Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fieldwork lessons

Yes, I've been on fieldwork for the past couple of days. Thankfully, it was a different kind of fieldwork to what I was used to in my archaeology days - that tended to involve dirt and spiders and knee pain. This version was FAR preferable. In this case, the fieldwork involved accompanying a photographer from work around the Lachlan Valley taking shots to be used in the gallery. And I learnt a couple of things (for the record, there were numerous farmers involved, not just one):

1. Watch where you're walking. That particularly lush patch of grass up ahead may just contain the decaying remnants of a sheep...
2. Sitting between the seats in a two seater ute while going up a stupidly steep 4WD track is a recipe for being left with a seatbelt clicker mark on your arse. And it may result in the farmer who's driving having to make slightly inappropriate movements to change gears/take off the hand brake...
3. $25,000 worth of camera gear is much heavier than $700 worth of camera gear.
4. When you change your camera to shutter speed mode, make sure you actually CHECK the shutter speed before taking a crapload of photos in full sunlight on the top of the mountain you just drove up in a ute. You may discover two days later that the shutter speed was 1/60 and you're left with a ton of overexposed photos. Awesome... *sigh*
5. Gates are rusty. Don't wipe your hands on your jeans after closing them.
6. Don't assume roads join up like they seem to in the map book of New South Wales. You'll direct the photographer down a road that requires a difficult u-turn and the discovery that if you'd gone 200m further down the FIRST road, you would have found the turn off...
7. If you don't play an organised sport, make one up. Otherwise you'll get a lecture from a well-meaning farmer about how "you should have a sport, my girl!", and then spend the afternoon wondering if he was implying you're fat...
8. If a farmer pulls up in a ute with four sheep herding dogs on the tray/running around the wheels, and refers to them as "a pack of bastards", don't squeal and go "OMG, PUPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" when the next generation of bastard sticks its floppy earred head out the window of the ute. You'll get an eye roll from said farmer.
9. Never even mention politics around a farmer. You'll think you've stepped back in time. Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser, Robert Menzies and Bob Hawke are discussed as if they were running the country yesterday...
10. Attempting to provide bridesmaid dress measurements with the cable of a phone charger and a sheet of A4 paper will give you a result of "waist = 3.25 x width A4". This is not helpful to anyone... Especially the bride.
11. Completely unrelated to fieldwork, head over to The Frocked Engineer. My BFF Kat is going to be wearing a dress or a skirt for every day in October, raising money for ovarian cancer research. It's a great cause, so please dig deep and give what you can!!

I'll share some photos from fieldwork once I've finished editing them. But for now, I have to go and pack again - off to Melbourne first thing in the morning for the second long weekend in a row. WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

K xx

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout out at number 11!!

    I guess I spent more time in the country than you when I was a kid (well, I did live there)... I can at least *explain* 6 and 8, if not understand them.

    The roads don't join up because they're 'paper roads', e.g. the land is owned by the Crown, but there was never any point actually building the roads.

    And if you think of the dogs as "farm labour" instead of, well, dogs, number 8 makes a bit more sense :-S

    Hope Melbourne is good for you!


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