art conaghan photography | My love for Wooly has a haka
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My love for Wooly has a haka

August 02, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

The title of this may seem very strange on the parchment of a professional photographers blog and website. 'Where are the pictures of a haka and who or what the hell is Wooly,' I hear you say, 'and what has this to do with photography?' Those are fair points and I will address them in due course. Wooly is my adnomentum for my wife by the way.

Her term of endearment for me is Artie and if she uses my name in full, (Arthur) I have reasonable grounds to suspect that I am, in some way, in the doghouse. It's usually because I've lost the key, forgotten to buy something I should have, bought something I shouldn't, or in a rare moment, just in a grumpy mood. I bought a dog last year, hoping that this would distract her during any grumpy moments. It did not, and now I have serious competition for her attention and affections. It is not only a dogs life for a dog.

There is an urge in every photographer to constantly showcase an amazing image with each blog, each one better than the last. This can and does leads to periods of crisis to find better, sharper, more unusual images in unusual locations with unusual subjects. The images I put up on my blog are always recent, so I can never guarantee a spectacular shot on each blog.

But then blogs are not always solely about the image. The image can speak for itself. Blogs can however add narrative, tell a story or just direct a theme. So can the haka.

We walk the dog every morning and most evenings, weather permitting, and we drive down to a beautiful valley that's almost always deserted. We frequently spend up to a couple of hours or until sundown to wander, sit around and play fetch with the dog.

These walks with Wooly are just magic. It's the occasion when I feel closest to her, and yes, the dog too.

Yesterday I proclaimed that my love for her was so hot it had a haka. Her face said it all. "WTF!!!" So having spurted this profound statement out, I did the haka. She collapsed in fits of laughter. My love for Wooly has not only a haka, but enough momentum as to be the subject of this blog.

On our daily walks you never know what will turn up. Yesterday we saw the most amazing rainbow. We also discovered that, not for the want of trying, I just cannot do a haka, but that didn't matter.

My love for Wooly has a haka and my love for photography has an image. The most profound feelings and experiences can be found even in the most routine and familiar of places.

Over the past 72 hours the farmers and their contractors have been out in force harvesting the rape seed crop which has completely changed the view. The clouds have been heavy in the sky and the sun periodically has been blasting through creating some lovely contrasts on the landscape.

Katrina Parker, Alicia Schofield and a couple of other women from our village came by, cycling up the valley on their way to Cottesbrook village and back again. Every September they do a sponsored cycle to Norfolk in aid of the local church.

They've been out training over the last few years long before the Olympics have made it August trendy. Katrina and Alicia are two of a number of villagers who give a lot to Walgrave. If something is being organised for the benefit of our community their names are usually not far away.

They went on their way, and we went on ours, but not before I took another photo of the wheat fields and a nice view across the valley. The light was difficult and the best time had already past, but good enough to return for another day.


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