There are things that you’re supposed to do in Cappadocia. Four wheel driving through the valleys, taking a tour of an underground city, and of course, the ubiquitous hot air balloon rides that set off in the first flush of dawn. Our well meaning Hotel manager Amir tried to encourage us to sign up to various tours every morning at breakfast. But what he didn’t realise that simply sitting there on the terrace eating breakfast and looking around was enough to fill me to the brim. We kept extending our stay because we were so enamoured with the place. Sometimes you travel to such a well documented location and feel completely underwhelmed and tourist trapped. And sometimes, like this time, you get under the skin of a place and feel like you are the first to discover it.
Here’s to a summer spent in New Zealand …
Car stereo doesn’t work. Used the Warehouse voucher that was a Christmas present to buy batteries for the boombox, a 3 disc 90’s compilation and sunscreen. Pull over to pose with exuberant hydrangea bushes, small towns are so delicious. Head to where the river mouth meets the ocean. Black sand strewn with driftwood. Quad bikes hoon. Fish and chips and coleslaw and an icy Asahi to share. A caramel coloured shetland pony nibbles on the parched grass by the skatepark. Sun setting on sea-side neighbourhoods. Drinking green tea in the tent. Bananas growing in the far-north, an experimental vineyard planted by an early settler. Barefoot boys run across bubbling puddles towards the Ngawha Springs. Silty, hot, black and sulphuric. Skin as soft as silk. Out of time New Year countdowns drifting across a wide undulating field. Heavy winds and car headlights. Catching a bouquet. Playing scrabble in a caravan late at night. Plunging into a freezing pool of myth and legend then climbing out into the pure hot sunshine. Burn-outs listening to TLC. Floating in the sun-warmed shallows at dusk holding a can of DB. Six voices singing/shouting Bohemian Rhapsody. Kicking triumphant arcs of sea-water. Continue reading
Just a few of the babes I happened to shoot over the past year:
At the beginning of this year I was living in Melbourne and set this task for myself: To travel (by train, no cheating) to every single end of the line in Melbourne’s metropolitan train network and take a photo on medium format film. There are prized destinations amongst them, and there are places where the houses just start running out. Continue reading
Getting lost down side streets as dusk hits pink blush lilac smokey blue. Every corner, stretched canopy or pile of bricks is a magic little scene.
Creamy greyblue skies. A diffusion filter caused by pollution. 24 million people cutting corners on mopeds, singing karaoke in parks, sauntering down tiny lanes and riding escalators to consumer heaven.
And everywhere, all the time, the habitual blaring of car, truck, bus and scooter horns. A perfect cacophony of confusion. Ancient meets futuristic.
My camera lens is met with lingering, unflappable gazes. I am the other. And then there was the old lady on the subway who smiled and said I looked very cool. And the University students who told us that in mandarin New Zealand, wonderfully, sounds like Sing Sea Land.
It was hot, and the stereo was broken so we sang acapella All Saints, on the day I drove two hungover friends out of Melbourne, way way out, to Cactus Country in Strathmerton.
Just 10 bucks got us entry into the spiky wonderland. The excitement at the seriously amazing amounts of different cactuses there were meant I got stabbed and scratched quite a few times before I came to respect just how sharp the thorny beauties are.
When we’d had enough of the dusty desert heat we drove to the Murray River and dipped ourselves into the cool milky waters. We’d driven so far we were swimming on the border of Victoria and New South Wales.