Tag Archives: solitaire

“I Stand Alone” – Markham, Ontario

“I Stand Alone” - Markham, Ontario

“Writing is something you do alone. Its a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.”
― John Green

This must be the most photographed tree in Markham, a community just south of my home. This oak stands at the top of a convenient mound, nicely isolating the tree from any distracting background. It’s not a true ‘solitaire’ by my definition, as there is a companion tree not to far from it, but it neighbour is not nearly as nicely shaped as this one is.

The tree stand on this hill, in the middle of a local farm field and the road runs next to it, offering many opportunities to pull over and make a photograph. Many times, while driving past, I’ve witness a photographer or two capturing their own image of this beauty.

I made this image a few days ago, on a warm early summer morning. The sun was just high enough to light it well, without being overly bright and still casting some warm hues on the leaves and the freshly harvested field. All that’s missing, in my opinion, is s few puffy summer clouds and I would be happy to stare at it for hours, almost feeling the warm sun and hearing the insects buzzing.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom
@ 220 mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200

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

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“Bathed in Sunset” – near Glasgow, Ontario

“Bathed in Sunset” - near Glasgow, Ontario

“Breathe light into your body – breathe light into your Heart – Breathe light into your mind – Breathe and OPEN! Breathe and remember that you are all LIGHT – Infinite LIGHT -Blessed LIGHT- open your heart and SHINE ON!”
― Angie Karan

When the elements align, I recognise just how fortunate I am. I’ve also become prepared for many lighting situations which would have challenged me a few years ago. The tree pictured above is one of my favourites. As a “Solitaire”, which is what I now call these lone trees, this one is the one that I visit and photograph the most. Primarily because it’s close to home, and secondly, because the farmer tends to work his/her such that the furrows or plantings draw the eye naturally to the tree.

However, this particular ‘moment’ was breathtaking, and lasted mere minutes, as the setting sun shone across the field, bathing the tree in what I’ve begun to call ‘God-Light’. It highlights one particular item and makes it glow with life. I just happened to be driving home from a trip north to photograph the spring melt-waters at Burleigh Falls, hoping that this ‘solitaire’ of mine might be photo worthy. I was certainly not disappointed.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/160 sec, f/7.1, ISO 250

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

“Solitaire near Glasgow”

Solitaire near Glasgow

“To my mind, a picture should be something pleasant, cheerful, and pretty, yes pretty! There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is without creating still more of them.”
― Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Happy Easter!

I wanted to try something new, something that satisfied the creative in me. I love paintings and have many friends who are extraordinary painters. My gift is photography, which offers me a similar outlet, but rather than spending time in front of the canvass, I spend my time walking in the trails, forests, and cities, always looking for interesting scenes to photograph.

This past week I was working with some of what I would deem my ‘secondary’ files. The images that I had envisioned, but did not satisfy me as I processed them. I ran these images through various filters and plugins, looking for the ‘vision’ of the photo to emerge. In this case, one of my favourite ‘solitaires’ or lone trees.

On the day I made the photo, the sky was filled with soft and interesting clouds, the wheat had just emerged to greet the early spring air, while patches of snow still remained in low areas. The photo alone did not meet my expectations, that is, until I ran it through one of my filters to create the wonderful image above. As I’ve said before, I wish I could paint, but since I can’t, at least I can create the image as I would have painted it, if I could.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 250

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

“Pondside Maple” – Hwy 7, near Kaladar, Ontario

“Beaver Pond Maple” - Hwy 7 near Kaladar, Ontario

There is an interesting stretch of highway in eastern Ontario, where the road follows the unusual topography, consisting of many long ponds between low strips of granite. When viewed from above, it’s like a large series of wrinkles in the earth’s crust. The bare rock and water filled valleys are so different from anything else along that road that it made me pay attention to it. Among those rocks and ponds are numerous ‘solitaires’, as I have begun to call them. That is, trees that stand apart from others for any number of reasons.

This maple looks to have had a companion at one time, but that one, lying along the shore, has not faired as well. It’s amazing this tree has reached the size and age it has, given the scant soil it has grown in. There were a few of these solitaires visible from the road but this one was in a location where I could safely pull over and compose a photo as the highway snakes along the edge of the pond.

The photo nicely captures the cool mid-December feeling. It will be winter in a few days, yet there is no snow and the water remains unfrozen. It was a bit dull and the sky was filled with variable clouds, yet the diffused light still lit up the pale yellow grasses along the shore. I’m hoping that the mood is conveyed adequately without making it depressing, which it was not.

Nikon D300
Tamron  70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website
http://www.edlehming.com

“Elgin Mills Solitaire” – Markham, Ontario

“Elgin Mills Solitaire”

I wish I could paint. There are so many scenes that I see on a regular basis and say to myself, “That would make a beautiful painting”. Especially if the light is just a bit off and I envision the image a bit different.

That was the case with this photo I made a few days ago. All the elements were just right, the light was soft from the west and a bank of clouds hovered low to the east, yet the image did not convey the scene in the same way as it struck me.

So, since I can’t paint, yet, I went to my Photoshop toolbox and started playing with some effects. And, lo and behold, I got the effect I wanted, as if it had been painted. Now, I will have some purists say that this is not photography, and I would agree, it’s art, based on photography. Be it a painting or a digitally manipulated image, it makes no difference to me and I don’t want to be limited by a particular discipline. Does that change how I approach my photography? Not in the least. As I’ve stated many time before: For me, it’s about ‘how’ I see things, rather than what I see. There is so  much more at play than just making an image. I want to be able to communicate how it made me ‘feel’. That, to me is art, and I’m good with it.

Back to the photo, I see many of these lone trees and they have been the subject of several of my photos. I’ve started calling them “Solitaires”, because “lone tree” makes it sound a bit depressing and that there are no other trees around, which is not the case, these ones are simply “apart” from their neighbours.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 170 mm
1/200 sec, @ f/7.1, ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website
http://www.edlehming.com