“Hillside Path”

“Hillside Path”

“It isn’t enough to pick a path—you must go down it. By doing so, you see things you couldn’t possibly see when you started out; you may not like what you see, some of it may be confusing, but at least you will have, as we like to say, “explored the neighborhood.” The key point here is that even if you decide you’re in the wrong place, there is still time to head toward the right place.” 
― Ed Catmull

This image came together almost immediately. As I stood at the edge of a steep gully, looking across miles of forest for this high vantage point the path along the edge beckoned me forward. I had just changed lenses from my 90mm macro to my 70-200 mm telephoto so that I could shoot a bit wider than my 90mm allowed.

My first glance through my viewfinder yielded this scene. The slightly winding path and the placement of the trees made for a simple composition which nicely represented the scene before me. The slight movement simply accents it and the long exposure saturates the colours a bit more, and also brings life to the image.

This spot was about half way around a loop trail and tied in nicely with my theme of gradual transition from summer to autumn because of the presence of more yellows and oranges. Not quite autumn, but definitely hinting at it; a turn in the path and in the seasons.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/18.0 ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

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“The Gentle Way”

“The Gentle Way”

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” 
― Pat Conroy

This image, while slightly darker than some of my prior posts, represents so well my typical experiences on the trail; bright sunshine streams between the branches light above, the canopy has a slight yellow tinge, as the days shorten, there are wonderful shifts in the light, each tree reflecting a slightly different shade of brown gray, or silver; far in the distance, a bright meadow shows through a gap in the trees, my destination, or just a glade along the trail edge?

The path, soft and sandy, littered with leaves, has become my gentle way. I tread these trails in reverence for the beauty they lead me through and am grateful to those early conservationists who had the foresight to set this land apart, so that I and many more could enjoy the wonder of the forest trails .

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70mm
1/4 sec, f/9.0 ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“The Light that Lights My Way”

“The Light that Lights My Way”

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” 
― Ursula K. Le Guin

Scenes like this are one of the reasons I hike. I’ve referred to these dappled pools of light as “God-Light”, to quote C.S. Lewis. These small patches of golden light, like pools of energy seem to appear on all but the most overcast days. They are but one of the many effects in the forest which have a profound impact on me. In the forest, I feel in tune with my surroundings, the busyness of the workweek fades to a dull memory and my world come alive.

There is more to the light around me, while it lights my way, it warms my spirit and brings out the child in me. I find myself transfixed by the wonderful diversity of the forest paths, and grinning at simple things like a butterfly trying to land in the wind. Many of these scenes go undocumented, too brief to be captured as a photo, but remain with me as beautiful memories of my walks through the woods.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/4 sec, f/10.0 ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Disposable”

“Disposable”

“Nothing ever really goes away–it just changes into something else. Something beautiful.” 
― Sarah Ockler

I was debating the title for this image of a spent cicada pupa. I recall seeing thousands of them in the pine forests just outside Atlanta, Georgia a few years ago. We arrived for an event and the campground we were staying at seemed overrun with emerging cicadas. Every tree was covered in these little alien carapaces.

To find one close to home was a surprise, though cicadas are also plentiful here, I have, up till now, not seen evidence that they also emerged here. I guess I figured they came from somewhere else.

The shell, as I said, has a strange alien look to it, barely resembling the adult cicada with its large and shimmering wings, that provide a constant background buzz on hot summer days.

One of the advantages of shooting a 90mm macro lens as a prime lately is that I can quickly switch from forest abstracts to highly detailed macro images.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/100 sec, f/4.5 ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Just Around the Next Bend”

“Just Around the Next Bend”

“Never forget that anticipation is an important part of life. Work’s important, family’s important, but without excitement, you have nothing. You’re cheating yourself if you refuse to enjoy what’s coming.” 
― Nicholas Sparks

Part of the enjoyment I get from hiking is the anticipation, the ‘unknown’ about what’s around the next bend. Though I’ve hiked these trails for years now, there is always something new to discover. On days where I feel uninspired, all I have to do is get on the trail, look around that next band, and I’m almost always treated with something unexpected, some play of the light, or a new plant that I had not noticed.

In this image, along the theme is anticipation, along with the broader theme of this series of photos, there is the knowledge that autumn is also just around the bend, as evidenced by the colour shift from deep green to hints of yellow and even a few coppery-orange leaves to be found along the trail. The changes will soon accelerate and “In the Blink”, it will be autumn. Given our weather this summer, I’m anticipating some beautiful colours.

For those who look at my camera settings (below), you will have noticed that I have been adjusting the ISO and aperture as lighting conditions vary throughout this hike. I keep my shutter speed consistent at 1/4 sec, as this is the speed I feel produces the best results with my process.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/4 sec, f/11.0 ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“The Brightness of Birches”

“The Brightness of Birches”

“In this hour, I do not believe that any darkness will endure.” 
― J.R.R. Tolkien

As my journey through the September forests continued the forest and light varied significantly, this is the nature of forests in this area. This constant change offers many opportunities for photos, or simply to stand still for a few moments, enjoying the light playing through the leaves.

In small patches, birch trees brighten up the forest with their brilliant white bark. Tis makes them a bit of a challenge to photograph, as I have to balance their brightness with the darker forest behind. Here, the bright pale green leaves in the background made that balancing a lot simpler and yielded a rather nice image of the trees which conveys very well the ‘feel’ of this scene, not so many days ago.

As a said, this is part of a series of photos and I have begun to print them and hang them. So far, they seem to flow rather nicely in preparation for my 2018 Studio Tour.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/4 sec, f/18.0 ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“The Sun Shines Through”

“The Sun Shines Through”

“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness — just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.” 
― Laura Ingalls Wilder

Beyond the transition from field to forest but within the transition from summer to fall, the forest shines with warm morning sunshine, finding its way through the canopy high above. It’s one of those simple blessings that the quote above mentions.

I stood, transfixed, for a moment, marvelling at just how bright the forest was at this time of day. Some of that brightness is caused by the gradual yellowing of the undergrowth. The greens are not as deep and light seems to reflect more, which for me, is a nice change for the deep dark greens of midsummer. WHile nice to walk through, it does not make for photos that appeal to me.

This particular scene was chosen for its diversity of shades, layers, and textures and introduces some bright browns to the composition. I’m always looking for contrasts and textures when I create these abstracts and the forest offers be a lot of choices. Though I always have a vision of what I want the photo to look like, I’m often surprised at what the variance in light and movement produces. That is one of the joys of this photographic style that I have refined to become my own.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/4 sec, f/32.0 ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com