Category Archives: Art

“Warm Breezes at Tulum”

"Warm Breezes at Tulum"

“Caribbean warmth rolled from the sea, caressing this ancient land as emerald waves lapped the shore.” – Ed Lehming

Today I really felt a need to retreat back to fond memories. It feels like so long ago but was only months.

Our group set out for a day trip to Mexico’s Tulum ruins along the Yucatan coast. Tulum is a rare Mayan ruin that sits on the coast, rather than inland as most are. There are many theories and histories about this place. One thing that is certain, throughout its life Tulum was a trading port and even had a primitive lighthouse to guide seafaring traders safely through the coral reefs. It was also in its most ancient history believed to have been a sacred site occupied by priests and astronomers.

We found the visit very interesting but what I really loved was the view across the water and the bright colours of the water and foliage as they meet the rocky coastline.

The image above is a digital painting made from one of my photos.

“Dry Ground and Spring Warmth”

“Dry Ground and Spring Warmth”

“The cycle continues, winter leads to spring and the ground drinks in the warmth of the brightening sunshine. Traces of winter remain as distant memories” – Ed Lehming

Nowadays I’m even more appreciative of the beautiful outdoor spaces so close to home. It also helps that the snow and ice is gradually receding. Not gone,as there were some quite treacherous stretches that made me happy to have my ‘icers’ on.

But, there were several clear stretches of open, leaf-covered ground and even a few hearty sedges beginning to peer through. It won’t be long till spring is in full swing.

It is so different this year though. With all the focus on COVID-19 and “social distancing” some of the anticipated joy of spring is missing. On reflection, the only real difference is in my perception. Driving to the trailhead, I’m feeling a bit apprehensive. Am I doing the right thing by venturing out? I get to the trailhead and there are a disproportionate number of cars for this time of year. Clearly, I’m not the only one who needed to get outdoors. As I start my hike, I notice very few tracks and when I get to the first icy section, the sparse footprint turn back; I realize that these are not the true ‘hikers’, simply people wanting to be outside, with no intention of entering the formal trail system. They are just looking around, likely unfamiliar with this area.

During my five kilometer hike, I meet one other person, heading the other direction. WE exchange a brief hello in passing and continue on our way. Each enjoying some quiet time in nature and watching the earth continue it’s cycles, oblivious to what’s happening in the human world.

As I emerge from the trail, refreshed and a few new photos on my camera, the trailhead is still crammed with cars, but nobody in sight. A good day to recharge.

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

“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

“Life Goes On”

“Life Goes On”

“Nature is filled with cycles, as one thing passes from this world, another is ready to take its place. Each eager for it’s time in the sun”
– Ed Lehming

I find myself returning to this place frequently, primarily because of the stark contrasts i find here. The hillside is filled with several standing dead pine trees. By the bleached look of them and the deterioration of the bark, I’d say they have been dead for some time now. They stand in contrast to the rest of the lush vegetation that surrounds them eager to take their place.

At this particular time of year, the hillside is filled with young birches, their leaves turned a bright autumnal yellow. They seem so alive, even though we are well into fall. They seem even more vibrant as a backdrop to their deceased neighbours.

As my quote says, “Life Goes On”, the cycle of life continues, the weak and aged fade, but are not soon forgotten. some have broken or fallen down, and I will miss them when they are gone. This scene would not be the same without them.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 400

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

“Backlit in Golden Light”

“Backlit in Golden Light”

“Golden light beams forth from the hillsides behind the tall pines, competing with the sunshine at my side; a competition for my attention.”
– Ed Lehming 

This is a scene very typical of a local conservation area that I hike on a regular basis. Every visit I make offers some new scene of beauty that make me wonder if I had simply missed it on a prior passing.

There is something along this trail, which parallels a steep hillside that makes for some very unique scenes. I think it’s the layers of varied vegetation, that even in the summer, has more diverse textures and colours than surrounding forest. It’s also facing south, which provides nice lighting and contrast early in the day or late afternoon.

At this time of year, it’s quite spectacular when the distant birches and beeches light the hillside in golds and coppers, setting the background alight in strong contrast to the deep green pines along the trail.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 90 mm
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 400

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

“Into the Woods”

“Into the Woods”

“Movement. The forest is not a static thing. It’s alive and beckons me into it.”
– Ed Lehming

An experiment in movement that I played with recently. I’ve been doing vertical pan photos for some time and have them down to pure muscle memory and the sound of the shutter ‘slap’. Here, I introduced movement by zooming in as I made the image. My standard shutter speed of 1/4 second remains the same, but the effect is a lot different. I don’t believe it’s something I would do a lot of, but it certainly is energetic, and does feel like I’m being drawn in.

Though it would not be a go-to for me, the layers of yellow and orange as well the interlaced branches that plays here is definitely appealing.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm – 90 mm
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 400

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