Tag Archives: ontario

“Winter Wandering”

“Winter Wandering”

“I love the scent of winter. I love the scent of winter enough to suffer the cold for it.” 
― Tiffany Reisz

It’s been a while since I posted, it’s also been a while since I’ve had anything to share. The cold snap finally eased up to the point where a reasonable person could venture out for a while. It’s felt odd, being cooped up and not making photos. So, I finally got back out for a 5 km hike this past Sunday and managed to capture a few images along the way.

What still makes me smile is the splashes of orange from the tenacious beech leaves, which, thus far, have managed to cling to the bare branches and bring a touch of colour to the otherwise stark landscape. They really are the only colour, other than muted tones of various mosses and fungi. Even the sky still hangs heavy and leaden, despite the milder temperatures. By milder I mean slightly below freezing but far more comfortable than the sub -20s we’ve had most of January.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm

1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 400

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

“Loner”

“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.” 
― John Joseph Powell

Today has been interesting. The week was filled with significant milestones: I posted my 1,00th post and hit my 4 years WordPress anniversary. Then, I took a bit a bit of a break, having to refuel, creatively, and find some new subject matter to focus on.

The weather has been uncooperative and my schedule chaotic, so I’m finding myself reviewing some of my more recent photos, looking for inspiration and looking forward to making a few new images. Now that I am becoming much more selective in my images, I find I have less to ‘fall back’ on.

During this period of a week I’ve been a bit inactive on my blog, only to check in to find I had 2 views in the entire day. That’s a far cry for the hundreds I’ve had in the past few weeks, I guess I need to get active again?

No matter, here’s an image I made a few weeks ago of a singular beech tree surrounded by larger maples. Though it is so much smaller, the beech is still showing off its golden leaves, which it will retain well after the first snow falls of December. I plan on going back to shoot the same image with snow, as I imagine it will be quite lovely.

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

1/100 sec, f/5.0, 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

“Pool of Light”

"Pool of Light"

“The Sun will rise and set regardless. What we choose to do with the light while it’s here is up to us. Journey wisely.” 
― Alexandra Elle

This is my final image in the “Spirit of the Spruce” series. One of the primary and surprising elements to this series has been the bold patches of light which show in each image; some more, some less. That, to me was the ‘spirit’ of the spruce bog as a hiked and documented my time here. it has brought an ‘energy’ to this often gloomy part of the forest.

This final image shows the tight tangle of spruce, cedar, and fir in the dim background light. Despite this, hazy sunlight manages to shine through from beyond and also in the focal point of the image, where it manifests as a bright pool of light, illuminating trunk and deadfall alike.

As the quote says, the sun rises and sets every day, not that every day is bright sunshine, but there is light, nonetheless. I choose to live in it and enjoy it, even if it’s doled out in small amounts some days. On others, like that not too distant November morning, I savour every ounce of it.

It’s been a wonderful journey, this hike through the spruce. Now, as the air turns chillier and the light cooler as well, I have sights on a few new projects which have not quite materialized yet.

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

1/4 sec, f/9.0, ISO 400

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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“Undergrowth and the Fallen”

“Undergrowth and the Fallen”

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” 
― Aristotle

After thousands of years, the quote is still so appropriate. The outward appearance of this spruce bog is well, quite bog-like, a bit muted, and a bit depressing. But, outward appearances can be deceiving, can’t they?

Even the title of this image is more than it seems. The undergrowth and the fallen are essential elements to the ecology of the forest, without death, decay, and regrowth, eventually only death follows.

This scene is a tangle of low growing spruce and cedar, interspersed with the dried trunks of fallen spruce. For anyone who has ever had to navigate this terrain, you will know the pitfalls of stepping over and between sharp tangled branches, only to find yourself knee-deep in the thick black muck of the spruce bog are tripping over the endless tangle of roots and slash.

Yet, this difficult terrain offers a safe haven to rabbits, grouse, and deer, who navigate it with ease, making barely a sound. The spruce bog is nature’s filter, where water seeps through thick mosses, depositing impurities along the way. Many local creeks begin their travels as cool springs in a spruce bog, just like this. There’s more than meets the eye and much more significance than its outward appearance. You just have to look and become aware.

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

1/4 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Three?”

“Three?”

“You might as well ask an artist to explain his art, or ask a poet to explain his poem. It defeats the purpose. The meaning is only clear thorough the search.” 
― Rick Riordan

And this search goes on., as I embark on another series of photographic abstracts. Yet, despite the quote, I believe I am able to explain my art. I take great satisfaction in these ‘light paintings’.

I find that by adding the slight movement it disturbs the viewer just enough that they begin to pay attention to details that are often missed. As I study my own photos of the same scene, one, a still photo and the other, a slight pan, colours that are lost or subdued on the static photo seem more vibrant, more alive. I find the movement adds a dynamic that is not there in a still image.

Perhaps it’s just how I see things and this is a way for me to ‘realize’ them. It’s also a way for me to create art, using light and movement rather than a brush. It is very satisfying because I am creating something new, something that was not there before. It the creation that drives me, that combined with the fact that the images seem to resonate with the viewer.

It’s been interesting for me, since I started creating these images, that not once, has anybody said to me, “That’s just a blurry picture”. Most viewers are intrigued with the images, and I find them drawn deeper into the scene than with crisp, clean shots, which seem to briefly satisfy.

As yet, this new series remains unnamed, but that will come to me shortly. In the meantime, enjoy.

This particular image is named “Three?” because there are three dominant trees, but there is more to it, isn’t there? There are more than just the three trees, there are others in the periphery that count too, do they not?

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@75mm

1/4 sec, f/10.0, ISO 400

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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“Line Up”

“Line Up”

“To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.” 
― Aldo Leopold

This part of the world looks like nothingness on a map. While there is a town close by, it really is a wilderness area. A land of steep, nearly unnavigable hillsides, dense forest, and swampy wetlands. To me, it’s paradise, a place to unwind and just enjoy an unblemished space in this world.

It’s also a place to look around and let the imagination run. I see beauty everywhere, in the curve of the path, the marvelous variety and diversity of life, and endless patterns.

In this image I saw lines. I saw the way the trees, maple, yellow birch, and hemlock lined up. I also noticed the one darker, narrow tree that runs vertically up the photo. It is literally, a line upwards, yet I could not get the composition and lighting right without including it, so here it is, as I saw it.

This ‘place’, is one of an endless series of ‘places’, each slightly different, which make up the Boreal forest in this area. I see the entire forest before me, but my eye breaks it up into components. Each part, though an element of the whole, is a so unique. I could go back to this expanse of forest and go back to this exact spot with little effort. Even now, as I write, I can place myself along the trail, to this exact spot and the moment in which the photo was made. Except now, my fingers are warmer than on that chilly November day, enjoying the “Boreal Trails”.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@75mm

1/4 sec, f/10.0, 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