Monday, October 12, 2009

Wine Research Centre, Library and Vinotheque, The University of British Columbia

In 2002, the Wine Research Centre in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems of the University of British Columbia officially opened a British Columbia chapter of the Canadian Wine Library. This beautiful B.C. Wine Library and Vinothèque already has about 8,000 bottles of wine and is capable of housing up to 22,000. As the Centre's website explains, an advisory board of winery proprietors and academics in British Columbia suggest which young wines should be obtained for study. These are then procured, often in units of two cases (24 bottles). The bottles can then be analyzed by the Centre's very active laboratories and carefully tasted annually over the next 24 years. Among the Centre's many goals is that of determining which varietals are best suited for which of the province's many micro climates and terroires.

My thanks to Associate Dean, Dr. Hennie van Vuuren, Eagles Chair in Food Biotechnology and founder and Director of the Wine Research Centre, for allowing me to photograph in the nicely-chilled Library. I will never again leave home without a corkscrew.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

October sunrise over Vancouver, B.C.

The sunrise this morning, Saturday, October 10th, 2009, was spectacular. Many people could be seen taking pictures as the cloud cover started to break up over downtown Vancouver just as the sun was filling the lower cloudless horizon with fire. It was perfect for HDR photography in which you use a tripod in order to take multiple photographs (I usually took 7), each at a different exposure, and then merge them in order to get an enormous tonal range of luminosity, saturation and detail. This technique can often make photographs seem more like paintings.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Village of Durfort (Gard), France

The medieval village of Durfort (départment du Gard) now has about 500 inhabitants. Durfort undoubtedly developed around the 12th-century chateau constructed during the height of feudalism and provided it labour and supplies. The modern village is now both sleepy and beautiful, with many of the stone homes being carefully renovated. The agricultural plains have been productive for centuries.

We focused mainly on the village's charming narrow walkways and followed the 14th-century wall, finally pausing on the outskirts of the village for a lovely luncheon, which sustained us for the challenging hike up the local mountain.