‘Photography is the story I fail to put into words’ – Destin Sparks
This one is a particular favourite of mine, because I never actually expected it to happen! No, it wasn’t a “professional” competition. Yes, it was an internal competition for my photography society rather than an external competition. No, it was not in the “advanced” category but instead the “intermediate” category.
Even still, I was the youngest member in the society and – in comparison to plenty of others – very inexperienced and limited in my techniques, especially when I first began.
What made my results at the start of the 2016/2017 season so surprising was my poor performance at the end of the 2015/2016 season not long after I joined. I mean, I was learning new tips and tricks every week that I could utilise and spent more time working on crafting and staging a photo rather than just “taking” one, so I felt even more energised by the improvement in my scores as it meant that I was further developing and improving as a photographer.
I was in New Zealand and met this girl. Her sister dared me to bungee jump, so I did!
It was a spur-of-the-moment decision.
I wanted to impress the girl, and it worked! – Theo James
Queenstown: 07.12.16 – 08.12.16
Queenstown, adventure capital of the world. Home of endless activities, mountains of food and hours of drink. Queenstown should come with a warning really, something like ‘beware, once you arrive you may never want to leave’.
My time in Queenstown was split by a day trip to Milford Sound, so I’ll split up my writing about it in a similar fashion.
‘There are parts of New Zealand that I absolutely fell in love with
that I will miss going back to,
but I kind of think that is the part that can continue and will continue on.
I don’t imagine I’ll stop going back to New Zealand,
because I feel part of the fabric there, really’ – Andy Serkis
Kaiteriteri is a common destination due to its close proximity to the Abel Tasman National Park. In fact, it’s probably the main/only reason people would go there.
After leaving Wellington and North Island behind via a ferry, we were driven directly to Kaiteriteri, with a brief stop in Nelson. To then get to the Abel Tasman National Park, you usually have to take a water taxi – this is the case whether you are just going to walk around the park or if you are going to kayak.
‘There’s a real purity in New Zealand that doesn’t exist in the states.
It’s actually not an easy thing to find in our world anymore.
It’s a unique place because it is so far away from the rest of the world.
There is a sense of isolation and also being protected’ – Elijah Wood
Without doubt, the Hobbiton Movie Set & Farm Tour is a must see for any LotR and Hobbit fans. Not only do you learn some amazing behind-the-scenes information, you also discover the insane attention and care that was put into ensuring every detail of this set was absolutely perfect. If that isn’t enough, then there is also a pint of ale or cider at The Green Dragon thrown in for good measure!
‘New Zealand is a country of thirty thousand million sheep,
three million of whom think they are human’ – Barry Humphries
The back end of 2016 saw me begin the biggest adventure of my life thus far; moving abroad. The destination? Australia. My flights were booked, my visa paid for and granted. I was all set to go. But first there was somewhere else I needed to be. New Zealand.
Beginning in Auckland, I had given myself just shy of 6 weeks to travel through both the North and South Island’s, finishing down in Christchurch. It was a lot to fit in in such a small space of time and help was definitely required.
After my success with Oz Experience whilst travelling up Australia’s East Coast the previous year, I made the decision to book myself onto a Kiwi Experience bus pass. Fortunately – due to some fantastic discounts on offer at the time – I was able to purchase the ‘Whole Kit & Caboodle’ pass, which included the additional passes for the Bay of Islands, Milford Sound, and the Deep South.
I always feel that when I come to Edinburgh, in many ways I am coming home – Alan Rickman
I’m not really sure that I can call a trip up to Edinburgh an ‘adventure’, purely on the basis that I have been there so many times when visiting my family. The thing is though, with each visit, I experience something new about the city. It’s always the same and yet… different.
My long weekend trip back in June followed the same trend.
‘You don’t make a photograph just with a camera.
You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen,
the books you have read,the music you have heard,
the people you have loved’ – Ansel Adams
Since really getting into photography and starting to drop my interest in it into casual conversation with someone, the question ‘what sort of photographer are you’ always seems to crop up. So much so that my answer has almost become second nature; telling them that I don’t know, whilst wearing a wry smile. Why? Because in return I get to see their faces wearing a look of utter bemusement.
I don’t say this in jest though. I honestly don’t know what sort of photographer I am – it’s a hard question to answer. Any question asking you to define your role in a sub-section of the arts is difficult usually you end up giving a word-y statement filled with technical jargon. Why? Personally it is because I don’t want my creative role to be thrown “under the bus” of a general statement. After all, what I do – or attempt to do – ends up being an extension of myself due to how much I end up investing in it both emotionally and personally.
‘The road to success is not easy to navigate.
But with hard work, drive and passion,
it’s possible to achieve’
I am not one for New Years resolutions. In fact, I disagree with them. Why would you make a promise to yourself to do something on only one specific day of the year?
Everyone comes to a decision in their own time about what they do or don’t want to do. It’s those decisions that are more likely to stick, rather than something rushed because of this “new year, new me” nonsense. I mean, the amount of regular gym-goers I have heard saying that they can’t wait for January to finish so the gym get a little quieter is near ridiculous.
Anyway, today I worked out some goals to work towards for 2016: