Category Archives: Nature

“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

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“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

“It’s a Jungle Out There!”

“It’s a Jungle Out There!”

“Amidst our comfortable habitations, we need to be reminded that nature is always wanting to take back what is hers”
– Ed Lehming

As a photographer, I like contrast, I look for it as I create my images. So, when I’m faced with other contrasts, I take notice.

While on vacation in Cozumel this past January I could not help but notice how the resort had been literally carved out of the surrounding jungle. I hope this was done deliberately, as I have seen many resort properties bulldoze the surrounding lands to make the resort look ‘civilized’. I’m not sure that’s even the right word or their actual intent.

I loved this sharp contrast between developed and undeveloped land as I walked along an outer walkway, the bustling resort on one side and the natural landscape to the other side. A fence acted as a secondary boundary. Judging by its height, it was designed to keep two-legged trespassers out, as the birds, rodents, and lizards hardly seemed to notice it.

The ‘wall’ of the jungle is impressively imposing and seemingly impassable, reminding me of the old Tarzan movies where the guide hacks a passage through the undergrowth with a machete. I stood, transfixed, a few times, simply letting my eyes drift through the tightly interwoven plants, loving the many values of green before me. That, and the wonderful variation in textures. The one element missing, and I am grateful for it, is the swarms of mosquitoes, nicely controlled by regular spraying.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/30 sec; f/1.8; ISO 32

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

“Rusty Shores”

 

“Beneath the rust and grime which dulls the shine of our weathered hearts, joy patiently waits to be rediscovered” 
― John Mark Green

For my photography, image titles often come quite easily. As I venture into the world of acrylic painting, I’m finding that that’s not the case. Perhaps it’s the extended creation process, where I am spending a longer period of time creating the art itself?

Photos come naturally to me. I see a scene before me that is interesting, compose the image, set lighting, exposure and depth of field, and voila! I have a photo that I am generally pleased with.

The same holds true with painting. There is a lot of thought that goes into the process that I had not considered until I started painting a few short years ago and I have not been doing much lately. But now, I have taken a course and understand that the creative process is very similar and all the elements that make a good photo also hold true for painting.

I’ve always enjoyed impressionist paintings and have striven for that same feel with my photos. Now, I’m trying to merge the two, simply to stay creative, especially in winter months where outdoor activity can be quite limited. So, I’ve pushed myself a bit, trying to add some texture to my work by doing an entire painting with a palette knife, way out of my comfort zone, but so very satisfying.

Once again, I remind myself this is my photo blog, but I think that painting is helping me in my creative process for photography and this is, after all, a photo of a painting.

“Days End”

“Day’s End”

“We sat together silently in the tropical warmth of the beach, gazing over the calm waters and watching the sun slip closer to the horizon, marking the end of another day in brilliant splendour”
–  Ed Lehming

I know, I’m mixing winter images with summer-like scenes but can’t help but be drawn back to this time spent in Cozumel with friends and family. Every day more relaxing than the previous one.

The days started and ended on the beach, watching gentle waves roll in from faraway places. My hope was to capture some of this experience in photos. In this image, the sun hangs lazily just above the horizon as a final dive boat heads out for a night dive.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 105 mm
1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 100

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

“The Shades of Winter”

“The Shades of Winter”

“In the deep of winter, colour and sound fade to nothingness. The world becomes muted and silent as it slumbers beneath the snow”
– Ed Lehming

As a lover of light and colour, winter can often be the hardest on me, especially when seeking inspiration and beauty. In the winter months, it’s not just the drastic reduction of colours, but also the silence. So many times, the only sound I hear is the crunch of snow beneath my feet, the wind, above, and the groaning of the trees as the frost takes hold.

Occasionally, a flash of colour shows through, but for the most part, the world is plunged into innumerable shades of gray; the only colour being the rare blue sky above or the bright yellow of exposed wood, where a branch has broken off or a woodpecker has exposed fresh wood through its labours.

As I hiked last weekend, I was caught in a bit of an unexpected squall. There was really no wind to speak of, just an ever-increasing snowfall which further muted the world. There is a certain beauty in this silence. I find my senses more attuned and I become more aware of the world around me as my path leads forth into the white haze ahead.

Here, I simply stood still and let the silence fill me for a few minutes as I made the image, a reminder when I complain about the heat of summer.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/160 sec, f/6.3, ISO 400

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