Tag Archives: summer

“Morning Peony”

“Morning Peony”

“Hanging heavy with morning dew, a peony blossom among the leaves beams joyfully from the supporting foliage.” – Ed Lehming

I couldn’t have asked for a nicer composition, already framed by the bright green leaves of my spiraea bush, these peony blossoms were a joy to behold. It had just rained and the already large and heavy blossoms would have been on the ground had it not been for the spiraea’s support.

Those who cherish peony know the story. It seems that just as the blooms fully open, a rain storm will pass through and knock them down. Even after shaking as much water as possible from the flowers, they never quite stand up straight again.

This particular specimen was planted along one of my backyard fences as I was seeking a place to put all the peonies that I had acquired from my mother-in-law a few years back. It was important to her that her cherished peonies, many of which her mother passed down to her, stay in the family. So, this one, which was quite small only a few years ago, ended up in an available space next to a spiraea bush. Well, the peony has since flourished and the spirea has been a helpful neighbour, holding the heavy flowers up in even the heaviest rains. At time it looks like the blossoms are part of the bush itself, as they emerge between the leaves.

As I was tending to the garden that morning, I happened to have my phone close by and created this quick and natural composition. Everything was just right and I’m happy to be able to preserve another nice memory.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/540 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

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

“In the Heat of Summer”

“In the Heat of Summer”

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” 
― Henry James

Indeed, a bright, warm summer afternoon. Among my favourites, despite the lingering heat, there is a sense of comfort. As the day runs on, even the flowers nod their heads in repose.

The image I chose for today’s post was made at my wife’s late cousin’s farm as we dropped by this week to check in on the property. This lone sunflower sat along the laneway by the barn. It seemed out of place, but somehow appropriate and a real delight as I surveyed the farm scenes around me.

It was a warm summer afternoon and the ‘feel’ of that particular time and place is captured in this image. The puffy summer clouds float lazily in the distance as I stood enjoying the intricate beauty of the sunflower’s face. A simple image with all the colours and emotion of late summer.

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

1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200

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

“Breezy” – Bay of Quinte

“Breezy” - Bay of Quinte

“The wind skimmed the waters of the bay, creating infinite tendrils of foam that stretched as far as the eye could see.”
– Ed Lehming 

For me this was a rare opportunity to photograph a scene which I have seen and enjoyed several times over the past few years. It’s a view from the highway 49 bridge over Telegraph Narrows at the eastern end of the Bay of Quinte.

The bridge joins the mainland with the peninsula that makes up Prince Edward County. It’s a fairly high and expansive bridge and offers wonderful views ,both eastward and westward over the Bay of Quinte. But, it’s primarily a bridge for vehicles, with a narrow sidewalk along one shoulder. A rather long and steep walk to make photos.

Last weekend, the bridge was narrowed to a single lane for construction, with a stoplight regulating the traffic at the top of the bridge. SO, I found myself conveniently stopped a this beautiful vantage point. I reached in to the back seat of my truck, grabbed my camera and made a few photos of the bay, looking westward.

The wind, blowing from the west through the channel of Telegraph Narrows mad some interesting patterns on the water. I noticed there was only one sailboat out, so it may have been a bit too windy for people to actually enjoy a sail around the bay.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 135 mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200

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

“Slow Flow” – Papineau Creek

“Slow Flow” - Papineau Creek

“Summer moves forward, like a lazy river.”
– Ed Lehming

Ah, warm summer days, spent enjoying the northern countryside. Everything seems to slow its pace, just a bit. We spend the days drinking in the sweet warm air, and cool ourselves beside gentle streams. Not a care in the world.

Pictured here is one of my favourite summer stops. I came across it quite by accident as I was working on documenting the many waterfalls and cascades in the Bancroft area. I was looking for a set of rapids, based on a topographic map, and as I drove the back roads looking for an access point to the rapids I turned down a laneway and found this little slice of paradise. Here, Papineau creek gently flows over a rock strewn chanel, eventually resting in a deep, calm basin at the base of the rocks. It’s a perfect swimming hole. The water is actually quite deep in the pool formed by the flowing water.

It’s a place that I seem to end up in at least once a year. Stopping for a picnic lunch along the shore or going for a dip in the cool, calm waters. Just looking at the photo calms me, as I reflect on the times I have stood in this place and enjoyed the view, the sound of the water, and the sense of peace it brings me.

I hope to get back one more time in the autumn to see the place transformed with fall colours. For now, the deep greens of summer and refreshing water suffice.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 122 mm
1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 1250

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

“Swamp Maples” – Prince Edward County

“Swamp Maples” - Prince Edward County, Ontario

“It’s the unusual, the ‘out of place’ that gets our attention and prompts us to ask questions.”
– Ed Lehming 

While driving through Prince Edward County, a large peninsula in south-eastern Ontario, some of the main roads run through a fairly large patch of marshland, rather, swamp, since it is filled with shrubs and trees. What makes this so unique is that the swamps, which seem to be wet all year round are filled with large maple trees, primarily red and silver maple, which don’t seem to mind getting their feet wet in what is locally known as “The Big Swamp”.

The rest of the ‘County’ is rolling farmland with the occasional patch of low brush or juniper, as well as many of Ontario’s emerging wineries. The ‘County” is becoming a very popular destination, mostly because of its proximity to Toronto, its quaint villages, picturesque landscape, and a spectacular provincial park known as “Sandbanks” made up of miles of soft sand-dunes jutting into Lake Ontario.

Among this diverse landscape, I keep coming back to the central swamp, because it’s so out of place to me. I’ve been here many times over the past few years but until a few days ago, did not take the time to stop and photograph them. The trees you see in this photo stretch on for hundreds of meters into the swamp, but the thicker summer foliage obscurs much of that, so a trip back in autumn is definitely going to happen.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/20.0, ISO 200

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

“Pines on Papineau Creek”

“Pines on Papineau Creek”

“Summer walks along the creek, the sun playing among the drifting clouds, and life, in full force all around me.”
– Ed Lehming

Today I spent a day just being; taking things easy and simply letting the day flow. The day started cool and overcast. The forecast called a mix of sun and cloud, which soon became cool showers. The showers eventually cleared and yielded a wonderful soft light which made for great light and bright greens.

My wife and I spent much of the day visiting the town of Maynooth, with its farmers market and a plethora of antique shops. There was no real plan, simply time to be together and checking out the shops. From there we headed east to a favourite spot of ours, along Papineau Creek.

This little piece of heaven is little known and generally quite private. An ideal place for a picnic lunch and some photography. I enjoy the quality of light here and the open pine forest.

This image is one of my first for a while, using intentional camera movement to yield the slightly impressionistic look and feel. I love how the light plays among the branches and along the path, and highlighting the birch log that has fallen across the path. Someone has peeled the white bark back on a section of the log, making it look like an over-sized cigarette butt.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/22.0, ISO 1250

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

“Hillside Path”

“Hillside Path”

“It isn’t enough to pick a path—you must go down it. By doing so, you see things you couldn’t possibly see when you started out; you may not like what you see, some of it may be confusing, but at least you will have, as we like to say, “explored the neighborhood.” The key point here is that even if you decide you’re in the wrong place, there is still time to head toward the right place.” 
― Ed Catmull

This image came together almost immediately. As I stood at the edge of a steep gully, looking across miles of forest for this high vantage point the path along the edge beckoned me forward. I had just changed lenses from my 90mm macro to my 70-200 mm telephoto so that I could shoot a bit wider than my 90mm allowed.

My first glance through my viewfinder yielded this scene. The slightly winding path and the placement of the trees made for a simple composition which nicely represented the scene before me. The slight movement simply accents it and the long exposure saturates the colours a bit more, and also brings life to the image.

This spot was about half way around a loop trail and tied in nicely with my theme of gradual transition from summer to autumn because of the presence of more yellows and oranges. Not quite autumn, but definitely hinting at it; a turn in the path and in the seasons.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/18.0 ISO 200

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

“The Light that Lights My Way”

“The Light that Lights My Way”

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” 
― Ursula K. Le Guin

Scenes like this are one of the reasons I hike. I’ve referred to these dappled pools of light as “God-Light”, to quote C.S. Lewis. These small patches of golden light, like pools of energy seem to appear on all but the most overcast days. They are but one of the many effects in the forest which have a profound impact on me. In the forest, I feel in tune with my surroundings, the busyness of the workweek fades to a dull memory and my world come alive.

There is more to the light around me, while it lights my way, it warms my spirit and brings out the child in me. I find myself transfixed by the wonderful diversity of the forest paths, and grinning at simple things like a butterfly trying to land in the wind. Many of these scenes go undocumented, too brief to be captured as a photo, but remain with me as beautiful memories of my walks through the woods.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/4 sec, f/10.0 ISO 100

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

“Disposable”

“Disposable”

“Nothing ever really goes away–it just changes into something else. Something beautiful.” 
― Sarah Ockler

I was debating the title for this image of a spent cicada pupa. I recall seeing thousands of them in the pine forests just outside Atlanta, Georgia a few years ago. We arrived for an event and the campground we were staying at seemed overrun with emerging cicadas. Every tree was covered in these little alien carapaces.

To find one close to home was a surprise, though cicadas are also plentiful here, I have, up till now, not seen evidence that they also emerged here. I guess I figured they came from somewhere else.

The shell, as I said, has a strange alien look to it, barely resembling the adult cicada with its large and shimmering wings, that provide a constant background buzz on hot summer days.

One of the advantages of shooting a 90mm macro lens as a prime lately is that I can quickly switch from forest abstracts to highly detailed macro images.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/100 sec, f/4.5 ISO 400

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

“Just Around the Next Bend”

“Just Around the Next Bend”

“Never forget that anticipation is an important part of life. Work’s important, family’s important, but without excitement, you have nothing. You’re cheating yourself if you refuse to enjoy what’s coming.” 
― Nicholas Sparks

Part of the enjoyment I get from hiking is the anticipation, the ‘unknown’ about what’s around the next bend. Though I’ve hiked these trails for years now, there is always something new to discover. On days where I feel uninspired, all I have to do is get on the trail, look around that next band, and I’m almost always treated with something unexpected, some play of the light, or a new plant that I had not noticed.

In this image, along the theme is anticipation, along with the broader theme of this series of photos, there is the knowledge that autumn is also just around the bend, as evidenced by the colour shift from deep green to hints of yellow and even a few coppery-orange leaves to be found along the trail. The changes will soon accelerate and “In the Blink”, it will be autumn. Given our weather this summer, I’m anticipating some beautiful colours.

For those who look at my camera settings (below), you will have noticed that I have been adjusting the ISO and aperture as lighting conditions vary throughout this hike. I keep my shutter speed consistent at 1/4 sec, as this is the speed I feel produces the best results with my process.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/4 sec, f/11.0 ISO 100

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