Monthly Archives: March 2018

“Blue Birches”

Blue Birches

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” 
― W.B. Yeats

I wanted to post one more of my ‘artsy’ interpretations. This time, the predominant color is blue, very appropriate for this late March day. The image was made around noon yesterday and I applied a filter to enhance the tones and textures. I had no idea just how much blue was preset in this scene. And then, looking back, it is true. My brain just knows that snow and birches are white, right? Yes, but it filters out all information on the reflected light it is seen in.

Part of this exercise is my desire to interpret the image as more than a simple photo, to add a feel through colour and texture. SInce I’m not a great painter, I let the computer help me in this aspect, till my painting improves. One day, I hope to be able to create this image from scratch, but that will take much practice and patience.

What strikes me, as I noted in yesterday’s post, is just how much our brain filters our vision to match our perception. This has broader implications than a brief post would cover, but it plants the seeds for us to consider our perceptions and the strong effect they have on our interaction with the world we live in.

Something to consider…

Apple iPhone 7
iPhone 7 back camera 3.99mm f/1.8
1/900 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20

“March Creek and Balsams”

March Creek and Balsams

“Joy is not in things; it is in us.” 
― Richard Wagner

A bit of fun this morning. I decided to ‘play’ with an image I made yesterday, by running it through a filter. The results are quite pleasing and I thought I’d share it today.

My photography has already become quite untraditional, through my use of motion. This is quite deliberate, as I am trying to document the world I experience in a different way. As I walk through the woods, I am drawn to things others would often miss, the slight movement of light through the trees, a hint of purple in the water. The movement I impart to my photos causes the viewer to have to look closer, to ‘fool’ the brain into not filtering based on pre-programmed notions of what something ‘should’ look like and focus on what is being viewed more intentionally. This often yields unexpected elements and, in my experince, enhances the colurs and textures already present in the image.

This is made a bit more apparent in the image above. All the colours and textures already existed but are filtered by the brain as it adjusts our perception. After all, snow is white, is it not? How often have you looked at a photo and wondered where all the blue shadows came from? Our cameras simply document the light that comes into them, unless we correct them with filters. Notice the slight turquoise tones to the snow, and the hints of purple. Next time you go out, have a try at seeing the scene ‘unfiltered’. You may be surprised.

Apple iPhone 7
iPhone 7 back camera 3.99mm f/1.8
1/120 sec, f/1.8, ISO 25

“The Return”

“The Return”

“Home is where you go to find solace from the ever changing chaos, to find love within the confines of a heartless world, and to be reminded that no matter how far you wander, there will always be something waiting when you return.” 
― Kendal Rob

“The Return”

The return of migratory birds and the return of spring. Two things that go together nicely. Here we stand, on the cusp of spring, recent snows blanketing the ground in a final reminder of the season, now passing.

Birdsong, fills the air, between the sound of trees groaning in the north wind, its bite now feeling less severe, sun shining into the depths of the forest, lighting the dark recesses.

I love this time of year, the warming light and the lengthening days. In mere weeks, new growth with erupt from the ground, as the sun thaws the now frozen ground. Soon, life in abundance will return to the forest.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 170mm
1/400 sec, f/10.0 ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Green Returns?”

“Green Returns”

“Going green doesn’t start with doing green acts — it starts with a shift in consciousness.  
― Ian Somerhalder

This image invokes two thoughts for me: First, I’m loving the fact that the dull greens of winter are becoming for vibrant, and secondly, I’m ever conscious of just how fragile these forests, that I enjoy so much, really are.

I am made even more aware of this as the snow melts and the heaps of garbage left by ‘hikers’ emerges from the snow drifts at several of the trail heads, taking away from the beauty of the forest. The term ‘hikers’, in this sense refers not to those of us who hold the forest trails as precious, rather, the weekend warriors who come and go, likely not returning, until they feel compelled to do something ‘green’ again.

This lack of respect for the natural environment really bothers me, as I would like to continue to enjoy and have my children and their children enjoy as well. Leaving garbage at trail heads or on trails is so unnecessary. “If you bring it in, take it out”, is my motto.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70mm
1/4 sec, f/10.0 ISO 250

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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“Up and Around”

“Up and Around”

“And this is how the forest changes, one step, one day, one moment at a time. ” 
― Ed Lehming

The time of change is at my doorstep. Though flurries still fill the air from time to time, the inevitable change is palpable. Paths once completely ice covered are now more passable. Mud and leaves fill the spaces between, and the ice slowly recedes.

Even the evergreens are a bit brighter, as the sun brings freshness their winter faded needles. Birdsong returns to fill the air.

I love this time of year, watching the gradual shift from ice to green. It reminds me that life is a cycle; that there are times of growth and times of rest. The toughest part is just before the change, a time when my world is ice covered and dull; uninspiring. Yet, with patience and the knowledge that it’s temporary, I venture out for moments like this, moments where the change is visible and I look forward to the days ahead.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70mm
1/4 sec, f/10.0 ISO 250

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

“Icy Trails”

“There is always danger for those who are afraid.” 
― George Bernard Shaw

I could not resist the quote. I am told over and over, “Be careful on the trails, they are icy.” I get it from family and other who hike these trails in warmer days. I have never considered the trails dangerous, it’s just a matter of adjusting to the conditions. I avoid the slickest, uneven sections, particularly those on steep slopes. Even with cleats on, I am careful not to get over-confident. But, I am experienced on these trials and rely on common sense and acquired skills to see me safely through.

The amount of ice on the trails this year is pretty significant. The conditions have been just right to render the heavily trodden trails into ice rinks. Yet, I have a need to be out here, enjoying the natural beauty that surrounds me and documenting some part of that. Friends seem surprised that I am out in these conditions, yet most times I run into other hikers, so I am not alone in this venture. Except I am carrying a bunch of camera gear, which would not do well in a fall.

So, here you have it, a small moment on the icy trails, the forest gradually emerging from its winter rest, as life and colour begin to show themselves once more.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70mm
1/4 sec, f/20.0 ISO 250

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

“Released”

“Any belief worth embracing should be able to stand up to scrutiny. If not, it’s time to release it; let it go.” 
― Laurie Buchanan, PhD

I struggled with a quote of this simple image of a Queen Anne’s Lace seed head emerging from its winter tomb.

Then, the image reminded me of a rather painful time in my recent past. One I won’t get into in this forum, but one that caused me to really reflect on what was important in my life, and I came to realize that some of the people and events of the past five or so years had no bearing on my future. They ‘entombed’ me in a sort of stasis as well. Yet, through the outlet of my photography, family, and true friends, I too was able to weather it out, relatively unscathed, much like this seed head.

If I came across it in a meadow, without knowing it had been fully encased in ice, I would not know its full story.

I love the simplicity of the image, yet it triggers such complex thoughts and emotions.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 140mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6 ISO 250

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

“Spring Approaches”

“Spring Approaches”Winter hung in there, like an invalid refusing to die. Day after grey day the ice stayed hard; the world remained unfriendly and cold.” 
― Neil Gaiman

Contrary to the quote that I chose for this image, with the lengthening days and a few days of sunshine, winter is beginning to loosen its icy grip on the forest. The patches of ice and snow are retreating and the dull browns and yellows of the forest floor are beginning to take over.

Today, as I ventured into the forest once more, sounds dominated. There was the crunch, crunch of my icers (metal cleats that I attach to my hiking boots), on the frozen trail, hints of birdsong in the distance, and the roar of the wind, high above, setting the treetops into a wild frenzy of movement. As I watched the branches sway and clatter together, the movement reminded me of birth, the forest is waking, after its slumber and soon more hints of green will begin to emerge, the cycle repeats and soon, it will not just be sights and sounds, but the smells of the forest, that dominate.

This image, though not a filled with colours as my previous post, nicely illustrates the recession of snow, as it retreats back into a shallow valley, a brief respite from its inevitable demise.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70mm
1/4 sec, f/32.0 ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Unexpected Colours of Late Winter”

“Unexpected Colours of Late Winter”

“Art never responds to the wish to make it democratic; it is not for everybody; it is only for those who are willing to undergo the effort needed to understand it.” 
― Flannery O’Connor

Well, back to reality. I live in a land of four seasons, often extreme and more often, surprising, offering unexpected gifts.

I got out on the trails again. The trails, at this time of the year, are downright treacherous, not only icy, but uneven and icy. So, a good set of ice cleats or ‘icers’ is an essential, unless you enjoy spending your time on your backside, sprawled across the trail. For me it’s also about protecting my camera gear. There’s not much more painful than watching a $1,600 lens bounce off the ice.

That’s the preface to today’s post. It was a gorgeous, sunny day, but still quite crisp and the trails were ice-covered, snow strewn in patches in the darker recesses of the forest. Late winter is like that around here. We get a few warm days, the snow melts and the resulting slush freezes overnight, only to repeat the cycle, especially on the packed down trails.

I have posted several photos earlier this year of my forest hikes, all are a bit dull, in this icy world of muted shades. In fact, that alone has kept me from bringing my camera with me on the past few hikes, nothing inspires.

Last week I purchased a new camera pack , a Tenba Solstice 24L, for those interested, which I am hoping to use in a few future expeditions, and today I decided to carry the pack with most of my gear to try it out. It is perhaps the best camera pack I have owned yet and opened up the option of having a large selection of lenses, filters, and accessories with me.

This ‘test’ hike brought me through familiar territory and I made a few images along the way. Then, I came across this beautiful scene. The late morning sun flashed from bright green spruce sapling and lit up the golden leaves of a small beech tree. I was determined to capture this bit of magic. After a few trials, I believe I have something close to what I saw. I am now re-inspired, despite what largely appears as a dull and tired landscape. Nature always seems to have a few tricks up her sleeve to keep me coming back.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 90mm
1/4 sec, f/11.0 ISO 250

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