Category Archives: Art

“Return of the Day Lilies”

“Return of the Day Lilies”

“Be music always. Keep changing the keys, tones, pitch, and volume of each of the songs you create along your life’s journey and play on.” 
― Suzy Kassem

Today marks just about a year since I started into my studio based floral photographs. What started in my mind, as I drove past ripe wheat fields, as a vision of photographing some of the wheat under controlled lighting, quickly changed gears when those images did not materialize as I had envisioned them.

At that time, the day lilies in our gardens were blooming and I took a few in to see how they would look. After fiddling with my exposure settings and using my trusty 70-200mm zoom lens, since I did not own a macro lense at the time, I got images that stunned me. I could not believe how the isolation against the black velvet backdrop made the flower ‘pop’ and fine details emerged so clearly.

There has been no turning back from this. Though I enjoy being in the outdoors and photographing the wild world around me, there is a satisfaction in these florals. They continue to stun me with their vibrancy and detail and I enjoy the process of composition. The lighting and settings have become second nature. It’s just a matter of having enough subject matter to photograph.

So, to mark this milestone in my photographic journey, I decided to grab a stem of day lily and bring it to the studio for a couple of quick shots, two to be precise. This is the first one. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
2.5 sec, f/32.0 ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Wispy Spring Blossoms”

“Whispy Spring Blossoms”

“If only these treasures were not so fragile as they are precious and beautiful.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I got out for a quick walk at lunch today and came across these delicate blossoms. I’m not sure of the exact species, but it looks like some form of wild cherry, perhaps Pin Cherry. The light was just right to use my portable background to isolate the blossoms from the background, giving the whole thing the look of a Japanese painting.

One thing that poses a real challenge in outdoor photography, using this method, is movement caused by wind, even a light breeze, so there is an element of careful timing and a slightly higher ISO to compensate for the faster shutter speed.

It’s a very simple composition and I’m often left a bit dumbstruck at how wonderful simple can be.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
0.5 sec, f/36.0 ISO 400

High Resolution image on 500px

or more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Tightly Wound”

“Tightly Wound”

“That which I cannot hold is that which I can treasure the most because it affords me no burden other than to enjoy it.”
― Craig D. Lounsbrough

As those who follow my blog regularly will know, I’m fascinated with the many shapes and forms I find in the natural world. To many casual passers-by, these small details are largely ignored. Yet I am drawn deeper into them. Now, having a good macro lens enable me to look deeper, to observe details that my eye misses on initial inspection. It’s a real joy to literally savour these details, to try to understand some of the reasons behind the shapes.

The image above is one of the tendrils of a Fox Grape, also know as wild grape around here. The purpose of the tendrils is to support the grape-vine by wrapping around other plants nearby. If it can’t find anything to cling to, it wraps into a tight cluster, like above.

I wondered if this tendril had wrapped around some fine structure which has since decayed or fallen away, but it was quite high up (eye level), so that’s unlikely.

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

1/160 sec, f/10.0, ISO 800

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“White Hyacinth”

“White Hyacinth”

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the mind.”
― Luther Burbank

A new day, a new flower. As with the pink one I shared yesterday, it fills my home with the sweet fragrance of spring. This blossom was so heavy with tightly packed flowers that it can barely sustain its own weight, and I’m presenting it as such, as it leans toward the light, gleaming in a soft white, and making the world a bit more beautiful.

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

2.0 sec, f/36.0, ISO 200

High Resolution Image on 500px

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

 

“Grape Hyacinth Revisited”

“Grape Hyacith”

“Because you don’t notice the light without a bit of shadow. Everything has both dark and light. You have to play with it till you get it exactly right.”
― Libba Bray

A few days ago, I posted an image of grape hyacinth with a white background, something a bit new to me, since I really enjoy the dramatic look of the black background. At the time, I also offered to publish the same image with the black background to compare. Keep in mind, nothing else changed except the background and a slight edit to remove the flower pot, which I found distracting on this version. It’s pretty astounding the different effect a background can have.

For reference, here’s the link to the original post. “Grape Hyacinth”

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

1.6 sec, f/32.0, ISO 200

High Resolution Image on 500px

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Grape Hyacinth”

“Grape Hyacinth”

“There are just two directions in life, the one which is safe but boring, and the other which is delicate but exciting. Now ask yourself, which path will you go?”
― Joe Mari Fadrigalan

I’m toying with the white background this week but not sure how much I like it. It’s a bit of a creative risk, as I have been enjoying the black background photographs I’ve been doing  so much. I also don’t have a good white backdrop, so relying on a roll of drafting paper I have anding and fighting with the background texture.

The lighting and everything else seems to work, but I’d appreciate any feedback.

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

1.6 sec, f/32.0, ISO 200

High Resolution Image on 500px

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“What is Beauty?”

“What is Beauty?”

The appearance of things changes according to the emotions; and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves.”
― Kahlil Gibran

I really struggled to find a quote that complimented this photo. It’s such a contrast. These tulips have been the subject of my photos for a few days now, and I watched them mature and slowly fade, yet, to me, the beauty remained. In fact, the beauty now is even more intense, since it’s so unexpected.

And that, has me thinking more deeply about my perception of beauty. I’ve always been able to find beauty in mundane places. It seems a bit of an odd trait nowadays, in our busy and stress filled world, so I consider it a gift. In a world filled with such intense ugliness, to be able to see some vestige of beauty is a real blessing. I don’t mean that I don’t see the ugliness and live in a dream world, it’s simply that I can effortlessly perceive those small glints of wonder and loveliness that so many can’t or won’t see. I can’t turn that off, not that I would want to.

The ability see these images and capture them is one of the reasons I started blogging in the first place, to share some of those moments, hoping it brings joy to someone else, perhaps someone struggling to find some light of hope in this world. If an image does that for a single soul in this world, then I have accomplished what I set out to do.

The image above was processed in a style I have not used before, yet I felt compelled to try it, and it seems to work, given the subject. I was not looking for bold, I was looking for serene, by using a soft background to let the flowers’ colours radiate gently from the white background.

Yet, with all things of beauty, they seem all to brief and changeable, and I am faced with the fact, that even this stage for the tulips must pass to the next, so I savour it, while I can, understanding a bit more about myself and my perceptions.

Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1.0 sec, f/36.0, ISO 200

High Resolution Image on 500px

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com