Monthly Archives: May 2016

“Altar of St. John the Baptist” – St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York

“Altar of St. John the Baptist” - St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New .jpg

And he was preaching, and saying, “After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals. “I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” – Mark 1:7-8

Existing light photography offers its challenges and rewards. This wonderful statue of St. John the Baptist, in New York’s St. Patrick’s cathedral is a good example of how existing light can enhance the image. The light is soft and warm and produces a sense of peace, at least for me. The light falls off a bit near the top of the image, bringing out the details of the face.

That’s the benefit, the challenge is having to use a high ISO often introduces unwanted noise, which used to be a significant issue with 35 mm film, but is less of an issue with our modern DSLRs and editing software.

I made several other images while visiting this great metropolitan cathedral, which I will share over time.

Nikon D300
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 70 mm
1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (some images available for purchase)
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“Store Fronts” – Front Street, Toronto

“Store Fronts” - Front Street, Toronto

“Imagine having a city full of things that no other city had.”
― Bill Bryson

Old meets new in this view of Toronto’s Front Street, near the St. Lawrence Market.

The area reminds me of Europe, with it’s old buildings and storefronts. It’s sad to think that much of Toronto looked like this till the wave of “Urban Renewal” in the 70’s demolished most of the old buildings to make room for…parking lots!

Yup, apparently, parking lots were what people needed and the wonderful architecture paid the price. There are still some vestiges of Toronto’s architectural past remaining: the Annex, Front Street, and the Distillery to name a few, but they are few and far between.

I imagine the original builders did not ever expect the building to become a coffee shop, in fact, I had clients in this area who used upper floors as office space and it looked like these would have been warehouses at one point in time, based on the thick floors and heavy wooden beams inside the buildings.

Nikon D800
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 145 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.0, ISO 200

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

“Coltsfoot Seed Heads” – Uxbridge

“Coltsfoot Seed Heads” - Secord Forest Trail

“Life is not made up of minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years, but of moments. You must experience each one before you can appreciate it.” 
― Sarah Ban Breathnach

As with its yellow blossoms, many people mistake the coltsfoot seed heads for those of the dandelion. That is, until you take the time to look closer.

I’m finding more and more that people are just not taking the time to actively participate in the world around them. If something can’t be observed quickly or looked up on-line, it gets left behind. Our natural world beckons us to be part of it. When I take hikes to make photos, my world slows down, the business of life slips away, and I can be ‘in’ nature, not just a silent observer. The sounds fill my ears, the smells trigger memories, and the ever changing light dances through my vision. Some call this living in the moment, and I like that term, because that ‘moment’ lasts only briefly and then, becomes memory.

One of my greatest satisfactions in making photos is that all the images I make represent ‘moments’ which I have borne witness to. I take that as a gift, especially if I am able to effectively convey the ‘feeling’ of that moment through my art.

Nikon D800
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/80 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (some images available for purchase)
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“Chinatown Rush” – Montreal

“Chinatown Rush” - Montreal

“The first problem of living is to minimize friction with the crowds that surround you on all sides.”
― Isaac Asimov

I wanted to capture the hustle and bustle of this Montreal intersection with an experimental long exposure. It was interesting to look back on it and see the woman in the foreground moving quickly across the frame, while the car is stopped.

This was also an experiment in light where I was trying to cover the whole spectrum for white to black.

Interestingly, growing up in Toronto, I really would not consider this a ‘rush’. For that, I could set up at Montreal’s Gare Centrale (about 18 million people pass through there every year) at quitting time. Perhaps on another visit?

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/10 sec, f/22.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

 

“OISE Windows” – Toronto

“OISE Windows” - Toronto

“Humans are pattern-seeking story-telling animals, and we are quite adept at telling stories about patterns, whether they exist or not.”
― Michael Shermer

OISE is the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, part of the University of Toronto. This is where people study to be ‘educators’ or ‘teachers’ as we know them. It is also where trends in education are studied and public policy, regarding education in Ontario, originates. I have several friends who are teachers and they have shared some interesting OISE stories with me. In the parlance of ‘teacher speak’ such gems as “Oracular Device for Conveyance of Knowledge” aka ‘a book’, came from this building.

Despite the reputation for over thinking the obvious, the building is quite interesting, architecturally and I was particularly drawn to the patterns of the windows in the mid-afternoon light as I walked along Bloor Street looking for new material. I tend to enjoy old buildings and complex stonework, but I did find this modern image interesting because of the repeating patterns and limited gradations of shading.

Nikon D800
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 145 mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200

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

“Algae Art” – Secord Pond, Uxbridge

“Algea Art” - Secord Pond, Uxbridge

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”
― Aristotle

Art is everywhere. Sometimes, in the most surprising places, and with unexpected elements. Case in point, this algal bloom on a local pond. It looks a bit like a satellite image of some tropical forest and smells just like a horse stable. In fact, I was wondering if the local trail riding association was having a meeting close by.

In any case, these wonderful layered patterns in various shades of glowing greens and dull brown were a sight to see and it would have been interesting to watch them form.The bloom was likely caused by the sudden heat up we had this past weekend and the waves and layers caused by winds blowing  from the east and forcing the progressive layers of the bloom into one end of the pond. It’s also quite thick but I had no desire to touch it to check consistency.

And that, is why I enjoy nature so much; there is always something new to see and discover that is beyond the imagination.

Nikon D800
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/80 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200

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

Thursday Doors – May 25, 2016

“Munk Institute Doors” - University of Toronto

Walking along Toronto’s Bloor Street West, I came across these wonderful doors. The Munk Institute is part of the University of Toronto campus and I’ve admired them often, as I walked past. Today the light was just right. Much to my surprise, I had never noticed the details in the stonework above the door and topping the pillars. Have a closer look.

Interestingly, many of the compositional elements that enhance this image are subconscious when I make the photo. It’s one of those scenes that appeal to me, but I can’t articulate the ‘why’ till I look closely at the final image.

Nikon D800
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/80 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200

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

“Dawn Redwood” – Edwards Gardens, Toronto

"Ancient Redwood" - Edwards Gardens, Toronto

“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It’s not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.”
― John Steinbeck

This is the second dawn redwood (Metasequoia) I have seen in Ontario recently, both were in a botanical gardens setting. The first was at the Niagara Botanical Gardens and the specimen above was at Edwards Gardens, in Toronto, the home of the Toronto Botanical Gardens. They look like living fossils but are actually fast growing and not as old as you would suspect.

The species was discovered in Lichuan county in the Hubei province of China in 1944 and was soon adopted in North America as a popular ornamental. That would explain why they are found in various botanical gardens. Also, because they get so large, they would not be suitable for residential properties.

This one is said to have been planted in 1960, on a site chosen to ensure it would would be bathed in the early morning sunlight on June 20 each year, the birthday of the wife of the gardener who planted it.

I felt this would look nice as a painted piece, so took some artistic liberty with Photoshop, mainly to hide the ugly chain link fence directly behind the tree and to enhance the texture of the bark.

As John Steinbeck states so well above, there is a ‘feel’ to redwoods that is difficult to communicate.

Nikon D800
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 82 mm
1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 220

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (some images available for purchase)
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“Dawson’s Magnolia” – Edwards Gardens, Toronto

“Dawson’s Magnolia” - Edwards Gardens, Toronto

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke

A final visit to the magnolias of Edwards Gardens in Toronto, at least for this year. I so enjoyed my day of walking the grounds and enjoying all the wonderful flowering trees. This is a great time of year. There are splashes of pinks, purples, whites, and purple among the new foliage in its multiple shades of green. The world around me is fairly glowing with new life, and I love it!

The tree above stood out above all the others I saw that day. Delicate blossoms cling to teh dark leafless branches in a spectacular display. The blossoms almost seem too big for teh slider tree to bear. All this against teh backdrop of new greenery and a slightly cloudy blue sky. It just says, “Spring” to me.

Nikon D800
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 82 mm
1/160 sec, f/46.3, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (some images available for purchase)
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“Groundhog Day” – Edwards Gardens, Toronto

“Groundhog Day” - Edwards Gardens, Toronto

“Most European nations identify themselves with eagles or lions, with some predator or creature of the air, ascendant and belligerent. I would like to visit the country which adopts the groundhog as its mascot, somewhere peaceful, some place that curls against the secrets of the earth, a little Belgium of the imagination, tables piled high with cakes, the Sunday bells ringing (not too loudly), the light falling on rolling hillocks studded with salad greens.”
― David Brendan Hopes

Groundhog day in May, you say?

I have not seen a groundhog in years. They used to be so numerous that my parents used them as a drive-time distraction when travelling to the cottage. “Hey kids, count how many groundhogs you can see on the way.”, was the common starting dialogue on our trips. A good tactic back then, as we would see hundreds in the fields along the road.

I know these burrowing creatures have been the bane of cattle farmers, as the cows would break their legs when they stepped into a groundhog hole. There are many who took great pleasure sitting in farm fields with their 22’s, picking off the groundhogs as their heads popped out of the ground. I suspect this was far too common and the population was pretty much wiped out in my area.

So, it was very nice to see this fellow on a rock-garden wall, posing so nicely for me. In fact, we was a bit too friendly and came right up to a few watching children, who had no idea what kind of animal he was.

Nikon D800
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/80 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com