The La Crescent grapes in our vineyard are looking great, and should begin vérasion soon. In 2013, the wine we made from this vineyard won for Best Minnesota Wine in the International Cold Climate Wine Competition, and we're looking forward to another vintage year! #vineyard #winery #winemaking #grapes #wine
So the winery is about to start its fifth season open to the public, and we want to get the word out to everyone in Minnesota that they can have a world class vineyard and winery experience right here. To do this, we bought a couple full page ads in Artful Living, which is a very high quality magazine distributed throughout the Twin Cities. As the graphic designer around here, I knew I wanted the ad to be of the highest quality so I looked to find out what other wineries’ ads look like. Wine Spectator was a great asset for this task.
After my research, I had an idea of what I wanted. The ad would have a very sharp photograph of our wine bottle or bottles, a picture of our vineyard, our logo, and some text. The photographs of the bottles would be a good place to start, because I just got a new camera and was excited to try it out. Now photographing glass can be tricky because too many reflections can look messy. To minimize these distractions, then, I set up a studio in the board room, which has no windows and the walls are rough wood which don’t reflect a lot of light.
Now one of the neatest features of this new camera I have is the ability to connect to my phone via WiFi. I can then use my phone to compose the image, change camera settings, and to snap the picture. this saved me a lot of time because I didn’t have to walk back and forth from the bottle to the camera to check minute adjustments.
After photographing all of the bottles, I cleaned them up in Photoshop and cut out of the background using bezier curves. The entire photography and bottle cleanup process took the better part of a day and a half, but it is very much worth it. The magazine is 12″ high and the photographs had to be perfect, and a poorly photographed bottle would definitely hinder the appearance of our winery as a first rate operation.
With the bottle photographs done, I got to work on designing the ad. I kind of had a good idea of what I wanted, so my versions are more evolutionary than revolutionary, but I think they are project a feeling of quality and atmosphere.
In the end, we all agreed that we liked a dark background, the gold bar, only one red and one white wine, a scripty headline font, an a warm-tone sky.
So last fall, someone stole my Canon 5D Mark II + 24-105 f/4 L IS, and obviously I was very upset about it because it was a great camera. My backup camera, a Nikon D90 + Tamron 28-105 f/2.8, was an OK replacement for a while, but it was quite difficult to get as good of a picture as I was used to with the 5D Mark II without a lot of extra work. Now, I’m sure that most of the issue was that I had been reared on Canon and my familiarity with Nikon is not great, but ease of use is very important to me especially when I am so busy with many other tasks.
So, for comparison’s sake, you can see the new Canon photographed with the Nikon and vice versa. Both were set to AF, Av f/4, ISO 6400, AWB – which is a pretty standard way for me to shoot when I’m working in they winery or the kitchen. Obviously the Canon took a much nicer picture straight out of the box, though I’m sure with a lot of tinkering I could make the Nikon look just as good.