Sarah Pannell’s latest photo series documents the idyllic country life we’ve all dreamed of. Rolling hills, freshly laid eggs and slow-paced mornings with loved ones all feature. Here she explains how she used an ND filter to communicate the magic and intimacy of rural existence.
Words and Photography by Sarah Pannell
Last year, my best friend of over 20 years moved to northern NSW to begin a family with her partner. They moved to the small community of Stokers Siding and gave birth to their daughter in August.
These photographs are from the first days that I met her, and are an intimate snapshot of the new life they have created after relocating from Melbourne just a few months earlier, nestling themselves on a large lot of land surrounded by rolling green hills and grazing cows. I was lucky to visit in October and I was struck by the incredible climate and light that saturates this part of the country.
Given the generous golden hour light both in the early morning and late afternoon, I chose to shoot a majority of these images with my ND filter, to be able to shoot on a wider aperture on my Mamiya 7. Being able to shoot at f/4 with a shallow depth of field, creates a better intimacy with my subjects. I find the ND filter an advantage given the limitations of the camera’s shooting capabilities when shooting on 400 speed film, particularly in sunny conditions.