Posted on April 25, 2021
When it comes to accommodation and photography shoots, sometimes it’s just a case of winging it and hoping you find a good spot to rest your head after a day on the road or after a day of ‘shooting.’ In my case, I’m usually tired by this stage and have only a few things on my mind: Eat, recharge batteries, download ‘todays’ images, sleep. But today, I needed good internet and being in the Mpumalanga area that I am, the signal is less than more!
There is only one thing to do when your accommodation requirements are particular…ask a local! I hit a luck when I pulled up next to the restaurant and asked about the internet in Graskop and whether they could recommend any accommodation in the area that has reliable and fast internet. Sometimes, the search for accommodation requires a few loops around the town and some back roads before you find the place, but today I was lucky. I met the manager Lindy who also manages Graskop Harries Cottage, a top of the notch self-catering premise with everything you could hope for (as well as fast internet) but best of all a Nespresso COFFEE MACHINE!
As a photographer, or perhaps any business person, a good strong hit of caffeine first thing in the morning is a must. And so having a coffee machine in your own small abode, fast internet and a desk for working space/editing is like home away from home. It’s places like these that while you are on a working road trip, that you are able to get your work done! I have realised that on trips like these, I cant afford to wait until I get home to edit…I must edit on the road! Places like Graskop Harries Cottage, are essential for getting the work done!
Contact Graskop Harries Cottage +27 (0) 73 386 8509 for more information
Posted on August 5, 2020
Posted on July 2, 2020
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.
Posted on June 11, 2020
Documentary photography of Craig Macfarlane and the Hayter’s team in Ixopo burning fire breaks.
Posted on April 13, 2020
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.
Posted on March 15, 2020
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.
Posted on March 4, 2020
Last week I got to go to some places in South Africa that I have never been to before! I went on tour to the likes of Parys, Nigel and Delmas for Pannar Seed where I photographed sunflowers, maize and soya crops. I also got to experience my first Pannar Extravaganza show! Every year, Pannar host a number of shows around the country where their experts give the local farmers and students ‘talks’ and advice on the various crops as well as their new seed varieties. This highly informative and popular agriculture show also includes Demo plots, showcasing all Pannar’s maize and soya varieties. Here are a few images of the 2020 Delmas Extravaganza!
These images are commissioned by Pannar Seed.
Posted on July 6, 2019
I’ve been doing a number of shoots for Harry Gwala Agri recently. Harry Gwala Agri is an NGO that coordinates mentorship programs and training for smallholder farmers and agriculture TVET students with the help of local commercial farmers in the area. This particular shoot was just down the road from me in a spectacular valley that is dotted with giant aloes in full bloom. It’s really quite beautiful at this time of year.
I met smallholder farmer Ghela Mngoma. Gehla has a few hectres of cabbages, tomatoes and pumpkins. His farm is situated alongside a river, giving him access to plenty of water and a successful irrigation scheme. It looks like he’s going to have a bumper cabbage crop this year!
Over the years Gehla has been mentored by Beesie Stone, a long time commercial farmer in the Ixopo district. Everyone knows Beesie here! Beesie is a perfectionist when it comes to farm operations. He’s been farming for over 40 years and has recently retired. He has dedicated much of his time to mentoring Gehla, helping him to get where he is now and paving the way for a future in farming for him and his family.
These images are of Ghela himself and his cabbage crop which should be ready for harvest in the next few weeks. Shortly after I started the shoot, Ghela’s family arrived. It was a particularly colourful shoot with the aloes in the back ground, blue skies, big smiles and pumpkins! I’m looking forward to capturing the harvest in a few weeks time and following this family’s future in agriculture.
Posted on June 3, 2019
Another album for Harry Gwala Agri! This time it was of agriculture TVET student Tumeka Sapo who has been getting work experience at the Carisbrooke Valley Citrus packhouse.
If you require photography of your agriculture operations or programs, please use the contact form below to make your enquiry.
I have photographed a number of agricultural operations around Africa, including feedlots and cattle operations, groundnuts, paprika and soya crops, Macadamia Orchards and processing plants, Dairy, maize and potatoes, training/mentorship programs and product photography. These shoots have been of both Large Commercial operators and of Smallholder Farmer operations. I am available to travel.
Posted on May 21, 2019
Murray Roberts is an old friend of mine. A few years ago, he stepped out of the rat race in pursuit of following his passion of Bladesmithing. As a young boy he’d watched and learned from his father who had spent long hours in the workshop handcrafting knives. 30 years later, he decided to take his interest further and attended a number Blacksmithing, bladesmithing and Stock Removal knifemaking courses. A good Blacksmith friend of his, Guy Sterling of Sterling Wrought Iron kindly offered Murray the opportunity to share his workshop space, tools, Blacksmithing machinery and Bladesmithing knowledge. A couple years later, Murray is now an accomplished Bladesmith who makes tailor-made knives to order. Some of his recent creations include hunting knives, chef knives and steak knives. To know more about Murray’s business and services, click here to read the full story…
Murray required imagery for his website and for marketing purposes. For this shoot, I mostly went with a documentary approach with the intention of capturing the feel of the space, the mood and the passion Murray has for Bladesmithing. An art that requires skill, precision and a whole lot of patience! I take my hat off to people who have the courage to take the risk to start a business and follow their dreams. What better pleasure is there than to wake up everyday to a job that you love! Here are few of the images I took of Murray Roberts Bladesmithing.
Murray Roberts Bladesmithing Facebook Page
If you are a small business and looking for imagery for your website or for marketing purposes and would like a quote for a commercial or documentary shoot, please use the contact form below to send your enquiry. I particularly have a special interest in small businesses and would love to hear from you!
Posted on June 3, 2018