Category Archives: Landscape

“Drive Shed and Dames Rockets”

The whites, yellows, and pale purples of early spring begin to fade, yet purple holds on, larger and more brilliant than before.” – Ed Lehming

We have spent the past two weekends starting a fairly significant garden.

As we worked, tilled, and planted a scene that we simply could not ignore was the profusion of deep purple Dame’s Rockets. The literally surround the one-acre garden plot (we did not plant the whole acre). The Rockets a tall and lush and remind us that spring is soon to end, and the summer plants will take over.

The building I chose for the background is a drive shed, used to store tools and implements. It’s a wonderful, weatherworn structure with a tin roof. I have no idea what the little belfry is about. I don’t think it ever held a bell but was attached as a decoration. It does add interest.

I enjoyed the scene so much that I also rendered it as an impessionistic digital painting.

I find this is such a beautiful calming image. Though we were all tired from toiling in the field, scenes like this bring us joy and getting a garden going is very satisfying.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/1900 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

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

“North Walker Woods Impressions”

“Words often fail to describe the feelings that our environment brings. How do I adequately share the joy of a spring forest? Art provides a medium to share my world.” – Ed Lehming

There are many time where I see a scene before me that is absolutely raw and emotionally beautiful. I try to share these scenes these scenes through my photographs, but there are times where even this is inadequate. In these cases, what I see and feel is best presented as more traditional art, in the form of a painting. Using software to create this ‘feel’ is generally a last resort as I struggle to pull life from a photo but the resulting image does not suffice. This is the primary reason I often create images with deliberate movement in them. The slight movement brings the scene to life and makes the eye spend more time considering what is being seen.

I really enjoy impressionist painting because of its ability to communicate a feeling through brush strokes, colour, and composition. My photos already offer the colour and composition but there is something in the brush strokes, a sense of depth, movement, and energy that a flat image just can’t do. Because impressionism resonates with me, I often find that converting my images into digital art gives me the satisfaction of elevating some of my images to a place a photograph sometimes can’t achieve. That was the case with this spring scene in Ontario’s North Walker Woods, a conservation area close to my home.

Here the spring forest is just starting to leaf out and the ground is filled with the white purity of trilliums. Presenting it as a digital painting brings out the soft serenity of the scene very nicely, in my opinion, and leaves me with something that was created by me, with a little bit of help.

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

1/200 sec, f/20.0, ISO 640
(Rendered with Topaz Impressions plug-in)

“Spring Glides In”

“Spring Glides In”

“Like a deep exhale, a flush of bright green, dotted with trilliums sweeps over the forest floor” – Ed Lehming

It’s a remarkable event to see unfold, even over the span of a few days. A mere two weeks ago snow was falling in the forest, the air was chill and only a few hearty plants poked from the cold ground.

Now the air has changed, the snow is a memory and the forest world is transformed. Around me trilliums flourish and fill the fill the scene as far as I can see. New growth emerges in the forest background as trees eagerly leaf out, creating a greenish mist between the limbs. It’s difficult to capture just how beautiful this is in a single still photo so I added some movement to bring some life to the scene and try to portray the feeling of this event.

Those who spend time in nature regularly will understand. There are things that are so difficult to convey accurately. The forest is not a still thing, it’s alive with movement and an energy that’s had to describe. I hope this image does that some justice.

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

1/4 sec, f/32, ISO 160

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

“Life and Colour Return”

“Life and Colour Return”

“Deep healthy greens and bright yellow now fill the spaces once dull and drab. Spring opens her mantle to the world in a flourish of health and brightness.” – Ed Lehming

A wonderful and much needed hike restored me once more. What started as a quest for trilliums offered so much more. The day was bright and warm; trilliums filled the forest floor like white beacons; the lime green flush of fresh Lily of the Valley, Clintonia, and Fiddle-heads stretched like a delicate carpet deep into the forest.

This is a time of year I love, there is freshness and new life everywhere, the light has changed as the sun rises higher in the sky each day. The growth is rapid, almost urgent, as each plant claims its place in the forest ecosystem. It’s also a time where ample light still finds its way between the developing canopy and fills the forest floor with light.

For this image I employed my favourite technique of deliberate camera movement. It brings out more colour and life through slight movement, far better than a simple static image. I can almost feel the energy of the forest in these images and they bring me such pleasure to produce. I find it draws me in and causes me to consider details I might otherwise overlook.

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

1/4 sec, f/25, ISO 250

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

“Spring Beckons”

“Spring Beckons”

“The days warm and forest paths call me into the depths of nature, I am home again.” – Ed Lehming 

The forest floor is now flush with green and visible life returns once more. Thought the trees are still bare I can see a fine haze od green and yellow high above me. It will be mere days till the canopy forms anew.

Narrow paths draw me forward to explore new places and my eyes see familiar things like Trout Lilies, Trilliums, and Lily of the Valley. Bright and healthy green with splashes of pink, yellow, and white blossoms stretch into the woods before me. This is like taking a fresh breath for me, it’s a balm for my spirit as I once more connect deeply with my beloved forest.

I have anticipated this “awakening” even more this year. With all the uncertainty in our world as we learn to deal with the evolving realities of  COVID-19, there is nothing uncertain about the forest and that offers me hope and encouragement, as well as a place where I can be with my thoughts and emotions and simply ‘be’. It’s a real blessing to have this so close to me.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/1600 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

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

 

“Cable Cars and Monastery” – Montserrat, Spain

“Cablecars and Monastary” - Montserrat, Spain

“Travel far enough, you meet yourself.”
― David Mitchell

Since I’m quite limited in my travels these days, so I’m spending time enjoying memories of last year. I’m recalling vividly with each image the sights, sounds and aromas of the places I visited. In this case, my trip to Spain.

Yesterday I shared an image of Montserrat and the beautiful vistas it offered. That image is looking outward from the monastery high on the mountain’s slopes. Today’s image is looking upwards, towards the monastery, precariously perched on one of the cliffs and also showing the cable cars which transport you to that cliff.

As I stood waiting to board the next cable car, I could not help but imaging what it would have been like for the early monks to build the monastery in such a location. Just transporting materials would have been quite a challenge.

This was a strange day, as I have already noted. It varied between high cloud and brightness, which afforded me this photo, and torrential downpours. With this variability came thick patches for fog that clung to the hillside, often obscuring most of the buildings.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 185 mm
1/100 sec, f/5.0 ISO 400

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

“Montserrat Vista” – Muntanya de Montserrat, ⁨Spain⁩

“Montserrat Vista” - Muntanya de Montserrat, ⁨Spain

“Clouds define my mood today, but they are as temporary as sunshine and offer balance and perspective” – Ed Lehming

I have not posted anything for a few days, I’ve limited my social media activity and found myself drawn inward. It’s a very strange feeling lately, even for someone who tends to value solitude.

The trails I usually hike on are open to me, but I feel a sense of guilt driving to them. We’re told to stay at home except for necessities. I find myself reviewing photos from the past year, seeking inspiration, which eludes me. Each day blends into the next. My work keeps me occupied during the week but it’s monotonous and I seek something to focus on, a problem to solve, a process to improve, but that also requires inspiration.

The world has slowed down during this “Great Pause” as I am now calling it. The present and future are veiled in clouds. There is no clear direction and like being in a thick fog, my other senses reach out past what my eyes can’t see. I listen for some sound of clarity, the feel of something to hold onto, the scent of change, for something to pull me forward. But, the clouds persist.

The image I chose for today is from my trip to Spain late last summer. Of the twenty one days we spent in Spain, it rained only one day, the day we had chosen to visit Montserrat, just north of Barcelona. It was one of those days you simply can’t plan for anything for more than a few minutes, the kind of day that varies from a fine mist, brightening with a promise of sunlight to full downpour. This was the day we spent mainly outdoors on this spectacular mountain with its oddly shaped rocks and beautiful monastery.

We made the most of it and despite the rain and the mist I was able to make a few photos that showed the mountain and surrounding countryside nicely. I’m trying to do the same thing as we live through the current COVID-19 pandemic. I’m trying to grab hold of the moments of brightness as it offers itself because I don’t know when  the next downpour is coming or when the sun is finally going to break through, even though I know it will, eventually.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/1000 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

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

“Sierra Nevada Olive Groves” – Spain

“Sierra Nevada Olive Groves” - Spain

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I stated yesterday, I’m finding myself quite reflective these days. As I review my photos I’m really struck by all the wonderful experiences the past year has provided. I’m grateful to have the health and resources to be able to travel and experience the world, and grateful for the ability to visually document these experiences.

Many of the most joyful moments in our travels have been the quiet and simple things, like standing in an ancient olive grove in the foothills of Spain’s Sierra Nevada. This ancient grove, just outside of Granada, is several hundred years old and bounded to the south by rugged mountains. As I stood there, I could imagine the farmers of old planting this grove in the shadow of the same mountains. The dry and sparse soil provided just enough to allow these trees to flourish and bear fruit which produces some of the finest olive oil in the world. It was not a quick process but by having just enough of the right minerals the trees bore a better quality yield than might have been imagined.

So, on reflecting on these scenes, I’m reminded that even though our travels are far from luxurious, they provide us with these small experiences, shared with friends and family that have yielded more than we could have imagined, and I am forever thankful for that.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 98mm
1/1000 sec, f/16.0 ISO 400

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

 

“Cozumel Dreamtime”

“Cozumel Dreamtime” “Someday we will look back on this moment and it will forever remind us to never take the little things for granted. It will remind us to hug with all our hearts, to pause to appreciate holding someone’s hand, and to live in the moments that we are surrounded by others.”
– Laura Jones

In the past few days I have found myself spending an inordinate amount of time going through recent photos. The photos I am spending more time with lately are not the images I use for my art, but rather photos that include my travels with friends and family. 

I’m looking at them more deliberately now. What were at the time simple travel snapshots, trying to quickly capture a moment, are now more precious. There are details in these simple images that make me smile. 

I chose this image of a Cozumel sunset from last January. Even though there are no people visible in the image  at the time I made the photo, I was in the company of much of my family and close friends as we gathered on the beach to watch the closing of the day. This simple moment was so enjoyable for us. As I look at the photo, I can hear the voices and the laughter and sense the joy we all shared together. It was a moment of shared peace, a moment when the entire world stood still, a moment of connectedness.

In the current situation, with its lockdowns and isolation, it’s these moments that stand out the most and the ones I hope to revisit in the not too distant future. For now, I will revel in the images and the memories they hold.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/340 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

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

“A Distant Glow”

“A Distant Glow”

“Even in the darkness and the tangles of life, light seems to find its way to us.” – Ed Lehming 

This image was made in January, during a family vacation to Mexico. I was experimenting with my deliberate camera movement (DCM) technique using the jungle foliage as my subject. It’s a bit different than the forests in my area as the jungle is quite tight compared to the wider spaces of hardwood forests There are also less vertical elements and the light is so much different.

I got a lot of shots that just looked ‘blurry’ rather than painterly and most were significantly over or underexposed. After a few tries I had landed on the right settings and made a series of images that where interesting but nothing really ‘stuck’. However, this one particular image happened to catch the reflected light of the setting sun as a bright flash in the shadows.

The light was not something I particularly noticed as I made the image, which is often the case in these abstract shots. However, these elements seem to always be there and I must subconsciously detect them as I compose the image.

As I was looking for material to post, this particular image stood out, given the mood of the world today. People seem to be struggling with all the unknowns and navigate their way through these days of uncertainty. The little flash of light reminds me that all is not completely dark, if you deliberately look for the good things and focus on them. Suddenly, the tangle and darkness of our world offers some hope, and I’m personally encouraged by that.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 135mm
1/4 sec, f/10.0 ISO 400

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