Category Archives: Travel

“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

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“Heading Out”

“Heading Out”

“Hark, now hear the sailors cry, 
Smell the sea, and feel the sky,
Let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic.”
– Van Morrison

During the days I spend sitting on the shores in Cozumel this past January, one thing that was every present, except one stormy day, was the non-stop traffic of boats going by, just offshore. It was a mix of dive boats, fishing boats, and pleasure craft, but it was ceaseless.

From the break of dawn till early evening, the boats floated by, some lazily and others seemingly in a race to get the best spot first. And all the while, their wake rolled gently to the beach, long after their passing.

There was a certain pleasure in the act of simply resting on the beach and watching this activity, which was the only real measure of time, simply through its regularity.

I tried to capture that lazy feeling through a timed horizontal pan, rendering the photo a deliberately blurry and abstract image, as if waking from a dream. The red boat, just passing, is visible, but not immediately, as your eyes scan the scene presented.

It’s very calming for me now, reflecting back on these lazy, sun-baked days, with not a care in the world where, like the Van Morrison song, my soul and spirit did fly, into the mystic.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
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

“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

“Cozumel Shores”

“Cozumel Shores”

“The waves lapped lazily on tropical shores, 
warm and gentle breezes caressed the palms.
My very soul is refreshed by the peace of the day.”
– Ed Lehming

This image is in stark contrast to my recent Iceland series. I had not considered that I might be in the tropics mere months after my northern adventures. Both experiences have been incredibly refreshing, in completely different ways. The warm breezes and lush growth is so completely different from Iceland.

The similarity is that both places offered a slow pace. There was no urgency to be anywhere or do anything, which is a much-needed break from my busy work life. And both places offered experiences which I will hold in my memory forever.

While one felt nearly devoid of life, the other was bursting with life, colour, and diversity. The harsh and wind-swept lava mountains of the near arctic were replaced with palm trees and teaming ocean life.

I’ve been truly blessed in my ability to experience both places so close together in time that I can readily compare their virtues. What a fabulous world we live in!

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/320 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

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

 

Iceland Journal -“A Final Flurry” – Grindavik, Iceland

“And what began as a dream, becomes reality, becomes memory…”
– Ed Lehming

So, concludes my Iceland Journal (this one at least),as it began, an image of vast stretches of wondrous, raw, and ever changing landscape.

It has been a real joy going back through my photos, triggering memories of moments, which I have been able to document and share.

And so, I end this chapter of the story, as we end the year 2018 and head into 2019.

I would not have believed, at the start of 2018 that it would include a trip to Iceland, who knows what this year will bring?

Wishing you all a Happy New Year 2019!

Iceland Journal – “The Magical Light of Iceland” – Kleifarvatn, Iceland

“We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.” 
― Leonora Carrington

The light in Iceland is incomparable, it possesses a magical quality and softness that simply pervades everything. I think, in part, is was partially due to the time of year, late October, when we visited. The sun never gets up very high and wonderful shadows are created. This ‘low’ sun also makes the light softer and warmer.

Here, along the shores of Kleifarvatn, the sun catches the yellow grasses on the low hillsides and makes them glow with light. Despite the snowy conditions, the whole scene is warm looking. Trust me, it was not warm when I made the photo!

There are colours here that are unrivalled in my experience, an inner glow, that I fell in love with. I can fully understand how Iceland holds other photographers in its thrall. The light shifts, dims, brightens, and brings out details like a spotlight, then moves on to the next subject.

It’s really quite remarkable, upon arriving here, we entered a world that looked blasted, tortured, and lifeless, yet the land slowly reveals its wonder, moment by moment until you are fully emerged in a sublime beauty that is so unexpected and so ceaseless that it’s almost overwhelming. And it’s all driven by the light, the magical sub-arctic light, and those beautiful mosses and grasses, which stand in such incredible contrast to the black sand and jagged rock.

As this year winds down, I’ve been able to send a lot of time recalling this memorable trip, through photos and memory.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 70 mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0 ISO 400

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

Iceland Journal – “Clouds Roll in at Kleifarvatn” – Iceland

“The clouds roll in, but don’t persist, they bring a welcome contrast and make us more aware of how lovely the sunshine is.”
– Ed Lehming

I really can’t imagine Iceland without its marvelous clouds. During our ten-day trip, every day had some cloud. Often, there are multiple layers, each slightly different and moving in different directions, creating a magical yet fleeting, play of light.

As a photographer, the quality of light is very important and I did not have to wait long for lighting conditions to shift. The clouds would tease and taunt me as they danced among the mountains, often hinting at what lay within their shroud and revealing glimpses of high mountain tops. Sometimes shafts of sunlight would pierce them, creating brilliant patches of illumination.

I’ve seen the photos made by other photographers, of places I visited, in bright sunshine, but some of the character is missing. It seems to me, that Icelandic landscapes require some quantity of cloud to show their true essence. This is, after all, a wild and rugged country and the ever-changing weather is part of that.

In the photo above, one of the last ones I made as we departed Reykjavik and headed toward the airport, by yet another ‘indirect’ route. The lake is Kleifarvatn and is a moderately sized lake about 15 kilometers south of Reykjavik. Our destination on our final day was the geothermal hot springs at Krysuvik, just south of the lake. The road followed the shore of the lake for some time and gave the opportunity for several final images of this enchanted land.

The water was just smooth enough to give a soft reflection of the flattened Vatnshliðarhorn mountain to the north, the sun brightly illuminating the yellow grasses along its base.

It’s this wonderful mix of sun and cloud that has provided the beautiful mood for many of my photos; ever-changing and creating new vistas by the moment. I look back on these photos fondly as I near the end of this series and close out the year feeling blessed to have experienced this majesty with my son.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 70 mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0 ISO 400

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