Point of Return

July 4

Same place, different time.

ON THE WAY UP THE WEST COAST TO RIDE THE OLD GHOST ROAD IN APRIL 2019, I SPOTTED THIS WOF SIGN IN WAIMANGAROA, JUST NORTH OF WESTPORT. WE WERE RUNNING LATE, SO AS HARD AS IT WAS FOR ME TO PASS BY AN INTRIGUING EXAMPLE OF KIWIANA, ALL I COULD DO WAS TAKE A MENTAL NOTE, AND KEEP MOVING.

 

The Old Ghost Road was unreal; the WOF sign waited patiently for me.

The grey-cast West Coast sky wasn’t offering up much light when I returned, and all I had was a less- favoured Fuji film in my Mamiya 6×6 camera. A few quietly considered frames later and we were down the road, headed home.

Shooting film is different. There is none of the instant gratification of clicking and admiring your work on the spot, but instead the hopeful anticipation of future reward.

When I first saw the image, it was a little flat. The colours weren’t quite right. Hope was replaced by a blah feeling of slight disappointment. I needed to go back, and I did, a bit more than a year later, after the 2020 lockdown ended.

Did I get the shot this time? I’m not sure if I did. The birds were no longer keeping guard, there was a new fence, my composition wasn’t quite as good.

Was it worth it? I think so. That sense of anticipation, slowing down. Of looking closer, taking a second glance and noticing more.

MICKEY ROSS


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