I’ll be doing a series of shoots for Ellepot in the coming months. I kicked off the series with the Hayter’s/Ixopo contracting planting operations. Sutherland Seedlings supplied them with Ellepot Eucalyptus root stock. It was a perfect day for planting; wet, misty and rainy!
Ellepot is a propagation system with patented machines, customized trays and environmentally friendly paper. Seedlings or root stock are planted into paper pots. It’s worth noting the Eucalyptus root structure in these images; one of the many advantages of using Ellepot in the way of seedling/rootstock propagation. With Ellepot, there is faster root development and it eliminates transplant shock during planting operations.
During this shoot, I was also able to do some people-centric documentary photography of the Hayter’s planting operation and their staff. Thank you to Lionel Van Rooyan and his team of staff who gave me their time and were happy for me to click away in the background and to capture an Ellepot ‘planting operation.’
These images are commissioned by Ellepot.
Documentary photography of Craig Macfarlane and the Hayter’s team in Ixopo burning fire breaks.
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.
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!
On this day, Craig was establishing rye grass for the Winter dairy season. Below are the images of the seed being mixed with fertiliser.
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.
A couple weeks ago, I went to the likes of Parys, Nigel and Delmas in South Africa, some areas I have not been to before. This shoot was for Pannar Seed and Corteva Agriscience. The 3 day shoot kicked off with the Van der Westhuizen brothers in Parys! They farm maize, soya’s and sunflowers! Are are a few from the album!
*These images are licenced to Pannar Seed and Corteva Agriscience.
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