Tag Archives: darkness

“Edge of Darkness”

“Edge of Darkness”

“Nature is a haunted house–but Art–is a house that tries to be haunted.” 
― Emily Dickinson

Every now and then the gently winding path leads along or within patches of dark pine forest. These mighty trees rise from the ground and weave their branches into a tight canopy, blocking out most of the light. The space below is an eternal twilight filled with dead branches and a thick carpet of pine needles. Despite this, small green shoots struggle for a patch of sunlight, sheltered from the elements in this dark environment.

Along the edge of these groves of pines, bright sunshine warms the ground and plants flourish, creeping as close to the pines as possible, seeking shelter from the wind yet far enough away to catch the sunshine, like a person walking close to buildings to avoid the rain.

The contrast between the dark pines and the bright path is what inspired this image, the characteristics of the light visibly different once you slide back to the pines, where a golden light predominates.

As the quote above so eloquently puts it: Nature ‘is’ and art attempts to communicate the elements which makes it what it is. Through my abstract photos, I attempt to bring some of those elements of life into the image through deliberate movement.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/18.0, ISO 100 

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

Advertisements

“Big Dipper Over Fort Stewart”

“Big Dipper Over Fort Stewart”

“The Big Dipper wheels on its bowl. In years hence it will have stopped looking like a saucepan and will resemble a sugar scoop as the earth continues to wobble and the dipper’s seven stars speed in different directions.” 
― Ann Zwinger

This past weekend, I spent a few evenings with my son, who wanted to try his hand at night photography. So, I made a few shots of my own. Night photography is not my area of expertise and I spent quite a bit of time simply ‘experimenting’. I’ve also never used my D800, so was checking to see just how different the sensor was compared with my D300, with which I had become quite comfortable a few years ago.

Conditions were not ideal, despite travelling to a “dark zone”, just east of our camper. Dark Zones are areas identified for their lack of light pollution and should be ideal places for astrophotography. I’ve included a map site if you are interested. On the evening that we travelled to nearby Fort Stewart, the moon was in an advanced waxing crescent, just high enough to light up the low clouds and obscure the fainter stars. Then, of course, the sky clouded up a bit and we had to wait for a few breaks. Add to that the plentiful mosquitoes, brought on by our wet summer, and that was the recipe we had to work with.

In the end, I ended up with a few interesting images, including this one of the Big Dipper, just above a line of trees, with the moonlight reflecting off the clouds. I have yet to see my son’s images. I’m hoping he was successful in what he hoped to capture.

Nikon D800
Tamron 17-50 mm f/2.8 @ 17mm
15 sec, f/2.8 ISO 3200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Coral Geranium”

“Coral Geranium”

“Everyday gratitude sweetens what appears flavorless and brightens all that appears dim.”
― Amy Leigh Mercree

The floral photography adventure continues. As I keep making these images, I’m trying a few different techniques. In this instance, the blossoms were at the end of a long stalk. Including the stalk lengthwise made the photo, and the plant itself look awkward. So, I spun the plant around and photographed it end-on.

A further challenge with this angle was trying to show the entire flower in focus and bright while allowing the light to gradually fall off, so that the blossom appears to be coming from the darkness. The challenge here is that the blossoms are very bright and the leaves quite dark. I’m also getting used to a newly acquired macro lense, which gives me far more aperture flexibility than my previous extension tube setup.

To get the entire blossom in focus, as well as most of the leaves required a very narrow aperture of f/29, but since I had abundant light, I was able to keep the shutter speed a bit faster at 1/4 sec. Still learning, but enjoying the journey.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
0.4 sec, f/29.0, ISO 200

Hi Resolution image on 500px

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Even in Our Darkness…”

“Even in Our Darkness...”

“I am a forest, and a night of dark trees: but he who is not afraid of my darkness, will find banks full of roses under my cypresses.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

As I was reviewing my photos from the past few weeks, I kept glancing at this one, which at first seemed a bit dark for me. When I opened the thumbnail and looked closer it brought me back to the moment when I made the photo and I recalled why I made it.

I was sitting on a rock above a large beaver pond in the late afternoon. The dense spruce and hemlock forest was dark and damp, green with moss, and a bit foreboding feeling. Yet, through the dark canopy, a narrow opening allowed a patch of bright sunlight through. Just enough light to reveal the multitude of colour present in the dark place. Some trees glow green with mosses and lichen, while others, a soft brown. There are others which remain quite dark and gray, yet above, even the canopy has a soft green brightness to it.

So, despite what appears to be darkness, there is light, if we are observant and take the time to look.

How often have we experienced this darkness in our lives, the narrow sphere we feel we are in? Yet, just on the periphery, bright lives continue, children laugh, people love, and the world, even on rainy days, sits in wait of sunlight, which inevitably comes.

So, look deeply into this scene, which appears dark and somewhat sinister and see all the light in the details. Is this a forest you would walk joyfully into, even being aware of the subtle brightness? What lies beyond that line trees? There was more life beyond this veil of darkness. In fact, a beautiful grove of majestic oaks awaited me, just over the next rise. Sometimes you have to risk it and break through to the next layer, encouraged by the hints of light we are all given. Though not Nietzsche’s banks of roses, it was wonderful, nonetheless.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/16.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“So near, and yet…”

“So near, and yet...”

“Distance sometimes lets you know who is worth keeping, and who is worth letting go.”
― Lana Del Rey

This is a bit of a shift for me today. I went back in my photo archive, looking for some colour and came across this image I made in the spring. The title came to me as soon as I saw the image, recalling how I composed it, deliberately leaving the dark area between the butterfly and the flower.

They were only inches apart, yet through the viewfinder, it appeared that the butterfly had a journey to make, a dark void to cross, as he sat considering the blossom. This was also true literally, as the image was made at the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory, not outdoors,  and this little fellow had plenty of competition lying in wait, seeking the same blossom, though they are out of the frame here.

It was also a bit of challenge for me, attempting macro-type photography with my 70-200mm zoom. But, the light was good, and the image stabilization was quite effective. However, I would like to return next year with a macro lens and attempt it once more.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/60 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Daisy and the Darkness”- Secord Forest

“Daisy and the Darkness” - Secord Forest

“Do not let your difficulties fill you with anxiety, after all it is only in the darkest nights that stars shine more brightly.”
― Hazrat Ali Ibn Abu-Talib A.S

Hmm, this sounds like the title for a love story involving some damsel and some adversary.

This single daisy shone like a beacon in the distance, against the dark forest, as I turned a bend in the trail a few days ago. It was so singularly bright that nothing else registered to me. As I neared, a few background details started to emerge in my vision, but it was still that single, brilliant daisy that dominated.

I was hoping to capture that brilliance and singularity in this photo and I believe I have. My camera allows me to set ‘center-weighted exposure’ to an 8mm diameter, though it’s not a go-to setting for me. I do, however, have it set in my camera menu for the odd time I use it, as in this image. This allowed me to set exposure correctly for the bright white petals, while keeping the background near black, still showing some of the green stem.

In reflecting back on the image, it looks like a rend in the forest’s cloth of darkness.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200mm
1/400 sec, f/10.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“End Of Darkness” – Fraser Lake Forest Abstract

End Of Darkness - Fraser Lake Forest Abstract

Another one of my “Trees” series of photo abstractions. This photo was made four years ago, at Fraser Lake Camp, near Bancroft, Ontario when I was just starting to play with this technique. I re-edited it last year because I was not happy with the ‘feel’ of the image. Again, it comes down to the strong vertical elements and good light. In this case, I was following a game trail and looked up to see the beautiful glow of sunshine on a single tree standing in the middle of the path. The surrounding trees were quite dark because it had just rained. The rain also made all the undergrowth nice and saturated with colour. For me the image is like the end of a journey through darkness into the brilliant warmth of daylight.

Nikon D200
Nikor 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5 @ 70mm
1/4 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 100