Press Photographer and Photojournalist

Posts tagged “trees

Velvia Landscapes

Finally managed to get around to developing some slide film of images shot during semi-recent day tramps in the Tararua Forest Park. This is a ‘sister’ post from an earlier entry back in March on the Goblin Forest. These images are stitched panoramas (one day I’d like to play with a true medium format panoramic camera) from 3-4 frames of Fuji Velvia 50, using a Mamiya 645 medium format camera.

The gnarled and moss-covered beach trees of the Kapakapanui circuit in the Tararua Forest Park.

The gnarled and moss-covered beech trees of the Kapakapanui day tramp in the Tararua Forest Park.

Beach trees on the way up to Field Hut at the start of the Southern Crossing at Otaki Forks, Tararua Forest Park.

Beach trees on the way up to Field Hut at the start of the Southern Crossing at Otaki Forks, Tararua Forest Park.

Otaki Forks Panorama edit

Bridge Peak on the Southern Crossing of the Tararua Forest Park, Wellington.


Goblin Forest

The Tararua Forest Park is a large, mountainous national park just north of the capital city of Wellington, and is scattered with tramping tracks and huts for those with an outdoors bent.  It features a variety of dense bush; from lush temperate rainforest in the low-lying areas to stunted, moss-covered beech trees as you approach alpine environments around a height of 1000 metres. At this height, the beech trees become quite stunted, the gnarled branches deformed by layers of moss and from the vicious cycle of storms which batter the mountaintops of Tararua’s on a regular basis.

I’ve been wanting to photograph these beech forests for a while now. A few weekends ago my partner and I headed to Waikanae (a small coastal town 60 km north of Wellington) where you can head east along the Reikorangi Road toward the Tararua range and the start of the Kapakapanui tramping track. A screenshot of the track is below:

Kapakapanui Map

The Kapakapanui track is a 6-8 hour walk, ascending one steep ridge and descending another. Climbing to a total height of 1100 metres, the track negotiates steep, technical terrain on gradients anywhere between 30 to 50 degrees. Lest to say, carrying a carbon fibre tripod, a Canon 5d mk iii with a 28mm lens, and a Mamiya 645 with 80mm lens was a challenge! The camera gear weighed in at 11Kg, while my water, food and spare clothes weighed around 4Kg. I see myself as a reasonably fit person so the climb wasn’t that bad. The descent however was a different story. There’s a good reason why many of the trees flanking the sides of the track on the way down, have bare patches on their trunks where no moss grows!

The images below were shot with a 28mm lens using the Canon 5d mkiii. The second image is a composite of three images to create a panorama. Eventually I’ll develop the slide film I shot with the Mamiya.

Kapakapanui small Kapakapanui Tramp 2015

Kapakapanui hut is about 2.5 hours hike from the start of the track, so staying the night to recover and then spending the day photographing might be a better option. There are several rivers to cross at the beginning of the tramp too, so you’ll have wet feet for the whole journey.  The Goblin Forest (sub-alpine stunted beech forest) lasts for several kilometres at the top of the tramp, and is an absolutely remarkable place to walk through. It’s certainly worth a visit.