Tag Archives: Solitude

Iceland Journal – “Mountain Retreat”

“Mountain Retreat” - Northwest Iceland

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more” 
― Lord Byron

This was a common scene along many stretches of Iceland’s Ring Road; beautiful cabins on the mountainsides. I’m a bit envious. I’d love to stop at one of these retreats for a few days, surrounded by mountains and waterfalls. I know I’d spend my time reading and writing, inspired by the wonders of nature. Some, like this one, have small groves of trees planted around or near them, probably as a wind screen or source of firewood. The ever-present yellow grasses and mosses bring a splash of welcome colour to the wind-whipped landscape. Though the scene is primarily rock and snow, there is a peaceful and humbling majesty to it.

There were a few times, as we hiked some of the lower mountain trails when I would simply stand still, listening to the sounds of water flowing down the hillsides, the wind howling far above, and sometimes, just silence, peaceful, blessed silence.

My trip to Iceland last month was a balm to my soul; a much-needed pause in a busy and increasingly stressful world. For me to spend ten solid days with my son, with no real schedule, no firm plans, and to simply ‘be’ in this wonderful place has restored me.

To have the ability to capture some of what I experienced in photos is a blessing I am so thankful for. I can sit and review these moments and memories, each one stirring my soul and reminding me that there are still places of peace and wonder in this busy world.

In a way, the photos have become my cabin on the hill, a place that I can visit when I need to pause for a bit and restore myself. Though it’s not quite the same as the actual cabin, it brings be closer to that place.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 116mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0 ISO 200

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

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“Alone in the Forest”

“Alone in the Forest”

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more”
― George Gordon Byron

Alone, but not for much longer.

Very soon, this Trout Lily will be surrounded by a sea of yellow blossoms.

Once more, I came across an isolated blossom surrounded by many other plants about to bloom. What became evident to me, as I made this low angle image was just how alone the flower ‘seemed’ against the backdrop of the forest. yet, it is not alone at all.

I spend much of my time on trails, in the forest, on the water alone. It’s a conscious choice I make. Being alone, gives me all the time I need to create my images and simply drink in my surroundings, my schedule is my own, the moment, my own. While I do love the companionship of my wife, family, or friends while hiking, that is a different experience altogether. It’s nice to share my sacred places, and talk about the experience, but it’s not the same as the solitary experience. Perhaps my blogging practice is a way for me to share those moments with others in a way that still allows me to ability to recharge in my solitude?

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/1050 sec;   f/1.8;   ISO 20

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

“Solitude”

“Solitude”

“Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous – to poetry. But also, it gives birth to the opposite: to the perverse, the illicit, the absurd.”
― Thomas Mann

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100

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

“Orange and White”

“Orange and White”

Time spent alone, not lonely;
Untrodden trails, my footsteps, singular;
Unspoiled, for my eyes alone;
Newness, freshness;
Never seen before, yet fleeting;

Nature surrounds me, and astounds me;
I am renewed.
– Ed Lehming

A surprising splash of colour in a predominantly white landscape.

I finally had the opportunity to get back on the trails today. We had a few days of unsettled weather, including some freezing rain, a particularly unwelcome visitor for hikers. The recent storm system had produced rain and freezing rain, which essentially turned the trails into a treacherous ice-covered skating rink. Last night another small system rolled through producing wet snow, which nicely covered the ice and provided a wonderful base of sticky snow, proving much-needed traction.

The wet snow also created yet another winter wonderland filled with pine trees covered in thick layers of white icing. The new fallen snow also brightened up the forest and reflecting wonderful soft light throughout the forest.

Among all this brightness, a small maple tree, which had refused to shed its leaves, stood out against the white and green background. I suppose the maple is trying to compete with neighbouring beeches for leaf retention. It was a most welcome splash of colour as the year winds down and we approach 2017.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/50 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100

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

“A Walk Among the Cedars” – Seaton Trail

Walk Among the Cedars - Secord Forest

“Solitude is the soil in which genius is planted, creativity grows, and legends bloom; faith in oneself is the rain that cultivates a hero to endure the storm, and bare the genesis of a new world, a new forest.”
― Mike Norton

Solitude, sweet solitude, the place where I flourish, dream, recharge. I crave the quiet places, the forest trails, the meadows, and riverbanks. Each experience is such a part of me, and I a part of them. As I walk, stand, or sit, the majesty of nature, even the simple things, fill my eyes and mind with wonder. I am in creation, not merely a visitor, but a part of it. It fills me with joy and peace. Time ceases and I merely ‘am’.

For all the time I have spent walking the trails and photographing my surroundings, this one image fully expresses how it “feels” to me. I get emotional looking at it, since it puts me in that place I love so much. Not this particular location, so much, but how I feel when I’m in nature, overall.

The image has all the elements I experience on a regular basis when hiking near my home, the leaf covered path, the flowing forms of branches and leaves, sun shining brightly above and through openings in the canopy, and the dark spaces as well.

This photo was made a few short weeks ago along the Seaton Train, near Whitevale. The ice had just come of the trails and it was a beautiful, mild, late winter day.

iPhone 5s back camera 4.15mm f/2.2
1/40 sec;   f/2.2;   ISO 32

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