Tag Archives: thoughts

“Big Bite” – Chickadee with Seed

“Big Bite” - Chickadee with Seed

“There is no mundane dimension really, if you have the eyes to see it, it is all transcendental.”
― Terence McKenna

The view from my back window yesterday afternoon, as the birds returned for a feed. I posted several images of other local birds in late December and the simple chickadees, who are frequent visitors, were omitted. I began questioning myself on that. Why was I ‘editing’ what I shared? Is the humble chickadee less worthy than the bright cardinal or more elusive nuthatch? Will the photo not impress and get more likes. Have I gotten to that point? I certainly hope not. I’ve always enjoyed seeing beauty in the mundane and sharing those moments; I don’t ever want to lose that gift, especially in these superficial times.

So, as I considered the  image again, and looked at all the wonderful details in this ‘common’ bird, I found myself seeing it anew. The soft pastel orange of the belly feathers, the fine details in the delicate wings, and incredible details in and around the eyes, often missed because they move around so quickly.

The other thing that struck me, and inspired the title of the photo was the size of the seeds that the chickadee choose. He’d land, pick one, and then fly away with it, as another bird took his place. Never once did more than one bird occupy the dish. They waited, swooped in, took a seed, and departed, for the better part of the afternoon. Then, the cycle stopped and none returned, even though there was still food in the dish.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 300mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, 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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“Fist Full of Red”

“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
― Ansel Adams

Yes, I know, “What an original title”. Yet, I’m often stuck for a title and am loath to fall to such tactics as “Unnamed #314”. Every image I make leaves an impression on me, it is a small interpretation of who I am, my experiences, emotions, and how I see the world; by being a new creation, it further adds to that experience. I recall the moment when it was made, why I made it, how I interpreted and composed the image, and what my impressions were when I first compared what I saw with my eyes with what the camera interpreted it as.

Sometimes, the image title is obvious, sometimes I need to look at it a while, comparing various descriptions till it makes sense to me, fits into my world. Often, It’s just the name of what I have photographed, especially if it’s a place, or object that stands alone and does not have further layers of emotion tied to it. In those cases, it’s just an object, whereas in other cases, it’s an impression, a moment, the outcome of a thought, of myself.

This time, I saw a fist full of red flowers, Peruvian Lilies to be more precise. They represent another element of a bouquet I pulled apart so that I could photograph the individual flowers and enjoy their individual beauty, which can often be lost in a bouquet.

So, there you go, a short visit to my thought process, when it comes to naming my images and making art. It really is an extension of who I am

Nikon D800
Nikor 24-70mm f/3.5-4.6 @ @ 35 mm (with 20mm extension tube)
2.0 sec, f/25.0, ISO 100

Hi Resolution image on 500px

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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“Even in Our Darkness…”

“Even in Our Darkness...”

“I am a forest, and a night of dark trees: but he who is not afraid of my darkness, will find banks full of roses under my cypresses.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

As I was reviewing my photos from the past few weeks, I kept glancing at this one, which at first seemed a bit dark for me. When I opened the thumbnail and looked closer it brought me back to the moment when I made the photo and I recalled why I made it.

I was sitting on a rock above a large beaver pond in the late afternoon. The dense spruce and hemlock forest was dark and damp, green with moss, and a bit foreboding feeling. Yet, through the dark canopy, a narrow opening allowed a patch of bright sunlight through. Just enough light to reveal the multitude of colour present in the dark place. Some trees glow green with mosses and lichen, while others, a soft brown. There are others which remain quite dark and gray, yet above, even the canopy has a soft green brightness to it.

So, despite what appears to be darkness, there is light, if we are observant and take the time to look.

How often have we experienced this darkness in our lives, the narrow sphere we feel we are in? Yet, just on the periphery, bright lives continue, children laugh, people love, and the world, even on rainy days, sits in wait of sunlight, which inevitably comes.

So, look deeply into this scene, which appears dark and somewhat sinister and see all the light in the details. Is this a forest you would walk joyfully into, even being aware of the subtle brightness? What lies beyond that line trees? There was more life beyond this veil of darkness. In fact, a beautiful grove of majestic oaks awaited me, just over the next rise. Sometimes you have to risk it and break through to the next layer, encouraged by the hints of light we are all given. Though not Nietzsche’s banks of roses, it was wonderful, nonetheless.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/16.0, ISO 400

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

“Goodness…”

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“Goodness is about character — integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.”
– Dennis Prager

I’m cheating a bit today, as this is a photo I made three years ago from the window of my car as I drove to work one morning. The tree in the foreground is on my wife’s home farm. When I was commuting to work, I would see this scene daily.

The post was prompted by one of those Facebook Memories pop-ups and I recalled the painful events that caused me to make the photo and insert the text, which is not something I normally do. But, I felt the quote and the image might help others come to terms with unhealthy relationships.

It was during this period in my life when several close friends suddenly turned on me, very publicly, to serve their own interests. I would not wish this experience on anyone. Those days were filled with self-doubt, depression, anger, and I nice touch of paranoia. I’m the type of person who is very cautious about who I let in my life and it hurts all the more when I realize I made a poor choice.

As I emerged from the experience, I spent a lot of time on introspection, trying to figure out what I had done to deserve their attacks, and how the situation escalated so quickly, is something I have to this day to figure out. I do know now that is was led by one individual and others followed along to remain in his favour and continue to do so. During this time I came across the quote by Dennis Prager and it reminded me why the true friends who stood by me during those dark days were and still remain my friends. It’s because they are, simply put, ‘good’ people, who exhibit the traits mentioned in the quote. It has become a bit of a mantra for me and a gauge to consider the character of those who call themselves my friends.

“Sorrow”

“Sorrow”

“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Pink Cosmos”
Two views of the same flower, a week apart.

Sometimes, I keep the flowers I photograph a bit too long but it was interesting for me to compare the two images.

It also reminded me how gradually things can change without you really noticing them.

I was debating the title of the top image, as sorrow may sound too depressing, but that is the emotion that comes over me in waves the past few days.

You see, my youngest two children, now young adults have recently moved from home in the span of a few days. One to go into college residence, not too far from home, but away, nonetheless. The other, is in third year university, and has chosen to live closer to school to save the long commute he has endured the last two years.

So, while I am happy for their growth and proud of all my children, I still experience moments of sorrow. You see, I still look back at the bright, young flower and all the happy times spent with them as children. I recall bringing each of them home for the first time. And, while they are certainly not the wilted, desiccated flower at the top, I feel I looked away a moment too long and missed the gradual transition. Yet, this reminds me that, like a garden, after a winter of transition, fresh blossoms emerge to replace last year’s beauty.

The cycle continues and ‘sorrow’ becomes a transient thing. I’m looking forward the the gardens my children have planted and continue to nurture.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 155 mm
15 sec, f/22.0, ISO 200

High Resolution image on 500px:

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

“Claremont Skies”

%22Claremont Skies

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
― John Lubbock

After perhaps the hottest day of the summer, and the date of my oldest daughter’s engagement party, the air shifted. Forecasts had predicted severe thunderstorms and torrential downpours, which made the outdoor event pretty much a moment by moment, hope for the best on the weather front event.

Well, the next morning the air quickly changed for hot and muggy to cool and fresh. The expected thunderstorms had passed just south of us and the skies were filled with the most wonderful clouds. So wonderful, I had to make a photo to keep that memory.

As I look back on that day I could not help but notice that the sky, as a subject of its own, is often over looked. Perhaps, as we mature, we spend less time looking up and appreciating just how beautiful a cloud filled sky can be. I experienced this same feeling a few years ago as I lay on my back next to a river in northern Ontario. I just lay there, looking straight up and noticing the multitude of dragonflies darting about, at significant height. It dawned on me that it had been too long since I did nothing but just drink it in. We smile in memory of the days where we sat in a park and named the shapes we saw in the clouds, but it’s ben far too long for many of us is this constantly busy world.

Just as I spend more time appreciating the fine details of the scenes I choose to photograph, it’s time for me to enjoy the larger things, like the sky, as well.

iPhone 5s back camera 4.15mm f/2.2
1/4600 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

“April Sunset at Burleigh Falls”

“April Sunset at Burleigh Falls”

“As the soft spring sun begins to set, an ethereal light strikes the trees and boulders on the far shore, setting them ablaze in gold. The dark, cold, meltwater rushes by in a mad dash through ancient rocks. Intent on the calm of the lake below, where they foam and swirl, momentarily, then merge with the now still waters that preceded them. The day ends, in peace, and light, and water.”
– Ed Lehming

To stand on the shore and bear witness to these kinds of fleeting events fills me with joy. It’s the primary reason I spend so much time outdoors. To be able to capture a moment like this, to reflect back on it, and recall that experience once more is a blessing.

I knew that the spring rush this year at Ontario’s Burleigh Falls was going to be extraordinary. This was prompted by a Facebook post by a fellow photographer, where he rendered a wonderful black and white image that made me determined to see for myself. The light in the morning was wonderful but I was not fully prepared for the effect of the setting sun in late afternoon. Generally, I stop here in the summer, on my way home from camping, and the sun tends to be quite bright.

The position of the sun at this time of year bathes the shores in gold and lights up the whitecaps with soft tones of gold. The effect lasts only moments and is gone. I was overjoyed to have witnessed this and to be able to photograph it to share.

Nikon D200
Tamron 17-50 mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm
1/10 sec, f/32.0, ISO 160

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