“Thaw”

“Thaw”

“As winter releases its grip, memories of warmer are revealed”
– Ed Lehming 

I’ve spent a lot of time recently walking around my town. Primarily due to convenience and partly because the late winter forests have been fairly uninspiring. I’m always looking for unusual things that might make for an interesting photo.

Many times, I will see something that catches my eye and I spend more time observing the scene or object, trying to understand why it stood out. I also see things as they may be. What I mean by that is that I use a bit of an impressionist’s eye to extract more than just the object itself.

Here, I came across a boulder emerging from the ice along the path that I was walking on. The way the light played on the ice, and a bit on the rock, made for an interesting composition.

I’ve also started to paint, so I’m looking for subjects that may lend themselves to this treatment. Often I’m not sure exactly how I may create a painting, but have the advantage of several plug-ins that allow me to ‘play’ with the image to form my final approach.

That’s what I did here. I took the photo from my iPhone and applied a few filters to get me to where I want to go with an eventual painting.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4 mm
1/15 sec; f/1.8; ISO 1600

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

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“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

“Defeat”

“Defeat”

“Among the detritus of winter lay the signs of resignation and defeat”
– Ed Lehming

Oh, I am so done with this winter. March is hanging on, raw and ragged, teasing with hints of warmth and melting the snow into dirty gray piles of grime. As the snows recede, the history of the winter gradually reveals itself. Usually, this is in the form of garbage, trapped in the layers of snow.

This scene did strike me as funny though. Sometime over the winter somebody had broken not one but two snow shovels and discarded them on the very thing that defeated them. There’s likely more to this story, but as I walked past it, a smile crossed my face and I made up my own story to explain this scene and I decided to stop and grab a quick image.

You may notice the Canadian flag, high and in the distance. The flag was deliberately placed within my frame. It made me think of mountain climbers leaving their flag at the top of a mountain, though not all manage to ‘summit’ and are also resigned to walk back down the hill, defeated, as someone else’s flag waves proudly above them. It also serves as a reminder of winters in Canada.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4 mm
1/590 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

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

“Chilling”

“Chilling”

“The most amazing thing about the winter is that even a frozen world may be perceived as a heaven!” 
― Mehmet Murat Ildan

Here we are in March and the temperatures are finally starting to moderate. What better time than today to post this self-portrait I made back in late January.

It seems to me to have been a particularly harsh and too oft ice-cold winter in Southern Ontario this year. That weather has not deterred me from getting out there and making images, as evidenced from the included photo, which reminds me of those vintage images of the Antarctic explorers, so I ‘grunged’ it up a bit for effect.

I recall that day well, having spent a few hours out in the ridiculously cold weather. A day where my long lens seized up because it was so cold out. On my return to the truck, I stopped for a moment to snap this self-portrait to remind me just how cold I felt.

Yet, despite the deep and intense cold that day, I was able to capture a few images that would otherwise have gone unrealized. Like the accompanying quote states so well, there is still stunning beauty to be witnessed, even on the coldest winter days, yet only those of us brave, or stupid enough to go out in it bear witness.

iPhone 7 front camera @ 2.87mm
1/20 sec; f/2.2; ISO 250

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.

“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