Category Archives: Art

“Swamp Maples” – Prince Edward County

“Swamp Maples” - Prince Edward County, Ontario

“It’s the unusual, the ‘out of place’ that gets our attention and prompts us to ask questions.”
– Ed Lehming 

While driving through Prince Edward County, a large peninsula in south-eastern Ontario, some of the main roads run through a fairly large patch of marshland, rather, swamp, since it is filled with shrubs and trees. What makes this so unique is that the swamps, which seem to be wet all year round are filled with large maple trees, primarily red and silver maple, which don’t seem to mind getting their feet wet in what is locally known as “The Big Swamp”.

The rest of the ‘County’ is rolling farmland with the occasional patch of low brush or juniper, as well as many of Ontario’s emerging wineries. The ‘County” is becoming a very popular destination, mostly because of its proximity to Toronto, its quaint villages, picturesque landscape, and a spectacular provincial park known as “Sandbanks” made up of miles of soft sand-dunes jutting into Lake Ontario.

Among this diverse landscape, I keep coming back to the central swamp, because it’s so out of place to me. I’ve been here many times over the past few years but until a few days ago, did not take the time to stop and photograph them. The trees you see in this photo stretch on for hundreds of meters into the swamp, but the thicker summer foliage obscurs much of that, so a trip back in autumn is definitely going to happen.

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

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

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“Pines on Papineau Creek”

“Pines on Papineau Creek”

“Summer walks along the creek, the sun playing among the drifting clouds, and life, in full force all around me.”
– Ed Lehming

Today I spent a day just being; taking things easy and simply letting the day flow. The day started cool and overcast. The forecast called a mix of sun and cloud, which soon became cool showers. The showers eventually cleared and yielded a wonderful soft light which made for great light and bright greens.

My wife and I spent much of the day visiting the town of Maynooth, with its farmers market and a plethora of antique shops. There was no real plan, simply time to be together and checking out the shops. From there we headed east to a favourite spot of ours, along Papineau Creek.

This little piece of heaven is little known and generally quite private. An ideal place for a picnic lunch and some photography. I enjoy the quality of light here and the open pine forest.

This image is one of my first for a while, using intentional camera movement to yield the slightly impressionistic look and feel. I love how the light plays among the branches and along the path, and highlighting the birch log that has fallen across the path. Someone has peeled the white bark back on a section of the log, making it look like an over-sized cigarette butt.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/22.0, ISO 1250

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

“Watercolour Forest”

“Watercolour Forest”

“What season is it?, I ask. The cooler parts of the forest are still a bit subdued compared to others, with just a blush of colour, a snapshot in the forest’s story.”
– Ed Lehming

Over the span of a week and a few kilometers of trail, there are vast differences in how quickly parts of the forest mature at this time of year. In stark contrast to the wildflowers and bright leaves I shared a few days ago in my “Spring Forest Trilliums” post, this part of the forest is showing a significant delay.

I can’t recall the exact location along the trail but I do remember stopping because I was struck by how little colour there was and the fact the the forest floor was mostly leaf covered, with very little ground cover emerging. It felt like I had stepped back a week in time. The two images do show just how fast things progress in spring, though this one does have a subtle watercolor appearance, thus the title I chose for it.

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

“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.

 

“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

“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