New Zealand | East Cape, Bro

I travelled to New Zealand, looking for all sorts of photographic and life inspiration. So off I went with my little Fuji X-T1, a back pack and the hope I would be able to photograph at least one nice view, even if it only pleased my mother – I was going to one of the most picturesque countries on the planet, after all. Now, I enjoy a nice vista as much as the next person but I’ve never been much of a landscape photographer. Sad, but true. My interests have always been to document people, to photograph with a sense of movement and memory. I have always been interested in the spaces that people have been in, and to identify through photography what their story might be.

So during my time in the North Island, I was intrigued to notice many abandoned places – vast beautiful, and at times prehistoric-looking landscapes with abandoned homes and cars. There were all manner of human traces just left in the open and forgotten about. This was definitely more prevalent in the East Cape – where this series of images comes from. The places and homes I stayed in had the same sense of abandonment inside, not unloved but just forgotten about, as though the people who resided there had just got up and left one day, for reasons unknown. I began to have a greater purpose with my photography as my fascination with the area grew. I wanted to know who had lived in these spaces and why they had left. What was their story?

From some of the beaches on the East Cape, you can be one of the first people on earth to see the sunrise of a new day. I was sat on one such beach waiting for the sunrise; I couldn’t have been further from my home in Devon, and I was surrounded by abandoned things, but for some reason I was more inspired than ever that day. So enjoy my little series of images from the East Cape of New Zealand, and if you ever get a chance to visit, you absolutely should.

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