Tag Archives: path

“Hillside Path”

“Hillside Path”

“It isn’t enough to pick a path—you must go down it. By doing so, you see things you couldn’t possibly see when you started out; you may not like what you see, some of it may be confusing, but at least you will have, as we like to say, “explored the neighborhood.” The key point here is that even if you decide you’re in the wrong place, there is still time to head toward the right place.” 
― Ed Catmull

This image came together almost immediately. As I stood at the edge of a steep gully, looking across miles of forest for this high vantage point the path along the edge beckoned me forward. I had just changed lenses from my 90mm macro to my 70-200 mm telephoto so that I could shoot a bit wider than my 90mm allowed.

My first glance through my viewfinder yielded this scene. The slightly winding path and the placement of the trees made for a simple composition which nicely represented the scene before me. The slight movement simply accents it and the long exposure saturates the colours a bit more, and also brings life to the image.

This spot was about half way around a loop trail and tied in nicely with my theme of gradual transition from summer to autumn because of the presence of more yellows and oranges. Not quite autumn, but definitely hinting at it; a turn in the path and in the seasons.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/18.0 ISO 200

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

“Familiar Paths”

“Familiar Paths”

“When everything looks unusual around you, your eyes and your mind mostly need anything usual! Unfamiliar disturbs us; familiar comforts us! But for the wise man, unusual is more precious than the usual because it offers us a new way, a new vision, a new idea, a new world!” 
― Mehmet Murat Ildan

Perhaps, what I enjoy most about creating these photo abstractions is that they slightly disturb. I can photograph a familiar scene and it suddenly appears different. The main elements are still familiar and recognizable, but there is a slight shift in what is being seen. The image takes on a whole new meaning and forces me to reconsider what I am looking at.

For example, this winding path is about a five minute walk from my house. I’ve walked it hundreds of times, in all seasons. Yet, when I view it rendered like this, it appears to be a different place. It still has hints of familiarity, just enough to evoke the memory of the place, but I find my eyes drifting across the scene, considering aspects of it that I had not noticed before.

As I consider most of my recent pieces, that same element exists in all of them: a hit of the familiar and the disturbance caused by a different viewpoint, created by the movement . Perhaps there is a lesson in this, as we live in our all too familiar world, passing by what we consider mundane and uninspiring. A little disturbance might just change our perception. Something to consider?

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

1/4 sec, f/10.0, ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Gold Flecks”

“By walking on the right path, you create a golden fate for yourself and you also become a silver lining for the others!” 
― Mehmet Murat Ildan

I find myself frequently drawn to quotes from Mehmet Ildan as his words so wonderfully pair with my images and my life journey. I am thankful for those, like Mehet, who can so wonderfully express in words, that which I struggle with.

This “Golden Paths” series is all about the journey and appreciating our surroundings, in the moment. There have been mundane moments along this journey, through dark flat forest scenes and monotonous stretches of ‘sameness’, but they have all led me into jaw dropping moments, like the one above, where the sun made the golden foliage light up with an unbelieveable energy. I literally stood transfixed, hoping I would be able to effectively capture this moment, so others could enjoy it with me. The leaves looked gilded, shimmering in the light. They almost looked metallic, they were so bright. It was, magical and awe inspiring.

Hopefully, as the quote states, I’m able to provide a silver lining for you?

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Our Winding Ways”

“Our Winding Ways”

“The best part of the journey is the surprise and wonder along the way.” 
― Ken Poirot

The quote I chose for this image is quite simple, yet has such depth to me. As I hike and make images, I am constantly surprised at what lies before me. My path is seldom straight, and I can’t always see what’s ahead, though I journey in anticipation. Every bend yields something new and often unexpected. The light plays in different ways, making familiar scenes change before our eyes. The forest, is always shifting, changing, adapting.

At some point, someone created this path. It may have started as a game trail or been deliberately carved through the forest. It often makes sense, winding around objects or following the contours of the land. Straight paths speed the journey, but often take us far from the many beautiful places the forest has to offer. Personally, I prefer the winding path. A path where I can take my time and enjoy as much of my surroundings as possible.

As this path winds its way through the forest, the canopy takes on more or the golden hues that inspired this series of images, the “Golden Paths” series. Some of the paths in this series are straight, some curved, and some, barely discernible, but all are the ways I have travelled and each holds its own experience for me. Something I’m trying to communicate with this series.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/10.0, ISO 100

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

“Urgency”

“Water is the most perfect traveller because when it travels it becomes the path itself!” 
― Mehmet Murat ildan

This image is another of High Falls, near Bancroft, Ontario. I really could spend a day photographing various parts of the waterfall, as light shifts and different elements of the flowing water reveal themselves.

The ancient rock structures in this area add so much character to the waterfalls through their deep textures and colours. These are ancient Canadian Shield structures, known for their age and diverse mineral content. I provide more information on the falls themselves on a previous post.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/13 sec, f/32.0, ISO 200 

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“The Narrow Way”

“The Narrow Way”

“There are no dead ends in life’s journey; there are no crossroads, no forks in the road. People who chose not to see reality, see the world as a tangled maze of intersections, forks in the road, and dead ends. These are illusions of people who follow the well trampled wide path woven out by others. This is not their true path. Life’s true sojourn reveals a long winding narrow path that only you can choose. Few have the courage to walk it.” 
― RJ Blizzard

As the journey Into the Green Veil continues, the path I walk narrows in points, bounded on both side by tall maples and oaks, undergrowth crowding the trail edges, reaching into the golden patches of sunlight in the constricted open area of the path.

High above, there is a thinning of the canopy and pale blue competes for attention with the green canopy. This scene is so common on the trails of the Oak Ridges Moraine, an area conveniently located just north and east of my home.

The particular region I’m  documenting in this series is know as the East Duffins Creek Headwaters area and has a wonderful network of well maintained trails running through mixed woodlands. This section of trail runs through rolling hills dominated by sugar maple, red oak, and beach trees. The growth is thick and healthy and being among these tall trees is one of my favourite experiences. Simple snapshots of the forest become quickly mundane and I’ve found that my photo abstractions, by adding an element of movement, bring a life and energy that a typical photo lacks. It allows me to appreciate the rich, dynamic, and ever changing light so much more, especially as I notice just how variable those patches of light can be. I hope, through this series, to convey that energy to others.

I’m also following a unique path of my own with this series. Capturing images in an unconventional style that I started pursuing a few years back. The images are always different, unexpected, and exciting. A chance for me to share my outdoors experiences in a challenging way. The journey continues. There are no dead ends. A few steep hills and sharp bends, but no dead ends.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/25.0, ISO 100

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

“Untrodden”

“What if you were wrong? What if everything you ever believed was a lie? What if you missed your opportunity because you didn’t know your worth? What if you settled on familiar, but God was trying to give you something better? What if you decided not to go backwards, but forward? What if doing what you have never done before was the answer to everything that didn’t make sense? What if the answer wasn’t to be found in words, but in action? What if you found the courage to do what you really wanted to do and doing it changed your whole life?”
― Shannon L. Alder

What will the New Year bring? I look at it a lot like this image and associated quote, there is a trail, a general direction, though the exact steps I will take are imprecise, at this point. I have liberty to deviate from the path of others and create my own path. That option has often lead me to new and interesting places. What’s over the horizon? I have a good idea, having travelled the path before, but it’s never the same twice, there is always something new, if I have the vision and intent to see it. Will I have to backtrack at some point? I don’t know right now. The one thing I do know is that this is my path and nobody else’s and I have to choose my steps.

At the end of this year I will have achieved a significant goal: that of publishing a photo and accompanying text every single day. I will have published over 450 photos, viewed by over twenty-one thousand people around the world. I realized that the world is active 24/7 and that there are more people with common interests than I could have imagined. Friendships have formed as conversations grow. The post a day goal has not always been easy but has forced me to go beyond my comfort zone. It has not just been the photos but the act of writing something significant about the images.

The exercise has also allowed me to look back on the year, day by day and see precisely what inspired a change in style, subject matter, and composition. It’s been very enjoyable and encouraging. I have to thank the many of you who engage with me on a regular basis as we share our images, words, and thoughts. There were tough times when I felt discouraged, that I was producing material that was of no significance and I’ve found, in this community of bloggers, there is no such thing as insignificance, even the most mundane image can bring encouragement and inspiration to someone else.

That said, I will continue into the New Year with the momentum I have gained, continue to try to produce quality images and text, to deviate from the path, on occasion, and travel into untrodden territory and see what awaits me.

A very Happy New Year to everyone. May 2017 bring growth, creativity, and fulfilment to all of you.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 75 mm
1/40 sec, f/3.2, ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Above the Ponds”

“Above the Ponds”

“Quiet people always know more than they seem. Although very normal, their inner world is by default fronted mysterious and therefore assumed weird. Never underestimate the social awareness and sense of reality in a quiet person; they are some of the most observant, absorbent persons of all.”
― Criss Jami

I sit here tonight after a brief trip back to Bancroft to swap out photos I’m showing at an artists’ co-operative in Bancroft, Ontario. The co-op is called A Place for the Arts and I’m honoured to have been invited to participate in this wonderful place. I’ve met and engaged with fellow artists, including several very talented photographers. We all have very distinct styles and approaches to our art. I enjoy my times there, as I have learned so much just by spending time with other artists, as I begin to see through their eyes.

What really struck me during my two and a half hour drive north was how incredibly the forest has changed in the past three weeks, since I was last in the area. A few snow falls have pulled more leaves from the trees and compressed the ones already on the ground. More significantly, the colours, once glowing and full of energy, are now a muted brown.

I fondly recall the moment above, as I sat on a high ridge above two large beaver ponds, amazed by the bright colour and light, on the ground and in the sky. If you follow your eyes, there appears to be a path that leads into the distance over the undulating ground. There actually is a natural game trail that leads into the distance. The destination? The beaver dam that separates the two ponds and a natural escape from predators. If animals, especially deer, in this case, did not take this route, they would have to travel nearly half a mile to get around the water. It is well-travelled.

I sat on this ridge for nearly two hours, taking in this glorious view and warming in the warm sunshine. The forest around me was a wonderland and every detail etched itself in my memory. The whole scene felt dream-like in its serenity. Every detail, opening up to reveal itself, in time. I need to write more about this experince, but want to keep my posts brief. Perhaps tommorow?

Have you ever taken the time to just sit, with no distractions, and let nature reveal itself? It’s worth the time and changes how you see the natural world, just like my experience with my artist friends, as you spend time observing, it changes your entire perspective, at least in my experience.

So, it seems appropriate that this juncture of ponds can be applied as a juncture of my way of seeing things, another path between points of view.

iPhone 5s back camera @ 4.2mm
1/800 sec;   f/2.2;   ISO 32

High Resolution image available on 500px

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Edge of the Forest Trail”

edge-of-the-forest-trail

“The best part of the journey is the surprise and wonder along the way.”
― Ken Poirot

As I’ve done a few times in the past, I turned this image into a painting, through the wonder of Topaz software.

There are times when I envision an image with the camera and it does not quite meet my expectations. The above image is one of those. The sunlight was beautiful, casting long autumn shadows on the golden forest floor. The oaks had dropped most of their leaves and only the high canopy remained, filtering the sunlight to a soft orange. The leaves you see still clinging to the trees on the right are all beech. Yet, the rythm and warmth that I wanted to convey through the photo was lacking. By softening it, through brush strokes, that ‘feeling’ comes through better.

This path, at Uxbridge’s North Walker Woods parallels the forest’s southern edge. To the left are private properties consisting of homes and farms, all backing onto this little slice of paradise. To the right are rolling, oak covered hills. What struck me as I walked this perimeter trail was how the trail beckoned me further along, always wondering what might lie beyond the next dip. At the very end of this trail is the small pine forest where I made the image for “Be Still…” and the start of the trail is where I made “The Trailhead”, posted earlier this week.

Many more photos were created during this brief hike, of all of them, only this one did not satisfy me as a photograph. So, it’s nice to have options.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 85mm
1/180 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200

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

“Chicory”

“Coming out of your comfort zone is tough in the beginning, chaotic in the middle, and awesome in the end…because in the end, it shows you a whole new world !!
Make an attempt..”
― Manoj Arora

This was, in fact, the first wildflower I photographed, five years ago, when I got my first DSLR. Not this actual plant, but a chicory blossom. It was also the beginning of my journey into serious photography, which like the quote above, has not always been easy, but I’m sure glad I stuck with it.

Chicory has always had a natural attraction for me. The plant itself is rugged and seems to grow in the worst soils, in dry clay and along stony roadsides. It resists the heat of mid August and brightens my walks. There is also something about the colour blue in nature. Aside from the sky, blue is not a common colour, so it stands out for me as something unique. The blossoms, despite the tough stalk they grow on, are quite delicate.

This summer’s drought has been tough on even the hardy chicory and good specimens have been tough to find but this one will have to suffice, for now.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 160 mm
1/5 sec, f/22.0, ISO 200

High Resolution image on 500px:

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