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Tunneling through North Head at Devonport, Auckland

Never fired in anger...the fort atop the hill at North Head, Devonport, Auckland may now be abandoned, but what's left behind is not only historically interesting - a beautiful park and beach, but also a treasure trove of opportunities for any Lomographer.

Photo by adam_g2000

In the 1870s, the threat of a possible attack from Russia prompted the development of a military base in the hill at North Head. And I mean “in”. A series of gun placements were created to hold massive canons, aimed out to sea to deal with a potential naval attack. These placements were all linked by a series of tunnels running through the hill.

The site was enhanced for each threat from war, WWI and WWII, though the guns have never been needed, hence, never fired in anger.

A comprehensive website explains the history far better than I can, check it out for more info on visiting and the history. I’ll be focusing instead on what appeals to the Lomographer.

Rather than quoting ‘public safety’, DoC (the Department of Conservation) keeps them opened and maintained for the public. Not all are lit, so a torch (and a flash gun) is handy.

I’ve been to North Head a few times but only twice as a Lomographer. On my first trip, I only had the La Sardina and Diana to keep me company, and I wanted to capture pics of the fort’s exterior, and the kids on the beach.

I realised as I walked around and through the tunnels, that there was an opportunity to capture what I think is really special about the place. There is a lot of concrete, rusty metal throughout the tunnels, very man-made shapes cut into the hillside and in the concrete.

A gun turret, sadly, the guns have been removed.

This contrast, these textures are almost like works of art in themselves. That first trip I decided I had to go back with a really sharp, bright lens, a flash, and capture those textures in the best way possible, with a very high quality black-and-white film. Ilford HP5+ 400.

The exterior offers vast opportunity for close ups and abstracts of weird metallic objects embedded into the concrete…

And the creepy interior allows you tomb-like photos…

What I love about this place is that there is so much opportunity for photography, that every different camera, every different Lomographer could find something to capture here. What a place for a meet-up.

What would you do at North Head?

written by adam_g2000

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