In a variety of forms, I’ve spent 30 years in the wine business and 30 years photographing professionally. The two have taken their turns at being the primary occupier of time over the years. Next week they come together in a way like they have never before.
On September 3rd, I will leave for a nearly three week trip to France, Italy and Spain with the sole purpose of telling the story of roughly a dozen wine producers at harvest time. My goal is to add a number of blog entries over the next 4 weeks as I prepare to leave and then spend the three weeks photographing.
In short, I fly into Paris first and will be driving my way through France. I start in Champagne and work my way through the Loire Valley, Rhone Valley and the Languedoc-Roussillon. I will head to Italy, flying into Verona. Photographing in Lombardy and the Alto-Adige, before flying into Madrid to head into Calatayud for a couple more producers. All in all, I expect to photograph around one dozen producers. Most of them I will spend an entire day with.
That is a distinction I like to make. This isn’t a pre-conceived, walk in, set up a few cool shots and be on my way in a couple hours. For me, the best stuff happens when you slow down and take the time and be a part of what is happenning around you. A full day in the vineyards and wineries will let you at least capture a small glimpse of the real moments.
I believe at the end, after being able to sort through the images and make selections for printing, there will be a very unique collection of images. I think it will be special. Not only will there be a selection of images from each producer, but as a big picture, these producers will have this project in common and be tied to each other through it as I go on to display the work and put it into a variety of projects. Over time I will be able to introduce the very wines we see being harvested into a variety of tastings and events I will probably do as a result.
If this is at all of interest to you and you would like to follow along, I encourage you to watch the blog for updates. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram too with @darrinballman.
If you wish to participate, I have launched a crowd funding campaign at ArtInTheHarvest.com. Right now it is the ideal place to preorder a museum quality print or order tickets for the special reception I will be holding in Cincinnati after I return. On October 24, 2014 there will be a wine tasting of wines from the producers I’m photographing and also the debut of the first round of images from the project.
I hope you will join me on October 24th or follow the project as it develops. Over the next few days before leaving I will share a few more thoughts and some of the back story. ArtInTheHarvest.com