I haven’t taken us back to New Zealand in a while, and it’s about time. It was December 1992, and I was driving between Wairoa and Gisborne, on the inland road that passes close to Te Reinga, in the eastern part of the North Island. It had been a long day’s drive from the Bay of Plenty to Hawke Bay down the Hwy 2 shortcut that avoided the much longer route around the East Cape (saving that for another time), but my eyes were still wide open and I was still very alert to the country around me, well aware that there could be an unexpected surprise around any corner. As I was passing through an area called the Cheviot Hills, not far from the little town of Tiniroto, I came upon this valley view that stopped me in my tracks. I pulled over as fast as possible without either being a hazard to other traffic or tipping over the edge into a perilously-terraced sheep pasture, and parked the car immediately, grabbed my camera and tripod, and made this single exposure. It turned out to be one of my most prized photos from the whole six-week trip, and I’ve printed it from the negative a number of times. I only just recently scanned it and re-developed it from the resulting digital image.
I’ve been very fortunate to have been able to return to this site several times during the years since then with great anticipation and have re-shot the scene, but it has changed considerably and has become barely recognizable. Sometimes one shot is all it takes.
(Metadata: Pentax SF-1N, Tokina 28-70 at 55 mm, Tri-X exposed at ISO 800, shutter 1/250,m aperture 6.7, UV filter.)
I absolutely love this! The zig-zag pattern with the trees is like an alliteration of the mountain peaks to which they point. I can see why this is such a favorite!
I answered your comment many days ago, but I see now that it didn’t go though…sorry!
Thanks so much! The Lombardi poplars struck me like so many fluffy soldiers marching off into the distant hills, and I so wanted to follow them, but didn’t have the time!
Love the shot….the mood is great. I do wonder whether it would have had the same mood/tone range if it had been shot on Digital. Love digital but some film shots just seem to have that extra edge
Each of the two media has its particular advantages (and disadvantages). Your comment is very well taken, David. I am really enjoying rediscovering the range of luminances available in conventional negatives, even though many of my older ones have deterioriated somewhat over the years–albeit the monochrome ones to a lesser extent than my color slides and negatives. I actually had to work quite a bit to restore the darker values in this one–but it was a labor of love. I still have my conventional cameras and enlarger, etc., and there are times when I’m seriously inspired to revisit and revive them, but then again, I’ve become so used to being able to see my results practically instantaneously and to produce a print within minutes of returning, that I usually proctrastinate yet again… Thank you for the prod, and it may work–soon, I hope!
My Darkroom kit was packed away (carefully) some years ago. I loved that aspect of photography…..BUT I doubt that it will ever be un-packed and used again. Even so I am not parting with it.
That’s a great picture, it has a Lord of the Rings feel about it!
There are Cheviot hills in Northumberland, England, too and it’s one of my favourite places so I was very pleased to find them in a post from the U.S. Cool to know there’s an equally enchanting place with the same name on the other side of the planet.
It is very likely that the Cheviot Hills in NZ were named after those in England (many geographical features in NZ were adopted from others elsewhere). I’d really love to see some images from the latter. Do you have any?
Love this shot!! It makes me want to follow the zigzag of trees to see where it leads me!
Wow, Cindy, I’ve had that thought so many times! But to be able to do it, you’d need knee-high rubber boots, serious wire-cutters, a lot of trail mix and bottled water, some $300 hiking bootsm and the ankles, knees, and hips of a really-fit 20-year-old. I am planning, however, to do a follow-up post on photos I’ve made of the same scene during subsequent vists, and that may help to make you feel a little better about not trying to follow this particular dream…
Ok, I was up for it until you got to the part about ankles, knees and hips of a really fit twenty year old. Oh well. LOL
Wow, what a fascinating image! I think it’s extra wonderful in B & W.
I do so agree! B&W was my first serious photographic love, and it’s always held a special fascination for me. There’s a special artistry associated with a monochrome image that takes a special sensitivity to capture, develop, and present what the artist visualized when he/she made the photograph. This was one that I shot in monochrome, and I believe that it was the right choice.
Wonderful image; I simply love looking at it.
Each time I run across this one, I am again drawn into it and, even though I know it so well, I have to take that extra-deep look. It’s hard to explain, but it’s sort of a meditation.
Nice picture, Gary! Adrian
Thanks again, Adrian. I’ve had it on display in treasured personal space many times over the years, and I never get tired of it. It’s very good to know that you like it, too.