vineyard/winery

Travels in Sicily, Italy

Last month after attending a conference in Sweden, we flew south to Sicily to celebrate 30 years of marriage. Sicily feels like you are stepping back in time, yet there certainly is modernization all about. Especially wind and solar farms. While there we visited four UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Valley of the Temples near Agrigento, the Greek Theatre and Roman Ampitheatre in the Latomie area of Syracuse, the Roman Villa del Casale (famous tile mosaics) near Piazza Armerina, and Mount Etna (great winery and vineyard at Gambino‘s). We also visited Taormina just a few days before the G7 global conference. As a retired military member, we tapped some of our benefits and stayed in very nice lodging at NATO Village, which is part of Sigonella Naval Air Station. Below are a few samples of some of the historical places visited. More images to come on the food and flora of the area!

Vineyard book finally published!

Over the course of the past year, I have given my readers updates regarding the progress of my book project about a vineyard. Specifically, it’s about Baltimore Bend Vineyard, near Waverly, Missouri and the seasonal changes and activities over the course of a year. It’s been a fun journey!

Technology has certainly come along way since I started photographing three decades ago. But more importantly, this technology now allows the photographer or writer the ability to publish their books without the hassles and expense of finding a publisher willing to advance your work. On-demand publishing brings to anyone interested in publishing their work the ability to do so without printing thousands of copies. This new technology and business model allows one to print only one copy of their book, or hundreds. The author is total control, which I find very nice.

Below are the front and back covers of my second monograph: Journey Through The Vineyard: A Photographic Year At Baltimore Bend.

© 2010 Terry Ownby

Vineyard Project Update

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since I started my vineyard book project! For all practical purposes, the photographing is finished and now I’m focusing on writing the text. My goal for completion of the book is by the end of the year. In the meantime, I’m hoping to sit in on a publication design class starting next week to help refine my Adobe In Design capabilities. This week I finalized shots inside the winery and the tasting room and here are a few samples from that session. The owners of the vineyard and winery have been a delight to work with and I’m going to miss not spending time up there! Maybe they’ll let me come up for harvest!

© 2010 Terry Ownby

© 2010 Terry Ownby

© 2010 Terry Ownby

Vineyard in Winter: Update

Just a quick update. The vineyard book project that I’m shooting at Baltimore Bend Vineyards is still moving along. Since the project visually investigates life in the vineyard over the course of a year, winter is no exception for photographing. Fortunately just a few days ago we had a nice snowfall, so I ventured north for some shooting. Since the university is on winter break, my students working with me on this project were off on vacation. My colleague and friend, Wilson Hurst, came along and we decided to try our hand at shooting star trails that evening. This was my first attempt and I have a ways to go before I’m comfortable with type of shooting. But it was fun!

Here’s a quote from my working project journal: “The vineyard was snow covered under a nearly full-moon, with crisp, cold night air at about 18° F, accompanied by beautiful white and black snow geese on the wing overhead. Enchanting evening to be out photographing the vineyard.”

© 2009 Terry Ownby

© 2009 Terry Ownby

© 2009 Terry Ownby

Life in the Vineyard: A Book Project

Vineyards. For me, being in the vineyard is like a fish in water, it’s completely natural. In a previous life I was a Frenchman and I really think my work back then (1930/40s) was in the vineyard and winery. Now, fast-forward to the late 1990s; I owned a 60-acre farm in southern Wisconsin and on a gently sloped ridge to the southeast I planted my vineyard. The wine grapes I grew were French hybrids designed to withstand the prolonged cold temperatures of the northern-tier states. Foch, Millot, and Seyval Blanc were the red and white varietals for wine; I did have some table grapes in there also, such as Edelweiss and Concord.

Working in the vineyard was hard work, but mentally, it was a time of meditation and mental relaxation. Often times I think it was the only thing that kept me sane while I photographed food for my livelihood. Everything about vineyard life I enjoyed, from the fresh smell of plowed earth to pruning and tying the vines on the trellis wires. Speaking of trellis systems, the one I used was called a GDC—Geneva Double Curtain.

Ever since I had that vineyard in Wisconsin, I’ve had this driving desire to publish a book that would combine my passion for photography with that of vineyards and wineries. This past summer I met the owners of Baltimore Bend Vineyard, near Waverly, Missouri. After a couple of conversations and knocking around some ideas, I’m photographing and writing a book about their vineyard and winery. I’m following the yearly circle of life in their beautiful vineyard, not far from the Missouri River. When it’s finished, I plan to publish a book of about 80 pages mostly of photographs, but also of text telling their story. What’s also been great about this book project is that three of my students (Matt, Rosie, and Phil) from the university are working with me, learning about the complexity of book publishing.

Every time I go into the Baltimore Bend Vineyard, it’s like a sense of déjà vu, taking me to a time when I was a grape farmer in France, or Wisconsin, or wherever reality may be!

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© 2009 Terry Ownby

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© 2009 Terry Ownby

Baltimore Bend Vineyard

© 2009 Terry Ownby

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© 2009 Terry Ownby

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© 2009 Terry Ownby