Monthly Archives: October 2017

Happy Halloween 

“A Many Splendoured Thing”

“Living with love for all humankind and worshiping nature’s immense beauty cures heartache and restores bliss. Respecting the splendor of nature awakens us to the beauty inscribing our own humanity.” 
― Kilroy J. Oldster

Every now and then, a quote just ‘fits’ the photo so well. The ‘aliveness’ experienced at moments like this, standing on a trail and bearing witness to such simple marvels is a spiritual experience. Even looking back on the image, during a busy, stress filled workday, calms me, knowing just how temporary it all is.

To think that this ‘moment’ is merely a single stopping place along the way further enriches me.

I’m really enjoying the creation of this “Golden Paths” series, as I’m deliberately progressing along the trail and through time. Reflecting back on these places is therapeutic for me. Recalling the feelings on being on the trails, in this case, with my wife and oldest daughter, especially as I write at the end of long workdays. The act of reviewing the photos, recalling the moment, and writing about it offers a wonderful respite from the day’s stresses. I hope the effect is contagious.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/20.0, ISO 100

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

“But give thanks, at least, that you still have Frost’s poems; and when you feel the need of solitude, retreat to the companionship of moon, water, hills and trees. Retreat, he reminds us, should not be confused with escape. And take these poems along for good luck!” 
― Robert Graves

Atop a shallow slop, a tight cluster of trees rises straight and tall, a competition for sunlight and the nourishment it brings. Some less hearty members, namely the birches, lie extinguished on the forest floor, a testament to the nature of nature.

Among the fallen birches, delicate saplings and ferns rise up, surviving on the sparse light that seeps through the tight canopy high above. The forest floor, as noted in earlier posts is sparse, something I believe to be the result of the warm yet wet summer, which provided a thick and lush canopy but deprived the low ground plants of much-needed light. I’m hoping this is just part of a natural cycle which I have not witnessed till now.

As in previous posts, the bright gold of the maple trees dominates the background, broken up by patches of green. Yet, the green fades day by day, hour by hour, and all will soon be yellow and gold.

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

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

“Hillside Shift”

“Hillside Shift”

“That quotation about not having time to stand and stare has never applied to me. I seem to have spent a good part of my life – probably too much – in just standing and staring and I was at it again this morning.” 
― James Herriot

I thoroughly enjoyed just standing and staring at this scene. I liked the transition or ‘shift’ from deep green ferns at my feet to the bright golds at the top of the hill. There’s also a shift from shadows to light and a delicate glow produced in the foreground from the bright light behind.

As the “Golden Paths” series continues, you will notice a shift from green to yellow, to orange. Some of this is due to the gradual change in the leaf colours and some due to the composition of the forest itself, as I hike from the immature maple saplings, through larger beech, and into rolling hills, dominated by mature oak and maple. That transition, within a relatively small area fascinates me. I pass through tight clusters of slender saplings and into hills lined with large, mature hardwoods.

It’s this forest diversity that is so appealing to me. I find myself going to these areas rather than those dominated by a particular species. It’s colourful, but monotonous, if that makes sense at all? I like the variety offered to me by specific trails. After all, if I’m going to stand in on place and stare, I want a good reason to do so.

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

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“All That Glitters…”

“All That Glitters...”

“All that glisters is not gold—
Often have you heard that told.”
– William Shakespeare

Indeed, all that glitters is not gold, but often beautiful, nonetheless. These young poplars along the edge of a meadow actually glimmered as the gentle breeze shifted through the golden leaves, making them shimmer in the sunlight.

This image is still a part of my “Golden Paths” series. It’s the only one that was made, thus far, outside of the forest, though still a stop on the path, as it emerged from the forest. The bright wood of the tall tree trunks are what drew my attention at first, but it was the movement and brightness of the leaves that caused me to make the image, hoping to capture this moment effectively.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/18.0, ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (images are available for purchase)
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“Our Winding Ways”

“Our Winding Ways”

“The best part of the journey is the surprise and wonder along the way.” 
― Ken Poirot

The quote I chose for this image is quite simple, yet has such depth to me. As I hike and make images, I am constantly surprised at what lies before me. My path is seldom straight, and I can’t always see what’s ahead, though I journey in anticipation. Every bend yields something new and often unexpected. The light plays in different ways, making familiar scenes change before our eyes. The forest, is always shifting, changing, adapting.

At some point, someone created this path. It may have started as a game trail or been deliberately carved through the forest. It often makes sense, winding around objects or following the contours of the land. Straight paths speed the journey, but often take us far from the many beautiful places the forest has to offer. Personally, I prefer the winding path. A path where I can take my time and enjoy as much of my surroundings as possible.

As this path winds its way through the forest, the canopy takes on more or the golden hues that inspired this series of images, the “Golden Paths” series. Some of the paths in this series are straight, some curved, and some, barely discernible, but all are the ways I have travelled and each holds its own experience for me. Something I’m trying to communicate with this series.

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

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (images are available for purchase)
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“Like a Distant Fire”

“Like a Distant Fire”

“Art doesn’t give rise to anything in us that isn’t already there. It simply stirs our curious consciousness and sparks a fire that illuminates who we have always wanted to be.” 
― Kamand Kojouri

Deeper into the woods the path winds, the canopy ablaze with brightness and surreal colour. Ahead, a wall of shimmering orange and yellow, like ethereal flames, dances in the breeze, amidst dark tree trunks, filling my eyes with the magic of autumn light.

It’s this light that inspired the “Golden Paths” series and my desire to capture some of this wonderful experience in words and images. Words fall short, but the images approximate feelings. Every turn of the path fills my soul with delight. After a dull, rainy summer, the extended and mild autumn more than makes up for it. I expect every day on the trails to be a final opportunity, but it keeps giving, though I’m restricted to weekend walks. I find the leaves turning gradually, a transition from summer greens to autumn yellow and orange. Red makes an appearance in subtle ways, never quite overpowering. A handful of leaves are scattered on the ground, the rest, still hanging on, despite rain and wind. It’s difficult to believe that November is only a week away.

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

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (images are available for purchase)
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“Layers of Change”

“Layers of Change”

“… as we travel again between life and death, 
Waking and dream, blinking, while layers within layers,
None better, none worse, unravel and knit up before us . . .” 
― Jay Woodman

The next image in the “Golden Paths” series, takes us a few more steps into the forest. Among the remaining greens, bright splashes of yellow, orange, and red burst among the branches. Surprisingly, for this time of year, the greens remain deep and rich, gradually fading to pale lime tones. It really looked like someone had taken a brahs and spayed colours through the air in wispy layers.

The hillside adjacent to the path is littered with a few leaves which have already fallen on the deep brown forest floor. I may have mentioned earlier, that the forest floor this years had very sparse ground cover. I believe this effect may have been caused by the unusually rainy year, which thickened the canopy above, blocking precious light from reaching the ground.

The path, bends gently, ever deeper into the forest, a progression into another season.

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

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (images are available for purchase)
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“Enter Autumn”

“Enter Autumn”

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” 
― Lauren DeStefano

The beginning of my “Golden Paths” series, is literally, a beginning. As I entered the trailhead, on a beautiful fall day, I was greeted by this scene, as I entered into autumn an a largely yellow and orange dominated kaleidoscope of colour.

What really got my attention as I composed the image was how brightly the emerging yellows and oranges appeared between the darker pines. Surprisingly, there was still a lot of green, especially in the undergrowth. We’ve had bright warm days and since the undergrowth is largely sheltered from cooler air by the thick forest canopy they have not started to change yet.

So, here we are, at the start of a journey, which spanned several weekends, including my first Studio Tour as a participating artist, thus my near absence from blogging these past few weeks. I’m going to try to keep the images as sequential as possible, as an effort to document the transition of colour from early autumn to the coppery gold which is so dominant in this area, as all that remains is beech, which hang onto their leaves well into early winter. I hope you enjoy this journey through the seasons with me.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/7.0, ISO 50

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

 

“Late October Blessings”

“Hidden in the glorious wildness like unmined gold.” – John Muir

Here we are, the end of October nearly upon us, and I’m out hiking in a tee shirt and shorts. The past few weeks have been so incredibly mild that it’s hard to believe it’s autumn. Yet, the leaves evidence that the natural cycles continue.

I have many photos from the past few weekends to review and post in a series that I will title “Golden Pathways”. All the images are from the local trails and contain the incredible colours of a forest transitioning from pale yellows to bright orange. The light has been glorious, yet difficult to fully communicate through images. Stay tuned. For now, here’s another iPhone teaser.