Thursday, May 14, 2015

"Les Champs Infini du Sauvignon" ... Most recent composition from D."Bodhi" Smith

Entitled, "Les Champs Infini du Sauvignon," this is my most recent composition captured last Saturday morning in wine country of Temecula, CA. The name is French and roughly translates to: "Endless Fields of Wild Grape Vines"...I chose French because cabernet sauvignon grapes originated close to Bordeaux, France combined with the fact that this is a field of cabernet sauvignon grape vines in the spring which will eventually produce grapes that will be harvested by Lorimar Winery and Vineyards in late summer.

For this composition, I wanted to create something different from my other impressions from this spot...Many of you know that I have shot this location numerous times since it is just down the road from where I make my home in Temecula, CA. It is great to have such a beautiful locale to shoot almost in my backyard at five mins away, one where I have to exert very minimal effort to visit. This is also the spot where I created my signature "Four Seasons of Temecula" piece that consists of each of the 4 seasons from this very spot, which took me over one year to capture to my satisfaction. This series of compositions can also be found as the artwork on the label of the current bottle of Chardonnay from Lorimar Winery in Temecula....and the summer scene in the series can be found as a 5ft long panoramic metal print on permanent display at Temecula City Hall.

As I do with all my photography, I pre-vision exactly what I want my final image capture to look in my mind's eye. My goal with this composition was to try to capture the clouds streaking in such a way as to mimic the simplicity of the rows of grape vines on the ground. This is a task which I believe I succeeded in completing with this image, and in doing so, created a version of this scene different from all my others shot at the same spot. Still, getting what I wanted was not without effort and patience, for I tried numerous exposures both longer and shorter before I found the right time limit to capture the effect I was hoping for. I am very thankful to mother nature for letting the clouds hang around and not burn off while I did my trial-and-error process of finding the right exposure. I shot one at 15 mins, but the clouds were smoothed out way too much; I shot another at 60 secs, but the clouds were not streaked enough; then another at 8 mins, but again, the clouds were still too smoothed out; then one more at 3 mins, but the clouds were just not quite right...then I tried my good old faithful 260 secs time limit (4 mins, 20 secs) and the exposure was dead on with my pre-vision...what you see before you are the results.

The actual raw image had a lot of blue haze in it (color cast from the morning sky as well as the Big Stopper filter I was using), and I was not crazy about this at all. It muddled the composition making it dull and not withstanding, full of a lackluster "ho-hum" boredom. So, when I processed the image, I unsaturated all of the blues to create the color profile (silvers and greens) your see here using Adobe Lightroom 5 which made the rows of green grape vines jump out vibrantly under the silver-toned rows of clouds streaking in the sky. Thus, this final composition has an eloquent simplicity to it that I really like...and I hope you find it just as pleasing.

Camera settings: ISO-100, 18mm at f/8 for 260 seconds using one Lee Proglass 3.0ND Filter (10 stops) to create the streaking clouds and two Lee ND graduated filters to allow me to balance the brighter foreground as well as the sky at the same time in-camera during the composition (.9ND Grad for the sky and a .75ND Grad for the foreground placed inverted to each other in the filter holder) 

I hope this image and message finds you well.

#Nikon #D800 #Nikkor #Dolica #Tripods #Lee #Filters #Big Stopper #ND #Graduated #Long Exposure #LE #Bodhi #Smith #California #Wine Country #Vineyard #Winery #Lorimar #Temecula #Grape #Vines #Wine #Cabernet #Sauvignon #Spring

D. "Bodhi"

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