Flashback Friday: Akaroa Harbour

I’ve been thinking quite a bit this week about my new Flashback Friday project, and I’ve decided to try going back to my days of using conventional film.  I still have a full black & white darkroom, but it’s all in boxes now and I admit I haven’t used it more than a few times since I bought my first digital camera in 2000.  It was hard to pack it away, but we needed the space for other storage.  There are still times when I miss the magic of my chosen image slowly appearing on a piece of white paper, accompanied by the alchemical acid tang in the air, after having spent considerable time mixing up new chemicals, carefully removing any dust from my negative, meticulously ensuring sharpness with my grain focuser, and so on—but I now can do in only a few minutes what used to take me an average of an hour per print to ensure that I’d made it the best I could.  I never branched out into home color processing, but rather first used color negatives, and when I wasn’t happy with most of the results, switched to slide film.  I will be presenting a number of monochrome images as the project progresses, as I did in last week’s first edition, but today I’ll start the color side.

Over the course of the years, I have been extremely privileged to have traveled to New Zealand no fewer than 18 times, and when I reflect on the 50 countries I have visited, it surely is my favorite.  During what I believe was my second trip there, in the early 1990s, I was studying a map of the country and planning my lodging locations around the sites I was to visit during the course of my work.  There were several in and around Christchurch, and they spanned a weekend, so I decided to look for a place nearby but away from the bustle of the city.  I was intrigued by the look of Banks Peninsula, which swells out from the coast just south of Christchurch.  It was formed ages ago by two volcanoes, both of which are long extinct and whose walls have eroded away to allow the sea into their craters.  The more southerly is now Akaroa Harbour, named for a small community that was established by French settlers in, as I recall, the 1700s.  I settled on Akaroa for my weekend quarters, and that was the beginning of my love for Banks Peninsula.  I made this shot during the autumn (April) of 1996 from near the Hilltop Road, looking more or less southeast.  I’d been exploring all day and was leaving to return to a hotel in Christchurch for an early work day in the morning.  The sun had set and the light was fading rapidly, but when I saw this old fallen tree I had to stop, park hastily along the side of the road, hop a barbed-wire fence, and jog across a sheep paddock to frame it against the pastel sky with Akaroa Harbour in the background.  I will surely do a Places Remembered post or two for Banks Peninsula in the near future.

Metadata:  Pentax PZ-1, Pentax 28-105 lens at 28mm, 1/20 second at f/3.5, Fujichrome Velvia, UV filter, hand-held.

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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6 Responses to Flashback Friday: Akaroa Harbour

    • krikitarts says:

      Thanks, Dan. There is something unique and wonderful about the light and, as a result, the colors in New Zealand. I’ve heard it said that it has a lot to do with the thinness of the ozone layer. I recommend it as a photo destination most highly!

  1. MikeP says:

    Amazing color and composition…. believe it or not… I am darkroom trained and use manual on a perfectly good state of the art digital camera. I do miss the darkroom, but not enough to go back, so good luck and can’t wait to see your creations.

    • krikitarts says:

      I agree completely. I also frequently use the manual settings on my D-80. The settings programmed into the camera’s computer are usually very good, but I tend to override them with considerable regularity. I never shoot on the green (fully automatic) setting, but usually in Program mode, where I can switch to shutter- or aperture-priority in an instant, and usually bracket as well.

  2. This image is fantastic!!! Akaroa is one of my fav places here in NZ. Just imagine if the French had got a bit further, Kiwis would all speak French ;-)

    • krikitarts says:

      I think I’m going to have to do at least one Places Remembered post on Banks Peninsula and Akaroa. I’ve been there at least six times, during different seasons, and even lucked into an overnight snowfall (in July 2003) that reached down to sea level, which they told me happens only about once every 50 years or so. Oh, yeah, the memories–must work on this!

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