Category Archives: Nature

“Sideways Glance”

“Sideways Glance”

“One clear moment, one of trance
One missed step, one perfect dance
One missed shot, one and only chance
Life is all…but one fleeting glance.”
― Sanober Khan

Being literally surrounded by trilliums poses a challenge: they all look so lovely and so perfect. How do you present them differently. It’s so tempting when composing shots to photograph them straight on or slightly off-centre. They are just so lovely. There are literally thousands of opportunities for a nice photo and I was not about to shoot dozens of images to sort through.

I just happened to catch the movement of a squirrel behind me, as I looked over my shoulder I spotted this blossom, slightly shaded and in profile. It was, just like it’s multitude of companions at this time of the year, perfectly and wonderfully formed, without blemish.

A bit of sunlight lit up the base of the flower and created a bit of shadow on the veins. After a quick setup, I had my image. Not typical, but I like how it turned out, all from a sideways glance.

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

1/180 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200

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

“One Last Look”

“One Last Look”

“Nature’s gifts are always fleeting. These moments must be savoured while we can, and then the moment is gone, leaving only fond memories and dreams for tomorrow.” – Ed Lehming

Alas, the final days of the wake-robin are at hand. These flowers which have brought me so much joy this summer are fading fast, with only a few intact specimens remaining. What the sun has not dried and the wind and rain (and snow) have not pummeled, slugs have scarred.

I recall only ten days ago, seeing and photographing the first few blossoms to emerge on a rainy, sleet filled day. At the time, they were among the only blossoms brave enough to open on that cold spring day. But now, the sun is rising every higher and white trilliums dominate the landscape. I looked along the path for an intact flower, for one last photo, knowing that by tomorrow they will all be gone.

I’ve really enjoyed the wake-robins this year, more than others. They have been plentiful and I’ve been able to get good images through a combination of good fortune and getting down low to the ground with my tripod. The light has been exceptional, with a few slightly overcast days providing me ideal conditions. Today was quite a bit brighter but I was able to find this blossom on the edge of the shadows, just enough so that the image is not overly harsh. I also wanted to make sure that all the petals were in sharp focus, so I used a very narrow aperture, higher ISO, and slower shutter speed to get me what I was after.

So, here it is, the final blossom, so I can enjoy one last look.

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

1/100 sec, f/20.0, ISO 400

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

“Light and Shadow”

“Light and Shadow”

“The simple gift of light is all the more precious when in the presence of its companion, darkness.” – Ed Lehming 

This tulip blossom has provided me a few interesting images. Considering that the photo was made in early evening, with a room filled with light and simply setting my camera to expose to the brightest part of the flower. The background fades to a deep blue in strong contrast to the yellows and orange of the flower.

It’s that strong contrast that yields the best images, the ones that grab my attention and make me consider why this works so well.

I tend to compose my images intuitively. There are certain elements such as framing and focal point, but a lot of what ends up making the image good is not something I notice consciously when I compose. I simply know it works. It’s not till I sit down and edit the image that the subtleties begin to emerge and the photo tells a bigger story.

For example, when I framed the photo, I instinctively set the base of the blossom as my focal point, making sure it was properly exposed and then tried to get as much of the petal detail in focus while shooting hand-held, so hand movement had some effect as well.

What I did not notice as I composed the image was the almost echoe-like blossom in the background, out of focus and slightly in the shadows.. I also did not notice the interesting shadows inside the flower itself, nor the wonderful yellow brightness of the petals within.

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

1/250 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200

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

“Spring Snack”

“Spring Snack”

“As the world opens to springtime, hunger is a constant.” – Ed Lehming

All around me, the forest stirs to life, wildflowers open prompted by warmer days and sunshine and bees eagerly feed on the offered nectar. It’s not just bees, it’s every form of flying and crawling insect. Flowers and the forest floor are now teeming with life. As I was making photos of the trilliums, honeybees eagerly burrowed deep into the blossoms, almost disappearing into them.

There were also some comical scenes as bulky carpenter bees landed on flowers so tiny they simply folded under the weight. The bees did not seem to mind. I was hoping to get a photo of this, but the bees were moving from blossom to blossom so quickly I did not have time to compose a good focussed image. So it will remain a memory for now.

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

1/640 sec, f/13.0, 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

 

“Green Variations”

“Green Variations”

“Never the same twice and endless possibilities, nature continues to surprise me.” – Ed Lehming

Green Trilliums? Yes, I’ve seen them on a few occasions but there seems to be a high portion of them along the trails at North Walker Woods. The first time a saw these interesting variants of the white trillium I began studying them to understand why they look so different. It turns out that the green is caused by mycoplasma-like organisms, a kind of bacteria and will eventually cause the plant to die. I have not gone in depth on the topic but is seems this bacteria affects the plant at the genetic level and prevents the white petals from fully forming. These white-green varieties also have a lot of variability, two shown here, from full green petals to a thin green streak down the centre of the petal. I’ve also seen them as ‘doubles’ where there are six petals rather than three. All these ‘doubles’ have quite a bit of green in them.

As studies show, this bacteria affects whole colonies and I’m seeing some small groupings filled with it. Hopefully it does not spread.

It’s funny, once you start down the rabbit-hole of this variant, it seems there are several others who took it to a new level and have published papers on the subject:

Hooper, G. R., Case, F. W. and Myers, R. 1971. Mycoplasma-like bodies associated with a flower greening disorder of a wildflower, Trillium grandiflorum. Plant Disease Reporter, 55: 1108–1110.

Bertaccini, A., Fránová, J., Paltrinieri, S. et al. European Journal of Plant Pathology (1999) 105: 487. doi:10.1023/A:1008745206438

Arocha-Rosete Y, Morales-Lizcano NP, Hasan A, Yoshioka K, Moeder W, Michelutti R, Satta E, Bertaccini A, Scott J (2016) First report of the identification of a ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma pruni’-related strain in Trillium species in Canada. New Disease Reports 34, 19. doi: 10.5197/j.2044-0588.2016.034.019

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

1/500 sec, f/11.0, ISO 250

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