It’s impossible to capture Oregon’s epic harvest in words, picture perfect conditions that are better shown than described. We had three months of blissful summer weather with no measurable rain June – mid September, without any heat spikes to sunburn fruit, and cool nights to retain the acidity. In the ten years I’ve been photographing harvest at home, these are the most ideal conditions I’ve encountered, making the past three weeks of pre-dawn wake up calls well worth the effort. Here’s a few hightlights of the harvest in Oregon’s Willamette Valley:
I’ve dreamt of the complete freedom and incomparable adrenalin rush of helicopter skiing & snowboarding for the past twenty years. My expectations were high, yet these visions were exceeded by my Canadian Mountain Holidays experience in the most surprising ways.
I learned to ski at the age of 9 from my grandfather, Andy Hennig, who was an Austrian Ski instructor at Sun Valley, Idaho until the age of 77. He was a legend in his own right teaching the Hemingway family and countless celebrities while working with Warren Miller in the early days of the adventure ski films. This lifestyle made an unforgettable impression, and in my mid 20’s I took a job at a snowboard company, hired photographers for marketing campaigns, and watched endless ski and snowboard films to fuel the fire.
Looking for an adrenalin rush? Check out our video of CMH’s newest summer adventure, dramatic scenery where the Bobbie Burns guides have developed a new Conrad Glacier Experience for 2012 with bridges, ziplines and waterfalls.
CMH used the our video to launch ‘The Wildest New Adventure in North America”.
The CMH blog written by Topher Donahue also interviews Bruce Howatt, the manager of CMH Bobbie Burns – here’s an excerpt from his post: “You’re right. It isn’t a via ferrata nor is it anywhere close to a traditional hike. The trip is hiking, navigating wild canyons using bridges and rungs, ascending colourful rock slabs right next to waterfalls, zipline crossings, traversing rock walls next to a glacier and, coming soon, more climbing, waterfalls and hopefully some crevasse crossings. All this is mixed into some of the most scenic, mind-blowing, wild mountain hiking you can imagine. Blue glaciers, dark orange rock and bright green ponds are everywhere.”
Each year there’s a few days of perfect fall conditions where the vineyards are in their peak conditions. On November 15 & 16th I was fortunate to photograph California wine country on crystal clear, 85 degree days. There’s no better way to experience the terroir of the wine country than flying in a helicopter without doors – the views were spectacular from the Golden Gate Bridge to Carneros, Sonoma, and Napa Valley – I love my job!! Here’s a few highlights:
However ideal the conditions are for aerial photography, experience from years of flying has taught me the most important considerations for capturing the best angle and drama of the subject. Learning to work with pilots who are adept at maneuvering the helicopter at low altitudes, holding steady for panoramic stitch photos, and getting to the right angle of the sun to backlight vineyards and cut out surrounding distractions can take determination and time to optimize. When all the elements do come together, there’s no better way to capture a sense of place from this unique vantage point.
Here’s a link to the updated aerial photo gallery on my website:
Timing is everything: The transition between summer and fall this season, like harvest, has been quick and dramatic. With rain forecast for the next 10 days, I was able to find one morning with sunlight, fog, and optimum fall colors in the vineyards. There’s no better way to cover a lot of ground quickly than an aerial helicopter shoot. Here’s a few highlights:
Brilliant golden vineyard contrast with surrounding hillside in this panoramic photo over WillaKenzie Estate, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
Fog began rolling in over the hill quickly, this view looking north over Willakenzie Estate about 6 minutes after the first panoramic photo.
Warm hues of a foggy fall morning showcase new tasting room at WillaKenzie Estate.
Colene Clemens recently completed construction for their tasting room near WillaKenzie Estate. Fog skirts around the winery & tasting room, perched above estate vineyards.
A 180 degrees view of Colene Clemens Winery as the fog continues to roll in.
Placing harvest bins in preparation of pick later that morning at Alexana Vineyards, Dundee Hills, Oregon.
I love aerial photography, it is my favorite way to capture unique landscapes with a sense of place and drama. I’ve been fortunate to fly with the same pilot for the past 7 years, fine-tuning my expertise on shoots throughout Oregon, Washington, and California. I’m often able to piggy-back several properties on the same shoot, and these photographs get more mileage than any other type of photography in books, magazine features and covers, and general marketing material. It’s a surprisingly reasonable expense – please contact me if you are interested in a custom quote.
Here’s links to a few websites of wineries that have utilized aerial photography uniquely:
WillaKenzie Estate http://www.willakenzie.com/index.html
Hyland Vineyard Estates http://oregonvineyardproperty.com/hyland-vineyard-estates/
and a link to more aerial photos on my site