Autumn seems to be hanging on – with a front approaching we will probably see most of the autumn leaves go in the next few days.
I often get asked by visitors to the Margaret River Wine Region for recommendations on small interesting wineries to visit. The sort of thing where it is not a bottle barn, perhaps they can meet the winemaker and so on. One of the smallest and my favourite is Swallows Welcome, off Wickham Rd just south of Margaret River. Pat Negus is an incredibly accomplished artist and has illustrated a number of books including the Cape to Cape trail guides, and Wildflowers of the South West. They built a mud brick chapel on the property and all the original wildflower illustrations are hanging in the chapel. Her husband Tim decided to try making wine (on a small scale), and they have a cellar door outlet. The wines require some bottle age, but their 2007 Cabernet Franc Merlot is drinking well at the moment. The labels have illustrations by Pat on them. Pat’s studio is next to the cellar door outlet and is open to visitors.
It is interesting to compare this with the shot of the Celestial Bay winery I recently posted – a world of difference!
This is the inside of Pat’s studio.
The atmosphere inside the winery is amazing – the smells alone are worth the visit. This small winery makes their wine along traditional lines. These vats have to be plunged every 4 hours for several weeks!
Update: I went back and shot the staff from Celestial Bay in the winery – plunging and sampling. I feel this image now tells the story of vintage at Celestial Bay – with the staff involved shown in the image. Here is the updated image.
Vasse Felix was the first commercial vineyard planted in the Margaret River wine region. I think the vineyard was planted in 1966. The following year Moss Wood and Cullens were planted.
During the week I went down to Vasse Felix with a specific shot in mind – from the middle of the vineyard looking towards the restaurant and cellar door outlet. I was just finishing taking that shot when I looked behind me and saw this beautiful sky that had developed. I quickly turned around and took this shot. And that IS the moon high in the sky!
I have had an idea to do a series of long exposures in a vineyard whilst the harvester was operating, and this morning I got the chance to try it. The concept was to have the harvester lights trace a series of lines.
However the harvester started at 6:00am and it quickly got too light for me to continue. At least I got enough to show the idea would work. There was a nice sunrise as well, and I probably would have been better off concentrating on that, but I couldn’t move the camera!
This morning was more in the way of an experiment, and to try out different techniques. Here is the result from this morning. The continuous lines are the harvester. The dashes come from the tractor and trailer accompanying the harvester. Being lower it is partially obscured by the canopy of the vines, and the light only shows in the gaps between the branches.
UPDATE: I managed to extract the light trails from most of my shots, and this is the updated result.
UPDATE 2. Conclusions. The technique is workable, but probably not worth the effort. The time spent would be better spent concentrating on producing a good image, and in the dark that is probably difficult. It wont turn a poor photo into a good one, but probably offers something a bit out of the ordinary.
Cullens were one of the pioneers of the Margaret River wine region, and their wines are superb. This image is a panorama stitched from about 4 or five images in two rows (it is a while since I did it!). This was taken from besides Caves Rd at dawn