Rider - Jack Fisher, Location - Rotorua, NZ, Photo - Cameron Mackenzie

Rider Jack Fisher   Location Rotorua NZ   Photo Cameron Mackenzie

As photographers, we always find ourselves waking earlier, going to bed later and developing these inhuman sleeping habits, just to shoot when the light is golden. Much like that old proverb your boss or your mum tells you, “make hay while the sun shines”.

Now, I’m still young, I haven’t as yet developed the ability to function well on three hours sleep, just like my close knit group of friends. Of whom I called upon when I decided that a 3am start was a good idea. I dragged their asses out of bed one morning and the push down to Rotorua was made long before the birdies started singing.

Plan of attack:

  • 2am: Get Up
  • 2:30am: When I’ll actually get up
  • 3:00am: Collect the lads
  • 3:00 – 6:00am: Drive/get abused
  • 6:00 – 6:40am: Gear up, push up
  • 6:45-7am: Scout location
  • 7:12am: Sunrise

Somewhere around central Waikato (no man’s land) about 4:30am: “Cam, There’s a shitload of cloud about. Did you check the forecast?” “Yup, earlier in the week.” What I really meant was early the previous week. Before I could laugh it off, the heavens opened and a fist came flying at me from the back seat. “Cam, I swear to god, if this weather is shit…!”

What can go wrong? We get rained out and then sit in Zippy’s for two hours (my shout)… If only.

Driving down the Vegas Strip in the early hours, all doors locked, we spot an old downhill mate stumbling drunk along the road! A quick pick-up and then an hour of drunk navigation to ‘home’ later. Fuck, sun’s up in half an hour! The hill we planned on shooting on is no small mound. Faster than a 17-year old climbing the first liaison at their first enduro race, we sprinted up to the zone. Heavy cloud cover, wet grass, wet grips, current temperature 0ºc.

In our haste we forget important layers of clothing, gloves and lights. Do or Die mode kicks in as the sun crests over Lake Rotorua.

Scout/Setup/Ride/Jump/Shoot/Crash/Push/Again! Thankfully, I avoided the coffee shout.