Monthly Archives: August 2016

“Purple Loosestrife”

“Purple Loostrife”

“My temple is the swamp… When I would recreate myself, I seek the darkest wood, the thickest and most impenetrable and to the citizen, most dismal, swamp. I enter a swamp as a sacred place, a sanctum sanctorum… I seemed to have reached a new world, so wild a place…far away from human society. What’s the need of visiting far-off mountains and bogs, if a half-hour’s walk will carry me into such wildness and novelty.”
― Henry David Thoreau

This beautiful, delicate wildflower is considered an ‘invasive species‘ in my native Ontario, and most of North America. It was, just like many other species, imported as an ornamental plant. But, with no natural predators and it’s extraordinary  number of seeds, it escaped its domestic bonds and soon began to take over Ontario’s wetlands, choking out native species like cattail.

The image above if of a single stalk and loosestrife grows in tall clumps, colouring the wetlands bright magenta.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 160 mm
1/8 sec, f/22.0, ISO 200

High Resolution image on 500px:

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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500 Follows – Thank you!

followed-blog-500-2x

Never in my wildest imaginings did I see this coming, especially when I first started and had those “no views” days that were so discouraging.

Thank you to all who have chosen to follow my blog, especially to those who have commented on my photos and writing and encouraged me. This is a huge honour.

Ed

“Puff” – Wild Lettuce Seed Head

“Puff” - Wild Lettuce Seed Head

“In this delicate and unpredictable life, the future is unwritten. Do not take someone for granted today, for once tomorrow dawns upon the indigo night the only remaining trace will be tracks in the sand…”
― Virginia Alison

I’ve recently spend time capturing wildflowers and their domestic cousins in a series of photos with black backgrounds, including many which I’ve made using a portable background which allows me to make these photos in the wild. This technique, employed outdoors, can prove challenging, since it involves narrower aperture settings and longer exposures, without the use of a flash.

Indoor, studio work, is much more predictable and that is the route I chose for this delicate specimen. It would have been next to impossible to capture the fine details of the tufts without well controlled conditions. The seed head is the outcome of a blossom I had forgotten about, in a vase, which had gone to seed, leaving this wonderful puffy ball.

It’s a macro shot, so depth of field was a bit challenging, but a learning experience for me, nonetheless.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm (w manual tube extenders)
1/40 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200

High Resolution image on 500px:

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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52 Week Photo Challenge: Week 3 – Black and White

“The Lyric Theatre” - New York

The Lyric Theatre, New York

Here is this week’s  52 Week Photo Challenge:  Week 3 – Black and White.  This is another new challenge that is starting up from The Girl That Dreams Awake.  If you don’t know her, you should check out her blog.

I made this photo back in February during a visit to New York City using my iPhone.

Posted originally back in March

iPhone 5s
Back Camera  @ 4.2mm
1/30 sec, f/2.2, ISO 80

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Goldenrod”

“Goldenrod”

“A weed is but an unloved flower.”
― Ella Wheeler Wilcox

This common north american wildflower has had me scratching my head over the past few years. In our area, it’s a prolific ‘weed’ that grows everywhere. A few years back, while visiting family in British Columbia, I notice people had them planted in their gardens and several seed companies offer them in their catalogues. They are beautiful, but I had not imagined them deliberately putting them in my garden.

There is also a misconception that this plant is the source of many allergic reactions. I’ve looked that up and discovered that the goldenrod pollen is too big and sticky to be inhaled deeply enough to cause an allergic reaction. It’s the companion plant, ragweed, which grows at the same time that’s the true culprit.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/5 sec, f/11.0, ISO 200

High Resolution image on 500px:

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“Joe-pye Weed”

“Joe-pye Weed

“He told her the flowers in her painting contained exactly the purple substance of the flowers on the desk in front of her […] Let us open the window and see if your painting can entice the butterflies.”
― Sarah Hall

Back out on the trails and enjoying the late summer heat. This oddly named plant, native to North America is named on a derivation of an aboriginal name Jopi, who was a native healer. Somewhere in time , the name stuck and became Joe-Pye.

This is a beautiful, tall, showy plant that can be found in wetlands and begins to bloom in late June. At this time of year, it’s still going strong and adds a nice plash of colour to the landscape as other plants are going to seed. Despite our drought-like conditions this summer, the local Joe-Pye is looking strong and healthy. Perhaps that is where one of its other names “Queen of the Meadow” comes from, as it’s also a very tall plant, related to sunflowers.

This particular specimen was found along the roadside, outside the hamlet of Claremont. I noticed a rather health customer of the plants just off the road and down a short path and decided this one was going to be the one I’d photograph, since it was very healthy and unblemished.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 70 mm
1/8 sec, f/22.0, ISO 200

High Resolution image on 500px:

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Day Lily with Seeds”

“Day Lily with Seeds”

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Lao Tzu

As the summer continues, the plants begin to mature and change form. Some wither and dry up, others go to seed, while some continue to flourish till the air cools. This day lily was pretty much the start of my journey down the road of fine art floral photography and has opened a whole new creative world for me.

I thought it had stopped blooming about a week ago, but to my surprise, it had one blossom left to share. It’s quite mature and this image shows two seed pods beginning to develop as well as the ‘stubs’ where blossoms used to be.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/4 sec, f/14.0, ISO 200

High Resolution image on 500px:

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Woodland Sunflower”

“Woodland Sunflower”

“Wildflower; pick up your pretty little head,
It will get easier, your dreams are not dead.”
― Nikki Rowe

I hope I have these named correctly. I’m hoping my wildflower followers will correct me as required.

It’s late summer and there is a noticeable shift in the plant life. The delicate pinks and purples are going to seed and yellows and orange are starting to make their showing. I’ll miss the abundance of wildflowers and the bright green healthy leaves, which are now showing insect damage and stress from our recent drought. This is the time of year when plants begin to look ‘tired’. But, change is inevitable and the bright colours of fall will soon dominate.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/4 sec, f/22.0, ISO 200

High Resolution image on 500px:

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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Thursday Doors – August 25, 2016

“University College Doors” - University of Toronto

This week’s submission to Norm 2.0‘s Thursday Doors.

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favourite door photos from around the world.

Yet another of many images made during my tour of the University of Toronto campus a few weeks ago

The door above belongs to the University of Toronto’s “University College Building”. This building sites in the centre of the main campus. The plaque below can be seen on either side of the door in the image above above, the lefthand one in French and righthand one in English, Canada’s official languages.University College Plaque

 

The door is almost lost in the elaborate facade, with its intricate stone work and concentric arches. I also included the details of part of the main tower to add scale to this image. It truly is a beautiful door, and one of many in the downtown Toronto campus. More to follow.
Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 70 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Seeds Galore” – Queen Anne’s Lace

“Seeds Galore” - Queen Anne’s Lace

“I have always been caught by the pull of the unremarkable, by the easily missed, infinitely nourishing beauty of the mundane.”
― Tana French

A theme that keeps coming back to me is how much detail and beauty there is in mundane things. Generally, when Queen Anne’s Lace finishes blooming, I hardly notice them, until winter when the basket-like heads get coated in little snow ‘hats’.

It was not till I was composing this mage, that I noticed just how intricate the seeds of this common wildflower really are. The seeds look like multi-legged insects attacking the plant. Simply fascinating to look at and not lost in the background with this black background. So, have a look yourself, next time you are strolling along a path, you’ll never see it the same way again.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/10 sec, f/10.0, ISO 200

High Resolution image on 500px:

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