HP5+ shot on a mouldy seagull df-1
Scanned with a dirty t-shirt, flashlight, and iPhone
15 year old expired Ektachrome 100 shot on a Hasselblad 500cm
Scanned with a cotton shirt, a table lamp and a point and shoot
I've always been a highly irrational, highly emotional person. I used to think that my lack of emotional control was one of my weaknesses. And it's only after getting super depressed after a messy breakup with this trashy white girl, that I realised how vital my emotional spontaneity was in relation to my art.
My emotions dictate what kind of artworks I make. My work can be highly reflective of my current mood.
Just like every other Joe strutting to work everyday for their boring 9-5, you lack emotion. You lack expression. You lack Andy.
Enough faking. Let's make it real. If you have no waist, then go run a few laps, you fat lard.
People get so fucking sick of you that we have to change you every 6 months.
A film shooting, nature loving, timeless looking photographer. Does that make me a hipster?
More to come in the coming weeks. Stay tuned
Last time I went to Christchurch was in 2009 and I remember distinctly what a beautiful city it was. I remember arriving on a Thursday afternoon and the streets were busy, everyone was happy and walking around the streets. The most notable thing I remember, was how clean Christchurch streets were.
We arrived in Mt Cook after driving through the night from Milford and hitting a possum on the way that night.
We woke up at 430am to attempt this trail. Our aim was to get there by Sunrise
The trail is marked and fairly easy to navigate. DO NOT attempt this in the dark. We attempted this with head lamps and we were lost for a good hour.
The early morning mist hovering above the lake and the surrounding mountains were breathtaking. For anyone visiting Lake Mariam, it is an absolute must to sit down and enjoy your surroundings for a while. Forget taking photos, just soak it in. What I loved most was the fast moving fog that was constantly changing.
After the near suicidal amounts driving the previous 2 days, Wanaka was a good place to relax.
The weather had cleared the first day we spent in Wanaka and it felt good to be back in a big town. We spent our first day relaxing around the lake and getting absolutely trashed in the evening. Sauna and beer doesn't go well together.
While nursing an acute hangover the next day, we climbed Mt Iron. It's a short drive from the town centre and the trail is well marked. You start with an absurd amount of stairs until the first look out. From then on it's mainly gravel ascents. Beware of sheep shit. There will be sheep shit everywhere.
Try travel light, there is no point lugging around 10kg worth of camera gear as it will only take away more of your shooting time. Filters is a must, mainly to cut down of the atmospheric haze.
The roads outside of Wanaka are all very rewarding. Drive along the road towards the treble cone ski fields and continue onto the gravel road that follows the river. You will need to ford a few streams along that road, but will be well worth the time.
DO NOT FEEL PRESSURED TO DRIVE THE 100KM/H SPEED LIMIT.
You be overtaken quite a few times on this road by local drivers who are more accustomed with the local road conditions. There will be many potholes and fords you will have to cross, often with little signage. There will also occasionally be cows and sheep scattered alongside the road.
We spun out while going around an unexpected turn on the road. We understeered and veered into the ditch before doing a 180 degree slide. It felt like an action movie stunt and was pretty exhilarating until I realised how close we were to smashing into a tree.
We stopped at Franz Josef on our way from Picton to Wanaka.
Just fyi for people who don't know, Franz Josef is a glacier.
You can choose to walk a marked path to the bottom of the glacier or you can choose to charter a flight onto the actual glacier. For travellers thinking of booking a helicopter tour, make sure you leave ample time in case of bad weather! We were lucky we didn't charter a flight as the weather grounded all flights on the day we had set aside for Franz Josef.
Walking the trail to the bottom of Franz can be done in any weather, provided you bring the right clothing and gear. If you do attempt this trail in the rain, you definitely need to have a rain cover for your gear. There is no shelter and your equipment will be drenched. We lost one of our DSLR's to the rain.
It is a fairly easy walk with plenty of markers and most of the walk is fairly flat. Depending on the time of year you decide to visit Franz Josef, be prepared to be disappointed. From the pictures we had been shown at information centres, the glacier extended right down to the valley. We went to Franz in mid-April and the glacier had retreated nearly all the way up the mountain.
After getting off the ferry at Picton late in the afternoon, we decided to drive as far south as we could. Driving late into the night, we came to the realisation that we were the only car on the road. At one point we drove for well over an hour before seeing car. Which brings me to the best and worst part about driving down the west coast - much of the landscape is untouched and unaltered with little human presence. The silence can be welcoming at first, but eventually it will evolve into the feeling of desolation.
We managed to get to a small town that night with a caravan park after driving some 300kms. Was funny to think I started that morning in a town on the west coast of the North Island, some 300kms outside of Wellington.
The next morning we made the push to Wanaka with a stop off at Franz Josef. The rain started coming in after lunch, really a shame since we were driving through some of the most scenic roads we had encountered since arriving in New Zealand.
There are many worthy locations to shoot along this road so be prepared to stop occasionally. The rivers here are all light blue and very beautiful. I found some of the single lane bridges to be quite interesting as well.
Fill up your car as often as possible during the day. Our petrol light turned on en-route to Haast, the last big town before Wanaka and upon arriving in Haast late at night, the only petrol station in town was already shut.
DISCLAIMER: Prior to this, the only mountain I've climbed involved chairlifts and a paved paths. And I'm not the fittest person in the world.
Mt Ruapehu is one of the tallest point in northern New Zealand. It's tallest point is 2797m above sea level. It is best know for the lake that has formed at the peak.
This was a challenge both physically and mentally. I hadn't slept much the night before and I was planning to summit with nothing in my stomach other than a Up n Go. Part of me did not want to go on, I couldn't breathe very well by the end and the had reached almost white-out conditions. My climbing partner climbed with me until the last hut and was too sick to go on. I managed to get very very close to the peak, but after reaching the start of the crater at the summit, the combination of fog and wind meant reaching my destination was out of the question. Bit of a buzzkill, I didn't get a single photo at the crater lake.
I proceeded to bitch and moan for the rest of the day about not getting the shot.
For travellers thinking of climbing Mt Ruapehu, Make sure you check the weather as it could jeopardise your climb! Weather can change extremely quickly!
There are many routes up the mountain and we decided to trail behind a bunch of more seasoned climbers. It is not advised to attempt the climb without any previous experience as there are no markers. I made the mistake of climbing the last few hours by myself and it was by no means easy to navigate.
Travel light! For people who aren't acclimated with higher altitudes, the last thing you want is a camera backpack with 10kg worth of gear inside.
Rotorua was our first stop after buying our car in Auckland. A little disclaimer to people who've never been to Rotorua, it stinks of rotten eggs everywhere.
The redwoods in rotorua is definitely a must see. Going there is like stepping into another continent.
Just like most accessible tourist destinations, there isn't much of a chance for you to get a truly unique shot as the vantage points are finite. However, that shouldn't take away from the beauty of the location. The rapids is stunning and the water light blue as as advertised.
It is right off the highway on the way from Rotorua to Taupo and the carpark is a mere 10 meters from the actual rapids. Be ready to fight for a parking spot if you go during a busy season.