Tag Archives: forest

“Back to the Woods”

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” 
 William Blake

Today, a brief reprieve from my my Iceland series, which is not nearly complete. Yesterday, as the early snowfalls melted away, it took the the local forest for a moderate hike.

I’m blessed to live in an area with lots of forest and lots of easily accessible trails. There are favourites which I return to regularly, one being North Walkers Woods, which has a good network of interconnecting trails. The one I chose is what I refer to as the ‘ outer loop’ which follows the forest perimeter and is six kilometres long.

The day stared out dull and overcast, but sitting inside was not an appealing option for me. After a particularly horrible workweek, many of my co-workers were let go, in the ever present world of downsizing, I ended my week family ‘numb’ and simply needed to get out and recharge.

When I’m out hiking and making photos, the outside world fades away and I am simply present in the forest. I hear lots of people talking about this state of being present. I suppose I have always had the ability to do that, without having a formal name for it.

So, here I was, enjoying a good late autumn walk and seeing the dull day turn ever brighter. The sun never fully emerged from the clouds but the light was soft and warm enough to make a few simple forest images, including the one above.

I played with my Prisma app to get the slightly graphic effect, which is quite subtle, and you have to look closely to see the effects.

iPhone 7

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“Three Along the Way”

“Three Along the Way”

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” 
― William Blake

As I walk the local trails, I’m often quite aware that, at some point, the trailblazers and foresters had to make choices about what trees remained and what trees needed to be felled. As the trails meander to and fro, it’s clear that conscious decisions were made to avoid having to cut certain trees.

I suppose, being a cluster of three, tightly grouped, makes you less vulnerable to the chainsaw, however well intentioned. There are many such clusters along the trails and the path always gently flexes around them. For me, each of the trees I pass tell a bit of the story about the formation of this trail system, so many years ago. As the story emerges, I am ever grateful to those who had the foresight to set these lands apart for our future enjoyment, one tree at a time.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/4 sec, f/22.0 ISO 400

“The Gentle Way”

“The Gentle Way”

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” 
― Pat Conroy

This image, while slightly darker than some of my prior posts, represents so well my typical experiences on the trail; bright sunshine streams between the branches light above, the canopy has a slight yellow tinge, as the days shorten, there are wonderful shifts in the light, each tree reflecting a slightly different shade of brown gray, or silver; far in the distance, a bright meadow shows through a gap in the trees, my destination, or just a glade along the trail edge?

The path, soft and sandy, littered with leaves, has become my gentle way. I tread these trails in reverence for the beauty they lead me through and am grateful to those early conservationists who had the foresight to set this land apart, so that I and many more could enjoy the wonder of the forest trails .

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70mm
1/4 sec, f/9.0 ISO 200

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

“The Light that Lights My Way”

“The Light that Lights My Way”

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” 
― Ursula K. Le Guin

Scenes like this are one of the reasons I hike. I’ve referred to these dappled pools of light as “God-Light”, to quote C.S. Lewis. These small patches of golden light, like pools of energy seem to appear on all but the most overcast days. They are but one of the many effects in the forest which have a profound impact on me. In the forest, I feel in tune with my surroundings, the busyness of the workweek fades to a dull memory and my world come alive.

There is more to the light around me, while it lights my way, it warms my spirit and brings out the child in me. I find myself transfixed by the wonderful diversity of the forest paths, and grinning at simple things like a butterfly trying to land in the wind. Many of these scenes go undocumented, too brief to be captured as a photo, but remain with me as beautiful memories of my walks through the woods.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/4 sec, f/10.0 ISO 100

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

“Disposable”

“Disposable”

“Nothing ever really goes away–it just changes into something else. Something beautiful.” 
― Sarah Ockler

I was debating the title for this image of a spent cicada pupa. I recall seeing thousands of them in the pine forests just outside Atlanta, Georgia a few years ago. We arrived for an event and the campground we were staying at seemed overrun with emerging cicadas. Every tree was covered in these little alien carapaces.

To find one close to home was a surprise, though cicadas are also plentiful here, I have, up till now, not seen evidence that they also emerged here. I guess I figured they came from somewhere else.

The shell, as I said, has a strange alien look to it, barely resembling the adult cicada with its large and shimmering wings, that provide a constant background buzz on hot summer days.

One of the advantages of shooting a 90mm macro lens as a prime lately is that I can quickly switch from forest abstracts to highly detailed macro images.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/100 sec, f/4.5 ISO 400

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

“Just Around the Next Bend”

“Just Around the Next Bend”

“Never forget that anticipation is an important part of life. Work’s important, family’s important, but without excitement, you have nothing. You’re cheating yourself if you refuse to enjoy what’s coming.” 
― Nicholas Sparks

Part of the enjoyment I get from hiking is the anticipation, the ‘unknown’ about what’s around the next bend. Though I’ve hiked these trails for years now, there is always something new to discover. On days where I feel uninspired, all I have to do is get on the trail, look around that next band, and I’m almost always treated with something unexpected, some play of the light, or a new plant that I had not noticed.

In this image, along the theme is anticipation, along with the broader theme of this series of photos, there is the knowledge that autumn is also just around the bend, as evidenced by the colour shift from deep green to hints of yellow and even a few coppery-orange leaves to be found along the trail. The changes will soon accelerate and “In the Blink”, it will be autumn. Given our weather this summer, I’m anticipating some beautiful colours.

For those who look at my camera settings (below), you will have noticed that I have been adjusting the ISO and aperture as lighting conditions vary throughout this hike. I keep my shutter speed consistent at 1/4 sec, as this is the speed I feel produces the best results with my process.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/4 sec, f/11.0 ISO 100

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

“The Brightness of Birches”

“The Brightness of Birches”

“In this hour, I do not believe that any darkness will endure.” 
― J.R.R. Tolkien

As my journey through the September forests continued the forest and light varied significantly, this is the nature of forests in this area. This constant change offers many opportunities for photos, or simply to stand still for a few moments, enjoying the light playing through the leaves.

In small patches, birch trees brighten up the forest with their brilliant white bark. Tis makes them a bit of a challenge to photograph, as I have to balance their brightness with the darker forest behind. Here, the bright pale green leaves in the background made that balancing a lot simpler and yielded a rather nice image of the trees which conveys very well the ‘feel’ of this scene, not so many days ago.

As a said, this is part of a series of photos and I have begun to print them and hang them. So far, they seem to flow rather nicely in preparation for my 2018 Studio Tour.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/4 sec, f/18.0 ISO 400

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