Category Archives: Plants & Flowers

“In the Heat of Summer”

“In the Heat of Summer”

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” 
― Henry James

Indeed, a bright, warm summer afternoon. Among my favourites, despite the lingering heat, there is a sense of comfort. As the day runs on, even the flowers nod their heads in repose.

The image I chose for today’s post was made at my wife’s late cousin’s farm as we dropped by this week to check in on the property. This lone sunflower sat along the laneway by the barn. It seemed out of place, but somehow appropriate and a real delight as I surveyed the farm scenes around me.

It was a warm summer afternoon and the ‘feel’ of that particular time and place is captured in this image. The puffy summer clouds float lazily in the distance as I stood enjoying the intricate beauty of the sunflower’s face. A simple image with all the colours and emotion of late summer.

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

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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“Columbines from Mom”

“Columbines from Mom”

“Flowers will always try, and look their best, no matter what the season or reason.” 
― Anthony T. Hincks

Every spring I get to enjoy a gift from the past. My mother and I are both avid gardeners and sharing seeds connected us in a unique way by having some similar plants in our gardens. I live in Ontario and she lives in British Columbia, so our growing zones are quite different, so there is a limit to our ability to share. Many years ago, she shared the seeds of this particular plant with me, and it has grown in may garden ever since.

One in particular, that  has worked remarkably well for both of us is this variety of Columbine, which we referred to as Mountain Columbine is actually Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata ‘Nora Barlow’

This ‘frilly’ columbine, one of the so-called rose or clematis flowered aquilegias, where the sepals are doubled and the outer ones have an attractive green tinge. Nora Barlow was a granddaughter of Charles Darwin and this plant, popular for more than 300 years, was found growing in her garden by the nurseryman Allan Bloom.

So, there is also the pleasure of finding the history of our shared flowers, which likely came from her mother or grandmother. I never did ask where the seeds came from. Interestingly, hers did not propagate one year and she came to me asking if I could send some seeds back her way.

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

1/400 sec, f/7.1, ISO 800

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

“Yellow Hawkweed Garden”

“Yellow Hawkweed Garden”

“Nature takes hold, in the smallest crack or hollow, filling them with life and laying the foundation for the next generation.”
– Ed Lehming

Among the solid stone of the Canadian Shield I find not only lichens but entire gardens of beautiful plants. Here, a crack in the granite is filled with a variety of Stonecrop known as Sedum Acre or Wall Pepper, with tall Yellow Hawkweed growing from it. The crack has produced its own little garden. And when this garden dies off in the autumn, it will produce even more compost, providing nutrients for a larger plant next year.

These little gardens were everywhere, some filling low spots but most popping out of cracks in the stone, as I stopped by Ontario’s Burleigh Falls to make some picture of the fast rushing water.

A side benefit to photography is that I often find new subjects to photograph while on my way to my intended destination. I was actually a bit disappointed in the images the waterfalls yielded, though I am still in the process of reviewing them. We’ll see if anything comes of them in future posts.

For now, I am content with what presented itself: some lovely plants and the great texture of the moss-covered rocks. What’s not showing in this image is the swarms of mosquitoes that greeted me on this rainy June day.

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

1/100 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400

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

 

 

“Delicate and Complex”

“Delicate and Complex”

“The deeper one looks into what appears simple, the more complex it really is. Even the very delicate and wispy structures show there is more to them than meets the casual eye.”
– Ed Lehming

The natural world is continually amazing. The simple and commonplace are not what they appear. Living forms are incredible in their diversity and design.

Take the simple dandelion seed head. It looks like a fluff ball, a novelty for children and adults alike. But really look at it. Look deeply and deliberately and it’s absolutely stunning how it’s designed. Hundreds of seeds per flower, each with their own feathery parachute, wait for a breeze strong enough to disperse them far from the parent plant. The wind creates just enough of a pull to dislodge the seed from the  base. Not enough wind and the seed remains anchored.

For this image I first had to find a seedhead that was largely intact. Not an easy task as it has been quite breezy the past few days. Ideal for the dandelion, not so much for me. When I found a good specimen, I had to decide on my composition and depth of field. Getting the right  depth of field also meant I needed good light, as I also had to contend with a slight breeze, meaning I also needed a fairly fast shutter speed. Not so simple a task when shooting without the benefit of a tripod.

In the end I got a couple of images that I was happy with. If I wanted to do more, like have the entire seed head in focus, I would have to bring one into my studio for a much longer exposure and some focus stacking. Perhaps another day. For now, I’m pleased that the detail is there while still keeping the image a touch soft, matchined the image title nicely.

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

1/160 sec, f/22.0, ISO 400

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

“Star of Bethlehem”

“Star of Bethlehem”

“Bright white blossoms greet me from the morning garden, as the sun warms the early June day with it’s own brightness.”
– Ed Lehming 

The gardens are beginning to come alive. I enjoy this time of year, watching plants and flowers begin to thrive as the days warm up. It’s always nice to see that everything has survived yet another winter.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, spring here has been cool, damp, and extended. In fact, it really has not warmed up much till only a few days ago, and it really shows in the gardens. It seems everything is racing to catch up. Daffodils were blooming until only a few days ago and a few gardens still have tulips blooming.

The Star of Bethlehem was a surprise addition to my garden. It came here unannounced when I transplanted several other plants from my mother-in-law’s garden a few years back. It’s a pleasant surprise and a welcome addition since it fills the flower beds with such lovely blossoms.

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

1/80 sec, f/16.0, ISO 400

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

“Painted by the Wind”

“Painted by the Wind”

“Cool spring breezes blew past me and set the wildflowers dancing, like purple paint brushes on a canvas of green leaves.”
– Ed Lehming 

Some things look so much more interesting if you look at them differently. We are so used to seeing things as stationary, even our eyes compensate for movement. So when that compensation is removed by the eye of the camera a new view appears.

I wanted to capture the wind patterns in the patch of Dame’s Rockets, so I left my shutter open of a quarter of a second to allow the movement to translate back to the image and I ended up with this somewhat impressionistic version. My biggest challenge over a few attempts was to get the exposure right in the bright sunshine.

It appears to me like the flowers and leaves are individual brush strokes of colour and the wind is the artist. Something worth pursuing a bit more deliberately in future images?

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90m
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 100

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

“Early Meadow Rue”

“Early Meadow Rue” - Thalictrum dioicum

“The soft spring breezes played with the tiny flowers of the plant causing then to dance and twinkle in the light.”
– Ed Lehming

As I’ve said a few times in the past, one of the great things about being a photographer is having an eye for the fine details. I’ve found myself becoming an astute observer, noticing things that I would have passed by a few years ago.

These smallish plants grow along the trails and are not particularly eye catching, until the blossoms appear in early spring. In this case, a male plant with dangling yellow flowers. I did not notice any female plants, which have bluish-purple flowers, in the area, but my timing may have been off by only a day. It’s interesting that there are two distinct plants, male and female. The species name: dioicum comes from the Greek word that means ‘two households”.

So, I have discovered another plant to research and to be on the lookout for next year, leading me to be able to make even better photos of them when I know when to expect them.

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

1/250 sec, f/9.0, ISO 400

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