Category Archives: Abstract

“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

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“Thaw”

“Thaw”

“As winter releases its grip, memories of warmer are revealed”
– Ed Lehming 

I’ve spent a lot of time recently walking around my town. Primarily due to convenience and partly because the late winter forests have been fairly uninspiring. I’m always looking for unusual things that might make for an interesting photo.

Many times, I will see something that catches my eye and I spend more time observing the scene or object, trying to understand why it stood out. I also see things as they may be. What I mean by that is that I use a bit of an impressionist’s eye to extract more than just the object itself.

Here, I came across a boulder emerging from the ice along the path that I was walking on. The way the light played on the ice, and a bit on the rock, made for an interesting composition.

I’ve also started to paint, so I’m looking for subjects that may lend themselves to this treatment. Often I’m not sure exactly how I may create a painting, but have the advantage of several plug-ins that allow me to ‘play’ with the image to form my final approach.

That’s what I did here. I took the photo from my iPhone and applied a few filters to get me to where I want to go with an eventual painting.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4 mm
1/15 sec; f/1.8; ISO 1600

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

“Heading Out”

“Heading Out”

“Hark, now hear the sailors cry, 
Smell the sea, and feel the sky,
Let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic.”
– Van Morrison

During the days I spend sitting on the shores in Cozumel this past January, one thing that was every present, except one stormy day, was the non-stop traffic of boats going by, just offshore. It was a mix of dive boats, fishing boats, and pleasure craft, but it was ceaseless.

From the break of dawn till early evening, the boats floated by, some lazily and others seemingly in a race to get the best spot first. And all the while, their wake rolled gently to the beach, long after their passing.

There was a certain pleasure in the act of simply resting on the beach and watching this activity, which was the only real measure of time, simply through its regularity.

I tried to capture that lazy feeling through a timed horizontal pan, rendering the photo a deliberately blurry and abstract image, as if waking from a dream. The red boat, just passing, is visible, but not immediately, as your eyes scan the scene presented.

It’s very calming for me now, reflecting back on these lazy, sun-baked days, with not a care in the world where, like the Van Morrison song, my soul and spirit did fly, into the mystic.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 100

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

“Winter Window”

“Winter Window”

“It’s the unexpected beauty in the most commonplace that often surprises us”
– Ed Lehming

This has been the nature of winter in my region. The days warm and cool rapidly, causing condensation and wonderful frost patterns on windows.

The window here happens to be right next to my desk, so I see the patterns change on a regular basis. It’s especially nice in late afternoon, when the low sun shines between the pine trees behind my house. It’s been a nice bit of colour in the otherwise dull winter we have had lately.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/500 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

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

“March Pines”

“March Pines”

“The snow began, as a faint mist, floating in the air, gradually softening the distant trees”
– Ed Lehming

So it was, that March morning, a day that started out dull, the forecast calling for light snow, which did not seem to materialize as I started my hike. Then slowly, a beautiful and unexpected brightness filled the forest, taking away some of the dull cast of ceaseless clouds that have dominated this winter.

It was at this moment, when I stood surrounded by tall pines, that I noticed the first traces of snowfall. The snow began, gently at first, and the colours of the trees seemed just a bit more intense, a brief flash of vibrancy before the coming squall turned them dark once more.

That cycle of light is quite amazing and once you really experience it, I find it makes you more attuned to the surroundings and that ever-present play of light is what makes photography so enjoyable. Even on a dull and snow filled day in early March.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/20.0, ISO 400

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

“Boundaries”


“Like most boundaries, they have two aspects. What is inside it and what is outside, it all depends upon which side you are on”
– Ed Lehming

I’m still in retrospect mode, moving through photos I made last year, considering the thinking behind their creation and the feelings I was experiencing when I made them.

Much of this is influenced by the world around me, though I try my utmost to detach from the negatives constantly bombarding us these days. One of the themes that was inescapable is the concept of boundaries, both physical and conceptual. A boundary is a point of separation, some boundaries have a transition zone and others are abrupt, often driven by the intent of the boundary.

In the case of this photo, the boundary between winter and autumn is quite abrupt, which is what made me stop to consider what I was seeing. The entire autumn in my area has been highly changeable, transitioning from snow, to rain, to sunshine, with snow never remaining on the ground for more than a few days. This also meant that any snowfall was temporary, at best. Here, the shade of the pine trees shelters a section of snow, creating a very defined boundary.

As I made the image, the thought about the nature of boundaries began to form. After all, if I stand on the boundary and look one way, I’m greeted with a snow filled and wintry view. Yet, if I remain in the same spot and turn around, it’s a late autumn day. If I did not have the benefit of seeing the whole picture, I could assume it is one season, when it is not. So, the boundary is, like I noted in my quote, really dependent on which side you are on and which way you are looking. It’s a concept I would like to continue to build on over the next few months.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 92 mm
1/4 sec, f/16.0 ISO 400

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

“Three Along the Way”

“Three Along the Way”

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” 
― William Blake

As I walk the local trails, I’m often quite aware that, at some point, the trailblazers and foresters had to make choices about what trees remained and what trees needed to be felled. As the trails meander to and fro, it’s clear that conscious decisions were made to avoid having to cut certain trees.

I suppose, being a cluster of three, tightly grouped, makes you less vulnerable to the chainsaw, however well intentioned. There are many such clusters along the trails and the path always gently flexes around them. For me, each of the trees I pass tell a bit of the story about the formation of this trail system, so many years ago. As the story emerges, I am ever grateful to those who had the foresight to set these lands apart for our future enjoyment, one tree at a time.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/4 sec, f/22.0 ISO 400