Category Archives: Travel

“Cable Cars and Monastery” – Montserrat, Spain

“Cablecars and Monastary” - Montserrat, Spain

“Travel far enough, you meet yourself.”
― David Mitchell

Since I’m quite limited in my travels these days, so I’m spending time enjoying memories of last year. I’m recalling vividly with each image the sights, sounds and aromas of the places I visited. In this case, my trip to Spain.

Yesterday I shared an image of Montserrat and the beautiful vistas it offered. That image is looking outward from the monastery high on the mountain’s slopes. Today’s image is looking upwards, towards the monastery, precariously perched on one of the cliffs and also showing the cable cars which transport you to that cliff.

As I stood waiting to board the next cable car, I could not help but imaging what it would have been like for the early monks to build the monastery in such a location. Just transporting materials would have been quite a challenge.

This was a strange day, as I have already noted. It varied between high cloud and brightness, which afforded me this photo, and torrential downpours. With this variability came thick patches for fog that clung to the hillside, often obscuring most of the buildings.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 185 mm
1/100 sec, f/5.0 ISO 400

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

“Sierra Nevada Olive Groves” – Spain

“Sierra Nevada Olive Groves” - Spain

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I stated yesterday, I’m finding myself quite reflective these days. As I review my photos I’m really struck by all the wonderful experiences the past year has provided. I’m grateful to have the health and resources to be able to travel and experience the world, and grateful for the ability to visually document these experiences.

Many of the most joyful moments in our travels have been the quiet and simple things, like standing in an ancient olive grove in the foothills of Spain’s Sierra Nevada. This ancient grove, just outside of Granada, is several hundred years old and bounded to the south by rugged mountains. As I stood there, I could imagine the farmers of old planting this grove in the shadow of the same mountains. The dry and sparse soil provided just enough to allow these trees to flourish and bear fruit which produces some of the finest olive oil in the world. It was not a quick process but by having just enough of the right minerals the trees bore a better quality yield than might have been imagined.

So, on reflecting on these scenes, I’m reminded that even though our travels are far from luxurious, they provide us with these small experiences, shared with friends and family that have yielded more than we could have imagined, and I am forever thankful for that.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 98mm
1/1000 sec, f/16.0 ISO 400

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

 

“Cozumel Dreamtime”

“Cozumel Dreamtime” “Someday we will look back on this moment and it will forever remind us to never take the little things for granted. It will remind us to hug with all our hearts, to pause to appreciate holding someone’s hand, and to live in the moments that we are surrounded by others.”
– Laura Jones

In the past few days I have found myself spending an inordinate amount of time going through recent photos. The photos I am spending more time with lately are not the images I use for my art, but rather photos that include my travels with friends and family. 

I’m looking at them more deliberately now. What were at the time simple travel snapshots, trying to quickly capture a moment, are now more precious. There are details in these simple images that make me smile. 

I chose this image of a Cozumel sunset from last January. Even though there are no people visible in the image  at the time I made the photo, I was in the company of much of my family and close friends as we gathered on the beach to watch the closing of the day. This simple moment was so enjoyable for us. As I look at the photo, I can hear the voices and the laughter and sense the joy we all shared together. It was a moment of shared peace, a moment when the entire world stood still, a moment of connectedness.

In the current situation, with its lockdowns and isolation, it’s these moments that stand out the most and the ones I hope to revisit in the not too distant future. For now, I will revel in the images and the memories they hold.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/340 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

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

“A Distant Glow”

“A Distant Glow”

“Even in the darkness and the tangles of life, light seems to find its way to us.” – Ed Lehming 

This image was made in January, during a family vacation to Mexico. I was experimenting with my deliberate camera movement (DCM) technique using the jungle foliage as my subject. It’s a bit different than the forests in my area as the jungle is quite tight compared to the wider spaces of hardwood forests There are also less vertical elements and the light is so much different.

I got a lot of shots that just looked ‘blurry’ rather than painterly and most were significantly over or underexposed. After a few tries I had landed on the right settings and made a series of images that where interesting but nothing really ‘stuck’. However, this one particular image happened to catch the reflected light of the setting sun as a bright flash in the shadows.

The light was not something I particularly noticed as I made the image, which is often the case in these abstract shots. However, these elements seem to always be there and I must subconsciously detect them as I compose the image.

As I was looking for material to post, this particular image stood out, given the mood of the world today. People seem to be struggling with all the unknowns and navigate their way through these days of uncertainty. The little flash of light reminds me that all is not completely dark, if you deliberately look for the good things and focus on them. Suddenly, the tangle and darkness of our world offers some hope, and I’m personally encouraged by that.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 135mm
1/4 sec, f/10.0 ISO 400

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

“Warm Breezes at Tulum”

"Warm Breezes at Tulum"

“Caribbean warmth rolled from the sea, caressing this ancient land as emerald waves lapped the shore.” – Ed Lehming

Today I really felt a need to retreat back to fond memories. It feels like so long ago but was only months.

Our group set out for a day trip to Mexico’s Tulum ruins along the Yucatan coast. Tulum is a rare Mayan ruin that sits on the coast, rather than inland as most are. There are many theories and histories about this place. One thing that is certain, throughout its life Tulum was a trading port and even had a primitive lighthouse to guide seafaring traders safely through the coral reefs. It was also in its most ancient history believed to have been a sacred site occupied by priests and astronomers.

We found the visit very interesting but what I really loved was the view across the water and the bright colours of the water and foliage as they meet the rocky coastline.

The image above is a digital painting made from one of my photos.

Rio Onyar, Girona, Spain

Rio Onyar, Girona, Spain

“Glad memories of days recently past bring joy as I recall days of travel, friends, and the bright colours of distant lands.” – Ed Lehming

This seems like a distant memory right now. In the days of self-isolation I’m recalling our recent trip to Spain with such fondness. Even though today dawned bright and cool, the colours and activity of our first full day in Spain comes back. I find myself looking at photos filled with crowds of people talking to each other, dining in cafés, and simply enjoying the warm days of late summer.

This image is taken looking across Girona’s Rio Onyar, with the massive Cathedral of Girona dominating the scene. I simply love the bright colours of the riverside dwellings and the deep blue of the sky.

As I review my many photos of that trip, I will share photos and memories. Even though I really don’t consider myself a travel photographer, perhaps these images can bring some joy into others lives as well.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 17-50 mm F2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF A1N6II @ 19mm
1/400 sec, f/10.0, ISO 400

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

“Guardian of the Stairs” – Aix-en-Thermes

“Guardian of the Stairs” - Aix-en-Thermes

Monochrome Monday
“Guardian of the Stairs” – Aix-aux-Thermes

As this month progresses and I get to finally reviewing and editing some of last years travel photos I’m finding myself leaning more towards mono images. They just seem to have more character and emotion to them.

Here, a local cat lounges at the base of  a set stone steps in the French town of Aix en Thermes, seemingly guarding the way. The photo essentially composed itself with the cat as the focal point and the gradients of the steps just adding interest and a bit of mystery as they rise and bend out of sight. I should note that I often consider shooting in mono and ensuring that I get enough tonal variety and contrast to make it interesting but end up reverting to the comfort zone of colour and switching to mono as I edit.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 17-50 mm F2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF A1N6II @ 48mm
1/160 sec, f/6.3, ISO 320

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

 

“Cathedral of Girona, Back Door” – Girona, Spain

“Cathedral of Girona, Back Door” - Girona, Spain

“Discover how to visit the past and bring yesterday’s stories into our lives today”
― Gillian Hovell

I’ll start out by saying my trip to Spain late last summer left me breathless though more relaxed than I thought was possible given the distances covered and steps climbed.

For a Canadian traveler to this ancient and interesting land was an incredible experience. I love history and to actually stand in these places and let my imagination wander was simply amazing.

I have seen photos and illustrations in my history texts and seen many of these places portrayed in film, but to actually stand here is another thing completely.

We began our trip in the Catalonian town of Girona. I’ll also start by saying that anything I mention from this region of Spain will be referenced as Catalonia, which as I have discovered, though part of Spain, has a completely separate history, language and culture which I want to respect.

So, here I stood in ancient Girona, in the northeastern region of Spain, known as Catalonia. The city is dominated by it’s brightly coloured riverfront houses and the massive Cathedral of Girona, which holds the world record for the widest Gothic nave, spanning an incredible 22 meters. The Cathedral become more recently know for its role in the HBO series Game of Thrones, where it is the inspiration for the Sept of Balor. While I did find the cathedral beautiful, I found myself intrigued with the lesser known views of the back for the cathedral, shown here. It certainly shows the consecutive addition of various building to the cathedral over time and I loved all the variance in tones and texture.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 17-50 mm F2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF A1N6II @ 17mm
1/125 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200

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

Thursday Doors – “Plaça del Raval” – Bagà, Españia

“Plaça del Raval” – Bagà, Españia

Thursday Doors – March 12, 2020
“Plaça del Raval” – Bagà, Españia

On a vacation trip late last summer I had the opportunity to travel through three countries in a single day: Spain, France, and Andorra. Along the way to France, tucked into the foothills of the Pyrenees, is the Catalonian village of Bajà. This was my first real venture away from the bustle of Barcelona and this beautiful little town of some 2,000 people had a wonderful medieval feel to it with its narrow winding streets and old stone structures.

Along the main street I came across this simple door. The light and textures were just irresistible and I found it translated even better as a mono image. I do not have an exact address and Google Street View does not travel down this narrow roadway, so I can’t give exact coordinates but it’s just west of the Plaça del Catalunya, if you are ever in the area.

The other thing that struck me, but unfortunately did not work well within the composition, though I hoped it would, was the prevalence of Catalonian independence flags flying from nearly every window. The deeper you travel into north-east Spain the more noticeable the Catalonian movement for independence is, with flags and banners everywhere in the region with its very own culture and language.

I plan on sharing more of that experience in subsequent posts.

 

Thursday Doors – “Safe in Barcelona”

Barcelona Door

Thursday Doors – March 5, 2020
“Safe in Barcelona”

It’s been a long time since I posted to this topic. That does not mean my camera has not been snapping away. I now have a vast library of doors to share over the coming weeks.

This door was in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter and shows the inside of a shop door. I wasn’t sure what to title it, but the Catalan protests that happened while I was there and escalated prompted several of my travelling friend to post that they were ‘safe’ on various social media platforms. Given the number of locks on this door, I’d say the contents of the store were “Safe in Barcelona.”

I also noticed many of these ancient doors had been repaired numerous times, simple by inserting a new piece of wood where the damaged or rotted piece was. Which makes for some pretty eclectic designs.