A family wedding is a good reason for a creative driving, photography, and food procurement trip. Last week, we crossed the great Mojave Desert and central California on our way to Los Gatos and did all of the above. I find it impossible to get over the fact that California must be producing a huge part of the world's food supply. Rows of crops and trees creating what could be called California rhythm go on for hundreds of miles up the central valley, yielding to wine grapes along the coast and both west and east of the Pacific Coast range. Cabbage, brussel sprouts, assorted lettuce, artichokes, tomatoes, and other things that we were unable to identify as part of fast moving traffic, are being harvested now. The grapes have already been harvested, but that doesn't diminish the graceful rows of vines. The nets which protect the grapes from bird predation are rolled on top and the length of the vines. These vines and the wine tanks below are at Eberle Vineyards near Paso Robles.
Vina Robles wine rack
How do I photograph wedding flowers? Let me count the ways for next week's blog.
Anyone who uses a camera knows the feeling. You are on a road trip - a weekend outing or an extended jaunt - with the camera close by, thinking "This is such a gorgeous day, I want to capture it to enhance my memory." Perhaps you have a specific shot in mind, such as aspen or oak wearing their Sunday best, and your plan is to achieve that single shot reliving how beautiful the mountains are in autumn.
I have written about intentional luck here before and when I shoot, I try to think about specific places that "work" for me, look for a few more, or return to see how different the light and conditions are on any particular day. Such was the case on a return trip from Tierra Wools in Los Ojos near Chama. Highway 64 on the Tierra Amarilla (west) side of the pass has a small, almost hidden pond or catchment I find fascinating, despite the fact that I have been unable to photograph it the way my mind sees it. That changed a couple of weeks ago when all elements aligned to create a near impressionistic image. The time of day wasn't even "proper" according to the rule about shooting between 10 a. m. and 2 p.m. But the breeze was gentle, creating a design-packed reflection of the still green aspen on at the pond's edge.
Click once on the image to enlarge and see the details nature left. I can get lost in this image and hope you find some surprises as well!
Besides being a weekend of truly spectacular fall color in northern New Mexico, the first weekend of October brings vendors of fiber and fiber products from Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico to Kit Carson Park in Taos for the annual Taos Wool Festival. In addition to vendors, people hailing from nearly every state of the union and countries around the world, plan their holidays around this festival.
I spent the weekend of the 30th Wool Festival in my husband, Fred's, booth showing his Navajo churro rugs, preaching the gospel of churro wool, watching other vendors, and greeting all the dogs that made their way into the park with their owners.
Here is one of those churro sheep now.
In an odd way, Wool Festival is a bit like Las Vegas. Although there are no neon signs flashing, the masses of color jolts the senses. Here are a few examples.
Some of the colors and designs in Fred's rugs
For me, other than lusciousness, the words that describes much of the fiber on display are luminosity and luster.
Thanks to all the truly amazing vendors involved in the festival - to Lisa Shell, owner of Kai Ranch, and Donna Coates, owner of White Rabbit Handspun - for allowing me to hang around their booths and photograph their work. Of course, Connie Taylor, registrar for churro sheep in the United States, has and remains the energy behind churro sheep, and provides Fred with the lovely wool with which he produces his rugs.