Monthly Archives: April 2019

“Distant Shores” – in memory of Paul

“It’s so curious: one can resist tears and ‘behave’ very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer… and everything collapses. ” 
― Colette

Today, I grieve the loss of a dear soul. My wife’s cousin and my friend, Paul, passed away suddenly today after a valiant fight with the beast we call cancer. It’s a very sad time as I consider that tomorrow, I will see the dawn break, take a breath, and carry on with my day, a privilege denied to Paul.

Today, I think of my recent times with Paul, always aware of the illness within him, but always putting off what may happen tomorrow, till suddenly, tomorrow arrived and he is gone.

I consider the past few years of Paul’s life. Always a caring and deeply ethical person, he spent his last years largely rejected by the people who claimed to be his friends and support. Namely, the church he attended. The people who should have been his refuge and strength distanced themselves and put him down when all he sought was acceptance and caring. His church community took away everything that Paul cared for and gave him purpose. It makes me even sadder knowing that this situation went on, unresolved and my hope is that those who sought to harm him consider what they did to him.

For myself, I will miss his sense of humour, genuine caring, and commitment to anything he undertook. And while he may not always have had a bright smile on his face, he was a beautiful soul and the world is a lesser place with his passing.

I chose one of my recent paintings to share in Paul’s honour. The painting, named “Distant Shores” reminds me that we will meet again, though we don’t know where or when, but that meeting will be joyful.

 

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“Early Spring Forest”

“Early Spring Forest”

“As the seasons changed, winter slowly released its hold on the land, receding in patches and revealing the first signs of spring, like a curtain being slowly drawn.”
– Ed Lehming

I chose this image today because I was very pleased with the composition and the elements that I wanted to communicate. I also did something that I often experiment with but rarely publish. The original photo was processed using the Prizma app on my iPhone. It allows me to apply art filters which render the image into something a bit more painterly and accents the mood I was after.

In this case, the image becomes a bit more ‘crunchy’ and looks a bit more like a coloured wood-cut. I played with several filters, all of which produced nice results, but in the end, I chose this as the most appealing option. Being able to test the image with several filters also revealed that I had a really nice composition since it read well with all the filters.

It’s not something I will be doing on a regular basis but it does allow me to employ some artistic interpretation of a photo.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/3425 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20
Prizma filter for iPhone

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

“Laid Bare”

“Laid Bare”

“The pines stood defiantly on the hillside, their bark long since stripped by disease and the elements; exposed to the sun, and rain; vulnerable. Yet, they stood, despite what had befallen them.”
– Ed Lehming

I’ve photographed this grove of pine trees on many occasions over the past few years. Their appeal is that they stand out against the rest of the forest. They are a strong contrast to their surroundings; tall and straight, clearly dead for some time, but showing little sign of falling any time soon.

They appear skeletal, the bark has mostly fallen off, exposing the smooth gray and sun-bleached wood beneath. There are few signs off rot, though smaller branches are missing. They are simply ‘posts’ on the hill, standing tall against the background of their still living relatives and the delicate undergrowth which is beginning to fill the spaces between them.

I’m not sure what killed them as it is limited to these few trees, on the edge of a larger grove, but they have provided me many photographic opportunities as I pass them in different seasons and varying light. I’ll miss them when they finally fall, but I expect that will be many years from now unless someone deems them a danger and cuts them down.

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

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

“April Revenant”

“April Revenant”

“The ghosts of winter cling stubbornly to thin branches, fluttering as bright reminders of days gone by.”
– Ed Lehming

As the days warm, the ghostly and diaphanous leaves of the beech begin to fade. Throughout the winter their brightness was a welcome respite from the cold, gray, and seemingly lifeless forest.

They have survived the winter winds, snow, and ice, though the season has clearly taken its toll. The leaves, once a bright coppery gold, are now thin, bleached, and ragged. Yet, as we await the freshness of spring, even these tatters provide a most welcome brightness to the otherwise drab forest.

This particular beech tree, with its now faded and ghostly leaves, stands before a tree which fell to the ground over the winter, evidenced by the bright, exposed wood on the stump. The limited sunlight played on the ground and the last remnants of snow lay in the shadows. It’s a snapshot which nicely captures a very brief moment in the forest. A scene which plays out for me year after year and also provides a real challenge in lighting, contrast, and composition to communicate the mood adequately.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/29.0, ISO 200

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

“Final Traces?”

“Final Traces?”

“Memory serves to remind us of the cycles we live in. Nothing is permanent, ever repeating; familiar, yet never quite the same.”
– Ed Lehming

As spring slowly takes hold, traces of winter still linger in the shadows and low places of the forest, a reminder of the days gone by. Yet, the warming air brings forth the promise of a new season, in yellows, browns, and greens, as the sun touches the ground once more.

The trails, though melting quickly this past weekend were still largely ice covered and treacherous and I found myself dealing with a mix of mud and ice which meant tricky footing, despite my wearing crampons.

I’m hoping by next week to see life returning among the winter detritus and a bit of greenery. For now, it’s a waiting game, but all the signs are right for things to pop soon.

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

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

“Final Traces”

“Final Traces”

“Winter’s parting left us traces of its touch; a bit of snow, a hint of frost, and cool breezes, as if someone had left a door open.”
– Ed Lehming

I wanted to revisit my beloved beech trees one last time before they wither into spring. Here, a closer look at the beautiful structure of the leaves, dusted in snow, from this past weekend’s unexpected dumping.

The brightness of the pure white snow almost enhances the golden glow of the leaves clinging to a single branch.

Many times I find myself spending particular attention to these leaves, always looking for the best angle to photograph them from, as light and background play a large part in the final composition. In this case, I used a moderate aperture setting to ensure the entire leaf was in focus while softening the background details, comprised mostly of snow-covered branches.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 200 mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200

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

 

“Shine”

“Shine”

“Through our dark times, if we have eyes open in hope, we can see glimpses of what might be, in what was.”
– Ed Lehming

The beautiful brightness of beech leaves in winter, and early spring for that matter is always a welcome sight. Even on the dullest snow-filled days, they glow with soft gold, a reminder of the rich colours of autumn. The sun, even in limited amounts, makes them seem to shine with an internal light.

Beech trees tend to hang onto their leaves throughout the winter, despite snow, and wind, most survive well into early spring, when warm and damp days tend to cause them to finally decompose. Many look pretty ragged by the time April arrives, yet some weather the seasons with surprising tenacity.

I’m always happy for them. They remind me of mild and colour filled autumn days and their shine is like a small beacon of life among the dark and frozen branches.

In this image, a recent, and unwelcome early spring snowfall on the final day of March clings to the delicate branches of a beech sapling, making the remaining leaves seem all the brighter against the snow-encrusted forest in the background.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 135 mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200

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