Tag Archives: Spirit of the Spruce

“Pool of Light”

"Pool of Light"

“The Sun will rise and set regardless. What we choose to do with the light while it’s here is up to us. Journey wisely.” 
― Alexandra Elle

This is my final image in the “Spirit of the Spruce” series. One of the primary and surprising elements to this series has been the bold patches of light which show in each image; some more, some less. That, to me was the ‘spirit’ of the spruce bog as a hiked and documented my time here. it has brought an ‘energy’ to this often gloomy part of the forest.

This final image shows the tight tangle of spruce, cedar, and fir in the dim background light. Despite this, hazy sunlight manages to shine through from beyond and also in the focal point of the image, where it manifests as a bright pool of light, illuminating trunk and deadfall alike.

As the quote says, the sun rises and sets every day, not that every day is bright sunshine, but there is light, nonetheless. I choose to live in it and enjoy it, even if it’s doled out in small amounts some days. On others, like that not too distant November morning, I savour every ounce of it.

It’s been a wonderful journey, this hike through the spruce. Now, as the air turns chillier and the light cooler as well, I have sights on a few new projects which have not quite materialized yet.

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

1/4 sec, f/9.0, ISO 400

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

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“Tangle of Light and Limbs”

“Tangle of Light and Limbs”

“No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.” 
― Ansel Adams

As those who follow my posts regularly, you will know that I enjoy testing new things. There is great satisfaction in this creative process, of communicating in a slightly different way than traditional photography.

Though, the core elements remain: light, line, composition, shape, space, form, and value. As a photographer, I’m always seeking light. The other elements are either there or they are not, I don’t go looking for them. I compose by what pleases me and have enough knowledge of composition to understand ‘why’ certain scenes appeal to me. That, I believe is the hardest thing to communicate to those who do not see this way.

Light, as I said, is the element I am seeking and sometimes it can turn an otherwise uninspiring scene into something magical, like this one, involving a dominant cedar tree within a local spruce bog. The mid-morning sunlight illuminates the tangled knot of branches on the forest floor with a bright glow that you simply can’t ignore. That’s the kind of light that inspired this short “Spirit of the Spruce Series”. That light enables me to showcase a small part of my world for others to enjoy, and hopefully, bring light and inspiration to others.

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

1/4 sec, f/6.3, ISO 400

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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“Undergrowth and the Fallen”

“Undergrowth and the Fallen”

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” 
― Aristotle

After thousands of years, the quote is still so appropriate. The outward appearance of this spruce bog is well, quite bog-like, a bit muted, and a bit depressing. But, outward appearances can be deceiving, can’t they?

Even the title of this image is more than it seems. The undergrowth and the fallen are essential elements to the ecology of the forest, without death, decay, and regrowth, eventually only death follows.

This scene is a tangle of low growing spruce and cedar, interspersed with the dried trunks of fallen spruce. For anyone who has ever had to navigate this terrain, you will know the pitfalls of stepping over and between sharp tangled branches, only to find yourself knee-deep in the thick black muck of the spruce bog are tripping over the endless tangle of roots and slash.

Yet, this difficult terrain offers a safe haven to rabbits, grouse, and deer, who navigate it with ease, making barely a sound. The spruce bog is nature’s filter, where water seeps through thick mosses, depositing impurities along the way. Many local creeks begin their travels as cool springs in a spruce bog, just like this. There’s more than meets the eye and much more significance than its outward appearance. You just have to look and become aware.

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

1/4 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400

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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“Balsam Sunlight”

“Balsam Sunlight”

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” 
― Martha Graham

Welcome to the spruce bog. Though it may not sound exotic, the light and imagery that I experienced on this usually familiar hike was stunning, causing me to start this new series titled “Spirit of the Spruce”. The entire series was photographed in a small stretch of trail no longer than a few hundred meters. One dominated by spruce and balsam fir.

As I set out last Saturday, I had no idea what the day might bring, only that the light was wondrous, and with wondrous light, anything is possible.

I’ve hiked this stretch of the Secord Forest hundreds of times, usually favouring it in mid June, when the orchids are blooming and the mosquitoes are swarming. Otherwise, it’s just an area that I pass through to get to another destination.

I could not believe my eyes as I gazed upon the familiar sight of tightly packed spuce, mosses, and tangled underbrush, beautiful warm sunlight streaming from above. The sunlight was the only thing warm that day, as the air was crisp and cold, but very clear.

The way the sun lit the scene up was spectacular, bringing light to a forest floor usually locked in darkness, the realm of mushrooms and mosquitoes. Not that day, sunlight reflected throughout this tangle of trees, revealing details often missed in the shadows.

So join me once more as I explore yet another often ignored environment, the spruce bog on Southern Ontario.

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

1/4 sec, f/9.0, ISO 400

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