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Graveyard Vineyards “Paso Tombstone Red” Photos

Go shoot. Shoot often. Shoot whatever is in front of you, and if you think you’ve shot it all – go make something up. Sometimes something just happens to show up at the right time. I’ve been waiting to find volunteers for “the Look” sessions, but haven’t found time in our schedules. So it was time to shoot something different.

I went to a local wine tasting even at Carriage Inn on March 22, 2012 in our little neck of the woods. The featured vineyard was Graveyard Vineyards from Paso Robles. It was a fun time with a great turnout. Paula (one half of the owner duo) was there pouring, and was a great host. Knew what my wife and I liked before we had a chance to ask – and we’re both 180 degrees out when it comes to wines!

One of the wines I sampled was a red blend called “Paso Tombstone Red.” Now I’m not usually a big fan of blends, this one was something, so I had them wrap two bottles up and headed home. Drank one bottle Friday night and thought, “hey, these are interesting labels and a good wine, maybe I’ll shoot some pictures.” So, I did a few photos on spec – or more like personal project.

Shot with three YONGNUO YN565EX speedlights triggered with the Paul C. Buff CyberSyncs. Used one each in two Apollo softboxes placed at 4 and 8 o’clock (to the rear of the bottle and glass) and another shooting through a dome diffuser,  an umbrella, and a 24×30 silk at 1 o’clock. The positioning was tricky as the bottle acts as a mirror and shows every light in its reflection. This caused a few frustrating moments and I never really got the shots I wanted. The Apollos are too short and you can see the limitation of their size in the rim light gap where the bottle narrows. Two 1×4′ softboxes would have been better, but I used what I had. The silk was necessary as I tried without it, and the umbrella was clearly visible in the reflections.

The background is a 5×7 collapsible two sided backdrop, shot on the white side. Yes, the white side. Reason I shot against the white side is I used white lights with all white wires. I wanted all that to blend together so the wires wouldn’t stand out. The twinkly lights were clamped between two stands in front of the backdrop. Thought the twinkly lights would add a little life in the back.

Shot with the Canon 7D and the 50mm 1.4. f2.8 @ 1/250 ISO 100.

Need to look for photo opportunities wherever you can, and sometime little pleasures give you greater returns.

Oh, and if you’re in the Paso Robles area, be sure to stop by the Graveyard Vineyards. Contact info in image below.

Go shoot,


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