Category Archives: Nature

“Three Along the Way”

“Three Along the Way”

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” 
― William Blake

As I walk the local trails, I’m often quite aware that, at some point, the trailblazers and foresters had to make choices about what trees remained and what trees needed to be felled. As the trails meander to and fro, it’s clear that conscious decisions were made to avoid having to cut certain trees.

I suppose, being a cluster of three, tightly grouped, makes you less vulnerable to the chainsaw, however well intentioned. There are many such clusters along the trails and the path always gently flexes around them. For me, each of the trees I pass tell a bit of the story about the formation of this trail system, so many years ago. As the story emerges, I am ever grateful to those who had the foresight to set these lands apart for our future enjoyment, one tree at a time.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/4 sec, f/22.0 ISO 400

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“Another Season Done” – near Glasgow

Lone Tree in Plowed Field near Glasgow

“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen”
– Ernest Hemingway

The theme of my posts, of late, has been leftover or left behind photos. All this because I’m preparing for a local Studio Tour and using my blog posts in my photo catalogue, because people like to hear some of the story and process behind the photos. That’s the reason I started blogging in the first place.

So, here I am reviewing one of my more popular photos from 2014, one I have as yet, not written about.

This “lone tree” stands in a farm field near Glasgow, Ontario, A few short moments drive from my house. I have made innumerable photos of this tree, in all seasons, yet this particular image remains my most popular. There is a warm glow from the clouds as the sun begins to set and the empty furrows lead the eye to this single tree. It’s quite a deliberate shot and all the elements combine to make it appealing to a wider audience.

Interestingly, though it was made in late November of 2012, it does not feel sad or cold. It simply feels at peace, as another season draws to a close and we look forward to the comfort of a warm heart as winter slowly approaches.

Nikon D300
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 80mm
1/160 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200

“Light and Motion”

Light & Motion on Merced River (Happy Isles Area)

“Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountain days, inciting at once to work and rest! Days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God. Nevermore, however weary, should one faint by the way who gains the blessings of one mountain day; whatever his fate, long life, short life, stormy or calm, he is rich forever.” 
― John Muir

I simply had to quote John Muir for this image that I made several years ago, as I began to experiment with long exposures to communicate the ‘feel’ of a place. The image itself is of the Merced River in California’s Yosemite national Park. It’s become a sacred place for me, one I have made several pilgrimages back to over the years.

This is a simple composition, made at the “Happy Isles” portion of the river, as its icy waters flood over centuries old river rock. There is colour and life; light and motion here. It’s a place I could sit for hours, simply enjoying the freshness and listen to the waters rush over the stones.

The photograph, has sat on my computer, perhaps waiting till I was ready to present it. I believe it’s time, so I have printed it as a 48″ canvas print for my upcoming Studio Tour.

Nikon D300
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 70mm
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 200

“Hillside Path”

“Hillside Path”

“It isn’t enough to pick a path—you must go down it. By doing so, you see things you couldn’t possibly see when you started out; you may not like what you see, some of it may be confusing, but at least you will have, as we like to say, “explored the neighborhood.” The key point here is that even if you decide you’re in the wrong place, there is still time to head toward the right place.” 
― Ed Catmull

This image came together almost immediately. As I stood at the edge of a steep gully, looking across miles of forest for this high vantage point the path along the edge beckoned me forward. I had just changed lenses from my 90mm macro to my 70-200 mm telephoto so that I could shoot a bit wider than my 90mm allowed.

My first glance through my viewfinder yielded this scene. The slightly winding path and the placement of the trees made for a simple composition which nicely represented the scene before me. The slight movement simply accents it and the long exposure saturates the colours a bit more, and also brings life to the image.

This spot was about half way around a loop trail and tied in nicely with my theme of gradual transition from summer to autumn because of the presence of more yellows and oranges. Not quite autumn, but definitely hinting at it; a turn in the path and in the seasons.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/18.0 ISO 200

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

“The Gentle Way”

“The Gentle Way”

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” 
― Pat Conroy

This image, while slightly darker than some of my prior posts, represents so well my typical experiences on the trail; bright sunshine streams between the branches light above, the canopy has a slight yellow tinge, as the days shorten, there are wonderful shifts in the light, each tree reflecting a slightly different shade of brown gray, or silver; far in the distance, a bright meadow shows through a gap in the trees, my destination, or just a glade along the trail edge?

The path, soft and sandy, littered with leaves, has become my gentle way. I tread these trails in reverence for the beauty they lead me through and am grateful to those early conservationists who had the foresight to set this land apart, so that I and many more could enjoy the wonder of the forest trails .

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70mm
1/4 sec, f/9.0 ISO 200

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

“The Light that Lights My Way”

“The Light that Lights My Way”

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” 
― Ursula K. Le Guin

Scenes like this are one of the reasons I hike. I’ve referred to these dappled pools of light as “God-Light”, to quote C.S. Lewis. These small patches of golden light, like pools of energy seem to appear on all but the most overcast days. They are but one of the many effects in the forest which have a profound impact on me. In the forest, I feel in tune with my surroundings, the busyness of the workweek fades to a dull memory and my world come alive.

There is more to the light around me, while it lights my way, it warms my spirit and brings out the child in me. I find myself transfixed by the wonderful diversity of the forest paths, and grinning at simple things like a butterfly trying to land in the wind. Many of these scenes go undocumented, too brief to be captured as a photo, but remain with me as beautiful memories of my walks through the woods.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/4 sec, f/10.0 ISO 100

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

“Disposable”

“Disposable”

“Nothing ever really goes away–it just changes into something else. Something beautiful.” 
― Sarah Ockler

I was debating the title for this image of a spent cicada pupa. I recall seeing thousands of them in the pine forests just outside Atlanta, Georgia a few years ago. We arrived for an event and the campground we were staying at seemed overrun with emerging cicadas. Every tree was covered in these little alien carapaces.

To find one close to home was a surprise, though cicadas are also plentiful here, I have, up till now, not seen evidence that they also emerged here. I guess I figured they came from somewhere else.

The shell, as I said, has a strange alien look to it, barely resembling the adult cicada with its large and shimmering wings, that provide a constant background buzz on hot summer days.

One of the advantages of shooting a 90mm macro lens as a prime lately is that I can quickly switch from forest abstracts to highly detailed macro images.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/100 sec, f/4.5 ISO 400

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