Tag Archives: mindfulness

“Among the Giants”

“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.”
– Herman Hesse

As I start into 2019, I can’t but help reflecting on the profound influence trees have on me. I spend so much time among them, feeling their energy, sheltered under their branches, observing their slow but steady growth, season by season and, listening to them. Indeed, they have much to say about life itself.

Trees have influenced my photography and pursuit of painting as well. I am intimate with and thankful for the trees I am so blessed to live near. As my chosen quote states so well, trees are my sanctuary. In times where life gets hectic and work is overwhelming, the forests offer me respite, a place where I can simply be. To be among the trees is so incredibly refreshing to my senses. I smell the sap, hear the creak, groan and crackle of the wood as it heats and cools or resists the weather; my eyes are filled with the colours of fresh life as well as slow decay, all in their time. I feel the cool summer breezes among the branches and savour the shelter they offer in the storm.

So, when I came across this plantation of trees near Bancroft, Ontario, I could not help but notice the growth of young trees among their mature ancestors. Truly, among the giants and bathed in the soft winter light.

This is also an image that speaks of transition, from old to new and from past to future. I have no idea what 2019 has to offer. The year 2018 was a true blessing to me, personally, spiritually, and artistically and I expect the trees will continue play a large part in my future pursuits; I’m glad for the companionship.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/60 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400

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

Advertisements

“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:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Summer’s Splendour”

“Summer’s Splendour”

“Happiness is not a thing – it is a feeling; a way of joyful living and being. It comes from inner fulfilment and appreciating the world you live in.” 
― Rasheed Ogunlaru

I could not think of a more suitable title for this studio image of a purple coneflower from my garden. As I look at the flow of the petals and the incredible order of the disk florets, glowing in the light.

It’s something almost magical to behold and I find the isolation technique I use makes those details stand out even more. I’ve spent quite a bit of time with this image, simply enjoying the textures and structures of this beautiful blossom, dotted with tiny grains of pollen. Appreciating the whole by observing the component parts that make up the whole.

I’m finding these images and the time I spend composing the shots has made me more aware of many of these details as I observe the flowers and wildlife outdoors even more deliberately. I try to turn off the filters my brain has learned over the years, to see the blossom like this, naturally.

It’s becoming a journey to live life in the same manner. Some call it mindfulness, or living in the moment. I like to look at it is deliberate appreciation for the world around me. It’s also making it easier for me to compose better images, as I’m learning to see things for more than just an object to be photographed, but rather, an opportunity to preserve the essence of what I’m seeing. Writing about these experiences is helping tremendously, as the process of writing slows my brain down and causes me to more carefully consider the image and what I want to share about it and the process that led to its creation.

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

High 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

 

“Be Still…”

“Be Still...”

“In transitions, we must learn to be still. Being still is, in part, about learning to be comfortable with ambiguity.”
― Janet Rebhan

These are the words that echo through my head, as I consider this recent image and the events over the past several months and yesterday evening. I find myself standing here once more, drinking in the beauty and the quiet, as the world goes on about me. But here, in this place, in this moment, I am still. I am still and the quiet of the forest surrounds me, nourishes me, makes me aware of its life. In this small part of my world, I am at peace.

The contrast between the dark tree trunks and the bright sun soaked forest floor, as well the bright green ferns, still lush among the fallen leaves, makes me consider all the extremes we are faced with and how they can coexist in this small, quiet place and make the whole scene beautiful.

Be Still…, also echoes the verses of a favourite hymn, and reminds me that I am part of an incredible creation and that there is peace in faith as well.

This is my refuge, my quiet place, and affords me the ability to be still, even though I can’t be there right now. I’m hoping this little glimpse affords you that stillness as well.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 75 mm
1/4 sec, f/14.0, ISO 200

High resolution image can be viewed 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