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The Terroir of Photography

Lori Rowland Photography and Copper Belt Winery, Photography and Terroir

I am pleased to announce that I have been chosen as the featured photographer for July 2016 at the Copper Belt Tasting Room here in downtown Baker City, Oregon.

While working with Cathy Cook, one of the owners of Copper Belt Winery, I learned a concept the French call terroir. While I still need practice saying the word, I think I have a grasp at its meaning.  According to Wine Folly

Terroir is how a particular region’s climate, soils, and aspect (terrain) affect the taste of wine. Some regions are said to have more ‘terroir’ than others.

Perhaps my photography is also influenced by terroir? Just as the weather, contours, elevations and soil influence the flavors of wine, it also has an influence on photography. I am certainly impacted by the beautiful Eastern Oregon landscapes all around me. After all, it is what inspired me to become a photographer in the first place. I feel like I am a natural part of Eastern Oregon. I belong here. How could terroir not exert its influence on my photography?

Just like fine wine, photography develops over time. Each year, I seek new challenges, something to keep me inspired. When I visit a landscape, I experience it with all my senses. Of course, there is a wide beautiful landscape before me, but there is much more to see when I engage all my senses.

I see flowers bobbing in the breeze. I feel the wind on my face. I smell the fresh aroma of the forest. I hear the bees busily collecting nectar and birds calling in distant trees. I see the clouds as they dance in the sky. This is the full experience of only one timeless moment. It is my goal to quiet my mind and be completely taken in by the beauty of nature all around me. I do not want to just witness the scene, but to become a part of it.

So, from my perspective, I think one could say that photography definitely has terroir all its own, influenced by the region and by the photographer behind the camera. I feel very fortunate that the terroir that brings us the delicious Copper Belt Wines also contributes greatly to my photography.

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