Tag Archives: shadow

“Light and Shadow”

“Light and Shadow”

“The simple gift of light is all the more precious when in the presence of its companion, darkness.” – Ed Lehming 

This tulip blossom has provided me a few interesting images. Considering that the photo was made in early evening, with a room filled with light and simply setting my camera to expose to the brightest part of the flower. The background fades to a deep blue in strong contrast to the yellows and orange of the flower.

It’s that strong contrast that yields the best images, the ones that grab my attention and make me consider why this works so well.

I tend to compose my images intuitively. There are certain elements such as framing and focal point, but a lot of what ends up making the image good is not something I notice consciously when I compose. I simply know it works. It’s not till I sit down and edit the image that the subtleties begin to emerge and the photo tells a bigger story.

For example, when I framed the photo, I instinctively set the base of the blossom as my focal point, making sure it was properly exposed and then tried to get as much of the petal detail in focus while shooting hand-held, so hand movement had some effect as well.

What I did not notice as I composed the image was the almost echoe-like blossom in the background, out of focus and slightly in the shadows.. I also did not notice the interesting shadows inside the flower itself, nor the wonderful yellow brightness of the petals within.

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

1/250 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

“February Light and Shadow”

“February Light and Shadow”

“The days of February’s end are unpredictable, often dull and snow filled. Yet, in the right conditions glimpses of spring light brighten the days.” – Ed Lehming

There is a certain magic in late February. A spring nears, the sun rises ever so slightly higher in the sky. Beams of warm light penetrate the forest, probing into what was just weeks ago a dull and shaded glade.

This warm sunshine lights up the formerly muted thickets, revealing wonderful greens and golds. It’s the splashes of brightness that I really enjoy. The way they seem to focus my attention on distant details that were shadows a few short weeks ago. The beams dance among the tree trunk, causing a glow that strongly contrasts with the shaded areas. It feels like an early sign of the life that will soon abound in the springtime forest.

In this image, those elements abound as the sun is able to light up the taller trees and short firs on this slight rise in the terraine. It’s like a beautiful cascade of light and colour rising from the snow covered ground.

And so, February passes away and March arrives.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)



“She smells fresh, like the shadow under trees.” 
― Julio Cortázar

The freshness of spring, among my favourite things. And with that freshness, the scents of spring, fresh-cut grass, tilled earth, and the flowers opening to the warm sun above. As well, the ferns have a unique aroma, which is quite noticeable when there are many plants.

Yet, even in the shadows, fresh life emerges. From the cool recesses of the forest floor, ferns break ground an uncoil their stems in the form of fiddle-heads. They are quite wonderful to see and mark the next stage of spring, the emergence of summer plants, those which will remain the rest of the season.

These tightly wound shoots seem to spring up from nothing, stretching skyward, and within days are clearly identifiable as the ferns which will soon blanket their surroundings. And so, this phase is brief and worth grabbing an image to share today. Tomorrow, it will be quite different, as it opens up to the sun.

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

2 sec, f/25.0, ISO 100 

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

“The Struggle”

“The Struggle” - Rainbow Trout run at Whitevale, Ontario

On the spring theme of the Rainbow Trout spawn that occurs every year in this area, here’s a slightly abstract image of a trout mid-run up Duffins Creek, near Whitevale, Ontario. The image above is a time exposure of a single trout swimming against a particularly strong current at a point where the clear water in the foreground is mixing with water contaminated with clay, caused by the spring melt run-off from an adjacent bluff.

The dark and barely discernible shadow of the trout hangs suspended above the rocks as the water flows rapidly around him. He appears, for the moment, to be running against the odds. The reality of the image is that the fish is actually ‘stuck’ as the world around him rushes by; neither progressing nor loosing ground. He’s in a transition between clear and murky, movement and stasis.

In the end, he broke though and continued his journey up-stream, though that outcome seems uncertain at this moment in time.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 125 mm
1/8 sec @ f/4.8, ISO 250

“End of the Day” – Memorial Park, Stouffville

"End of the Day" - Stouffville Sunset

On returning from a late day walk last summer, I looked up and saw this unique view of the sunset in Stouffville’s Memorial Park. The sun was just setting and the silhouette of the leaves against the setting sun got my interest. I’m always pleasantly surprised at the beauty all around us, whether grand mountain vistas or a simple tree in a park. You just have to be able to see it. This was a nice way to wind down from the day.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/320 sec @ f/9, ISO 200