Monthly Archives: April 2017

“Forsythia”

“Forsythia”

“The greatest wealth is to live content with little.”
― Plato

This turned out to a very simple image. I was given a few stems of forsythia to transplant in may garden and took the opportunity to make a few photos before they dropped their flowers.

I recall having one of these early blooming shrubs in the backyard growing up and then they seemed to vanish for a while. But recently , I’ve seen them more prevalent and it was nice to be offered a few shoots to try to root. I’m hoping they take hold, so we have a bit more colour in our yard in the spring.

Even these flowers, in their simplicity, are quite fascinating when you look closer.

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

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“Daffodil Trio”

“Daffodil Trio”

“Spring dances with joy in every flower and in every bud letting us know that changes are beautiful and an inevitable law of life.”
― Debasish Mridha

And the flowers keep blooming. Every day more colours, more varieties, right from the garden or in the woods. It’s so nice be able to have this variety available and to be able to create good photos of them. As I’ve said previously, we tend to fail to appreciate the fine details in things we see. I see the flowers as beautiful, on first view, but am finding them utterly stunning when I get up close really ‘look’ at them

Now, I’m waiting patiently for some lovely coral tulips, that were given to us by my mother-in-law, to open up. They did it yesterday, but closed back up before I had a chance to photograph them. Today, it seems it’s too cold. Perhaps tomorrow? Stay tuned.

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

High Resolution Image on 500px

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

“Siberian Squill”

“If you wish to make anything grow, you must understand it, and understand it in a very real sense. ‘Green fingers’ are a fact, and a mystery only to the unpracticed. But green fingers are the extensions of a verdant heart.”
― Russell Page

It’s definitely not the most attractive name for this spring garden standard, but there you have it. In my area, there are a few rural properties where the entire yard is filled with this delicate blue flower, albeit for only a few short days, till they die off and grass dominates once more.

We have a small cluster of them in our front gardens and they are among the first signs of life in that particular flower bed. Fine grass-like leaves emerge for the cold ground, and after a few days of milder temperatures, the flowers appear.

I have to admit, this is yet another of those ‘taken for granted’ items that I have never taken the time to really look at, so it made a great subject to bring into the studio for a macro view. After the first set up shot, I looked at my camera screen and was stunned at how magnificently beautiful this slight flower really is. Seeing it in the garden, so diminutive, I would not have guessed at this, which has quickly made it one of my favourite floral images of the season.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1.0 sec, f/29.0 ISO 100

High Resolution Image on 500px

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“Bloodroot Detail”

“Bloodroot Detail”

“A picture held us captive. And we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably.”
― Ludwig Wittgenstein

I was hoping to get a few more images before the bloodroot stopped blooming and was happy to see I had not missed my chance. I took my portable studio with me in hopes of being able to find a few specimens that lent themselves to this technique. A small grouping, just off the hiking trail presented just such an opportunity and I set about making a few images.

The image above appealed to me the most, as it shows the freshly emerged plant, with the flower about to open, a very similar scene to my earlier post. However, the black background does its job in really isolating teh plant and forcing us to observe the details. It’s still my favourite method of photographing plants and works fairly well outdoors, if teh light is not too intense and the air is calm.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/6 sec, f/22.0 ISO 100

High Resolution Image on 500px

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Dutchman’s Breeches”

“Dutchman’s Breeches”

“A little piece of everywhere I go becomes a big part of everything I do.”
― Richie Norton

Spring, has to be my favorite time of year. Not just because of the warming weather, but because every day has new discoveries, sometimes many. Having spent most of my life outdoors, I’m finding myself continually amazed at just how much of my world I casually ignored.

Becoming a deliberate photographer has transformed my world and how I see it. As the quote above puts it so succinctly, these little pieces of my experience have transformed me, they have become a part of who I am. Through my photography, I’m seeing the world in news ways, appreciating life in new ways, and loving it.

I think I also need to clarify a point above. By referring to myself as a ‘deliberate’ photographer, I mean I set out with a purpose. So, rather than just snapshots of events or casual observations of my day, I set out to really ‘see’ the world around me. I take the time to study a scene and compose my images to fully express what I have seen, with the hopes that this is conveyed to my audience. At minimum, it allows me time with the scene, allowing me to fully appreciate it.

In the case of the Dutchman’s Breeches above, I’ve seen photos of the plant in books, knew it grew around here, and looked for it, with no success. I made images of a close relative to it, Squirrel Corn, last year and did not notice that the plant in this photo was only a few meters away, as well as the bloodroot I shared earlier. Now I’m spending time observing associated plants and their related growing patterns. I can honestly say that I am learning something new every day and truly enjoying the journey.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/100 sec, f/18.0 ISO 100

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

“Emerging Bloodroot”

“Each beginning is the end of a waiting. We are each given exactly one chance to be. Each of us is both impossible and inevitable. Every replete tree was first a seed that waited.”
― Hope Jahren

This photo is now a few days old, but I wanted to go back to it to show the wonderful structure of the bloodroot, a native early bloomer her in southern Ontario. I have a real fascination with this particular plant especially because it is so unusual, as are many of the early plants, but Bloodroot holds a special place for me.

The plant itself, emerges for the ground as a small knob, barely visible and within a few short hours, grows to about fifteen centimeters, unfurls its ‘cape’ and blooms. I refer to the leaves as its ‘cape’ since they are tightly bound around the stem and open up like a cape or cloak, revealing the flower bud inside. It also opens quickly as the plant continues to emerge from the ground.

I happened to catch this one just before the blossom opened and it too, unfurls. I would love to do a time-lapse of this process some day in the near future. As it stands now, they have almost all bloomed and I will have to wait till next year.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/15 sec, f/36.0 ISO 320

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

“The Greening”

“Then came the healing time, hearts started to shine, soul felt so fine, oh what a freeing time it was.”
― Aberjhani

Indeed, the entire world around me is greening. The bleak frames of the winter trees now show a soft bloom of pale greens and yellows, as buds begin to open and small leaves begin to emerge from their winter shells.

It’s a great time of the year, days, its warming, plants flower, and life returns to my world once more, the inevitable cycle of birth, death/rest, and rebirth continues.

Over the past few days, I kept walking past these delicate poplar catkins, just knowing there was a photo to be had, but the light was never quite right. Yet, this past weekend, soft sunlight prevailed and the image was realized, hints of surrounding greenery in the background and small splashes of red from the Red-Osier Dogwoods which are interspersed in this small poplar stand.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/400 sec, f/10.0 ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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Thursday Doors – April 27, 2017

“Gloria’s - San Jose del Cabo”

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.

“Gloria’s – San Jose del Cabo”

I thought it would be a good day to revisit one of my Mexico photos today. You see, I had the full intention to build a large collection of Mexican doors from this trip. What I learned was, never try to do it before 9:00am, as they are all locked up.

In this case, and in many others, not just the doors are locked with wrought iron gates, but so are the windows. This practice seemed to be quite common in San Jose del Cabo, a moderate sized town at the south end of Mexico’s Baja peninsula. The concept of locked doors has also been replaced by a preference for chains and padlocks, which was evident even on the modern doors of some of teh local banks.

Sadly, I was not able to return on this visit to get a shot of the door by itself, it looks like a beauty, so will have to plan a return trip 🙂

iPhone 5S back camera @ 4.2mm
1/2000 sec;   f/2.2;  ISO 32

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Wild Ginger and Blossom”

“Wild Ginger and Blossom”

“It’s life that matters, nothing but life—the process of discovering, the everlasting and perpetual process, not the discovery itself, at all.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Oddly enough, I’ve gone out looking for these and stepped over them, not making teh connection. Yet, this past weekend while photographing a group of Wake-Robins, I noticed this fuzzy broad leafed plant with a little ‘bud’ or nodule at the base. Curious, I took a closer look and noticed that the ‘bud’ was actually an unopened flower. When I got back home I looked at one of my plant books and discovered that this was, if fact, the elusive Wild Ginger I had been looking for.

So, today at lunch, I made the quick walk to the forest and re-visited the plants, to be pleasantly surprised that the flowers were in bloom. How I could have missed them in the past still puzzles me, but as I looked around, I noticed that this small grove  is quite limited in size. I’ll have to get back out on the weekend and see if I can find some more.

In the meantime, I am quite happy to have found them and be able to document their unusual blossoms, which are quite firm and bulb-like. The petals, similar to the Wake-Robin are a dark red to maroon colour, similar to flesh. This seems to be a common trait with some early blooming wildflowers which are pollinated by flies. The flower looks like a piece of meat. I did not stoop down to sniff them.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/115 sec, f/16.0 ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Alone in the Forest”

“Alone in the Forest”

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more”
― George Gordon Byron

Alone, but not for much longer.

Very soon, this Trout Lily will be surrounded by a sea of yellow blossoms.

Once more, I came across an isolated blossom surrounded by many other plants about to bloom. What became evident to me, as I made this low angle image was just how alone the flower ‘seemed’ against the backdrop of the forest. yet, it is not alone at all.

I spend much of my time on trails, in the forest, on the water alone. It’s a conscious choice I make. Being alone, gives me all the time I need to create my images and simply drink in my surroundings, my schedule is my own, the moment, my own. While I do love the companionship of my wife, family, or friends while hiking, that is a different experience altogether. It’s nice to share my sacred places, and talk about the experience, but it’s not the same as the solitary experience. Perhaps my blogging practice is a way for me to share those moments with others in a way that still allows me to ability to recharge in my solitude?

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/1050 sec;   f/1.8;   ISO 20

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