I‘m just testing post formats of this theme, but this video happens to be my favourite section of New Zealand if you fancy a watch.
Last week was the opening ceremony of the trail me and Nicky walked in New Zealand – Te Araroa. To mark the occasion I thought I’d share some of the progress I’ve made on all the photos and video we brought back.
I edited the photos first, there was about 25,000 to go through so I’ve only just finished! I got them down to reasonably easy to flick through 200 photo set of the highlights. And then a slightly longer 1000 odd photo set that covers the trail in a bit more depth.
We even got a few photos published in Geoff Chapple’s official trail guide, got our copy through the post the other day :)
If you followed our progress on Nicky&Cookie.com, you’ve probably seen most of these before, but you might be interested in checking out this short highlights video I’ve just finished putting together. It’s roughly in chronological order from the Top of the North Island to the bottom of the south, unfortunately I don’t have any footage of us getting to the end due to a memory card malfunction… Hopefully I might be able to recover some of it though. The rest of the video should be finished in the New Year.
Across New Zealand in 3 and a half minutes:
In case you missed it, me and Nicky have finished our walk across New Zealand! We’ve been swanning about the South Pacific for a while, but are back in the UK now so normal bloggin’ should resume shortly :)
What are we up to now? You’ll never believe this, but we’re about to start work on a project for the New Zealand Tourist board, ha ha awesome!
And we’re off! It’s been a bit of a rush over the past week or two.. But in 10min we’re catching the bus to the start of our long walk across New Zealand! From now on we’ll be bloggin’ on www.NickyandCookie.com, head over and check out our progress :)
May not be of much interest to most, but if you’re planning on doing the Te Araroa trail in New Zealand, or just fancy having a closer look at what me and Nicky are going to be doing for the next 6 months, then here’s all the maps (268.4MB).
I can’t guarantee the route I’ve drawn on is accurate, the route itself is constantly changing, but also expect a fair amount of human error! If you use these maps follow your judgement and common sense, over the orange line. I didn’t get around to making all the map notes I’d of liked too.. but I’ve run out of time now and need to get on with other stuff. My plan is to check for the latest route descriptions and read people’s journals to find out info about the next section as we go and then doodle these notes onto my printed out maps. I’ve left a space on every page to be used for this purpose.
Info about the maps:
- I made them A4 size for printing (ink-jet or laser)
- They are all .gif format (small file size, no artifacting)
- The route drawn on has little white dots every mile (can’t get my head round distances in KMs)
- There’s 103 maps in total, so you’ll need 52 pieces of paper to print them all out (both sides)
- Split into North Island and South Island folders, all numbered consecutively from north to south
- I’ve also done a total of 57 sheets of alternate routes, more on that later..
I always enjoy the pre-walk planning and mapping stage, although I’ve never bitten off anything even remotely as complex or long as this before (CDT maps were already done by Jonathan Ley). Got to say a big thank you to Land Information New Zealand who made all the 1:50,000 scale topographic maps and hats off to you for making them all freely downloadable :) The Te Araroa Trust for building the trail in the first place and providing all the route descriptions on their site. And most importantly to Geoff Chapple who founded the trust 16 years ago and who has been spearheading it’s development ever since.
When you’re following a pre-defined route, there’s always the temptation to work out a few variations that suit you’re own preference of terrain etc. While mapping the trail I managed to rack up more than I was expecting, 57 maps worth in total! I’ve got no idea how many, if any of these we’ll do, those sort of decisions usually make themselves at the time. But if you’re interested, these can be downloaded too (164.9MB).
Word of warning though – I’ve never been to New Zealand, so have absolutely no personal experience whether these are any good or not. I think they are all probably longer and more difficult than the official route.. But they do follow the same numbering as the official route maps (just with a ‘b’ after the number) so you can see where they fit into the trail.
If anyone other than me & Nicky end up using the maps, let me know how you get on!
Well this is the big decision I’ve had to make recently and to be honest I’m still quite shocked & amazed the Canon EOS 5D Mark II above is where it all ended?! I’m an amateur film maker and very amateur photographer, what the hell am I doing with a huge DSLR? Some of you probably already know the reason, I didn’t at the time, but below is a summary of how I found out.
Where this all started was me wanting to take my hiking photography up a notch, basically buy a little compact that takes a better picture than my phone! Being a style slag I fell in love with the Leica X1. Easy decision I thought, big sensor, little body, doesn’t weigh much, looks a bit like a M9, i.e. drop dead gorgeous. Job done, I put my deposit down and pre-ordered it months ago.
Then while I was waiting for the Leica production line to get round to making my camera I came across something called a 35mm adapter. This is the review by Tom Guilmette that I first came across and does a good job of explaining what it is:
$400 and I can make my Sony HDR SR12 do stuff like that, I want one! Shallow depth of field is something I’ve always jealously admired in other peoples work, but up until recently I didn’t even know enough about it to know what you needed to achieve it.. Ok I had my mission, find the best 35mm adapter to take to New Zealand, this is going to be awesome! After much research I couldn’t really find anything that beat the JAG35 Pro on weight, price and size.
I started to freak out that carrying 2 cameras (video & still), a fairy large adapter, plus another lens on the end, not to mention all the chargers, plugs and cables for them all was getting out of hand.. There’s got to be a better way eh?
Back on google I came across this film by Sebastian Lopez, shot on a Canon 7D:
Whoa, that blew my pants right off! Ok now I’m getting somewhere, this wasn’t what I was looking for, but I don’t care. In fact how can I use a camcorder anymore after seeing footage taken with this new breed on DSLR? Ah yes, probably got something to do with the price, size and the weight.. Ah what the hell!
Anyhow it’s getting late, to cut a long story short – I cancelled my X1 order, then chose the 5D over the 7D because of bigger sensor blahdy blah, general consensus by reviewers yadda yah and the third party Magic Lantern Firmware, that’s not yet available on the 7D (didn’t want to risk it not being available before NZ).
This decision pained me. There’s a lot of different opinions flying around and it’s hard to find consensus. Please don’t tell me I bought the wrong one, my brain hurts from thinking about it.. I only wanted to carry one lens so I thought I’d get a wide angle with a bit of zoom, I picked the Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L USM. All I can say is that it’s the best lens I’ve ever used (although that’s not saying much), and it definitely looks bigger in real life than on the internets! I love looking down that massive piece of glass at the front though, feels like I’m talking to Hal 9000 ;)
I’m really looking forward to using this camera (I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited), hopefully this blog will soon be full of all the beautiful images I’ve been able to capture with it :)
It constantly amazes me how far reaching my blog is, merely hours after asking if anyone had a Kickstarter invite on the blog, Lisa Yao came through with one :) Then a couple of days later the founder & Art Director of Kickstarter Charles Adler, dropped me line saying “DO IT. I absolutely loved your CDT project”.
Well I’ve done it, my project – Film about walking 1800 miles across New Zealand has just launched. We’re trying to raise $5000 and to be honest it feels a bit weird/cheeky raising money for something that I’m clearly going to enjoy doing.. But there is a lot of effort going into what I’m offering as ‘rewards’ i.e. maps & finished DVD, so I’m trying to stay optimistically hopeful that other people will want to get involved.
It isn’t all cash in hand of course, the cost of producing all the rewards and mailing everything out is going to take out a huge chunk. But I’ve got a few fun things in there like drawing peoples names along the way and styling my beard which should be a bit more profitable :)
Ideally I’d like to raise an extra $3500 (you can go over your target) which would pay for a mountain guide to take me to the top of Mt. Cook/Aoraki. It’s definetly beyond what I have the experience to do on my own, but is the highest mountain in New Zealand, has the same name is me and would make a pretty spectacular addition to the film!
You don’t have to back my project, there’s plenty of other great one’s on there. I’m backing IN TRANSIT presents: 16mm, pictured above. A film by Jonathan Dueck, who’s been busy scratching & painting over old 16mm films. Also James Taylor who wants to make an ‘absurd game of logic’ – The Gentlemen of the South Sandwiche Islands.
If anyone wants one? I have five, none left sorry.