This morning we woke up early and left Hamner for Christ Church. The drive was only about an hour and a half but the change was huge. For the first time in the past three weeks we were in traffic. It felt like being home.
Carl and Dave were both from Christchurch and so they started showing us around the West side which was built on compact gravel and not affected by the quakes.
After lunch they took us to the East side.
It was like a bomb had been dropped. The streets were completely deserted, rubble was everywhere. All the shops were abandoned. Restaurant still had reserved signs on tables and pepper shakers on the ground that had fallen off the table and shattered. Trash was all over the floors. In one restaurant there was a stack of newspapers strewn over a barstool dated February 22nd, the Earthquake before the one on Monday.
I know it was an incredible opportunity to photograph but I couldn't help feeling like an intruder. Even though we'd only been a few hours away for the last quake, it's been something really personal and emotional for New Zealanders and we weren't really affected by it.
I felt like I was a foreign photographer in New York right after 9/11.
But I did get some great shots.