This Easter long weekend has included a couple of trips to the farm to check sheep. One of the younger dogs wasn’t handled much before being re-homed, so is quite wary of contact with people, dodging out of my way when I reach to pat the pack. Even taking a photo of her is tricky, hence this blurry image that makes me think of a shadowy spirit slipping by at the periphery.
I’m not certain that he’d agree with my title reference to him being a “Master Shearer”, but Dennis Cameron of Charam, Victoria, has been shearing all his adult life, supplementing the farm income during lean years by travelling away to shear at other farms as far away as Warrnambool. Now in his 70s, he is still very hands-on at the farm, even taking a turn in the sling to shear a few sheep.
A busy working shearing shed can be a little overwhelming for me, but today it was just Dennis up on the board, with his son helping out, and I felt quite comfortable testing out my new prime lens, a second-hand Olympus 45mm f1.8 – my first prime since moving to digital a decade ago. (Boy, have I been missing out – it’s such a joy to use! No wonder I was dissatisfied with kit lenses.)
The next two shots show the kindness that successful farmers must have in dealing with their animals – something wasn’t quite right, and I caught this shot of Dennis checking the sheep (second photo).
This final shot is of father and son, working together with the seamless workflow of those who have done so for decades. I always feel privileged to observe them, and capture them in my photos.
Dennis has been shearing all his life, as well as running his own farm (sheep for wool and fat lambs, a few head of cattle, some cropping – even pigs and dairy cows in the past). Now, in his 70s, he still drops into the sling sometimes to get the wool off. Lucky me, to be allowed in with my camera!