Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why photograph vineyards?

Storm breaking over Fall-colored Brandborg winery's Ferris Wheel vineyard near Elkton, in the Umpqua region of Oregon.

Yesterday, I was trying to figure out why I love photographing vineyards, wineries and the whole world-wide wine industry.

First, I love the outdoors and nature. At 62, I still go backpacking into the wilderness with my 25-year-old son. (Please don't tell Ryan that I put a large rock in his pack last time to slow him down.) Watching a sunrise in a vineyard with two screeching hawks circling overhead, a bob cat meandering ahead of me and a ladybug crawling on a vine is a Yosemite-like experience
for me.

I'm also intrigued why
the vineyard and wine are mentioned something like 412 times in the Bible, and why Jesus used the vineyard so often in his stories. Even the Qur'an has vineyard stories. So why is that?

I also enjoy people, especially the vineyard workers–the unheard heroes who never make it to the tasting room.

Finally, I love art. My background is drawing and painting. (Heck, while working on my Masters degree, I even learned to color outside the lines.) So I'm intrigued with the whole process of making wine, from choosing the varietal to plant all the way to producing the wine. There's technical know-how, craftsmanship and something like creative vision.

All of these loves come together in the vineyard with enough elbow room for me to stretch my craft, technical abilities and vision.
It's raining while Tim harvests Pinot Gris at Henry Estate winery vineyard in the Umpqua region of Oregon.

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