Sunday, October 31, 2010

New York State of

Whitecliff Vineyard's Tasting Room
Autumn on the East Coast is spectacular this year.  I had really forgotten how beautiful it can be.  After living out West for a dozen years where the leaves blew off the trees fairly quickly and ended up landing somewhere in Wyoming, I have been pleasantly reacquainted with the smell of leaves, distant wood fires and something apple-like in the air.  The trees are glowing, and the sunlight is golden in the mornings and late afternoons.  Just  perfectly exhilirating.

Picnic Grove at Robibero Family Vineyards
Yesterday, we spent the day driving around in Ulster County and Orange County in New York's Hudson Valley visiting a few wineries.  Our journey began at Whitecliff Vineyard in Gardiner, NY,  where we tasted (and bought) some excellent reds as well as a good Seyval Blanc, which admittedly has taken me some time and perseverence to learn to like.  Our next stop took us to Robibero Family Vineyards of New Paltz.  Robibero is the newest winery in the Hudson Valley, yet they have many years of wne-making experience.  Their wines are very California-style in their construction, and their tasting room is really pleasant.
on the road in Ulster County, NY all photos by AnnWilkinson Photography c 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Rules for Photography

morning on hudson 10-25-10 Ann Wilkinson Photography

Yesterday I wrote about three simple things to do to improve your photography.  Today, I'm trying to put this into practice.  When I got up this morning, the sun was just coming up across the Hudson River, and I hurried outside in my pj's to set up the tripod.  It's so peaceful on the water early in the day, and I wanted to capture a moment of quiet before a more typical kind of Monday began.

The last time I was in Italy, I saw an exhibition of work by 19th Century artist, Canaletto, and this image reminds me a bit of his spacious work.  I'm lucky to have seen this sky today.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall Photographs

Ann Wilkinson Photography
Climbing out of an artistic rut has been incredibly challenging.  I attended a seminar today led by photographer Scott Bourne, and he gave some great advice for improving one's photography.

First, take a photograph every day.  Knowing where every dial and button on the camera is located and knowing what every setting can do is the backbone of successful photography.

Second, read a different page of your camera's manual every day.  After reading it, do that thing with the camera (see the first item).

Hoboken Train Station 1981 by Peggy Sayben

Third, look at 100 photographs every day.  All great writers are also great readers; this is how photographers should emulate that practice.  So, here's what I found today from an excellent photographer, Peggy Sayben.

What happens tomorrow?  My camera accompanies me to the office...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Artist on his way

Today's post doesn't need too many words.  Here are some photos of an artist on the rise -- Sergio Ortega's first show at the Rockwood Music Hall -- and I got to be there to take photos of him.

The Rockwood is a great venue -- intimate and very, very musical.  The beers aren't too expensive, and there's no cover (at least any of the times I've been there).   So, tip your bartenders well and have a great night.

Check out Sergio's music.  He's on Facebook and he spends a fair amount of time tweeting on, you know.  He's a talented musician, singer, songwriter who has what it takes to make it.  His new CD is being mixed, the artwork is being designed, and I got to take the photos for it, too!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

more tomato-ness

My little tomato flowers are getting bigger and brighter.  I'm planning all the ways I'm going to use the tomatoes from my two San Marzano plants!  Maybe I'll get at least a batch of tomato sauce from them.  I wish I had paid more attention when my Mom and Dad had their huge vegetable gardens in our backyard when I was growing up and learned some basic gardening skills. 

My lavender plants are growing, too.   My little balcony garden is very happy this afternoon.  Happy Father's Day to all dads!  I lucked out and got the best dad of all!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

summer treats

Summer is my favorite time of year.  It makes me happy to do little things like water the tomatoes, sit in the sunshine, get a little sweaty (well, at least when I'm not dressed for work).  As soon as I finish this posting, I'm heading down to the pool to take a nap on a lounge chair...What do you love the summer for?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tomatoes in New Jersey

Obviously, it's been ages since I posted anything on this blog, since the last entry concerns snow. It's been a very warm spring, and I've enjoyed every second of it, even as the humidity creeps up. I'm armed with hair products to prevent too much frizz, and I go into mirror denial anyway in the summer.

I'm excited to announce my tomato plants -- all two of them -- growing on my balcony seem to be making tiny, tiny flowers. With luck and lots of water and some attention from the bees, I might have some tomatoes of my own to harvest later this season! San Marzano, organic, and growing side by side with a cute little basil plant. If I could plant some bufalo mozzarella, I'd be in heaven! Here are some pics of my little weensy tomato flowers, shot with my 60 mm macro lens just after I watered the plants today.

If you have any, I could use some how-to-grow-great-tomato tips.