Way Out East
Finally, in the last couple of weeks I managed to pull my finger out and “kill two birds with on stone”.
The first bird…….It’s been well over a year since I bought the Dodge Ram, my intentions were always pretty straightforward, a weekend run about and for some extra fun it would be my transport of choice for the occasional road trip. I’ve managed quite comfortably to use it at weekends but getting away had proved more difficult. Now, the time had finally arrived to take it “way out east”.
The second bird……Get a camera out and shoot some more film!!!!!
So, it was time to pack a bag and hit the open road. Actually, two bags, one for my everyday gear, which in this case is the Wotancraft Ryker and the second bag for my review of the Wotancraft Shadow Warrior which you can read – Here.
Two Cameras, Sony A7r and the Rolleiflex 2.8GX along with some Kodak Ektar 100.
So, where exactly is “Way Out East”?
I’ve included a map for anyone that’s not familiar with the geography of the North Island. From Tauranga it’s pretty straightforward, keep the sea on your left! Opotiki is the last place of any real size, once your out past that things really quieten off.
Developing & Scanning.
- Digibase C41 Kit – The same chemicals I opened 6 months ago, this is the kit you have to mix yourself. One of the advertised benefits of these kits is the shelf life of the chemicals, the good news is that everything looks fine so far.
- JOBO CPP2 – I’ve figured out that I’ve now recovered 50% of my initial outlay on this machine, admittedly it was relatively cheap and I haven’t shot as much film as I’d have liked but it should have paid for itself in the next six months.
- Imacon 848 – I’m getting closer to a settled workflow……..see below. I continue to be amazed by the scans from the Imacon, if I can get my technique to match the capabilities of the scanner I’ll be laughing.
- Workflow – I’ll keep this brief but in essence it looks like this – Scan the negative as a positive in the Hasselblad Flexcolor software. Import in to Lightroom CC as this where my photographs are stored. Edit in Photoshop CC and assign the correct colour profile. There’s a seamless integration between LR and PS so this is really no hardship. In PS, I use the ColourPerfect Filter. This is followed by more adjustments in PS/Camera Raw and LR. When you write it down it sounds convoluted but in practice it’s not too painful. The reality is I’d almost be prepared to follow any workflow if it gets me to an end product I’m happy with.
Horses are still a huge part of daily life for many people in the East Cape, they are literally everywhere, tied up outside houses, not tied up outside houses, at the roadside and of course you see people riding them on the road. This father and son were off to round up cows, which incidentally also roam freely!
Notice the markings down the centre of the road, an interesting fact about the East Cape is that they don’t drive on either side of those lines, they simply follow it, right down the middle….. unless of course, they are on a horse. Watch out!!
The East Cape Campground (above) In a conventional sense it’s fair to say this is probably not the finest example of what New Zealand has to offer campers. The cabin is locked and full of junk, there is a tap, but no water flows from it. It also has a sink, but as you might expect from what I’ve told you already it’s not actually connected to anything…. Fortunately, what it does have is a long drop toilet, which is really all you need and for $6 a night in the honesty box it’s probably all you should expect.
It’s online reviews are mixed, some don’t see beyond it’s obvious lack of facilities, awkward access and cows for neighbours, very close ones at that! Others, myself included, are more finely tuned to it’s merits, surely the sunrise here will be spectacular?
It took me less than two seconds to decide not to use the tent, those cows really were that close. Instead I’d sleep in the truck, the one piece bench seat is pretty wide and comfortable, fine for a night at least.
Dinner options were limited to the contents of my onboard pantry, sausages and beans cooked on the tailgate of the Dodge Ram whilst overlooking the Pacific Ocean, food never tasted so good. Of course I finished this off with a rather tasty “small batch” bourbon, all very civilised!! As the sun set and the temperature dropped I snuggled up in the sleeping bag and in the company of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea I eventually drifted off to the sound of the waves hitting the shore.
It was the light woke me, I glanced at my watch, just after 2.00am. I wound down the window and waited for my eyes to fully adjust, as they did the light intensified. Here was the true magic of the East Cape Campground, not the sunrise as I had expected but the night sky. In all my life I’ve never seen a night sky so clear, so full of stars and subsequently, so bright. Then, as if it wasn’t already spectacular enough a shooting star blazed across the night sky, it was quickly followed by another and another, I just sat there in awe and watched the cosmos put on the most amazing display of meteorites. For the best part of two hours I stared to the heavens, transfixed. Occasionally a satellite would join in the display, it’s amazing how many there are, circling the earth. At some point I must have fallen asleep and when I did wake, just before dawn, I immediately recalled the amazing experience. The sunrise, well it was nice of course but not a patch on the night sky!!