Monthly Archives: May 2018

“Pink Blush”

“Pink Blush”

“Her blush was the color of a coral reef, but smooth.” 
― Aimee Bender

I simply love the many muted colours of spring. Understated blues, yellows, purples, and oranges, all make their appearance in the garden. Yet pink, as pale as a blush’s beginning appeals to me most. There is a natural softness to this colour, especially on these blossoms which move from a bright and warm yellow, through white and then terminate in pink, like some magical paintbrush.

I’m mixing things up a bit with my floral images, testing different backgrounds. My preference is still the black background, which makes even the most demure blossoms pop out of the background. And yet, I have been encourage by my family to try lighter colours as well.

I will post this same image tomorrow with a light background and the exact same camera settings and lighting. I look forward to your feedback.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm

3 sec, f/29.0, ISO 100 

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

Hi Resolution image on 500px: https://500px.com/photo/258419147/pink-blush-by-ed-lehming

 

“Fiddle-Head”

“Fiddle-Head”

“She smells fresh, like the shadow under trees.” 
― Julio Cortázar

The freshness of spring, among my favourite things. And with that freshness, the scents of spring, fresh-cut grass, tilled earth, and the flowers opening to the warm sun above. As well, the ferns have a unique aroma, which is quite noticeable when there are many plants.

Yet, even in the shadows, fresh life emerges. From the cool recesses of the forest floor, ferns break ground an uncoil their stems in the form of fiddle-heads. They are quite wonderful to see and mark the next stage of spring, the emergence of summer plants, those which will remain the rest of the season.

These tightly wound shoots seem to spring up from nothing, stretching skyward, and within days are clearly identifiable as the ferns which will soon blanket their surroundings. And so, this phase is brief and worth grabbing an image to share today. Tomorrow, it will be quite different, as it opens up to the sun.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm

2 sec, f/25.0, ISO 100 

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

“Pink Peruvians”

“Pink Peruvians”

“To the people who love you, you are beautiful already. This is not because they’re blind to your shortcomings but because they so clearly see your soul. Your shortcomings then dim by comparison. The people who care about you are willing to let you be imperfect and beautiful, too. “
― Victoria Moran

If I don’t point it out, do you see it?

I tend to be a bit harsh on myself when picking subjects to photograph. I want to get it right, without blemish, distraction, or clutter. So, I spend time with what I photograph and view it from many angles, in different light, with different camera settings, so that I can capture what I envision. In the process, I often see things that are not apparent on first sight.

So, when I photographed this bouquet of Peruvian Lilies, I was hesitant, as one blossom had rotted and that rot spread into the surrounding leaves. Then I caught myself once more and questioned where this attitude comes from. At first sight, the bouquet is beautiful and the decayed part just makes it more natural. Our world view of what is beautiful and what is not has us so powerfully conditioned that we often overlook things, even if they have only a minor “defect”, by our own definition.

For those who see the blossom and not the wilt, consider this a blessing, something I wish, at times, I had more of. We are far too hard on ourselves and those around us.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm

3 sec, f/29.0, ISO 100 

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

“Iris 2018”

“Iris 2018”

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” 
― J.R.R. Tolkien

I’ve always loved this Tolkien quote, and I’ve now found an image to pair it with. Given all the dark news we hear about in our world, the brightness and beauty of flowers is a welcome reprieve.

As I noted in yesterday’s post, I’ve strayed away from this technique over the past few months, but find myself being drawn back to it, for the sheer pleasure of the results. Making these photographs is second nature to me and so satisfying. Even after months not using my studio setup, I had success after only a few shots, using just a simple velvet background.

I did find, that even thought the images are beautiful, they do not sell as larger prints, unless they are printed, VERY big, on canvas, as statement pieces. Those are quite stunning. Imagine this image over a fireplace as a 40″ x 50″ piece! So, for most of my photo sales of these “isolated” flowers, I stick to 8x 10 or arts cards.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm

2 sec, f/25.0, ISO 100 

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

Hi resolution image on 500px: https://500px.com/photo/257918717/iris-2018-by-ed-lehming

“Leaning Towards Spring”

“Leaning Towards Spring”

“The world would be a brighter, happier place, if we could only remember our childhood wonder.” 
― P.J. Roscoe

Mothers Day, birthdays, and anniversaries, all fill my Mays with great cheer. And thus, they also fill my house with flowers, which must be photographed.

With several changes in my family the past year, the most significant being the birth of my first grandson a mere two weeks ago, I’ve had to repurpose my studio space to accommodate our expanding family.

Those who have followed my blog for the past year may have been wondering why I have not been posting my macro flower images lately. I simply have not had the space to set up and shoot consistently. Yet, with all these flowers, I had to do something and so, I set up my portable studio and made a few quick shots. I’ll be posting them over the next few days.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm

2 sec, f/25.0, ISO 100 

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

“Secord Forest Trout Lily”

“Secord Forest Trout Lily”

“Shine brightly, so you can help those who have not found their path a way through the darkness.” 
― Jeffrey Fry

It would simply not feel like spring without Trout Lilies. These delicate little beauties are often slow to come to bloom, but not this year. Within days they went from delicate foliage to full bloom. Whole sections of the forest were filled with theses beautiful yellow flowers and it was hard to pick which one to photograph. They bring such brightness to an otherwise dull scene.

At one point in my hike, I simply sat for a while and enjoyed them. As I sat, looking across a large patch of them, I noticed many bees and flies going from flower to flower, enjoying the feast of pollen these early bloomers provide. The whole scene was abuzz with activity. It’s like watching the world suddenly come alive with sound and movement.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm

1/500 sec, f/11.0, ISO 400 

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

 

“Spent”

“Spent”

“Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. But I don’t go along with that. The memories I value most, I don’t ever see them fading.” 
― Kazuo IshiguroWithin the bounty of new spring growth, reminders of last year still linger along the trails. This Queen Anne’s Lace seed-head, once filled with seeds is now ‘spent’, it’s purpose fulfilled, yet it stands, dried and brown above the lush and greening  meadow.

While many of its neighbours have long fallen and been laid flat by winter snows, a few, like this one, stand as resilient mementos of the previous year’s bounty.

There was something about the stark appearance of this seed-head that prompted the photo, along with the splashes of green in the diffused background. It’s just one of those compositions that works.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm

1/640 sec, f/5.0, ISO 100 

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

“Dutchman’s Breeches”

“Dutchman_s Breeches”

“All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways.” 
― Yann Martel

I’m sure nature had some specific design in mind when these oddly shaped flowers evolved. What that the purpose of that design is remains a mystery to me. The one advantage of the unique appearance of these spring bloomers is that they are very easy to identify.

Once again, the rapid onset of spring growth, after a cold and harsh April, has yielded many spring flowers blooming in rapid succession and I find myself turning the lens to these little wonders rather than focussing on my abstract photos, though a have several of them at the ready as well.

I think what dries this for me is that I am a constant learner. I want to know more about the world around me and that starts with finding and documenting the elements that make up that world. I also have a natural fascination with plants, probably installed by my late grandmother and father, who were both avid gardeners, a passion I continue to enjoy and build on through hiking and photography.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm

1/800 sec, f/14.0, ISO 400

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

“That Icy Stare”

“That Icy Stare”

“I hate and fear snakes, because if you look into the eyes of any snake you will see that it knows all and more of the mystery of man’s fall, and that it feels all the contempt that the Devil felt when Adam was evicted from Eden. 
― Rudyard Kipling

Unlike Kipling, I have a strange yet respectful fascination with the snakes I encounter on my many hikes. None of the snakes in my area are poisonous, though they will bite when bothered. There is something about the eyes of a snake. They are so focussed, unblinking, and cold. Truly a predator

This particular snake, found on the trail at Secord Forest, where I hike quite frequently, is a common Garter Snake and was on the path sunning itself when I heard it move as I crested a ridge and the snake remained on the path as I approached, affording me a great opportunity to make a few photos.

For this particular image I had to lay down on the ground and get quite close. I expect the movement made the snake rear up for a look, which made for this lovely shot. It took a few attempts to get the tongue flitting out, but was worth the wait.

It’s hard to believe, but just last week I encountered two Garter Snakes basking in the sun right next to ice patches, which are now merely a memory, but they slipped off before I could get a good shot.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm

1/160 sec, f/8.0, ISO 500 

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

“First Trillium of 2018”

“First Trillium of 2018”

“Living in the present moment is the recurring baptism of the soul, forever purifying every new day with a new you.” 
― Alaric Hutchinson

And there it was , white, pure, radiant, and completely unexpected. The first trillium  the season completely surprised me. From all my time spend in the forest, the steady rhythms of nature have become my own rhythms, a steady progression through time and season.

As I entered the forest yesterday, I was simply wanting to be there, with no specific goal, other than simply enjoying the day. I was expecting to see the clumps of hepatica beginning to slowly fade and the foliage leafed out and I was wondering if I might see a few Wake-Robins (Red Trilliums). What I found instead was a highly accelerated carnival of spring wildflowers a full week ahead of my expectations.

The forest floor and hardwood ridges were filled with Trout Lily in full bloom, white trilliums, soon to emerge, and this one, single blossom, fully open and tilting toward the sun.

Somewhere in the background a grouse drummed, looking for a mate, a pheasant cawed over the ridge, and ravens hovered high above me. The sights and sounds of the forest at this time of year are so uplifting, as the earth yawns and stretches after its long rest. Life has returned to the world once more, including a few black-flies that floated in a stupor in the warm spring air. Reminding me, that the season of biting insects was also returning, but not just yet.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm

1/640 sec, f/13.0, ISO 400

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