A while since I have posted....Slap on the wrist for me!!
Today I am blogging about my time up at the Roa and Echo Coal mines last month. I was asked to go up to the mines and photograph the gear and also do some Aerial shots of the Mine itself. Something I had never done before and I jumped at the chance to do something out side my comfort zone.
I wasn't sure what to expect really. We got to Reefton and it was raining (surprise surprise!) We went up to the Roa Mine first. Roa is predominantly an underground mine producing high quality hard coking coal. The drive was steep and when we got to the top I could not believe how freezing it was. My hands were literally frozen within seconds and I couldn't tell if I was taking photos or not... It was amazing though. The height we were at, blew me away and I couldn't believe they had put the road up to the top themselves.
My partner (Cam) and I with Cam's Uncle Ross up the top of Roa Mine. FREEZING!!
The Weather wasn't playing the game we wanted it to, so we decided to go to Christchurch early and then come back through Reefton. The weather was forecasting fine weather and I kept my fingers crossed that it didn't change. We arrived back to Reefton and the weather couldnt have been better. The sun was shining and there was hardly a cloud in the sky.
I was taken up to Echo Mine this time. Echo is an opencast coal mine. I was prepared for it to be amazing but I was still blown away by the size of the trucks etc and the area that they cover. The digger and truck drivers acted like they didn't care to have their photo taken but I know they enjoyed it. I provided them some entertainment by getting stuck in mud multiple times. So much so that one time I had to get two guys to lift my out of the mud i had become submerged in.....A little embarrassing to say the least!
I embraced the high vis jacket and gumboots, got mud all over me and left my appearance cares behind for the two days I photographed up at Echo. We got the opportunity to ride on the biggest digger I have ever seen, that was called "Big Donga."
After photographing all the gear up at the mine, the guy who was showing us around got a phone call to say that the Chopper was on its way to pick me up to take Aerial shots. A wave of nerves came over me but I didn't have time to get to worked up about the heights. I got into the chopper and they said to me " Door on or off?".....I stared at them for a second, processing what they had just said to me. The Photographer inside of me was saying "DOOR OFF!!" but the voice inside my head was shouting "DOOR ON! DOOR ON!" The door was taken off as I had bravely asked for and I had my seatbelt put on (which was just like the seat belts you wear in an Aeroplane....) I couldn't believe myself as I semi hung out of this chopper and took Aerial shots of what I had just photographed at ground level.
Its going to sound terribly cheesy but I had never felt so alive. I cant imagine the rush you would get from jumping out of a plane, as this was enough for me. It was breathtaking and again I found myself saying "WOW!" over and over again. The giant trucks and diggers that had taken my breath away were now tiny ants amongst this huge area of land. Makes you realise how tiny us humans are....
Once I got back down to land I could not wipe the smile from my face. I wanted to go again. I later got the chance to and so did Cam. He was so cute. These photos were taken after he had been up in the Chopper. Look at that Grin!!
I was so grateful for the opportunity and I love that I am getting involved in a lot of different aspects of Photography and not just sticking to Portraits etc. This experience will be something that I will never forget and I hope to have more like it in the future.
From dinky toys to real life! I learnt so much. Experiences like these make me so excited for life and its unexpected turns. I would never have thought I would have had the opportunity to do this and call it my job! Loving it :)
Sorry it has been a lengthy post but I hope you have enjoyed seeing what have been up to. Hope you are having a good Monday and enjoy the rest of your week.