Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Sunrise Photo-Shoot

Before I go into this post, I wanted to say that the wifi at my house has not been working all week. A man from Comcast is coming tomorrow afternoon to fix it, and hopefully (fingers crossed) the issue will finally be resolved. Wifi is definitely something that I take for granted. I have a number of posts lined up, but I can't publish them until I have a steady (and existent) connection, so please bear with me!

Now, onto this post, which I have been looking forward to writing all week. I am currently at the library, connected to their wifi which is OK, but I will be happy when I can write everyday again and publish posts as they come to me. 

I woke up at 4:45 this morning and quickly bundled up and got dressed, threw my hair into a bun and grabbed my camera bag and my laptop. I met a wonderful woman at the local Peet's at promptly 5:45 AM. She is a local photographer here in the Napa Valley, but she has traveled all over the world. I knew I liked her the moment I went to shake her hand- she hugged me instead. I'm a hugger and I appreciate others who are as well. I proceeded to order our coffees, and we were well on our way up-valley. 

There was a thick fog covering the vineyards this morning, as there usually is. This is what makes the Napa Valley the perfect place for grape growing. The climate here is similar to that of France- one of the other great places of the world where great wines are made- and maintains a chilly and fog-laden atmosphere in the early mornings which preserves the grapes during the night; the sunshine and warmer temperatures which come as the mornings progress are vital for the grapes to sweeten. 

We ascended a little hill, and spent a good half an hour shooting the vineyards themselves, while the fog drifted into a mist as the heat from the sun appeared. Mary gave me various directions about different aperture settings and the benefits of shooting from one angel versus another. She brought along an extra tripod, and helped me set up my own camera with it. My Canon EOS Rebel T3i looks like a baby compared to her big boys, but all great things start small. 

Then came the sun. 

In all it's breathtaking morning glory, the sun came, bright and majestic over the trees. We scrambled to start shooting it right away. There was a little pond on the other side of the hill, which was perfect for capturing the reflection in the water. 

After the sun had risen, we moved down into the rows of vines, and began photographing the grapes. This particular vineyard, the Missouri Hopper Vineyard, was well into veraison, which resulted in gorgeous clusters and leaves. 

I was so privileged to accompany this incredible and inspiring woman "to work". She is such a warm and gentle soul, with an amazing eye for seeing the beautiful in the ordinary. Her work can be found here and I greatly encourage you to browse through some of her images. The location which we shot this morning can be found in her online portfolio, Vineyards and Wineries. I cannot express how happy I am to have met this woman, and have the opportunity to experience a little snippet of her life. 

All the best, 

♥︎ Greta Elise


  1. These photos are beyond beautiful! I love the play with light and coloring!

    1. Thank you so much! It was a great experience