Tag Archives: mundane

“Wood Nymph on Crab Apple Leaf”

“Wood Nymph on Crab Apple Leaf”

“Miracles… seem to me to rest not so much upon… healing power coming suddenly near us from afar but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that, for a moment, our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there around us always.” 
― Willa Cather

For those living in the path of today’s solar eclipse, I’m sure it will be tough to compete with the spectacle in the sky. If I had to chase those spectacles, I’m sure I would have stopped making photographs years ago. Fortunately, that is not the case and there is so much wonder in the seemingly mundane spaces around us daily.

Today, I set out mid-morning to make a few images of local wildflowers, only to find many have already gone to seed and the next ‘wave’ is just starting to bud. Yet, in my periphery I caught movement and noticed this wood nymph floating and fluttering from plant to plant, occasionally sitting to sun itself, then taking to the sky again.

It took a while for it to finally land on a leaf that offered me decent lighting and a side view. And, it took me a while to get close enough to get a good image, without spooking it away. Persistence paid off and I was a able to get a few nice shots of it. Despite some wear and tear, so common in butterfly wings this late in the season, it was a fairly nice example of this common woodland butterfly. The only drawback was that the butterfly was content to just sit there and did not open its wings to offer me a top view. Despite this, I’m always happy to be reminded that being in nature frequently puts me more in tune with it and makes it easier for me to spot things like this that others simply don’t notice. I often have people looking at my photos surprised that I made the image steps from home.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/40 sec, f/16.0, ISO 100

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

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“Hoverfly on Timothy Grass Blossom”

“Hoverfly on Timothy Grass Blossom”

The more often we see the things around us – even the beautiful and wonderful things – the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds – even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.
– Joseph B. Wirthlin

The quote above really resonates with me. I have often commented about how my brain has learned to ‘filter’ out so much of what I see. Just how clever our brains can be came to light in a very real way a few months ago when I underwent a surgical procedure on both my eyes called an iridotomy. Essentially, a laser is used to drill small drain holes in my irises to prevent pressure build up behind the lense, which is a hereditary trait in my family, and a real issue for me as a photographer.

After the surgery, these small holes allowed additional light into my eyes and caused bright lights to create a secondary ‘ghost’ image. This ‘ghosting ‘ lasted about four week and my brain gradually filtered it out. Now, I can’t see the ‘ghost’ even when I try. The brain is that powerful.

So, I am making it a point to re-see the world around me and try to remove some of those filters. Photography is a huge enabler to the process.

If you look closely, you’ll see the tiny purple blossoms, which are clearly attracting yet another hoverfly. A whole new world is opening to me this summer, as I make images of the flora and fauna in the small meadow at the end of my street.

I’m discovering a complex network of life in this mundane place, which is mundane no more. Even on a quiet morning, the place is alive with activity and colour, you have bt to look for it and once you see it, there is no going back.

It does look odd to the outside observer, as I focus my camera on a stem of grass, but that observer would have no idea of the wonder I am seeing. So be it. Too often I hear photographers saying they live in an area that is boring, that there is nothing worth photographing. Well, this small meadow is an example of just how untrue statements like that are. They have stopped seeing. I am learning to re-see, with the same fascination I had as a child and it feels great.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/100 sec, f/16.0 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

“Big Bite” – Chickadee with Seed

“Big Bite” - Chickadee with Seed

“There is no mundane dimension really, if you have the eyes to see it, it is all transcendental.”
― Terence McKenna

The view from my back window yesterday afternoon, as the birds returned for a feed. I posted several images of other local birds in late December and the simple chickadees, who are frequent visitors, were omitted. I began questioning myself on that. Why was I ‘editing’ what I shared? Is the humble chickadee less worthy than the bright cardinal or more elusive nuthatch? Will the photo not impress and get more likes. Have I gotten to that point? I certainly hope not. I’ve always enjoyed seeing beauty in the mundane and sharing those moments; I don’t ever want to lose that gift, especially in these superficial times.

So, as I considered the  image again, and looked at all the wonderful details in this ‘common’ bird, I found myself seeing it anew. The soft pastel orange of the belly feathers, the fine details in the delicate wings, and incredible details in and around the eyes, often missed because they move around so quickly.

The other thing that struck me, and inspired the title of the photo was the size of the seeds that the chickadee choose. He’d land, pick one, and then fly away with it, as another bird took his place. Never once did more than one bird occupy the dish. They waited, swooped in, took a seed, and departed, for the better part of the afternoon. Then, the cycle stopped and none returned, even though there was still food in the dish.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 300mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, 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

“Seeds Galore” – Queen Anne’s Lace

“Seeds Galore” - Queen Anne’s Lace

“I have always been caught by the pull of the unremarkable, by the easily missed, infinitely nourishing beauty of the mundane.”
― Tana French

A theme that keeps coming back to me is how much detail and beauty there is in mundane things. Generally, when Queen Anne’s Lace finishes blooming, I hardly notice them, until winter when the basket-like heads get coated in little snow ‘hats’.

It was not till I was composing this mage, that I noticed just how intricate the seeds of this common wildflower really are. The seeds look like multi-legged insects attacking the plant. Simply fascinating to look at and not lost in the background with this black background. So, have a look yourself, next time you are strolling along a path, you’ll never see it the same way again.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/10 sec, f/10.0, 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