On my very first trip to Taranaki, I hiked out to Pouakai Tarn for sunset where I met a friendly and eccentric Norwegian photographer who was there for the sunset too. It turned out that we were both staying at Pouakai hut, and I told him that I’d specifically scheduled my trip for that weekend as it was
a new moon and conditions were perfect to see the milky way rise over the mountain. This guy had been doing landscape photography for 35 years, and for some reason had never done any night photography (you live in Norway WTF?!). He asked to tag along when I went back out later that night, so I told him to meet me at the tarn at 3am.
When 2:45am rolled around, I set out from the hut and found him at the top of the hill, snapping away in some bushes (turns out he’d already been out there for 2hrs) and told me he hadn’t had any luck with getting decent photos as it was too foggy and he wasn’t sure what camera settings to use. I set my tripod next to his, and we synced our ISO & shutter speeds in for a test shot. 20 seconds later, this image above popped up on our screens, he rattled off a string of profanities that made me - a tradie - blush, and his new love for astrophotography was born.
Then he ditched his wife and kid to hitch a ride to Rotorua with a random tramper he met the next morning because he wanted to “Check out the area yah”. The man.