule of thumb is don't stay in one place for more than half an hour."
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A roadside moment during a trip into Afghanistan’s Takhar Province. As a freelancer, Quilty is able to move more freely than many staff journalists but he lacks their security framework. The Australian says working quickly is often the best way to stay safe. "The general rule of thumb is don't stay in one place for more than half an hour."

A "ferryman" in northeast Afghanistan who charges locals the equivalent of $0.40 to be paddled across the Kokcha River. Quilty says he has become attuned to the subtle differences in dress between the regions and prepares accordingly. "My collection of Afghan clothes is far larger than any other wardrobe I've owned."
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A "ferryman" in northeast Afghanistan who charges locals the equivalent of $0.40 to be paddled across the Kokcha River. Quilty says he has become attuned to the subtle differences in dress between the regions and prepares accordingly. "My collection of Afghan clothes is far larger than any other wardrobe I've owned."

A fighting dog with his trainer in Kabul. Quilty says he prefers the softer light of Afghanistan to the hard Australian sun. But the weighty subjects he now photographs are a long way from the news he covered for Australian media.
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A fighting dog with his trainer in Kabul. Quilty says he prefers the softer light of Afghanistan to the hard Australian sun. But the weighty subjects he now photographs are a long way from the news he covered for Australian media.

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