Tag Archives: golden

Iceland Journal – “The Golden Valley” – Northern Iceland

“The Golden Valley” - Northern Iceland

“When you don’t cover up the world with words and labels, a sense of the miraculous returns to your life that was lost a long time ago when humanity, instead of using thought, became possessed by thought.” 
― Eckhart Tolle

As I continue to review my photos from Iceland, inevitably I come across a collection of photos I have dubbed “The Golden Valley”. I posted one of them a few weeks ago. That particular image was a closer view of the mountain in the distance, Heiðarfall, and as I said then, we thought we had seen the highlight of our day at Goðafoss, earlier in the day. This image is a bit of a wider shot, showing more of the valley that contained the wonder that had us transfixed for a few brief moments on day five of our ten-day Iceland trip.

We continued on our journey, stopping for lunch in Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest city and headed westward through a long valley, not expecting to see much more, other than the high mountains which dominate the region surrounding Akureyri. This valley follows a moderate river known as Heiðará, which can be seen at the centre of my photo.

This drive was more beautiful than expected and we travelled deeper into the highlands, following the river valley between steep hillsides and mountains. Along the way, we stopped and made some photos of the various mountains, but our attention was fixed on this single peak in the distance, framed by the surrounding slopes, the sun hanging just to the left of it, casting soft shadows and lighting up the snow blowing from its peak.

As we got closer, I was hoping that the road would continue to take us nearer and not turn off to some adjacent valley. We were not disappointed and as we approached, we noticed the slight shifting slightly to a warm glow, which made the valley seem to glow in soft sunlight. We stopped the car along the road and watched this effect take hold, making several images each of this stunning spectacle of light. The whole valley seemed to shine in tones of gold, patches of sunlight catching the grasses and seeming to shimmer through the fine mist caused by blowing snow. The whole world around us was alight in a surreal brilliance. It was like a scene you imaging in a fantasy novel, we were just missing dragons and unicorns. And then just as it had begun, it ended, still lovely but lacking the stunning effect we had just witnessed, for a few glorious moments.

Every photographer’s dream is to capture a moment like this, accurately, so that others can experience it as well. I’m happy that my many years, out on the trails, making photos, and many times failing, had prepared me for this moment and enabled me to create an image that fully and accurately communicates what I witnessed. As I sat at my computer, reviewing and editing this photo, I found myself filled with the same raw emotion I felt when I made the photo. I hope that you, my reader, enjoy it too.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70mm
1/250 sec, f/9.0 ISO 200

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

 

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Iceland – Day 5

“Grjótárhnjúkur” - North Iceland

“Heiðarfall” – North Iceland

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

On a day that started out dull, and blanketed in low cloud and with little promise of sights to photograph, we set out on the still icy road which would lead us to a stop at Goðafoss, a much photographed waterfall just off the main highway, a lovely lunch in the city of Akureyri, and finally, our overnight stay at a guesthouse in Svinvatn, a small interior lake.

As we approached Goðafoss, the sky began to brighten, but a layer of cloud still blocked the sun, but made for good conditions to photograph the waterfall, post to follow at a later date.

With the highlight of our day completed, we headed out of Akureyri, the second largest city in Iceland, following a long valley through the mountain range that rises on the western edge of the Eyjafjörður fjord.

With the sky just slightly overcast, the drive through the valley was lovely, and yielded a few ‘decent’ photos. I the distance, we could see a mountain peak, a bit hazy in the distance, lit up by the sun. We kept watching, as the peak began to come into sharper view, snow whipping from its snow covered summit.

We pulled over along the road to make a few photos of this interesting vista before us. Then, suddenly, magic happened. As I stood ready to make a photo, the clouds overhead changed the light, ever so slightly and bathed the valley before me in a wonderful golden hue and the world before me was like a scene from a dream, then it was gone again. But, I was able to capture that one brief moment as a photo I will treasure for a long time. The long valley, with the snowy mountain. A miracle of light and timing.

So, a ho hum day, became a day of sheer joy. That seems to be the nature of Iceland, you always have to be prepared for something new and wonderful, despite icy roads and gray skies.

What an incredible change from yesterday’s icy drive.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 145 mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0 ISO 200

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

“Abundance”

“Abundance”

“Squabbling over too little is just human nature. But it says a great deal about a person, what they do with abundance.” 
― Tessa Dare

Today, some time spent out of the forest in in the farm fields around my home. It’s hard to believe, but it’s already late July and the wheat fields are seas of golden waves, swaying in the hot summer breezes.

As I stand among the soon to be harvested crops, I’m overwhelmed by the sheer abundance of food these fields will produce. As far as I can see, the bounty of grain fills my senses. There is the gentle movement, the rich golden colour, and the warm scent of wheat in the air. It surrounds me and makes me smile to see this much life and this much potential surrounding me. It also bring back memories of helping family members who have farms in collecting and storing what felt like an endless supply of straw bales after the harvest, always on the hottest days.

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

“Gold Flecks”

“By walking on the right path, you create a golden fate for yourself and you also become a silver lining for the others!” 
― Mehmet Murat Ildan

I find myself frequently drawn to quotes from Mehmet Ildan as his words so wonderfully pair with my images and my life journey. I am thankful for those, like Mehet, who can so wonderfully express in words, that which I struggle with.

This “Golden Paths” series is all about the journey and appreciating our surroundings, in the moment. There have been mundane moments along this journey, through dark flat forest scenes and monotonous stretches of ‘sameness’, but they have all led me into jaw dropping moments, like the one above, where the sun made the golden foliage light up with an unbelieveable energy. I literally stood transfixed, hoping I would be able to effectively capture this moment, so others could enjoy it with me. The leaves looked gilded, shimmering in the light. They almost looked metallic, they were so bright. It was, magical and awe inspiring.

Hopefully, as the quote states, I’m able to provide a silver lining for you?

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/32.0, 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

“Golden Moments”

“Golden Moments”

“Do you know how there are moments when the world moves so slowly you can feel your bones shifting, your mind tumbling? When you think that no matter what happens to you for the rest of your life, you will remember every last detail of that one minute forever?” 
― Jodi Picoult

While on an extended hike yesterday, making photos for my next series, I entered a large meadow, filled with bright yellow Goldenrod. The plants were in peak condition, having just started blooming a few days ago. The entire field in which I stood, from treeline to treeline, was alight with gold. As I stood looking across the expanse of flowers, my ears became aware of an incredible buzzing sound. Upon looking closer, I noticed thousands of honeybees at work, extracting nectar and collecting pollen. I was literally engulfed in a sea of flowers and bees. Wow!

For a few moments, I stood there, eyes closed, the sun shining warmly on my face, savouring the moment, thrilling in the warmth and listening to the thrum of the bees. Everything else melted into the background as my senses drank in the sounds of life. I was blessed to be part of this moment, also thinking how awesome it was to see a significant population of honeybees, which have been on the decline for the past few years.

After pausing to enjoy this experience, I set out to make a few images to remember it by. It did not take long, as every flower has at least two bees on it. That is how many there were. As I said in previous posts, I used to have a fear of bees. What I have experienced lately is that honeybees are very gentle and could care less about me as I lean in close for a photo. I also noticed that as I pushed though the bee laden goldenrod, they simply flew into the air and landed back on the plants after I had passed. They bounced off my arms and chest as I waded through the flowers, simply another participant in the life of the meadow. By the way, for those not familiar with goldenrod, it grows on tall stalks and the flowers are at face level to me. I’m six foot one. So, the bees are right in front of me as well.

So, here it is, a “Golden Moment” to remind me of my time with the bees and the joy of that moment, in the flowers.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/640 sec, f/13.0, ISO 400 

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

 

 

“Golden Memories”

“Golden Memories”

I’ve had a few people ask recently how I’m able to pick up the golden glow in some of my forest images. One of my recent images, “November’s Golden Litter” – Hermon, Ontario, is an example of their fabulous effect on a large scale. When conditions are just right: the right light, the angel of that light, the condition and colour of the leaves, and a contrasting background, the effect is almost magical. If you have stood on a forest trail and experienced this, you will know what I mean. It is tough to describe.

Many times I’ve seen this phenomenon and tried to capture it as a photo, only to be disappointed in the results, the surreal glow muted down to a dull orange or yellow. Over the years, and many failures, I’ve found ways of capturing the moment fairly consistently.

During one of those moments I picked up a few unsullied oak leaves to photograph in my little studio. Well, today was the day, and the result is shown above. Once again, with the right light and the right angle, I was able to reproduce this golden effect successfully in a single leaf. Now, imagine thousands of these littering the forest floor, interspersed with other yellow and bronze leaves like maple and beech, and you will understand where this stunning golden light comes from. I’m so very pleased this little experiment turned out so well.

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

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

“November’s Golden Litter” – Hermon, Ontario

"November's Golden Litter" - Hermon, Ontario“November is usually such a disagreeable month…as if the year had suddenly found out that she was growing old and could do nothing but weep and fret over it. This year is growing old gracefully…just like a stately old lady who knows she can be charming even with gray hair and wrinkles. We’ve had lovely days and delicious twilights.”
― L.M. Montgomery

It reminded me of a scene from The Hobbit, as Bilbo enters Smaug’s lair and sees gold strewn everywhere, pouring across the floor and flowing between the columns. Though this is not gold, rather, an abundance of oak and beech leaves covering the rugged forest floor near Bancroft Ontario, flowing like a golden river between the rocks and trees.

Four mild November days and bright sunshine made the forest a wonderland of colour and light, especially accented by the golden leaves which were everywhere, on the tops of ridges, on ledges, and in deep valleys, everything was alight in the same golden glow. It really was surreal.

The image above is just one of many I made while hiking through tone of the deep valleys that is so typical of this region. Many ridges are a challenge to climb, so some careful planning is required before the attempt is made. This particular valley is quite shallow but many feature sheer drops and I’ve found my way through them with several years of exploring. It’s always a pleasure to get back here.

iPhone 5s back camera @ 4.2mm
1/120 sec;   f/2.2;   ISO 64

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