I would have to say that one of my best attributes is my ability to laugh at myself. This comes in pretty handy considering some of the clumsy situations I get myself into. Capturing this image is the perfect example of my awkward photographic style.
This image was captured at ‘Wellgully Poll Merino Stud’ near the town of Mitchell, Qld. I have been woolclassing at this property for around five years now and with the same shearing team (myself and two other shearers) every year, we all know each other very well.
This morning was like any other morning. I walk into the shearing shed with my usual cheery morning demeanour, sipping my second coffee for the day and trying to scope out the little bit of sunlight streaming into the shed to warm myself up in.
There I was, slowly waking up when I heard a quad bike. The two shearers casually mention something about the woolgrower bringing in the next mob of sheep. This is where my awkwardness begins.
I had a mouth full of coffee. Had. With the mention of mustering I have now spat it all out down the front of my jumper. I race over to my camera bag knocking not one but two brooms over on my way (shed rules indicates that that was a silly move). Out the door I head, not thinking of the most practical way to get to the back yards, of course I take the one with the most obstacles.
First, two fences. Nailed the first one, the second one I catch my tights on a bit of wire and rip them right open in an unfavourable spot. Then onto what I thought was a third fence, but turns out to be a gate. A well oiled unlatched gate. I rode that one till it came to a stop on the other side.
Now, to compose this shot perfectly. I had two options, on top of another fence or climb on top of a portable ramp. True to style i chose the very slippery ramp. Falling up it twice, climbing onto the side and letting my life hang in the balance by holding on with only my thighs – here came the shot. It’s now that I realise I have the wrong lens on. Plenty of expletives, fumbling and one lens hitting the dirt, I’m ready to get amongst it. Click, click, click. Got it.
Now this wouldn’t have been so embarrasing if nobody had witnessed all of this. Of course the two shearers did. Through all of their snorting laughter they let me know with a simple ‘Get the shot,mate?’….Puffing and panting away all I gave them was a thumbs up and a ‘nailed it’.