Dawn Chapman is a 35mm film photographer based in Wellington, New Zealand, with a passion for hiking and exploring the outdoors.

New Zealand - it’s a pretty great back yard. Just outside of the capital city of Wellington, you’ll find windswept beaches, forests, rivers, mountain ranges and lakes all within an hour’s drive.

Makara Beach, with its seaside houses, wide stony beach and views over the Cook Strait to the South Island, is a great place to catch some of that scenery. With multiple hiking trails into the hills and a cafe that offers fish and chips for lunch most days of the week, it’s an easy choice of destination when the sun’s shining!

On a blue sky winter’s day my friend and fellow photographer, Darina (@darina.photographer) let me drive her to the beach with the windows down and radio up. We stopped to take photos of the newborn lambs in the paddocks by the roadside and searched the beach for empty paua shells washed up on the shore. 

As the sun dropped lower in the sky we hiked up to the top of the cliffs to look out at the late afternoon light over the sea. It was a nice reminder that sometimes what it takes to feel like you’ve had an adventure isn’t travelling far from home but simply finding a nice place to watch the sunset.

Catch more 35mm film from Dawn here //

Photography and words by: Dawn Chapman