Canterbury woman captures drought on camera

A north Canterbury woman has created a remarkable record of how tough it's been farming through a drought.

Claire Inkson has been living through the ordeal and at the same time capturing it through her camera lens.

Frame by frame, Ms Inkson is capturing north Canterbury's record-breaking drought.

The photographer and farmer's wife usually snaps portraits, but as the region's dry spell enters its second year, Ms Inkson shifted her focus to documenting the people and stock affected by it.

"It did sort of feel like we were battling along with this and nobody really knew how bad it was, and because it's an historical event nobody really remembers one this bad," she says.

For the past six weeks Ms Inkson and her 1974 VW Beetle have been weaving their way round the winding roads of north Canterbury, visiting drought-stricken farmers.

In her lens she captures everything from a farmer sending his stock off to greener pastures to the incredible toll months without rain has taken on the landscape. She hopes eventually to run an exhibition with her images or even produce a book.

"These days nothing gets printed out; it just stays on Facebook or people's computers, so it's a matter of getting it out so there's a permanent record."

Today Jayne and Mark Sidey's Waipara farm was the subject of Ms Inkson's work. They say it's important to have the once-in-a-lifetime event captured on camera.

"It's good to see it recorded I think," says Mr Sidey. "With Claire being a friend she doesn't live too far away, and just making people realise how bad things have gone up here in north Canterbury."

It's a bad time that Ms Inkson is still managing to find the beauty in.