Tag Archives: trees

“Early Spring Forest”

“Early Spring Forest”

“As the seasons changed, winter slowly released its hold on the land, receding in patches and revealing the first signs of spring, like a curtain being slowly drawn.”
– Ed Lehming

I chose this image today because I was very pleased with the composition and the elements that I wanted to communicate. I also did something that I often experiment with but rarely publish. The original photo was processed using the Prizma app on my iPhone. It allows me to apply art filters which render the image into something a bit more painterly and accents the mood I was after.

In this case, the image becomes a bit more ‘crunchy’ and looks a bit more like a coloured wood-cut. I played with several filters, all of which produced nice results, but in the end, I chose this as the most appealing option. Being able to test the image with several filters also revealed that I had a really nice composition since it read well with all the filters.

It’s not something I will be doing on a regular basis but it does allow me to employ some artistic interpretation of a photo.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/3425 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20
Prizma filter for iPhone

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

Advertisements

“Laid Bare”

“Laid Bare”

“The pines stood defiantly on the hillside, their bark long since stripped by disease and the elements; exposed to the sun, and rain; vulnerable. Yet, they stood, despite what had befallen them.”
– Ed Lehming

I’ve photographed this grove of pine trees on many occasions over the past few years. Their appeal is that they stand out against the rest of the forest. They are a strong contrast to their surroundings; tall and straight, clearly dead for some time, but showing little sign of falling any time soon.

They appear skeletal, the bark has mostly fallen off, exposing the smooth gray and sun-bleached wood beneath. There are few signs off rot, though smaller branches are missing. They are simply ‘posts’ on the hill, standing tall against the background of their still living relatives and the delicate undergrowth which is beginning to fill the spaces between them.

I’m not sure what killed them as it is limited to these few trees, on the edge of a larger grove, but they have provided me many photographic opportunities as I pass them in different seasons and varying light. I’ll miss them when they finally fall, but I expect that will be many years from now unless someone deems them a danger and cuts them down.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 200

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

“The Shades of Winter”

“The Shades of Winter”

“In the deep of winter, colour and sound fade to nothingness. The world becomes muted and silent as it slumbers beneath the snow”
– Ed Lehming

As a lover of light and colour, winter can often be the hardest on me, especially when seeking inspiration and beauty. In the winter months, it’s not just the drastic reduction of colours, but also the silence. So many times, the only sound I hear is the crunch of snow beneath my feet, the wind, above, and the groaning of the trees as the frost takes hold.

Occasionally, a flash of colour shows through, but for the most part, the world is plunged into innumerable shades of gray; the only colour being the rare blue sky above or the bright yellow of exposed wood, where a branch has broken off or a woodpecker has exposed fresh wood through its labours.

As I hiked last weekend, I was caught in a bit of an unexpected squall. There was really no wind to speak of, just an ever-increasing snowfall which further muted the world. There is a certain beauty in this silence. I find my senses more attuned and I become more aware of the world around me as my path leads forth into the white haze ahead.

Here, I simply stood still and let the silence fill me for a few minutes as I made the image, a reminder when I complain about the heat of summer.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/160 sec, f/6.3, ISO 400

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

 

 

“Resolve”

“A rock may seem a sound foundation but deep, nourished, and interwoven roots will hold surprisingly fast over time”
– Ed Lehming

This tree growing around a large boulder at the top of a hill got me really thinking, as I made this image a few weeks ago. It seems that the boulder would be a challenging place to grow. In fact, as I considered this image, I tried to think of the process that would create this oddity. Did the tree start growing here and the frost gradually pushed the boulder up? Or did the tree start growing in a small patch of soil on top of the boulder?

It also got me thinking of the notion of the rock being a solid and somewhat permanent object to use as an anchor, yet the rock is not connected to anything and that diminishes its ability to support the tree. I imagine a strong wind or more heaving from frost will loosen this perch over a few years, yet there is a conflict here. The roots, wrapped around the rock fasten it in place, preventing movement.

The real strength here is in the deep roots, spreading and anchoring the tree and rock. Based on the size and age of the tree, this seems to be working but it’s very strange and unique.

How often do we embark on projects, firm in our resolve that things are solid when, in our limited perspective, we are anchored on less than we think?

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 175 mm
1/50 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200

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

“Boundaries”


“Like most boundaries, they have two aspects. What is inside it and what is outside, it all depends upon which side you are on”
– Ed Lehming

I’m still in retrospect mode, moving through photos I made last year, considering the thinking behind their creation and the feelings I was experiencing when I made them.

Much of this is influenced by the world around me, though I try my utmost to detach from the negatives constantly bombarding us these days. One of the themes that was inescapable is the concept of boundaries, both physical and conceptual. A boundary is a point of separation, some boundaries have a transition zone and others are abrupt, often driven by the intent of the boundary.

In the case of this photo, the boundary between winter and autumn is quite abrupt, which is what made me stop to consider what I was seeing. The entire autumn in my area has been highly changeable, transitioning from snow, to rain, to sunshine, with snow never remaining on the ground for more than a few days. This also meant that any snowfall was temporary, at best. Here, the shade of the pine trees shelters a section of snow, creating a very defined boundary.

As I made the image, the thought about the nature of boundaries began to form. After all, if I stand on the boundary and look one way, I’m greeted with a snow filled and wintry view. Yet, if I remain in the same spot and turn around, it’s a late autumn day. If I did not have the benefit of seeing the whole picture, I could assume it is one season, when it is not. So, the boundary is, like I noted in my quote, really dependent on which side you are on and which way you are looking. It’s a concept I would like to continue to build on over the next few months.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 92 mm
1/4 sec, f/16.0 ISO 400

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

“Among the Giants”

“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.”
– Herman Hesse

As I start into 2019, I can’t but help reflecting on the profound influence trees have on me. I spend so much time among them, feeling their energy, sheltered under their branches, observing their slow but steady growth, season by season and, listening to them. Indeed, they have much to say about life itself.

Trees have influenced my photography and pursuit of painting as well. I am intimate with and thankful for the trees I am so blessed to live near. As my chosen quote states so well, trees are my sanctuary. In times where life gets hectic and work is overwhelming, the forests offer me respite, a place where I can simply be. To be among the trees is so incredibly refreshing to my senses. I smell the sap, hear the creak, groan and crackle of the wood as it heats and cools or resists the weather; my eyes are filled with the colours of fresh life as well as slow decay, all in their time. I feel the cool summer breezes among the branches and savour the shelter they offer in the storm.

So, when I came across this plantation of trees near Bancroft, Ontario, I could not help but notice the growth of young trees among their mature ancestors. Truly, among the giants and bathed in the soft winter light.

This is also an image that speaks of transition, from old to new and from past to future. I have no idea what 2019 has to offer. The year 2018 was a true blessing to me, personally, spiritually, and artistically and I expect the trees will continue play a large part in my future pursuits; I’m glad for the companionship.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/60 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400

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

“Back to the Woods”

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” 
 William Blake

Today, a brief reprieve from my my Iceland series, which is not nearly complete. Yesterday, as the early snowfalls melted away, it took the the local forest for a moderate hike.

I’m blessed to live in an area with lots of forest and lots of easily accessible trails. There are favourites which I return to regularly, one being North Walkers Woods, which has a good network of interconnecting trails. The one I chose is what I refer to as the ‘ outer loop’ which follows the forest perimeter and is six kilometres long.

The day stared out dull and overcast, but sitting inside was not an appealing option for me. After a particularly horrible workweek, many of my co-workers were let go, in the ever present world of downsizing, I ended my week family ‘numb’ and simply needed to get out and recharge.

When I’m out hiking and making photos, the outside world fades away and I am simply present in the forest. I hear lots of people talking about this state of being present. I suppose I have always had the ability to do that, without having a formal name for it.

So, here I was, enjoying a good late autumn walk and seeing the dull day turn ever brighter. The sun never fully emerged from the clouds but the light was soft and warm enough to make a few simple forest images, including the one above.

I played with my Prisma app to get the slightly graphic effect, which is quite subtle, and you have to look closely to see the effects.

iPhone 7