Tag Archives: orange

“Fire Within”

“Fire Within”

“Within the autumn forests, trees put on a final brilliant show of colours to brighten our days as the days shorten and sunlight fades”
–  Ed Lehming

Can you imagine an autumn without colour? An autumn where the days simply become darker and the leaves drop to the ground as dried green husks?

Thankfully, that is not the case and as days become shorter and the temperatures cool there is still the splendour of fall colours adding the illusion of warmth to otherwise dull and gray days. I can’t imagine it any other way.

Over the past many years, I have spent as much time as possible on the forest trails around my house. Every year seems to yield some new miracle of colour. This year has been no exception. Though I was tied up with my Studio Tour the bright, warm weekend when the colours were at their peak, I have since managed a few short outings to take in what remains, and have not been disappointed.

I faced many scenes like this one; mostly bare forest with incredible shows of dazzling oranges produced by the beech trees. In this case, the single beech among a grove of birch trees looked like a fire within their trunks and branches. The colour was so incredibly stunning that I was concerned it would not show in the photograph, but it did. I made the photo hoping to do the scene justice and when I looked at my phone, I knew I was successful. Yes, this photo was made using my iPhone and is pretty much untouched with the exception of a bit of sharpening and black point adjustment to maintain the contrast that makes it so stunning.

The nice thing about beech trees, which I have mentioned before, is that they retain their colour for much of the winter, offering bright patches of orange and copper in an otherwise bleak landscape.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/1000 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

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

“Monarch Butterfly on Queen Anne’s Lace”

“Monarch Butterfly on Queen Anne’s Lace”

“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.” 
― Amy Bloom 

I’ve been saving a quote for some time, waiting for the right image. Well, the image presented itself a few days ago. As I’ve said in a few posts, butterflies seem to be scarce this year, Monarchs even more so. I think this whole season I’ve only seen a handful.

This one was simply too wonderful to resist, despite it’s damaged wings? What, what, damaged? Have a closer look. What at first appeared to be a ‘perfect’ specimen, on further inspection shows some late summer wear and tear, though not extensive, the damage is irreparable. Does this make the butterfly any less beautiful? Not to me, as I watched it perched so wonderfully, posing, as if just for my benefit.

It was beautiful in its imperfection, and I’m glad for that. The damage makes me wonder how it came about. With all our rain and wind over the past few weeks, I’m surprised to see butterflies at all, let alone mostly intact. I can’t imagine how they survive. Yet, this one did, offering me a nice long view.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/200 sec, f/7.0 ISO 100

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“Skipper”

“Skipper”

“Dream high, beyond the sky; no matter wings so small, keep vision bright; just dare to learn, for you are born to fly.” 
― Vikrmn

I don’t get tired of these plentiful, colourful butterflies. When trying to figure out the exact species, which I was unable to do, I discovered that there are over 250 species in North America alone and close to 3500 worldwide, each slightly different from the other.

This one posed patiently for me, as I made this single image, before it darted off to its next resting spot. The name ‘skipper’ is so appropriate for this small, brightly coloured wonders.

I’m also enjoying looking at them closely with macro photography and seeing the structure of the antennae and the wooly jacket of its abdomen and thorax, such complexity in something so small. It’s a real wonder to behold, each and every time.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/250 sec, f/9.0 ISO 800

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Fifteen-Spotted Lady Beetle”

Fifteen-Spotted Lady Beetle (Anatis labiculata)

“The smaller the creature, the bolder its spirit.” 
― Suzy Kassem

This started out as an experimental shot, playing with the depth of field of my macro lense and trying my darndest to get a crisp hand-held image, as the lens has no vibration compensation. At this depth of field, back to front ‘sway’ is critical. As you can see, only a very narrow band (the size of the ladybug) is in focus.

As I made the image of this unusually coloured ladybug, I wondered what it was doing, just sitting on the wooden railing. Perhaps it found some microscopic treat to devour? I don’t know, because even at this close range, I can see nothing. Yet it sat there, in this position for several minutes before moving on.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/80 sec, f/22.0 ISO 800

High Resolution image on 500px

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Crescent Posing on Fleabane”

“Crescent Posing on Fleabane”

“Silence

It has a sound, a fullness.
It’s heavy with sigh of tree,
and space between breaths.
It’s ripe with pause between birdsong
and crash of surf.
It’s golden they say.
But no one tells us it’s addictive.”
― Angela Long

I’m revisiting a Crescent which posed on a clump of Fleabane. My previous post had the butterfly drinking nectar from the flower, with an accompanying bee. In this image, the butterfly simply sits, its wings spread wide, warming in the sunshine. The image also serves to illustrate that even slight changes in a composition can change the whole feel of the image.

While the prior post was filled with activity, this one is quite serene and just pretty to look at. It brings a sense of calm with the pink flowers and the soft green background. Plus, there seems to be something about butterflies at rest that invokes that same restfulness in the observer.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/500sec, f/7.1 ISO 400

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Orange Skipper on Dogwood Leaf”

“Orange Skipper on Dogwood”

“You lift your head, you’re on your way, but really just to be walking, to be out of doors. That’s it, that’s all, and you’re there. Outdoors is our element: the exact sensation of living there.”
― Frédéric Gros

By far the most common of local meadow butterflies are skippers. Once you spot one, you suddenly see dozens. The name skipper is so appropriate too, as they move quickly from flower to flower. They do sit still long enough to snap a photo or two, then they are on the move again.

Like I said, once you see one it seems the meadow is filled with them. If I stand and carefully observe, there are time where a single plant may have two or three on it at any given time. I’m not sure of the precise species and have not done an exhaustive study of them. They have become a fallback when the dragonflies are too active.

As in previous shots, this is my first foray into outdoor macro photography of insects and I have to say it’s a lot of fun, yet has its own challenges. When I photograph butterflies with my 70-300 zoom, I don’t have to be overly close and depth of field is not such an issue. With the macro, I have to move close and hopefully, not disturb by subject. I’m sure other insect photographers are smiling at this point. It’s not as easy as it seems, but I’m learning and loving every minute of it, especially when processing the images and noticing all the fine details.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/400 sec, f/11 ISO 400

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“Open Faced”

“Open Faced”

“Your face is marked with lines of life, put there by love and laughter, suffering and tears. It’s beautiful.”
― Lynsay Sands

I’m having a strange fascination with flowers past their prime. The colours and textures seem to intensify, albeit briefly, as they dry out, just prior to falling from the stem. Some, seem to hang on for quite a while, while others fall off at the slightest touch.

The tulip above has captured my attention for the past several days, as it sat on our kitchen table, slowly changing form. The grooves in the petals became more pronounced, as the petals dehydrated. The flower’s ‘face’ opened up more and more, to the point where it was almost flat. I looked at it today and the petals are pulled right back, just hanging on.

It’s also one of the trio I shared earlier in the week.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
2.0 sec, f/36.0 ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

or more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Best Before…”

“Best Before...”

“One by one they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.”
― James Joyce

This was a spur of the moment photo of three tulips from my garden, which graced my table last week. I watched as they cycled between open , during the day, and closed, by night. Each day the open cycle became more pronounced and after a while, the hardly closed at all.

Yesterday, I noticed that they opened wider than they had in the past and were looking a bit past their prime. I came up with the title for the image before I made it, seeing the blossoms as part their ‘best before’ date.

It was fun shooting the grouping from various angles and lighting setups and just as I snapped the last frame, the yellow tulip dropped two of its petals. That made me smile, having literally captured the very last moments of the show, which was best before.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
2.0 sec, f/36.0 ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

or more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Poised for Flight”

“Poised for Flight”

The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter.”
― Paulo Coelho

I’m clearly missing the colours and warmth of summer as I sit here watching winter slowly grip the land. This photo was made in mid-September while I was out looking for wildflowers to photograph. But, being  ever the photo-opportunist I decided that this lone monarch butterfly was a good subject as well, as it gently and randomly floated around me, eventually landing just off the trail.

Those who photograph butterflies on a regular basis, you know who you are, can relate to the  time and patience required to get a good shot. In their natural environment,these skittish little beings simply to not sit still, nor do they land in close proximity to the photographer. They flit and float around on the breeze with no predictable pattern or destination, often not even landing. So we need to ‘sneak’ up on them, trying carefully not to disturb them, lest they take to flight again.

That’s why this photograph is so representative of the butterfly ‘quest’. They seem to be always ‘Poised for Flight’. Just as you compose the shot and all is perfect, off they go again. When all the elements fall in place, the wind is calm, and nothing disturbs them, a good shot is finally achieved.

Next time you look at a beautiful butterfly image, realize that a lot of effort probably went into creating the shot and it’s probably the only one in many that was satisfactory.

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