Category Archives: Abstract

“Enter March”

"Enter March"

“Enter March with caution, it may seem calm and quite but the month can surprise the unprepared with surprising fury, all is not as it seems in the moment. – Ed Lehming

It’s been quite a change since my last outing at the end of February. The snow remains, but warm and sunny days followed and the snow now lies deep and wet, and packed, making the trails easier to walk, without snowshoes, but very uneven.

The clouds and snow of February have been for now, replaced by sunshine and mild days. When I went out to make this photo I was wearing a sweatshirt and down-filled vest and ended up taking the vest off and rolling my sleeves up before I was halfway done.

These days offer beautiful light and last week’s snow still flows relatively pure and unbroken. A step off the trail and you are knee-deep in it, so the only disturbance to the snow is the occasional dog venturing off after a squirrel.

I do love these days, where the contrast of winter cold and snow against sunlit bright warm leaves is so noticable. It almost feels like the light of spring is breaking through. But I won’t be deceived, March can bring some ‘interesting’ weather as well and I’m fully prepared to don my toque and winter jacket a few more times before it’s done.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/25, ISO 200

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

“February Light and Shadow”

“February Light and Shadow”

“The days of February’s end are unpredictable, often dull and snow filled. Yet, in the right conditions glimpses of spring light brighten the days.” – Ed Lehming

There is a certain magic in late February. A spring nears, the sun rises ever so slightly higher in the sky. Beams of warm light penetrate the forest, probing into what was just weeks ago a dull and shaded glade.

This warm sunshine lights up the formerly muted thickets, revealing wonderful greens and golds. It’s the splashes of brightness that I really enjoy. The way they seem to focus my attention on distant details that were shadows a few short weeks ago. The beams dance among the tree trunk, causing a glow that strongly contrasts with the shaded areas. It feels like an early sign of the life that will soon abound in the springtime forest.

In this image, those elements abound as the sun is able to light up the taller trees and short firs on this slight rise in the terraine. It’s like a beautiful cascade of light and colour rising from the snow covered ground.

And so, February passes away and March arrives.

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

“Leap Day Trudge”

“Leap Day Trudge”

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”
― Anne Bradstreet

This day, February 29, a leap day, was yet another opportunity for me to get outdoors and spend some time enjoying the fresh fallen snow. It was a rather crisp day, with a temperature of -13 C, calm, and bright. I figured that the cold temperatures might keep many people indoors, and I was right.

When I got to the trailhead, there was not a single car in the lot and the trails were completely untouched. I had brought my snowshoes along because the 30 cm of fresh snow we received over the previous two days would not provide an easy walk. I was wise in choosing this option because even with snowshoes on, I found myself breaking fresh trail through deep powdery snow for the entire 5 km hike, high stepping the entire way. It was exhausting yet exhilarating at the same time.

To walk through this winter world in solitude and experiencing the simple things like the sound of the sound of snow puffing and crunching underfoot, the eerie crackling of the trees in the deep cold, and the soft flitter of birds high above is refreshing to me.

Because the snow was so deep, I had plenty of opportunities to simply pause, rest, and listen as I caught my breath. It also offered the opportunity to make a few photos as I stood on the trail surveying my surroundings and made me realize just how deep the snow was by the newly packed trail behind me.

The photo I chose today is looking back at the trail after having emerged from the forest into a small clearing. You can see my path between the trees.

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

“Familiar Paths”

“Familiar Paths”

“Familiar paths beckon us forward. Though familiar, there is always something new or changed, if we take the time to notice.” – Ed Lehming

I find myself on the same trails many times. Often I wonder what more they can offer me as I set out. Every time, there is something new. It may be that I have come at a different time of day and the light has changed. It may be a different time of year and new plants spring up that did not exist, or went unnoticed, last time I passed by.

What I have discovered in this familiarity is that even subtle changes are quickly noticeable.

I’ve had people bemoan the fact that they live in an area that does not have much subject matter to make beautiful photos, when in fact, it’s simply that they aren’t looking closely enough. Even the most barren of places has something to offer.

In the case of this image, I have made many photos of it, in various seasons and weather conditions. Like this example from less than a year ago.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 90 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

“Snow and Sunshine”

“Snow and Sunshine”

“There are a few precious days in February when hints of spring float in the air.” – Ed Lehming

I’m continuing with a series of photos I made last weekend while hiking local trails. These are the final few days of February and I was glad to have two wonderfully mild and bright days to be on the trails.

As I mentioned earlier, I had a repeat injury to my knee which has kept me off the uneven and often icy trails since December. So to be back out in such ideal conditions makes it doubly nice.

The dark days of winter are passing behind us and the sun is getting higher in the sky each day. I find it has a beautiful warmth this time of year and sheds just enough light to bring out the highlights in the otherwise dull forest. It’s these patches of light that I am so fond off because they draw my attention into distant details that I might otherwise miss.

When composing this image, my primary intent was to capture vertical lines of the trees in the foreground contrasting with the horizontal movement of the snow and long shadows around them. However, there are a few ‘pops’ of golden light in the background that pull you deeper into the image and scan the tangle of trees along the distant hillside.

It’s the continuous realization of these scenes that has me coming back to the forest time and time again. It’s never the same twice and there is always some new revelation for me to enjoy.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 90 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

“Afloat in February Snows”

“Afloat in February Snows”

“Floating in a soft sea of snow, the forest weathers the drifting tide of whiteness that surrounds them.” – Ed Lehming

As I composed this image I was struck by the illusion of movement in the snow as it followed the contours of the forest floor. By adding just a bit more movement than I normally do, the illusion is enhanced further and the snow takes on the appearance of  soft liquid waves or fine mist. My technique to achieve these slightly blurred images is the result of a lot of trial and error and now muscle memory. So to do something like, with no change to my camera settings, is a bit uncomfortable and unpredictable.

It’s a bit out of the ordinary, but sometimes I like to follow a creative thread to see where it leads me. In this case, I am quite pleased with the result of changing my technique, ever so slightly, to take me to something altogether unexpected.

I also switched back to my favourite Tamron 70-200 mm lens which enables me to compose the image as I shoot rather than cropping on the computer. I try to limit my edits to just a few fine adjustments.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 110 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

“Pastel Pathways”

“Pastel Pathways”

“The surprises light offers are endless” – Ed Lehming

Today’s image has a direct connection to the one I posted yesterday. Namely, the interesting colours that winter can offer.

This is the first image I made as I embarked on a 6 km hike at a local conservation area. I used my standard camera setting for my deliberate camera movement pans, but this image was slightly overexposed. I would normally have deleted this image immediately but decided to keep it. As I brought the image up on my computer, I was surprised by the variety of wonderful pastel colours present within the image. I decided to leave the image exactly as it came from the camera to share this effect. What really amazed me was the amount of pale purple present in the image. It’s not something my eye picked up on as I composed it.

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

1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 250

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