Architectural Photography: Photographing Wrath Winery in Soledad, CA

Architectural Photography: Photographing Wrath Winery in Soledad, CA

Seems that these days a larger and larger percentage of my photography is taking place outside of Los Angeles, and I’m totally loving all of the new locations I’m getting to see on my travels. In addition to the Hahn Winery (seen in the below post) which I photographed, I also shot the Wrath Winery, also located in Soledad, CA, for a revamp of their marketing materials. Wrath is situated in the gorgeous Salinas valley, which makes for some very interesting lighting and fog effects at sunset. As the cool air from the Monterey Bay moves inland, it meets the warm air from the eastern side of the valley and condenses, creating a fog which rolls rapidly up the valley towards the vineyards we were in. While this caused me a bit of trouble while photographing Hahn, it made for a beautiful twilight down in the valley at Wrath. The clouds added great atmospherics and really let me play up the name of the winery – I felt like I could really push it with the processing on this, given the name, location, and lighting effects.

This was lit with a combination of strobe and hot light – actually, scratch that – warm light – a Lowel GL-1, which doesn’t really get hot like a traditional hot light, and is thus ten times easier to use for my style of photography. I’ve got the burn marks on my hands from regular hot lights to prove it. In addition to the GL-1, we had a series of PocketWizards set up in relay mode to help cover the enourmous distance between myself and the building. Due to the pond in front of me eating the radio signal, it took two or three PocketWizards to make it over there, but we finally got the system working flawlessly.

The interiors of the tasting room, which is located in downtown Carmel, were lit entirely with the Lowel GL-1 – I am beginning to love this light more and more everytime I use it, as it has replaced speedlights and inkies in a number of applications for me. I kept the GL-1 bare with no gel in an effort to bring out some of the richness and color in the natural wood interior. I just love the warm quality of light that we created throughout.

It took about 2.5 hours to create the three interior photographs – which was made tricky as a result of the tasting room being open for business, even though it was about 11am on a Monday. Thankfully, everyone was wonderfully accomodating and we even had a few people stop by to spectate and observe what was going on. Seems Carmel attracts a fair amount of hobbyist photographers who were keen to see the shoot in action.

All in all, this was one of my favorite shoots in recent memory. It’s not often you get to set up a tripod in vineyards, enjoy an amazing sunset, taste plenty of great wine, and come home with four portfolio-quality photographs. Jobs like this are a reminder of why I love what I do!

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Comment ( 1 )

  • Mike

    Sorry to those who posted earlier, I accidentally binned your comments in spam like a total doofus! Just wasn't thinking and accidentally misclicked. If you come back for the answers to your questions:

    Q: What do you think of the Lowel GL1? Is it worth the hefty price tag?

    A: I love the GL-1 – but yes, it does come with a big caveat, that being the price. I can't answer if it is worth it to you or not, but it has certainly been a big time and frustration saver to me. Not having to drag out cables and set up hotlights or burn my hands on said hotlights has been a huge plus to me. It's really, really easy to use and the color consistency is great. I did a huge review on it for, check it out here:

    Sinead, you also wrote that you really like the staging and lighting, and for that I wanted to respond with a big thank you!! Definitely means a lot, and hope all is going well for you in Tahoe.

    Again, this might not make sense to everyone but I made a major flub and binned some good comments with spam ones. Squarespace makes it a bit too easy sometimes!

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