Peter Read Miller is an amazing Sports Illustrated photographer I wrote about for WIRED.com. I touch on his storied career, his new sports photography book and his upcoming sports photography workshop. He is more than willing to share his tips of capturing great sports photos.
Getty staff photographer, Ezra Shaw, had extensive coverage of America’s Cup in San Francisco. Click on the image to read more about it in this article I wrote for WIRED. (photo by Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)
I met with Justin Willett of Tyler Winery on a Friday in late February and he gave me an excellent history lesson on how the area became known for pinot noir starting back in the early 1970s at the Sanford and Benedict vineyards. He showed me the La Encantada vineyard, which he uses for his wines, as well as pointed out all of the vineyards in sight along Santa Rosa Road near Buellton.
What I learned is that the proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the relatively stable temperature of the region and the composition of the soil all contribute to the unique growing conditions of the area, resulting in some favorable characteristics in the pinot noir and chardonnay grapes.
My lesson on the region continued a couple of days later when I met up with Sashi Moorman, the winemaker for Evening Land Vineyards. Moorman took me to some vineyards on the windswept hills along Sweeney Road in Lompoc.
From the higher vantage point I could clearly see how the appellation populates the valley. After taking in the panoramic scene, Moorman then directed me to the soil around a row of pinot noir vines planted four years earlier. It looked like a bed of white rocks, not the rich sandy soil I am accustomed to seeing in other vineyards. Moorman said that locals call the diatomaceous earth”chalk rock” and pinot noir seems to thrive in this stuff. But in this part of the appellation, the vines don’t grow as robust as they would in other conditions. Because of this, Moorman was able to plant 7,000 vines per acre.
Moorman doesn’t just limit himself to grapes, he pointed out a plot of land where he grows wheat and has plans to make his own bread in the tasting room of his own wine label, Piedrasassi New Vineland Winery.
I learned a lot about the region during my two recent visits but I learned even more once I read the story Jon Bonné wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle titled, “A Dramatic new chapter for Santa Rita Hills”. The story was published on the SFGate website on March 2, 2012 and it also appeared on the front page of the Food section of the Sunday paper on March 4, 2012. Eight of my pictures ran with the story on SFGate and three photos appeared with the Sunday printed edition.
WINEMAKER TO WATCH PROFILE — Gavin Chanin of Chanin Wines
In late December 2011 I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing Gavin Chanin for the San Francisco Chronicle’s annual “Winemakers to Watch” series. After finishing high school, Gavin Chanin began working with Santa Barbara County winemakers at Au Bon Climat and Qupe where he is presently the assistant winemaker. In addition, he started his own wine company, Chanin Wines, making Pino Noir and Chardonnay from the Bien Nacido vineyard in Santa Maria, California. Chanin holds an art degree from UCLA and each of his wine labels features his original art work. The article ran in the Food & Wine section on Sunday, January 15, 2012, and then on its website, SFGate on the 16th. Read about Gavin Chanin’s wines in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Chloe awaits the arrival of Cpl. Ward Van Alstine in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2011. Van Alstine befriended the stray dog in August while serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan, and adopted him through a program called Nowzad Dogs charity. (Photo by Joe Gosen / Special to the Chronicle)
Cpl. Ward Van Alstine is reunited with his dog, Chloe, in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2011.
On November 23 I was inching along the freeway in pre-holiday traffic when my cell phone rang.
It was an assignment editor from the San Francisco Chronicle asking if I would be available to shoot an assignment on Thanksgiving.
I had to think about it a minute.
I already had plans for the day with my family and friends. Did I really want to work on a holiday?
“The story is about a marine who befriended a stray dog while on a tour of duty in Afghanistan,” the editor said. “He managed to adopt it through an organization and have it flown back to the U.S. They’re going to reunite on Thanksgiving day in Santa Barbara.”