Found 35mm from New Zealand

I lost a roll of film from back in March. I'd given up on ever finding it. Until a month ago when I opened a small pocket on a duffel bag I rarely use. What a treat. Back from the dead. I'm taking the opportunity revisit a trip that will forever frame my past year by sharing the lost roll in tandem with a journal entry.


March 20, 2016

We woke up to the clatter of a thousand tiny drummers lightly rolling out a soft rhythm on our roof. It was still raining. Most nights we set up tents but last night we went to bed soggy, sleeping in our van to prevent further saturation. For some folks that's ideal; their vehicles are built for sleeping. Ours, however, is a 12 person passenger van, and those passengers were never really meant to lay down. Unless they're 4’10”. Nonetheless it’s our home for the month and we’re grateful for it.

We’ve made it halfway up the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Not quite over Haast Pass, we are more specifically half way past Haast Pass. It’s a rugged region, where glaciers drop off abruptly into the Tasman Sea. You don’t see many people around here. Like dirt in a ravine, they briefly accumulate in the cracks only to be swept away with the changing weather. These are surfaces where humanity has tried and failed to stick. Beauty is frequently perceived as such due to its inaccessibility, and by those standards, New Zealand’s beauty is abundant.

Perhaps that’s why the country is known for its travelers, because residency is difficult to sustain. It encourages you to keep moving. And so we do. 20 days in and 10 to go, we have driven East to West and now make our way South to North. Our days are dictated by the ever-changing weather and our shifting desires. To see this or that, go here or there. Our daily objectives consist of planning our next meal and finding somewhere beautiful to sleep before the sun sets again.

We live cheaply. We tread lightly.

We are happy.


Shot on Nikon FM, Nikkor 28mm f/2.8, Portra 400
developed by Indie Film Lab