写真

Photographer's Note

One of my fondest memories from Iran was of my meeting with this shepherd. It was in Kandovan in East Azerbaijan that I first saw him in a quiet valley opposite the Laleh Rocky Hotel. About the hotel later. As I walked down the road, in the opposite direction from the troglodyte town of Kandovan, I noticed a few sheep grazing on the downward slopping terrain. As I approached them and started negotiating a winding track which led to the walnut orchards below, I noticed this man sitting on his donkey, quietly watching me from amongst the trees of his orchard. Behind him flowed a babbling brook on both sides of which the green carpet of grass had been clipped by the sheep.
I shouted to him, 的lya bilam aks salaam? which in Azeri meant May I take a photo please? He nodded in consent. I took a few shots but he was far away and in the shade. Soon he noticed that a sheep or two had slowly made their way up the track and were getting too close to the road. So up he came on his donkey and redirected their trajectory. This necessitated that he came right up to where I was standing. I pointed to the scenery before us and said in Turkish that it was a very beautiful spot. He was pleased and somewhat surprised that someone from afar admired his little haven.
The following day I took another walk and this time had the intention of photographing the walnut trees in their autumnal splendour. I walked past his land and went down towards the brook, negotiating rows of stone wall terraces with their rows of trees, when I noticed down below towards the left the same shepherd leaning against a tree, in front of him his loyal donkey grazed quietly, behind him his small flock grazed amongst the trees. I took a shot before I had seen the donkey. I planed to take another but he noticed my presence, so I left him in peace.
The last morning in Kandovan I walked along the same stretch of road and saw him below, far away, again sitting down and enjoying the morning sun, his donkey nibbling at the grass beside him. He heard me with his excellent hearing and turned his head. I lifted my hand high in greeting and he did the same.
He is most probably there this morning as he had been for innumerable mornings before I met him. His days are spent in his walnut grove, watching over his sheep, listening to the brook and the many birds sing , with his donkey for company.
When I had mentioned to him initially that I was from Australia, he had looked at me blankly, probably having never heard of that distant land, probably never having been to school. But then he had achieved a different knowledge- one that brought him peace of mind and contentment in that quiet and pure world in which he lived.
He reminded me of the shepherds and peasants from my childhood whom my father praised for their honesty and open hearts.

Workshop:
1) I saw him far down near the creek.
2) He made his way up to stop the sheep from grazing to close to the road.

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Additional Photos by Klaudio Branko Dadich (daddo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3572 W: 114 N: 6364] (28748)
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