Tuesday, August 14, 2007

SP07: the souvenirs

i went to the semi-permanent design conference in auckland on saturday. it was great - i'll be reviewing the event on intraspace soon. meanwhile here are a couple of souvenirs i scooped up during the event. oh, and if you are trying to find my work, my www.andrewkillick.com domain is temporarily down and is accessible through the domain name www.safelittleworld.com.

here's the first little bit of goodness. this is the annual semi-permanent book that comes out with the conference. they open it up for submissions from around the world, and this year one of my photos was selected for inclusion - you can see it there in the photo (the little bird-watching hut, not the dude with the dumbbell on the facing page).

the second little piece of goodness is this rather cool looking konica range-finder camera that i snapped up for $5 at the markets in aotea square in front of the conference venue. the thing has a metal construction and seems to be in working order. i'm looking forward to chucking a film in it and giving it a go soon.

always nice to come away with a few things to remind you of an experience like that where most of the impact is physically intangible.

on the headphones: 'nautilus' by loscil, from the album 'submers'.


in the strange but true file...

we had a few running jokes on our brothers' road trip recently. one was based around the camo jacket that i bought from the warehouse prior to the trip. i love camo, not because i'm a redneck but for more fashion-orientated reasons. however some folk see camo differently. i was accused by my brothers of causing a cafe proprietor to look down on us because i was wearing this jacket. my brothers said it was because i looked like a bushman just back from pig-hunting. "bowhunting," i replied.

i've long been struck (n.p.i) by the idea of bowhunting - the least effective but most rugged of all common animal-slaying methods. i'm also intrigued by the way evangelical christianity has become intertwined with gun and hunting culture in the usa - it's one of the most bizarre amalgamations i can think of. so you can imagine my excitement when, in reading an article on stuff.co.nz about how camo bibles are the topselling product from an outlet called 'the christian outdoorsman', i discovered that there is actually an organisation in existence called 'christian bowhunters of america'.

i quickly visited their site. currently they are holding a Spiritual Retreat Hog Hunt at Bowhunter Paradise, in Texas - archery only. i'm putting on my jacket and buying my plane ticket as we speak...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

the great nz road trip (highlights package)

[picture: andrew (left) and dave getting rained on while walking on a jetty, taupo. picture by rob]

over the weekend i went on a road trip with my two brothers - rob and dave. i think this was the first time the three of us had been away together on a trip like this, so it promised to be an interesting social experiment. back in the day, when they were roadtripping as younger men i was only about 10 years old. 20 years later we set about planning to drive down to the central plateau of nz to see what we could see. and it turned into rather a good trip. here's the highlights package...

day one: south of rotorua we went to a place called orakei korako (aka hidden valley) - a geothermal area that is supposed to be pretty good. we shelled out our $28 per person (tourist prices) and went across a catchment lake (part of the waikato river) on a little ferryboat to the other side. then we looked at sulphuris formations and various subterranean bubblings. the highlight was a big open cave surrounded by native bush with a blue tinted thermal pool at the bottom.

stayed that night in taupo.

day two: we set out from taupo and headed to the famed horopito motors. weatherwise this was exactly the same type of day as when lance and i went there earlier in the year, except now it was winter - so it was about 9 degrees colder. horopito is always good. and afterwards we took quite a lot of photos in the surrounding landscape. from there we headed to ohakune.

in ohakune we got a brilliantly cheap lunch from the bakery and drove up mount ruapehu. at the top of the road, dave's 'snow warning' went off in his car. it was 1 degree outside and raining/sleeting. well you can't not get out and touch snow when you're up the mountain so we braved the stinging rain for a few minutes. back in the car we decided that the only sensible thing to do in weather like this is to go for a bush walk.

we went down the road a bit and found a nice track to some waterfalls (the waitonga falls to be exact). being in the bush was ok - wet but not windy - until the track crossed open tundra that looked like the marsh scene out of lord of the rings, but colder and without the faces and lights. we got lashed with more sleet and had to concentrate on not getting blown off the boardwalk. back in the bush we descended into a valley. the path ended far too far away from the actual waterfalls for these kiwi blokes, so we bush-crashed up the valley until we were standing right beneath the main waterfall. so now we were being thrashed by the waterfall as well as the rain - refer to mention of temperature earlier to appreciate comfort level - but it was exhilarating and literally breath-taking.

after 2 hours of being out in that charming weather we finally got back to the car and cranked up the heater, which did a surprisingly good job of keeping us warm in our 1 degree celsius rain/waterfall water-soaked trousers.

stayed that night in turangi after driving north up the desert road.

day three: we drove north to a road that travels up the west side of lake taupo. we stopped at an old jetty and took more photos (pictured above), getting more rain on us and spying a picturesque village across the water with a waterfall and church with a high steeple. we worked our way around the lake until we came to the sign to waihi village - the place we'd seen. anyway, further up the road was a big handpainted sign telling us to keep out. before the sign were a couple of great-looking little 1950s holiday cribs which i had to photograph for my safe little world stuff.

standing on the edge of the grass in front of the places, i had taken a couple of photos when i heard a vehicle behind me. anyway, to cut a long story short, it was lady telling me off for photographing private property - the locals clearly sensitive about outsiders in this area. i explained to her that i wasn't doing anything wrong. she told me i had to ask for permission to photograph the buildings. i said, "can i photograph the buildings?" she said, "yes" and drove off. the old killick charm clearly paid off.

then we went further north up the waikato river, taking in a couple of quite impressive dams until we came to arapuni and the enormous swing bridge that i had forgotten was there. we parked the car and walked across the bridge feeling like it was going to collapse at any moment and send us hurtling into the rapids over 50 metres below.

that night back to my parents' place in kaiaua, then back home the next day.

a classic trip accompanied by dave's rather eclectic ipod library (everything from audioslave to hot chocolate and portishead); and apart from one 'discussion' about politics, no arguments...

on the headphones: 'the underdog' by spoon, from the album 'ga ga ga ga ga'.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


quite a while ago i went on a road trip with lance to the central plateau, and in particular to a little place called horopito that boasts a particularly impressive graveyard of old cars.

the other day, i got back a roll of transparency film from the photolab. given the cost and hassle of getting film processed these days (they send film away for E6 processing - there is apparently no one in the bay of plenty or waikato that does it) i treat film very sparingly. so this roll had been in my lomo camera for nearly six months.

sadly i discovered that an on-going problem that i've been having with my shutter sticking is still going on. it is an intermittent problem, so i lost about 9 random shots out of the 36 exposure roll. anyway, among the photos i got were some dating right back to the horopito trip. a number of them were duplicates of digi photos i took the same day, but with the distinctive look of the lomo camera.

one of them was this photo of a skoda wreck:

one of the things i like about this photo is that it is a picture taken of a soviet-engineered vehicle with a soviet-engineered camera - and both pieces of russian technology are miles from home in a paddock in the middle of new zealand.

i scanned the image on sunday, and today, quite by chance, roly emailed me a photo he'd been working on. he had taken a picture of his late model skoda (yes, skodas are back if you haven't heard). the photo was taken in his driveway, and then to expand his photoshop skills he made the image look like something out of a car commercial - complete with beautiful orange-tinged light and motion blur to make it look like it was travelling through autumnal countryside.

to counter his rather air-brushed interpretation of skodas, i emailed him my skoda picture. within the hour he returned with this bit of genius:

beautiful. oh and, this weekend i'm off on a road trip with my brothers - back down towards the central plateau. maybe i'll get to see my skoda again.

one the stereo: 'none shall pass' by aesop rock. get it free here.