Apple released the new iPhone, the 6, last week, which reminded me to take out my old Canon Rebel and dust it off. Somewhere between the earlybird and hudson filters, I forgot how nice a photo taken with a real camera can look. I am not a photographer. I have a hard enough time deciding what text to write on an Instagram post. So many hashtag possibilities! When my parents gave me the camera for my college graduation, my mom and I signed up for a tutorial. We sat through the morning session, but I had disconnected as the discussion went deep into aperture settings. I just wanted to take a picture. We escaped early and went for brunch. So now here I am about 10 years later and no closer to mastering basic photography than that fateful day at Cameraworld.
Good photography complements a good story. The reality is that my profession takes me to landscapes begging to be photographed: vineyards in a line, long, windy roads, picturesque dishes of local food, old men in caps sitting on benches. There is always a tale to tell. Today there was winemaking to witness in Cigales, Spain. But as usual, I got sidetracked. As I approached Calderona, the winery where I’d be spending the day, I was surrounded by little houses with chimneys sitting up on the hill. These were centuries-old bodegas where wine was aged below the earth. One had smoke coming out.
“They are preparing lunch,” someone said. “Are they living down there?” I asked incredulously, conjuring up all kinds of possible subterranean living arrangements and wondering about lack of ventilation. “No, it is just for meals,” I was assured. Sure enough, and right on time, two squinting men came hobbling over as the grapes at Calderona were dropped into the destemmer.
One of them peered over the edge remarking, “Now that’s a lot of grapes.”
“9,500 kilos,” I added.
“Where’s it going now?”
“Next it will go to be pressed and then go into a deposit.”
He seemed reassured by that sequence. Then, he somehow got wind that I was connected to the Iberian ham business, and said, “Can we get a whole one?” “Yes, we sell whole hams, too. It is really nice with wine!” He looked at me totally straight-faced and said, “Now, it is supposed to rain tomorrow, so we would have to set up a tent. But I know how to do that.” And with that he took his friend back down to make lunch all the while explaining that tomorrow he’d be pitching a tent.
Here we have crush 2014 in Denominación de Origen (Appellation of Origin) Cigales with the Canon Rebel, Revisited. (no grapes are actually pictured–until tomorrow’s post?)