When people think of California wine they typically think of one of 2 (or 3) main areas: Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and the up-and-coming Paso Robles regions. Many people living in Silicon Valley might not realize that there's a whole slew of wonderful wineries right in their backyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains -- places like Ridge Winery (one of my favorites and also one of my wine clubs), Picchetti, Hall Crest, and Thomas Fogarty Winery. Ridge and Fogarty sit on top of the Silicon Valley side of the Santa Cruz mountains and have absolutely *gorgeous* views of the entire Bay Area; on a clear day you can see all the way from San Francisco to San Jose.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend a Friday evening event at Thomas Fogarty winery that happened to take place right during sunset. I brought my camera with me in case some clouds rolled in and sure enough I managed to sneak out and capture this surprise of a sunset. I hadn't expected there to be any color in the sky but as I looked out towards San Francisco I noticed both clouds and fog rolling in. To my delight the fog created a mystical feel to the beautiful sunset at the winery. I tried to keep the vineyard in my composition to give a better sense of where this place is and how lucky these people are to own a vineyard up here. I was really impressed by how quickly the fog rolled in.

This is a single exposure brought into LR4 and Photoshop CS5 with some minor doging/burning, and some color/contrast alterations (removed the HiTech Reverse ND Grad color cast and then I spent a long time trying to make the green feel right and eventually gave up as the best I could do). Interestingly, the process I normally use for removing color cast (thanks to D-Breezy) actually added color that wasn't there, so I had to remove the cast with a more complicated method.

Nikon D700 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S:
48mm, f/13, 3.0 sec, ISO 200
HiTech 0.9 Reverse ND Grad + HiTech 0.9 Soft ND Grad

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