I don’t always carry a camera around like I used to. Sometimes it’s nice to leave it at home. But it’s increasingly rare that I’ll have odds and ends photos that come from having a camera on hand at just the right moment. Most of what I shoot now is for projects, series, and assignments. Those occasional flashes of inspiration that used to make up the majority of this blog now get tucked away onto hard drives, hidden amidst the terabytes of assigned work. This week it’s officially summer, so I thought I’d dig through the archives and see what I’d forgotten. These are salvaged from the summer of 2010.
My first night in New Zealand I walked down to the beach. While sitting in the sand taking arty, self-indulgent photos of crashing waves, I realized how long it had been since I’d seen stars, and that there were so goddamned many. Nine years earlier I had the same realization, also in New Zealand, laying in a field amazed at the infinite nature of the universe. I studied abroad there in 2002, my first trip out of America. Then last March, Huck Magazine sent me back to photograph surfers at New Zealand’s first pro contest. I did that but those photos are for another day. These pictures are the result of the week after the contest. A week that I spent trying to relive my first visit to New Zealand. Alone, with little more than my nostalgia, independence, and a $10 sleeping bag, I set off in a rental car looking for swimming holes, skateparks, and that feeling of the unknown, fraught with possibility, that New Zealand will always represent to me.