Monthly Archives: June 2019

“Ready for a Rest”

“Ready for a Rest”

“Mid-June after a rainy spring and crops are finally planted, the world is greening, and wildflowers burst forth in profusion. Time for a pause.”
– Ed Lehming

I made this image at my late cousin’s farm. We’ve spent some time there trying to understand what goes with what, who’s farming what lands, and just getting a sense for the timing of things.

Farms are busy places in the spring, made busier when the farmer who has managed this farm for years suddenly passes. There have been a lot of unknowns but lots of help from those who knew him and understood his rhythms. Farming is all about timing and if the timing is off things go awry.

Fortunately, close friends and fellow farmers have stepped up to the challenge and made the best of things. The fields on the home farm are planted and now there is a brief pause, a time for a quick rest, before the next step begins. A tractor sits idle by a freshly planted field and Dames Rockets bloom behind it, as if just planted themselves.

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

1/640 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400

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

 

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“Columbines from Mom”

“Columbines from Mom”

“Flowers will always try, and look their best, no matter what the season or reason.” 
― Anthony T. Hincks

Every spring I get to enjoy a gift from the past. My mother and I are both avid gardeners and sharing seeds connected us in a unique way by having some similar plants in our gardens. I live in Ontario and she lives in British Columbia, so our growing zones are quite different, so there is a limit to our ability to share. Many years ago, she shared the seeds of this particular plant with me, and it has grown in may garden ever since.

One in particular, that  has worked remarkably well for both of us is this variety of Columbine, which we referred to as Mountain Columbine is actually Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata ‘Nora Barlow’

This ‘frilly’ columbine, one of the so-called rose or clematis flowered aquilegias, where the sepals are doubled and the outer ones have an attractive green tinge. Nora Barlow was a granddaughter of Charles Darwin and this plant, popular for more than 300 years, was found growing in her garden by the nurseryman Allan Bloom.

So, there is also the pleasure of finding the history of our shared flowers, which likely came from her mother or grandmother. I never did ask where the seeds came from. Interestingly, hers did not propagate one year and she came to me asking if I could send some seeds back her way.

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

1/400 sec, f/7.1, ISO 800

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

“Back to Green”

“Back to Green”

“Spaces high and low, previously wide open and empty, are now filled with deep green leaves, as the forest breathes in the warming air.”
– Ed Lehming

It seemed to happen in the blink of an eye. The forest suddenly transformed from the bright greens and yellows of spring to the deep greens of summer. Places where I could see deep into the woods a few days ago are now a wall of green. Only a few bare spaces remain.

Even though it’s still late spring, but the forest is now in its summer garb. The soft light of spring is quickly absorbed in the lush greenery. though some splashes still fall on the brown and coppery leaves on the trails.

It’s a time of transformation and I find myself looking for new subject matter, other than just the green ‘veil’ that dominates life inside the forest.

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

1/4 sec, f/32., ISO 400

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

“The One That Got Away”

“The One That Got Away”

“As I stepped over the slippery rock, making sure of my footing, the Heron launched itself into the sky from it’s shoreline perch, fading quickly across the lake.”
– Ed Lehming

This is why a chose landscape and botanical photography as my go-to. I have, on the rare occasion made a good wildlife photo. Those photos are more the result of being in the right place at the right time when an opportunity presents itself. Most often, the wildlife is fleeing or gone already.

I have a special respect for the work that goes into being a successful and consistent wildlife photographer. It involves days of preparation, scouting, and immeasurable patience and practice to get the shot that presents the wildlife correctly in its natural environment.

As my past few posts have indicated, I was actually on my way to photograph Burleigh Falls. On my way I encountered wonderful plants, a chipmunk, and almost two herons. Both herons surprised me, as I was not expecting them along the edge of this fast flowing waterfall. I’m used to herons along the calm shores of lakes and ponds. I actually startled them both, because the rush of the water masked the sound and movement of my approach. In fact, they started me as they launched themselves into the air to escape.

This is the better shot of the two, as I was able to quickly focus on the heron as it faded away. The other shot was out of focus. The other factor here was I has only carrying  my 90mm macro lens, which is great for flowers but a bit more challenging for wildlife o the move.

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

1/640 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400

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

“Yellow Hawkweed Garden”

“Yellow Hawkweed Garden”

“Nature takes hold, in the smallest crack or hollow, filling them with life and laying the foundation for the next generation.”
– Ed Lehming

Among the solid stone of the Canadian Shield I find not only lichens but entire gardens of beautiful plants. Here, a crack in the granite is filled with a variety of Stonecrop known as Sedum Acre or Wall Pepper, with tall Yellow Hawkweed growing from it. The crack has produced its own little garden. And when this garden dies off in the autumn, it will produce even more compost, providing nutrients for a larger plant next year.

These little gardens were everywhere, some filling low spots but most popping out of cracks in the stone, as I stopped by Ontario’s Burleigh Falls to make some picture of the fast rushing water.

A side benefit to photography is that I often find new subjects to photograph while on my way to my intended destination. I was actually a bit disappointed in the images the waterfalls yielded, though I am still in the process of reviewing them. We’ll see if anything comes of them in future posts.

For now, I am content with what presented itself: some lovely plants and the great texture of the moss-covered rocks. What’s not showing in this image is the swarms of mosquitoes that greeted me on this rainy June day.

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

1/100 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400

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

 

 

“My Safe Place”

“My Safe Place”

“Our eyes are drawn to things, often not knowing the specifics. Trust your instinct and study what they are trying to show you.”
– Ed Lehming

There have been countless times where I have been drawn to a composition; some seemingly random object or scene, not knowing at the time why I was moved to photograph it. Then, on reviewing the image during my editing process some marvelous detail reveals itself.

It’s those times that I am so grateful for this ability to ‘see’ unseen things in my photography and somewhat saddened that I have ignored it for many years. It seems to be an intuitive thing and I wonder if only some of us have it? People tell me I have an ‘eye’ for composition and I know it’s not something I have learned, it’s always been there. I suppose I have refined it through repetition and experience but it still surprises me. I also wonder what life would be like if I could not filter it. Would I spend my days staring in amazement at everything I behold?

Then, there are times like this. While making photos of a waterfall recently,  I noticed a chipmunk sitting on a rock. I don’t normally make images of chipmunks, as I’m not big on ‘cute’ images. However, I stopped to make a few images of this fellow as he cleaned himself atop the rock. He did not even seem to mind me as I approached him for a closer shot.

As a processed the photos I had to laugh. The chipmunk is perfectly safe where he is and knew I would not approach much closer, as he is completely surrounded by a healthy patch of poison ivy. I would have noticed if I had gotten closer, but from my vantage point and focusing on the chipmunk, I had not noticed it.

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

1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400

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

“Delicate and Complex”

“Delicate and Complex”

“The deeper one looks into what appears simple, the more complex it really is. Even the very delicate and wispy structures show there is more to them than meets the casual eye.”
– Ed Lehming

The natural world is continually amazing. The simple and commonplace are not what they appear. Living forms are incredible in their diversity and design.

Take the simple dandelion seed head. It looks like a fluff ball, a novelty for children and adults alike. But really look at it. Look deeply and deliberately and it’s absolutely stunning how it’s designed. Hundreds of seeds per flower, each with their own feathery parachute, wait for a breeze strong enough to disperse them far from the parent plant. The wind creates just enough of a pull to dislodge the seed from the  base. Not enough wind and the seed remains anchored.

For this image I first had to find a seedhead that was largely intact. Not an easy task as it has been quite breezy the past few days. Ideal for the dandelion, not so much for me. When I found a good specimen, I had to decide on my composition and depth of field. Getting the right  depth of field also meant I needed good light, as I also had to contend with a slight breeze, meaning I also needed a fairly fast shutter speed. Not so simple a task when shooting without the benefit of a tripod.

In the end I got a couple of images that I was happy with. If I wanted to do more, like have the entire seed head in focus, I would have to bring one into my studio for a much longer exposure and some focus stacking. Perhaps another day. For now, I’m pleased that the detail is there while still keeping the image a touch soft, matchined the image title nicely.

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

1/160 sec, f/22.0, ISO 400

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