Tag Archives: Fern

“Freshness”

“Freshness”

“Spring is like the opening of a window on a bright sun-filled day. Freshness replaces the stale air and fills us with energy and promise.”
– Ed Lehming

Ferns are a real pleasure to watch in the spring. Seeing them gently unroll on the forest floor is an active part of the spring. For me, it symbolizes the season so well. It’s a gradual, carefully timed. and repeated process.

This image captures the ‘fiddlehead’ of an ostrich fern as it begins to stretch upwards to the warming sun. The more it open, the more energy it absorbs in early spring, developing the plant before the canopy of trees high above blocks the sun’s light and puts the ferns into shadow for the summer.

I used a fairly narrow aperture to keep most of the fiddlehead in sharp focus while allowing some softness further down the stalk.

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

1/40 sec, f/14.0, ISO 200

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

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“Group Huddle”

“Group Huddle”

“Opening ferns in spring remind me of that first stretch when waking up. You can almost hear them yawning after their long rest”
– Ed Lehming

It’s a joy to watch the grand opening of the forest, that time of year that we have named spring. The plants seem to be in a race to see which one can reach the highest, the fastest. Ferns are no exception to this.

For the past few days, the ferns have been small knobs on the ground waiting for the sunshine to warm the ground enough to signal them to start growing. The knobs soon expand into their ‘fiddlehead’ stage where they seem to pause once more, still close to the ground and shelter of the layer of fallen leaves; it seems like they are waiting for signs of frost to disappear, protecting the delicate leaves from freezing.

Then, suddenly, they begin to stretch up and unroll, the once tight fiddleheads riding atop ever expanding stems. In this image, the leaves within the fiddleheads are clearly visible and are just about to open. Within the next few days they will expand to their full size, drinking in the sunshine and adding more greenery to the lush forest floor.

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

1/160 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200

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

“My Shady Place”

“My Shady Place”

“It is in the shade that you look up at a tree and appreciate its efforts.” 
― Matshona Dhliwayo

The versatility and adaptability of nature is endless. Here, a small fern has found a place in the shade that allows it to grow, protected for the heat, and largely isolated from competing plants.

I often see theses mini gardens, some filled with ferns, others with small trees or mushrooms. It seems that all it takes is for a little soil to form and a seed to fall in the right place to create these private places of growth.

This one caught my attention along the trail as the sun was reflecting brightly from the fern’s leaves and the moss encrusted bark of the fallen tree in an otherwise shaded and green forest floor. As you can see, the moss is quite dry since we have had very little rain over the past few weeks and the forest is showing the stress of this weather. But, this little fern seems to be doing quite well init shelter.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/50 sec, f/3.5, ISO 400

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

“Outstretched”

“Outstretched”

“When you reach for the stars, you are reaching for the farthest thing out there. When you reach deep into yourself, it is the same thing, but in the opposite direction. If you reach in both directions, you will have spanned the universe.” 
― Vera Nazarian

It’s late June, yet many of the plants are still growing. This fern along the trail is a good example of this. In the warm breezes of early summer the fronds are still unfurling, still reaching for sunlight.

I chose the quote to go with this image to align with the concept of reaching outwards as well as the growth I experience, internally, every time I partake in these moments on my hikes. I reach within myself, trying to understand what I am experiencing. There are always surprises and I enjoy these. All this life and movement is energizing to me, the solitary hiker.

In the image above, if you look very carefully, there is an insect lurking behind the terminal frond. I don’t usually notice these when I make the image, they reveal themselves when I process the image. It would seem almost every plant and flower has an insect lurking somewhere. This one seems to be deliberately hiding from my lens.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/400 sec, f/100, ISO 320 

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

“Fiddle-Head”

“Fiddle-Head”

“She smells fresh, like the shadow under trees.” 
― Julio Cortázar

The freshness of spring, among my favourite things. And with that freshness, the scents of spring, fresh-cut grass, tilled earth, and the flowers opening to the warm sun above. As well, the ferns have a unique aroma, which is quite noticeable when there are many plants.

Yet, even in the shadows, fresh life emerges. From the cool recesses of the forest floor, ferns break ground an uncoil their stems in the form of fiddle-heads. They are quite wonderful to see and mark the next stage of spring, the emergence of summer plants, those which will remain the rest of the season.

These tightly wound shoots seem to spring up from nothing, stretching skyward, and within days are clearly identifiable as the ferns which will soon blanket their surroundings. And so, this phase is brief and worth grabbing an image to share today. Tomorrow, it will be quite different, as it opens up to the sun.

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

2 sec, f/25.0, ISO 100 

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

“Dew Covered Oak Ferns”

“Dew Covered Oak Ferns”

“When one tunes in into nature’s frequency, life becomes change, change becomes hope!”
― Aniekee Tochukwu Ezekiel

The honest truth, over the past few weeks, it’s been difficult to photograph anything that is not either dew covered, or rain-soaked. As my previous few posts have indicated, it has been WET here. To the point where I finally had a chance this past Sunday to take a brief hike in the local forests.

Even at that, it was still a bit dull, with the occasional break of sunlight. The combination of the two made it possible to get some nice photos of wildflowers, which I will be sharing over the next few days. While the dull clouds allowed for deep, saturated colours, slight breezes also meant I had to shoot at a slightly higher ISO than I like, to compensate for the movement of the flowers, which, though negligible to the naked eye, is magnified in macro imagery.

Despite having to make some modifications, the images of wildflowers at this time of year are very nice and the dew drops give them a serene feeling. Something most of us can use more of.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/13 sec, f/16.0 ISO 800

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

“Underside”

“Underside”

“Thus the man who is responsive to artistic stimuli reacts to the reality of dreams as does the philosopher to the reality of existence; he observes closely, and he enjoys his observation: for it is out of these images that he interprets life, out of these processes that he trains himself for life.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

On these cool, blustery winter days, it’s a nice to be able to head to the studio and play with some macro photography. Under the studio lights, fine details, often missed start to reveal themselves. I find myself pulled deeper and deeper into the image, almost shocked at structures my eye did not consciously see. I chose the word ‘consciously’ deliberately, because I know that our eyes are capturing all this visual data, but our brain filters it, selectively.

The fern is a good example. Not that I sat staring wild eyed at ferns, because I had not noticed the spores (the round cones under the leave for the non-botany folks) on the underside until researching  local fern varieties.

Now I sit in awe at the exquisite textures and details of this fern frond, frozen in time for me to observe more carefully.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
2.0 sec, f/29.0, ISO 100

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