Category Archives: Nature

“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

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“Laid Bare”

“Laid Bare”

“The pines stood defiantly on the hillside, their bark long since stripped by disease and the elements; exposed to the sun, and rain; vulnerable. Yet, they stood, despite what had befallen them.”
– Ed Lehming

I’ve photographed this grove of pine trees on many occasions over the past few years. Their appeal is that they stand out against the rest of the forest. They are a strong contrast to their surroundings; tall and straight, clearly dead for some time, but showing little sign of falling any time soon.

They appear skeletal, the bark has mostly fallen off, exposing the smooth gray and sun-bleached wood beneath. There are few signs off rot, though smaller branches are missing. They are simply ‘posts’ on the hill, standing tall against the background of their still living relatives and the delicate undergrowth which is beginning to fill the spaces between them.

I’m not sure what killed them as it is limited to these few trees, on the edge of a larger grove, but they have provided me many photographic opportunities as I pass them in different seasons and varying light. I’ll miss them when they finally fall, but I expect that will be many years from now unless someone deems them a danger and cuts them down.

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

“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

“Final Traces”

“Final Traces”

“Winter’s parting left us traces of its touch; a bit of snow, a hint of frost, and cool breezes, as if someone had left a door open.”
– Ed Lehming

I wanted to revisit my beloved beech trees one last time before they wither into spring. Here, a closer look at the beautiful structure of the leaves, dusted in snow, from this past weekend’s unexpected dumping.

The brightness of the pure white snow almost enhances the golden glow of the leaves clinging to a single branch.

Many times I find myself spending particular attention to these leaves, always looking for the best angle to photograph them from, as light and background play a large part in the final composition. In this case, I used a moderate aperture setting to ensure the entire leaf was in focus while softening the background details, comprised mostly of snow-covered branches.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 200 mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200

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

 

“Shine”

“Shine”

“Through our dark times, if we have eyes open in hope, we can see glimpses of what might be, in what was.”
– Ed Lehming

The beautiful brightness of beech leaves in winter, and early spring for that matter is always a welcome sight. Even on the dullest snow-filled days, they glow with soft gold, a reminder of the rich colours of autumn. The sun, even in limited amounts, makes them seem to shine with an internal light.

Beech trees tend to hang onto their leaves throughout the winter, despite snow, and wind, most survive well into early spring, when warm and damp days tend to cause them to finally decompose. Many look pretty ragged by the time April arrives, yet some weather the seasons with surprising tenacity.

I’m always happy for them. They remind me of mild and colour filled autumn days and their shine is like a small beacon of life among the dark and frozen branches.

In this image, a recent, and unwelcome early spring snowfall on the final day of March clings to the delicate branches of a beech sapling, making the remaining leaves seem all the brighter against the snow-encrusted forest in the background.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 135 mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200

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

“Out Like a Lion” – March 31, 2019

“Out Like a Lion” - March 31, 2019

“March teased and taunted with hints of spring, but ended with a reminder that nature is in command, not the calendar, as warm rains turned to sleet and snow”
– Ed Lehming

It has been a very odd March, a very odd March indeed. The month started out as many Marches do in this area: with lengthening days interspersed with snow storms and sunshine as the weather patterns swing towards milder days, yet winter hangs on with tenacity.

The trails I travel are covered with ice, slowly receding and turning to mud. This often leads to a much slower pace as I step carefully along the paths, here and there is an indication of life returning to the world.

It’s a time of transition, of change. This year more than any others, especially in my work life. Mid-March I got the notice that my job of 33 years was being outsourced and I found myself in the uncharted world of premature retirement and having to make some difficult choices in a very tight timeline. In the end, it all worked out and I retired from my previous employer and was hired by the company that the work was outsourced to. It turned out to be a happy ending but caused much stress and anxiety as my world was turned upside down.

So, I chose this image, made yesterday,. Something for me to reflect on, as my work world calmed down, the natural world was thrown backwards once more.

For me, the message is that the natural cycles always work out, eventually and what we consider normalcy returns.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/500 sec, f/11.0, ISO 400

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

“Simply Delightful”

“Simply Delightful”

“When you can take pleasure in the simple beauty life offers, then you are truly blessed.”
– Ed Lehming

Often, even the most mundane things draw my attention. Though I have stood on rugged vistas and surveyed sights that have left me in awe and speechless I’m still fascinated with the very simple beauty of my everyday surroundings.

In this case, a single small red berry hangs from a vine in the sunshine in early spring. A drop of dew clings tenaciously to it, further enhancing the feeling of freshness. The isolation of this single berry, the last one remaining on the vine is in such contrast to the dull gray world around it.

In the background, the world is awakening from its winter slumber, colour slowly returning, yet traces of snow remain to remind us that winter is not such a distant memory.

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

1/60sec, f/4.0, ISO 200 

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