Tag Archives: November

Iceland Journal – “Skessuhorn” – West Iceland

“Skessuhorn” - West Iceland

“We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us.” 
― John Muir

It feels a bit odd using a John Muir quote here, because they know the mountains he is referring to, namely the Sierra Nevada of California and Yosemite National Park. Yet, his words ring true in these mountains as well. On this day, my son and I headed south, towards the coastal town of Borgarnes, in Western Iceland.

As we drove south from the Westfjords, a large group of mountains greeted us on the far horizon. These mountains are centered around Skarðsheiði, a 1,054 m peak. In the foreground, and just peeking through a large bank of low cloud was Skessuhorn, a steep mountain with its wonderful terraced slopes. I just kept looking at it, hoping the road would bring me nearer and that the cloud cover would not increase.

In fact, the cloud bank clung to the mountains all day and only Skessuhorn has clearly visible to us. So, when you look at this image, be aware that, in typical Iceland fashion, much of what is before is not currently visible, only being revealed for short periods and then gone again.

For me, it’s these fantastic horizontal terraces that give many Icelandic mountains such a unique appearance, as opposed to North America’s Rocky Mountains, which, while still layered, are angled. These mountains look like pyramids, with layers carefully planned out and neatly stacked. It all has to do with the unique geology of Iceland, which straddles two continental plates, creating volcanoes and areas of tectonic upheaval that sculpt the rock in such marvelous ways. By the way, this is a colour photo, but the colour is lost, in snow and rock and cloud.

Here’s the summer time Street View link. I think it looks much nicer in November:

https://www.google.ca/maps/@64.550391,-21.7315944,3a,75y,159.08h,87.87t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1szHTNa_fTrV0AMZqprCHs9Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 180mm
1/200 sec, f/7.1 ISO 200

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

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“Winter’s First Kiss”

“Winter’s First Kiss”

“Snow flurries began to fall and they swirled around people’s legs like house cats. It was magical, this snow globe world.” 
― Sarah Addison Allen

Here’s yet another image, made during a recent snow squall, a squall which abruptly shoved us closer to winter.

The large flakes quickly stuck to branches weighing them down and obscuring all traces of autumn with their bright purity.

I got out around noon to try to capture some of this wonder and was pleased that the ‘feel’ of the snow squall translated well through my images despite the flat light and the thick and continuous snowfall.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 140mm
1/800 sec, f/2.8, ISO 160

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

 

“November Squall” – Stouffville Reservoir

“November Squall” - Stouffville Reservoir

“In November, the earth is growing quiet. It is making its bed, a winter bed for flowers and small creatures. The bed is white and silent, and much life can hide beneath its blankets.” 
― Cynthia Rylant

I wanted to post another photo of the beautiful wintery scenes created by last Friday’s snow squalls. Though a bit early for my liking, heavy snows turned the world into a wonderland in mere minutes.

The world now lays buried under this thick blanket of snow, only hints of autumn’s brightness remain, in stubborn yellow leaves, shining brightly between the large snowflakes.

Beyond that, colours are soft and subdued, the world is quiet, as if taking a deep breath before it’s winter repose.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 95mm
1/200 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400

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

“November Birches” – Stouffville Reservoir

“November Birches” - Stouffville Reservoir

“In November, the trees are standing all sticks and bones. Without their leaves, how lovely they are, spreading their arms like dancers. They know it is time to be still.” 
― Cynthia Rylant

Today I decide to make a short departure from my Iceland Journal, though that will continue for some time, as I continue to process the images and memories.

While I revel in those times, not so long ago, nature reminded me that there is beauty here in the present as well. An early November squall brought us a winter wonderland in mid-November.

Some trees are still hanging on to their leaves and it is not quite time to say farewell to yellow and orange for the season. Through the heavy snowfall, bright leaves still shine, bringing colour to the otherwise monotone landscape. Those too will soon be gone. I’m sure the weight of the snow and the cold nights will accelerate their departure as the world falls into the quiet gray sleep of winter, once more.

I did not have to go far afield for this image, it was made just steps from my home, at a local conservation area which always has some new wonder to offer me. Today was no exception.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 122mm
1/200 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400

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

“Firsts and Lasts”

“Firsts and Lasts”

“The beauty of any first time is that it leads to a thousand others…” 
― Pico Iyer

This was the end of November, the first significant snowfall, enough to dust the ground in white and remain well into the day. It was also the last day of any noticeable foliage. The last leaf had fallen to the ground, adding to the blanket of rusty browns. It’s yet another transition time in the forest, an extended transition at those. For those who regularly visit this blog, you will have noticed a very extended autumn, filled with bright colours, which lasted from September, well into November.

Here I stood bidding that glorious time goodbye and hesitantly welcoming the first snows. As I stood there, what really resonated with me was that, despite the dormancy beginning, there was still a good deal of colour and vibrancy, something that is enhanced by my abstracting technique.

It’s not the first time I’ve noticed this, but I’m becoming ever more aware of this and it comes up in conversations with friends who do not spend much time outside. Their impression is that this time of year tends to be dull. Then I show them some of my images and they are surprised at what they don’t seem to see. Photography has given me new eyes, I perceive more, now that I am doing it deliberately and I’m really enjoying the experiences it has brought me.

So, as the quote I chose aptly says, these firsts lead to many more.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@78mm

1/4 sec, f/32.0, 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

“Beyond the Birch”

“Beyond the Birch”

“It looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon.” 
― Sarah Addison Allen

As autumn progresses, the brightness fades by degrees. To capture the stunning light of the past weeks is proving more of a challenge over a few cloudy days on the trails. It all fits into the theme of this, my “Shift to Shiver” series.

By now much of the once golden canopy has fallen, the victim of time, wind, and rain, carpeting the forest floor with a rusty blanket. A few hearty maples still hold fast to their yellow leaves, while beeches gradually change from the bright green of a few weeks ago to a coppery orange. Some of the scant undergrowth still manages to show hints of green. These too will be short-lived as the days shorten and the temperatures inevitably drop.

I’ve been truly blessed by an unseasonably mild October and early November, which resulted in an extremely extended colour change. It’s been tough not be on the trails when conditions are like this. The image that I’m sharing today was made at North Walkers Woods, part of the Oak Ridges Trail system. It was to be the start of an unplanned fourteen kilometer hike and resulted in many photos to sort though, as I want to keep this series to about eight representative images.

As I write today, the temperature has dropped to -10 and overnight snow squalls have drastically changed the scenery. So, I’ll be on the trails again on Sunday, making more photos and drinking in what nature has to offer me.

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

“Bejeweled Shiver”

“There is October in every November and there is November in every December! All seasons melted in each other’s life!” 
― Mehmet Murat Ildan

As a start to a new series and cooler climes, this image is the first in my new series of images: “Shift to Shiver”, and will document the few weeks between the bright yellows and red of late October and focus on the deep orange and coppers of early November in my area. A time when months bleed into each other, yet the inevitable cycle of the seasons cannot be stopped.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/29.0, 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