Napa Morning

Golden Morning, by Cheryl McDonald, 2010

Napa Valley wakes up

Experiencing the early morning in the country is a cherished experience for many people, but for a landscape photographer it is particularly sweet. The anticipation of what the sunrise will bring causes a restless night sleep and giddy excitement as I pack up my camera and my coffee and head for the countryside.

The fog was thick last Wednesday morning as I headed out to Napa Valley. I wanted to see the mustard freshly bloomed and knew that with all the rain we have been having, that it should be particularly splendid. Driving in the dark up the Silverado Trail, my headlights reflecting in the fog, I wondered where the road would lead and what splendid sites I would see. I took a side road just as the sun was starting to glow over the mountains. I wanted to catch that first light on the landscape so I had to get myself parked and camera ready. As the light bloomed through the mist, I could see my surrounding and I was in the midst of the vineyard, mustard gleaming with dew. It was beautiful. The camera seemed to almost work on it’s own, capturing the beauty of this new day, glowing sunrise, green dew frosted grass, and bright yellow mustard. As the fog lifted it danced across the landscape creating lyrical choreography of mist and cloud among the trees, vineyards, and valleys. I wandered up the road stopping and experiencing each magical moment.

A Walk with the Goblins, copyright Cheryl Mcdonald, 2010

A Walk with the Goblins

The camera is a new medium for me. I have resisted it’s technology for years, focusing my creativity on more “hands-on” media. But this last year I have discovered the joy of shooting pictures as if I were painting a landscape. I have a great teacher, Glenn S. Capers. His landscape photos and street portraits capture rare moments in time. Glimpses of emotion that are gone in a flash- the click of a shutter captures them forever. For years, Glenn and I have traveled the roads of California taking pictures. I was taking them for resource material for my paintings and he was communing with Nature as she shared her most intimate secrets with him. I watched, I learned, and we have shared many great stories waiting for the light. I finally got up the courage to seriously study this camera of mine and learn to use it as a brush, painting light and shadow on the page. Glenn has guided me every step of the way.

This trip to Napa was, for me a test, to move from amateur to artist. I like my results and I hope you do to. To see more of these images- coming soon.

Glenn S. Capers

Glenn S. Capers is a New York photographer his work can be seen here. Please check it out.


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3 Responses to “Napa Morning”

  1. Ann Evanston Says:

    You do such a great job of bring beauty, passion and PLAY together Cheryl! I just escaped to Napa as I read! Thank you!

  2. Sharon Hiebing Says:

    Cheryl, that’s so great you moved past your fear of the unknown, enlisted the help of someone experienced, and now are enjoying a new skill. I completely felt transported to Napa.

    Sharon Hiebing
    Creating Wealth through Caring & Connecting

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