Gallery: Dairy Day day at Loch Buighe and Craigieburn

Loch Buighe Dairy (6)
Craig Macfarlane

This is a nervous of smile! I have learned that standing here behind these cows can be quite a risky affair!

Loch Buighe dairy (1)
Loch Buighe Dairy

Loch Buighe Dairy (3)

Loch Buighe Dairy (7)
Denton Knight
Veterinary day at Loch Buighe Dairy

Loch Buighe Dairy (10)

Dairy farm (1)

Dairy farm (2)

Dairy farm (3)

Dairy cows (6)
Speed dating

Speed dating for dairy cows!

Dairy cow
Breaking dairy cow stereotypes!
Dairy cows (11)
For the love of radish!
Sunrise (2)
Winter mornings in Ixopo
Dairy farm (4)
Sunrise at Craigieburn Dairy farm

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

Dairy photography; Pastures and silage

Dairy farm (131)

I have finally been able to complete the second part of the Moberly’s farm photography shoot of their Dairy as well as take some lifestyle pictures of the family and garden. There was meant to be a wedding here a month ago, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic all plans have changed! All the aloes are in flower and it is truly a beautiful time of year, especially here in the Umzimkulu Valley. It was going to be a stunning venue! Nevertheless, the farm carries on as usual despite COVID-19. This shoot was part of an auction and was won by the Moberly’s a couple a years ago during the Lynford Clover Country weekend. As well as farm photography, Shirl especially wanted me to capture her garden in flower, hence the wait for this year’s aloe season. A post of Shirls magnificent garden is to follow. But for now, it’s all about the dairy!

Dairy farm (123)

Dairy farm (130)

Dairy farm (60)

Dairy farm (40)

Dairy farm (129)

Dairy farm

Dairy farm (102)

Dairy farm (125)


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. 

A misty morning on Loch Buighe farm

I woke up very early this morning to capture the sun rise over Ixopo and onto Loch Buighe farm. I’d hoped to get some pictures of the avo’s too. But the weather had other plans today. This misty, wet weather is quite common here in Ixopo and probably why this area is such a big dairy farming area! It’s perfect conditions for lush green grass! I’m not complaining. We’ve been desperate for rain and the green landscapes which KwaZulu-Natal is so well known for, have been missed! Here are a few of my Misty version of Loch Buighe Farm!

Dairy farm

Dairy farm
Dairy farm

Dairy farm

Dairy farm

Dairy farm

Dairy farm

Pannar Seed photo shoot; The grass is greener here!

We’re just emerging from a severe drought. As I speak, it’s bucketing with torrential rain and it’s come in the nick of time! Whether ‘flooding’ is the lesser evil, we will know soon but I think all farmers in KwaZulu-Natal are sighing deep breaths of relief that the rain is at least here.  It’s a whole 2 months late. Last weekend we were in Underberg and it was astounding to see how dry the dairy farms are, grass eaten down to the roots and silage pits dangerously dwindling with only a week or so of feed left for livestock.  Some farmers have already had to make tough decisions and sell off part of their herd because of the shortage of forage grass and water to irrigate.

My challenge over these last couple weeks has been to get imagery of forage grass and crops for Pannar Seed! I have been commissioned to supply them with agricultural imagery for their 2021 catalogue. While the Ixopo and Creighton districts seem not to have been as badly affected by the drought as Underberg has, I could sense the ‘mild panic’ on the other end of the phone when asking the local farmers if they have some nice ‘green Pannar fields’ for me to photograph!  It seemed like a long shot, but I got lucky! Thank you to CB Dairies in Creighton and Ixopo for giving me free range on their dairy farms! Despite the drought, I’ve got to say these pastures were looking good. A field of fat dairy cows during a drought is quite an achievement! I’m sure it’s been due to carefully managed grazing rotations and well stocked fodder banks, something I’m sure will be on the forefront of dairy farmers minds right now in case next year is anything like this year! With the rain we’ve had these last few days, there is suddenly a rush on planting maize!

In a couple weeks time, I will be photographing another region that has been hugely affected by climate change but that is so completely different to the lush green (in comparison) landscapes of Southern KwaZulu-Natal! I will be going to Senegal with AgDevCo where I will be photographing Smallholder rice farmers! I absolutely love the diversity of my job. From KZN cows to rice farmers in Senegal – I could never get bored doing what I do!

CB Dairies – Ixopo

Lianne Ashton Photography

CB Dairies -Creighton

Lianne Ashton Photography

Lianne Ashton Photography

A photographic documentary of a dairy farm and home in the Umzimkulu valley

Last year during the Lynford Country Weekend in Ixopo, I sponsored a Farm Documentary shoot for the auction and the Moberly’s made the highest bid! I will be doing this shoot in 2 parts. I did a half day recently, capturing some of the dairy scenes, winter landscapes, home and staff. I’ll be doing the second part of this shoot in the summer months when the dusty Umzimkulu valley greens up!

Dairy farm

Dairy farming

Cows (8)


Dairy farm

Dairy farm

Dairy farm

Dairy farm