Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

17th March will go down in our 2018 calendar as the day that spring officially started. No big deal really, except that this year the transition from winter to spring happened pretty much from one day to the next. Prior to that date (as with other parts of Europe), the weather had been quite miserable – cold and wet with daytime temperatures barely topping the mid-teens in °C (55-60°F). On 17th all that changed, the sun broke through, the temperature climbed quite dramatically, and the whole complexion of the countryside around us changed – gone were the winter jackets, time to roll up the shirt sleeves. The temperatures are now into the mid-20’s C (75-80°F).

Today’s photo is a slightly different view of our bodega vineyard. I thought that I would change the perspective a little by photographing the pergolas (and their new shoots) from below. The image is further exaggerated by using a 14mm fisheye lens, which also gives the shot a much wider angle.

Time to break out the sun screen!

Final clueOver the last two or three months I have dropped a few clues about something new happening in the bodega. The launch of whatever this might be is imminent, and so I thought I would add one final clue before we make it official.

As you may know, I am quite a keen amateur photographer, and many of the photographs that you see both on our website and on our social media pages are taken by me. It is however, rare to see me at work, but in today’s picture (working on our new project), I have been captured in the act, so to speak. On a few previous occasions when I have been taking photos I have caught myself in a mirror or perhaps in some type of reflection, but it is really odd to actually see how others perceive me when I am working…. the photographer’s photograph, if that makes any sense?

Anyway, in a couple of weeks we will be making an official announcement about our closely guarded secret, so watch this space, as they say.

Not a selfie

April 21st, 2015

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Barcelona CustomerYet another satisfied customer has kindly sent us their photo, enjoying a bottle of Castro Martin – this time from Barcelona. You will notice that, as in previous images, this young lady is enjoying her bottle with a rather delicious looking fish dish. Of course the fish/albariño combination is no big secret, and really does work rather well, especially with the type of dish that we can see in the picture – poached or possibly lightly pan-fried fish. A delicately flavoured fish with a delicate wine that we know will not overpower, but rather compliment the flavours.

Of course when I received this photo I was tempted to call it a selfie, when quite obviously, it isn’t. The word ‘selfie’ has very quickly become over-used and abused, and is now seemingly used to describe any type of portrait or closeup group photo, regardless of whether one of the subjects is holding the camera or not. OK, so I’m being pedantic here, but let’s face it, if you’re going to invent a new word then at least make an effort to use it correctly!

Oops, washing!

August 21st, 2014

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WashingI am a keen amateur photographer, and undertake most of the photography needed for our business myself. OK, it might not be quite as professional, but I have to say that it saves quite a bit of money!

Probably the most difficult of all subjects to photograph is food – certainly if you want to make it look appetizing, it really is quite an art. There is a lot of ‘re-touching’ that goes on, both before and after the shot, but thanks to software such as PhotoShop it has now become slightly easier to achieve the required result.

Believe it or not, another difficult subject is wine, or more specifically the bottles – they are after all made of a reflective material and therefore getting the highlights and shadows exactly as you want them can become quite a challenge. Reflections can  also be a problem, as proved in my most recent session.

Some of the bottle shots that I use on our website are done at home, on our terrace – I quite like the effect of the background image mirrored in the bottle. It makes the pictures just a bit more interesting, and also helps add a bit of colour….. or at least that is, until the washing on your clothes airer appears in the background (see today’s photo)! Despite looking closely at every possible detail – potential scuffs or marks on the bottle or label, lighting, shadows, focus, aperture etc., etc., I did not notice that part of the reflection in my latest series of shots was of our washing! Of course, it would have been possible to modify the image in Photoshop using a healing brush or clone tool but to do a good job is actually quite time consuming, and so, upon reflection (no pun intended), I opted to do the entire shoot again. I guess that’s why we sometimes need to call in the professionals.

Posted in Photography

SurfThe holiday period in western Europe has been very stormy to say the least. Wind, rain, hail, thunder, lightning – we’ve had it all, and even as I type this entry the wind and rain is still lashing our home with no immediate signs of letting up. In fact the extreme weather is not restricted to Europe as wind, snow and freezing conditions grip the north and east coast of the United States. 16 people have died, up to 4,000 flights have been cancelled, and it is claimed that today’s NFL play off game @ Green Bay could be the coldest game of American football ever played. The air temperature at Lambeau Field is predicted to be a maximum of -17°C (about 1°F), but with the wind chill factored in, this could dip to lower than -50°C (-58°F).

So how is the U.S. weather relevant to Europe, after all it’s quite normal to get storms at this time of year? Well, these ‘extra tropical cyclones’, as they are known, are being created at the moment by cold polar air meeting hot tropical air, spinning up powerful storms, and sending them shooting across the North Atlantic on the jet stream. The temperature contrast between these two air masses is producing a veritable conveyor belt of powerful weather systems.

During a break in the torrential rain yesterday afternoon, the local Galician surfers took advantage of favourable sea conditions created by the storms (and the local photographers, myself included, were also happy to get outside for some fresh air)!

Posted in Photography, Weather

Modernist Cuisine is no ordinary cook book, indeed it is almost a work of art. Six volumes, extending to some 2,438 pages and weighing in at some 20kg (44lbs), it should perhaps be described more as a food encyclopedia, covering every aspect of food and its preparation.

As you may know I have always been a bit of a ‘foodie’, perhaps even a frustrated chef – I love pottering in the kitchen. Obviously there is a very close relationship between food and wine, and I know for a fact that the majority of wine professionals are also great food connoisseurs. My collection of cookery books is possibly even greater than that of wine books, and this latest addition to my collection is certainly the jewel in the crown.

If you’re looking for a recipe book, then this is probably not for you, but if you simply want to learn more about the science of food and different cooking menthods, then this is a work without equal. The photography and quality of prints is simply stunning, but I have to warn you that it comes with a hefty price tag. So start saving and put your order in now – my copy, that arrived earlier this week, was ordered in May!