Signs of Spring are starting to show everywhere. Blossoms are out and the days a little warmer but the real true sign of Spring is the lambs arriving bringing new sources of amusement. Never more so at Ohariu Farm where they have around 3,000 Suffolk Cross ewes on their 800 hectare farm just 20 minutes from Wellington City. Run by Jude and Greg Best, Ohariu is both a working farm and a location for functions with remarkable views across the lower North Island hills. This was the spot for the photography workshop I attended last weekend run by Simon Woolf a Wellingtonian photographer.
This was the first photography course of any kind I’ve attended and I have to admit to being a little phased by the thought of more experienced photographers. There was a real cross section of people with varying experience but all of us there to learn. The day was quite free ranging with not much structure teaching which to be honest I could have done a bit more of. Instead we were left to roam and make the most of the farming demonstrations that Greg who made a fantastic model.
At first I was a bit of a loss to know what to do but after calming my nerves and engaging my brain I came to envisage the potential for telling a story of farming from the farm dogs perspective. When I had my story idea it was then a question of seeking out the best shots I could muster giving the constantly changing light and regular showers none of which dampened anyone’s enthusiasm or enjoyment. Here’s the first photo blog story with two more in the pipeline.
Sit back now and start saying Ahhh!
You just can’t beat Spring lambs for their adorable faces. These babes were just a few days old but very much at home with their mums.
But lambs are part of farming. Here’s Greg and his dog Blue. I think Fortnum and Mason could learn a thing or two about obedience and discipline from Blue. A little doggie boot camp might be on the cards.
Watching Blue at work was a remarkable thing. I had to concentrate on picture taking as I was totally mesmerised by his skills and the way he followed Greg’s every call.
Unlike the bassets Blue does not lunge himself at every passing creature. No Blue is calmer, more purposeful and follows the instructions of his master. There’s no digging in of heels and stopping off to sniff at the next fencepost.
This is a dog that knows his craft. And the sheep know it too!
I’ve put together a slide show which I would dearly love to have some music and sounds to. Although I could have added sound effects I it wouldn’t really capture the true audio visual experience I had so I was inclined not to fake it. Next time I do something similar I’ll take a recorder so I can get the full experience – in this case the melodic sounds of a Farmer calling to his dog just like they did on One Man and his Dog. Hope you enjoy the silent version instead!
Oh, and if you’re wondering. I was strongly advised to watermark my photographs for posting on the blog. I didn’t have the heart to stamp a distraction on the picture – more work needed to sort this out properly but will do so when I finally execute my blog redesign. Yes that’s the one I’ve been working on for months and with the end potentially in sight.