Tag Archives: life

“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:
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“Beckoning”

“Beckoning”

“All of us have had the experience of a sudden joy that came when nothing in the world had forewarned us of its coming – a joy so thrilling that if it was born of misery we remembered even the misery with tenderness”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

As I have worked on this latest series of images, it has become clear to me that I must be ‘in’ the forest, a participant in its life. To merely stand along the edges and gaze in, does not satisfy the need to immerse myself under the enchantment of its Green Veil. I need to be engulfed, to fully experience it.

By being in the forest, there is a ‘feel’, an energy, which is difficult to convey to someone who has not felt this life force personally. As I step onto the trails, even briefly, there is a rush of joy which is inexplicable. To be surrounded by such vibrancy is a blessing which I wish everyone could feel at some point. It’s a connectedness, a ‘oneness’ that is experienced within the woods.

So, as I close this series off, I chose this image. The image which beckons me to step in, or conversely, beckons me to return, as I look back on it on parting. In either case, it’s an invitation that I am glad for and which I will eagerly accept, the next time the forest beckons me.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/16.0, ISO 200 

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (images are available for purchase)
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“The Ragweed Bee”

“The Ragweed Bee”

“Mindfulness is about love and loving life. When you cultivate this love, it gives you clarity and compassion for life, and your actions happen in accordance with that. “
– Jon Kabat-Zinn

It’s allergy double jeopardy, a bee on ragweed.

Strange, I used to have a real aversion to bees and wasps. Now that I am pursuing more macro images, I find myself surrounded by them, as I strain for that next ‘shot’.

That was the case a few days ago, as I was making images of a few Japanese beetles. I looked up and found myself in a dense patch of ragweed, filled with bees. And guess, what, the bees were not even vaguely interested in me, as they harvested the bounty of nectar from the plants around me. I had honeybees right next to my arm, and they cared not that I was there. We were simply occupying the same space, each with our own purpose.

It really was quite an experience for me; I never gave the bees a second thought, and I believe the feeling was mutual. This has opened up a whole new world for me. I find myself making more and more images of bees busily harvesting for the bounty of wild flowers. It is certainly not something I would have considered even a year ago. I suppose you could say I’m in my element. The thought of being stung does not cross my mind as I simply enjoy being a spectator in this activity. At this point, they could land on me and it would not bother me one bit. This really is living in the moment, and I love it. I am at peace. Oh ya, I’m also, supposedly, allergic to ragweed, go figure.

This simple image, of a bee, clinging to a ragweed blossom is so peaceful and enjoyable, having experienced that unexpected moment. It is a moment of time where I am simply ‘in it’ and fascinated by the processes of life and it’s simplicity. We all need more of these moments, so I thought I’d share it.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/800 sec, f/6.3 ISO 200

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

“First Peony of the Season, Revisited”

“First Peony of the Season, Revisited”

“If today is not your day,
then be happy
for this day shall never return.
And if today is your day,
then be happy now
for this day shall never return.”
― Kamand Kojouri

I wanted to revisit this first peony blossom today. The image is made from a slightly different angle. When I shoot in the studio, I almost always set the subject up intuitively and stick with that shot. A few days may pass till I shoot it again, but I rarely, if ever, change the initial composition. Except this time.

I don’t spend a lot of time setting these shots up. I just ‘know’ that a certain composition will work. As I experiment, I may make changes from the original setup, but am usually not happy with it and don’t even make an image.

In the case of this wonderful peony blossom, however, the first shot, which I shared yesterday, was my go-to, yet this view is equally pleasing and shows the full face of the blossom. Nothing else was changed, just the shooting angle. I think both work and am now stuck with which one I like better. Perhaps both?

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
2.0 sec, f/32.0 ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Delicate Blues”

“Delicate Blues”

“In this delicate and unpredictable life, the future is unwritten. Do not take someone for granted today, for once tomorrow dawns upon the indigo night the only remaining trace will be tracks in the sand…”
― Virginia Alison

I find myself once more, considering the delicate beauty of the Siberian Squill that grows in my gardens. Since I made the original image of the stunning blue blossoms a few days I keep going back to them with new appreciation.

A few days back, I photographed the flowers at the end of the day, when they had closed for the evening. The bright blue colour still dominated the frame and the fine structures of teh stem showed a bit more.

It’s interesting how we take simple things, like these small flowers for granted, without taking the time to see them closer and appreciate the things that can only be observed when proper time is spent with them. Very much like how we interact with people in this crazy, busy world. Like the flowers, their time with us may be brief. When they are gone, all that remains are memories, many of which, if we consider them carefully are not fully representative of the full person. Something for me to consider.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
0.5 sec, f/32.0 ISO 400

High Resolution image on 500px

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

“The Fire of Life”

“The Fire of Life”

“There’s a lesson in every silence.”
― Aniekee Tochukwu Ezekiel

The new life is a thing of wonder to me. After months of cold and snow, fresh sprouts emerge from the earth and trees begin to bud. The dull grays and browns are interrupted with bursts of colour.

As I walked to a local forest a few days ago, I was really drawn to these intensely coloured leaves. When the sun hit them just right, they looked like tiny flames on the ends of the branches. Thus, the title for this image.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0 ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Early April Polypore”

“Early April Polypore”

“It is strange how new and unexpected conditions bring out unguessed ability to meet them.”
― Edgar Rice Burroughs

Many-coloured Polypore, to be more precise.

Finally, after several weeks, waiting for the ice to come off the trails and for some of the muck to dry up, I hit the trails today. My goal was to find some sign of new life. I was let down on that front, much of the forest floor was littered with a solid mat of compressed leaves.

Let me explain that statement. Due to the nature of our snowfalls, here in southern Ontario, the leaves, which, in recent years, have been exposed to the air by mid-March, were completely flattened and compressed, something I have not seen in a few years. Also, many of the taller, stiffer stemmed weeds, like goldenrod, had also been flattened down by the snow load, with only a few singular stems remaining erect.

The landscape reminded me the land has been dormant and is slowly awakening from its long rest. It is taking its time. Yet, through the gray landscape, some surprising finds revealed themselves, such as this fungus, growing on a trailside log. Unlike much of the bleached, winter-worn trees and plants, this polypore showed signs of live and colour, despite pockets of ice within the fungus itself. Look into the ‘cups’ of the fungus, especially just right of centre, and you will see a small pocket of frozen water. The polypore’s ability to weather the winter and look fresh today really surprised me.

The colour is what caught me attention. Everything else was weather-worn and bleached, even the beech trees, which held onto many of their leaves through the winter in bright golds and oranges, had eventually faded to dull, ghostly yellows (more on that in my next post).

So, I was not disappointed, I did find signs of new life, just not in ways I expected.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/50 sec, f/16.0, 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