Construction En Route to Kaikoura

This short article shares some images of construction en route to Kaikoura New Zealand. Sometimes conditions dictate unusual shooting conditions – like photographing one handed while driving. While our photographs may not be stellar in these situations, the life memories they help preserve for us can be priceless.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 30 mm, efov 81 mm, f/8, 1/320, ISO-160

My wife and I were in New Zealand on November 14, 2016 when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the South Island in the Kaikoura area. The quake was centred about 15 kilometres (~9 miles) north-east of the town of Culverton.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 14 mm, efov 37.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-400

At the time of the earthquake we were in a motel in Matamata on the North Island. While we didn’t feel the tremors from the earthquake which struck just before 3 AM, other people in the immediate area did.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 14 mm, efov 37.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-400

The earthquake killed two people and caused significant damage in the Kaikoura area, including closing State Highway 1. At the time, we had to change our travel plans as Kaikoura was made inaccessible.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 14 mm, efov 37.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-400

Massive rock slides along State Highway 1 resulted from the earthquake. A huge reconstruction effort ensued.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 14 mm, efov 37.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/80, ISO-400

State Highway 1 remained closed for 13 months after the earthquake. It reopened shortly before our spring 2018 visit to the South Island of New Zealand.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 14 mm, efov 37.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-400

The images in this article were captured on March 29, 2018 as we drove southward from Havelock en route to our motel in Kaikoura. If you look at some of the details on the hillsides in the photograph above, you’ll see large sections of steel mesh and cabling that were put in place to reduce the risk of rock falls and slides.

When we read about natural disasters happening around the globe, few of us ever get the chance to see some of the aftermath firsthand. Being able to photograph construction en route to Kaikoura will forever cement many memories of our journeys to New Zealand.

If you enjoyed this article and are interested in reading more information about New Zealand you may enjoy our eBook, New Zealand Tip-to-Tip, which is available for purchase and download at a cost of $12.99 Canadian.


Technical Note:
All photographs in this article were captured hand-held using camera gear as per the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO PhotoLab, CS6 and the Nik Collection.

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Article is Copyright 2019 Thomas Stirr. All images are Copyright 2018 Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication or adaptation of any kind is allowed without written consent. If you see this article reproduced anywhere else it is an unauthorized and illegal use. Posting comments on offending websites and calling out individuals who steal intellectual property is always appreciated!

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