Category Archives: Photography

“Depth, perception?”

“Depth, perception?”

“What do we perceive when faced with something we don’t expect” – Ed Lehming

This image, made very spontaneously over dinner a few nights ago, has held my attention since I made it. It’s the result of evening sun shining through a tulip blossom and deliberate focus on one of the anthers within the flower.

It’s one of those joyous ‘accidents’ that all photographers get at some point. It’s also the joy of spontaneity that will linger with me every time I look at this photo. I will recall the lovely meal that I was enjoying as the sunlight entered through our kitchen window. I will recall the conversations with my wife and how those conversations were briefly and pleasantly interrupted by the lightshow of the sun on the tulips; how we both looked up at the same time.

I was very fortunate that my camera was sitting, conveniently, on the table in the living room, still affixed with my macro lens from my morning sojourn into the forest. With a few adjustments and a snap of the shutter this photo emerged. It should be noted that this is exactly what came from my camera. With the exception of a crop to my preferred aspect ratio there have been no alterations to this photo.

There are a lot of aspects to this photo that I enjoy. Primarily that I can identify the focal point quite easily, but then it fades off into something a bit more abstract, with no clear reference points. The leading petal just blends softly into the background fading into a red mist. Apart from the anthers, the entire image is slightly out of focus but still pleasing and altogether unexpected. It’s that unexpected element that keeps pulling me in, perhaps trying to understand what I’m seeing?

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

1/1000 sec, f/4.3, ISO 800

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

“First of the Season” – In memory of Marjorie Fretz

First of the Season (low res)

“There is something special about the first trillium of the year. As I walk the trails, I keep a keen eye open for this marvelous harbinger of spring, and when it see it, I know, warm days and beauty follow.” – Ed Lehming

Here it is, the first white trillium of the year. The original was a ‘nice’ photo, but I was looking for more, something to personalize it this year. This bizarre year of COVID-19, isolation, and emotions I still can’t process. So, I decided to render it as digital art, not something I do very often, but somehow it felt very appropriate today. I wanted more than a photo. I wanted something that connected me personally to this beautiful moment where I beheld this single, wonderful blossom. For me, some sign of hope of normality, and a future that I can look forward to.

I’m hoping that this image can bring some joy to others. Joy seems to be a rare commodity these days.

“Hello Springtime”

“Hello Springtime”

“As Trilliums fill my view, I take a deep breath and say farewell to winter.” – Ed Lehming

It’s that time at last. After a seemingly endless, cool spring, the first white trilliums have begun to open. They are still small and a bit sparse but they are a very welcome sight indeed.

Trilliums signal milder days ahead. They have been delayed by about a week, as days remained and dull. There has not been enough sunshine to warm the still chilly soil and prompt them into bloom.

Today’s hike took my back to the hardwood forests of Uxbridge’s North Walker Woods, a favourite place of mine to unwind and enjoy nature’s beauty. As I drove to the trailhead, I occasionally glanced into the forest seeking a splash of white, meaning trilliums might be blooming along the trail. It’s only been mild for one day and last week’s visit offered me red trilliums (wake-robins) and thousands of white trilliums just in bud, but not ready to open yet. I was very pleased to see so many in various stages of opening and look forward to the coming days where the hillsides will be filled with white.

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

1/800 sec, f/14.0, ISO 250

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

“Early Spring Companions”

“Early Spring Companions”

“Nature’s gatherings; nothing by chance; each with purpose” – Ed Lehming

As I spend more time on the trails, more and more patterns become noticeable to me, what once seemed random, begins to fit into patterns. Such is the case with early spring blossoms, one follows the next in a steady, often cautious progression.

It begins with the first few leaves unfurling from the forest litter of leaves, each plant slowly reaching out for the energy of the sun, gradually warming. Then the first few flowers open, bringing a splash of colour to the dull grays and browns of the forest floor.

Amonth the first of these are Spring Beauties, their tiny size and low profile protects them from spring frosts. They may be small and delicate but the do provide among the first nutrients to flying insect like bees and wasps. Notice the bee happily feeding on one in the lower right corner? I didn’t see it as I composed the photo, but it was a pleasant surprise when I reviewed it later in the day.

Next are the Trout Lilies. They first show as a bright green carpet of green and brown mottled leaves which resemble trout skin, thus the name. They also stay low to the ground for some time before putting up blossoms, but once they do, they fill the forest with wonderful splashes of bright yellow, complimented by the pinks and purples of the Spring Beauties, their early spring companions.

I’m hoping to get back out in the next day or two to see the trilliums, as I have now exhausted all my recent photos.

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

1/500 sec, f/11.0, ISO 200

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