Tag Archives: perception

“Pink Blush – Part II”

“Pink Blush - Part II”

“The truth is that everyday and everyone is different. We just like to think that they aren’t.” 
― Anthony T. Hincks

As promised, yesterday’s flower, with a light background. Keep in mind, this is the exact same shot, with the same settings and lighting. The only difference is that I removed the black velvet background that I use for my studio shots, revealing the white card-stock panel that holds it up in my portable setup.

I still prefer the black backdrop, as I feel it makes the image more dramatic, but the light background has its appeal too.

It’s very interesting, on several levels, how this works. What I’m looking at is so dramatically altered by the surroundings. Something to consider?

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

3 sec, f/29.0, ISO 100 

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

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“Blue Birches”

Blue Birches

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” 
― W.B. Yeats

I wanted to post one more of my ‘artsy’ interpretations. This time, the predominant color is blue, very appropriate for this late March day. The image was made around noon yesterday and I applied a filter to enhance the tones and textures. I had no idea just how much blue was preset in this scene. And then, looking back, it is true. My brain just knows that snow and birches are white, right? Yes, but it filters out all information on the reflected light it is seen in.

Part of this exercise is my desire to interpret the image as more than a simple photo, to add a feel through colour and texture. SInce I’m not a great painter, I let the computer help me in this aspect, till my painting improves. One day, I hope to be able to create this image from scratch, but that will take much practice and patience.

What strikes me, as I noted in yesterday’s post, is just how much our brain filters our vision to match our perception. This has broader implications than a brief post would cover, but it plants the seeds for us to consider our perceptions and the strong effect they have on our interaction with the world we live in.

Something to consider…

Apple iPhone 7
iPhone 7 back camera 3.99mm f/1.8
1/900 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20

“March Creek and Balsams”

March Creek and Balsams

“Joy is not in things; it is in us.” 
― Richard Wagner

A bit of fun this morning. I decided to ‘play’ with an image I made yesterday, by running it through a filter. The results are quite pleasing and I thought I’d share it today.

My photography has already become quite untraditional, through my use of motion. This is quite deliberate, as I am trying to document the world I experience in a different way. As I walk through the woods, I am drawn to things others would often miss, the slight movement of light through the trees, a hint of purple in the water. The movement I impart to my photos causes the viewer to have to look closer, to ‘fool’ the brain into not filtering based on pre-programmed notions of what something ‘should’ look like and focus on what is being viewed more intentionally. This often yields unexpected elements and, in my experince, enhances the colurs and textures already present in the image.

This is made a bit more apparent in the image above. All the colours and textures already existed but are filtered by the brain as it adjusts our perception. After all, snow is white, is it not? How often have you looked at a photo and wondered where all the blue shadows came from? Our cameras simply document the light that comes into them, unless we correct them with filters. Notice the slight turquoise tones to the snow, and the hints of purple. Next time you go out, have a try at seeing the scene ‘unfiltered’. You may be surprised.

Apple iPhone 7
iPhone 7 back camera 3.99mm f/1.8
1/120 sec, f/1.8, ISO 25

“Bleak?”

“Bleak?”

“Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, “What else could this mean?” 
― Shannon L. Alder

I left the title as is, my first impression, but then, I looked deeper, at the bright orange beech leaves, the richness of the tree trunks, and the pale clean blue of the snow and realized, it’s not bleak at all.

Perception, is driven so much by experience and the stimuli present, at the moment. At the moment that I made the photo, I was standing in a winter forest, the temperature was hovering around -20C and delicate snow, like sparkling fairy dust, fell between the frozen limbs of the bare trees. So, now, as I consider this scene and reflect on my own words, that initial perception of bleakness, which many sojourners into the winter forest experience, is simply now true. if you look past first impressions, there is so much more.

In fact, as I consider that day and the 7 km hike a took, blazing trails though undisturbed snow, several parts of the forest were surprisingly alive with sound and motion. Within a hemlock grove, the air high above was filled with incredible birdsong, as hundreds of hungry chickadees flitted between limbs. The sound was indescribable and permeated the forest as I stood and soaked it in.

Ah, winter forests, not what they seem to be 🙂

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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“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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“One of these Things”

“One of these Things...”

“Because you don’t notice the light without a bit of shadow. Everything has both dark and light. You have to play with it till you get it exactly right.” 
― Libba Bray

As I’ve said many times this past year, it’s amazing what we see and don’t see, or rather notice. In the case of these poplar trees, which I have passed through immeasurable times, the camera picks up on light changes that our eyes simply ‘flatten’ out.

I never noticed the nearly black tree that appears in the image, as it is ‘eclipsed’ i the shadow of another tree. My eyes would have perceived this as merely a tree that’s shaded, yet the difference in brightness in the photo is significant. It’s darker than I can recall.

How many time have we made a photo in a forest and then ben surprised at just how intense the shadows are? They didn’t seem that significant as we peered through the viewfinder. Such is the nature of light and how dynamic our brain’s ability to balance that light. Which can prove a challenge to the photographer, as we try to make an image look as much as possible to what we saw. It can prove quite difficult.

By the way, the title of the image hearkens me back to childhood, Sesame Street days, and the game of “One of these Things is Not like the Other”. In this case, One of these Trees.

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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“Above the Conifers”

“Above the Conifers”

“The forest stretched on seemingly forever with the most monotonous predictability, each tree just like the next – trunk, branches, leaves; trunk, branches, leaves. Of course a tree would have taken a different view of the matter. We all tend to see the way others are alike and how we differ, and it’s probably just as well we do, since that prevents a great deal of confusion. But perhaps we should remind ourselves from time to time that ours is a very partial view, and that the world is full of a great deal more variety than we ever manage to take in.” 
― Thomas M. Disch

This image features the trunks of the pine trees higher up, just below the canopy. It yields a much brighter image, as elements of the sky and some high maples reflect the day’s bright sunlight among the rows of darker pines. There’s also an interesting weave of the smaller trees in the background. Among the seeming monotony of planted pines, wonderful patterns emerge and it’s no longer the same monotonous forest.

I enjoyed creating this fairly quick series on my hike this past weekend. I had not intended on a long hike, more focussed on making several connected images for my “Among the Pines” series. But, that Sunday was gorgeous for mid September and I ended up travelling some eight kilometers and exploring areas I had as yet not visited. The expansive trails of the Oak Ridges Trail System offer me so much variety. Even though I have been hiking them extensively for the past several years, there is always something new, some side trail that leads to an unexpected stream or meadow.

I’m blessed to live in an area with such diversity and with so may well maintained trails, literally on my doorstep. That’s why so many of my images feature these forests, I doubt I will ever get tired of them and the hours of solitude they provide me, so I can recharge after a busy day or workweek.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/20.0, 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