Photo comp: QiQi, New Zealand
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New Zealand
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It’s spring in New Zealand, though it was difficult to believe as we hiked through Karangahake Gorge shrouded in cloud and soaked with rain. The weather did little to dampen spirits, however—a purposely off-tune rendition of the school song could be heard ringing out of the valley for the duration of the six-hour hike, with intermittent breaks for “Sweet Caroline” and “Ants Go Marching”. One by one we marched, taking pauses every twenty-minutes or so to gather around a map and eat trail mix. In this shot, we are beginning our ascent. The lighting was particularly difficult in this part of the hike; it had just rained, and what little light was blocked by native foliage. I kept my camera tucked in my rain jacket for most of the journey, taking it out every so often for a quick click before returning it to safety, and as such, I didn’t realise that this shot (alongside many others) was blurry. However, I enjoy the lack of clarity in this image; the motion blur illustrates a sense of motion and chaos. It’s candid and representative of the challenges of hiking in the New Zealand spring.
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