Dairy Documentary; A morning documenting farm operations on a dairy farm

I squeezed in one last agricultural shoot the day before lock down in South Africa. One of the things I love most about agricultural photography is that I get to be outdoors, often surrounded by beautiful landscapes and salt of the earth people. I love the documentary aspect of it too, the action especially! A wide-eyed cow leaping out of the dip tank, the hoof kicks of a calf as it bolts for freedom, the grit and the dust and the expressions of farmers and farm workers as they work their every day! I love the freedom of this photography and that it requires me to get up at the crack of dawn, with my travel mug of coffee and sitting on the hillside, waiting for the perfect moment as the sun beams light over lush pastures. I love the quiet moments and independence that comes with it.

Ixopo landscape (2)
Ixopo farmlands
Ixopo landscape (3)
Clover Milk country!
Dairy farmer
Ixopo farmer

I’ve posted about Loch Buighe farm and Craigieburn farm in Ixopo many times before. I am documenting a years’s worth of farm operations and landscapes. On this day, I got to capture and shadow Craig Macfarlane and farm manager, Denton Knight. Though most farmers hate the thought of being photographed, these 2 did pretty well and as I had hoped, were fully focused on the farm operations while I clicked away in the background. The only time I felt they were acutely aware of me being there, with my camera, was when they needed to open an electric fence. I had assumed that by now an electric shock on a dairy farm would be old news, but apparently not! I could see the apprehension and cautious approach as they moved in on the fence, knowing full well that my camera zoom was focused and ready for action!

Electric fencing
Relief captured right here!

On this day, Craig was establishing rye grass for the Winter dairy season. Below are the images of the seed being mixed with fertiliser.

Mixing seed

Planning the day’s plant program

Establishing rye grass for the winter season

To finish off a busy morning of farm photography, I went with Craig and Denton to photograph the heifers being dipped for red water. Red water (a potentially fatal tick-borne disease) has been particularly bad this year. Some say it’s because of the mild winter we experienced last year with very few frosts.

Finishing up!

Washing hands!

Lianne provides agricultural imagery for websites, advertising, training manuals, webinars and imagery for editorial purposes.  If you would like to know more about Lianne’s packages and rates, contact Lianne here with your enquiry or request.


Unless otherwise stipulated and so credited, all material on this site is the work of Lianne Ashton and is ©Lianne Ashton Photography. Unauthorised use/and or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Lianne Ashton is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved. 

Published by Lianne

Lianne Ashton is the founder of Rosie Goes and is a freelance photographer.

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