Notes from the f ield

Australian Geographic - - From the Editor-in-chief -

MOST OF US with two arms would strug­gle to shear an un­wieldy, writhing sheep. So, while shoot­ing Flock­ing back to

wool (see page 88), pho­tog­ra­pher Randy Lar­combe was in­trigued and in­spired by one-armed

shearer Josh Tal­bot (see page 4) at Hamil­ton Run stud in South Aus­tralia. “Josh lost his arm in a road ac­ci­dent when he was young,” Randy ex­plains. Be­com­ing a shearer like his older brother was al­ways Josh’s dream, and it looked as if the ac­ci­dent was go­ing to put paid to that.

But Josh’s re­source­ful brother wasn’t go­ing to let that hap­pen. He tied one arm be­hind his back and taught him­self how to shear one-handed, so he could teach Josh. “I heard this story be­fore I saw him do it and couldn’t imag­ine how it could be pos­si­ble,” Randy says. “I still couldn’t, even as I was tak­ing the shots.”

This tale of broth­erly love did more than just warm Randy’s heart. “Sto­ries like this make you won­der how much of our hu­man ca­pac­ity remains un­tapped,” he says, adding that it’s meet­ing ex­tra­or­di­nary peo­ple like this that mo­ti­vates him as a pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher. “The real in­ter­est for me lies in the hu­man sto­ries I come across when do­ing this kind of as­sign­ment. There’s some­thing about the jour­nal­ism and pho­tog­ra­phy process that al­lows peo­ple to open up and re­veal them­selves. Ev­ery­one has a story and most peo­ple like it when some­one else lis­tens with in­ter­est. I hope through our work that read­ers are able to share in some of that as well.”

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