Tag Archives: Uxbridge

“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

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“First Trillium of 2018”

“First Trillium of 2018”

“Living in the present moment is the recurring baptism of the soul, forever purifying every new day with a new you.” 
― Alaric Hutchinson

And there it was , white, pure, radiant, and completely unexpected. The first trillium  the season completely surprised me. From all my time spend in the forest, the steady rhythms of nature have become my own rhythms, a steady progression through time and season.

As I entered the forest yesterday, I was simply wanting to be there, with no specific goal, other than simply enjoying the day. I was expecting to see the clumps of hepatica beginning to slowly fade and the foliage leafed out and I was wondering if I might see a few Wake-Robins (Red Trilliums). What I found instead was a highly accelerated carnival of spring wildflowers a full week ahead of my expectations.

The forest floor and hardwood ridges were filled with Trout Lily in full bloom, white trilliums, soon to emerge, and this one, single blossom, fully open and tilting toward the sun.

Somewhere in the background a grouse drummed, looking for a mate, a pheasant cawed over the ridge, and ravens hovered high above me. The sights and sounds of the forest at this time of year are so uplifting, as the earth yawns and stretches after its long rest. Life has returned to the world once more, including a few black-flies that floated in a stupor in the warm spring air. Reminding me, that the season of biting insects was also returning, but not just yet.

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

1/640 sec, f/13.0, ISO 400

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

“Unexpected Colours of Late Winter”

“Unexpected Colours of Late Winter”

“Art never responds to the wish to make it democratic; it is not for everybody; it is only for those who are willing to undergo the effort needed to understand it.” 
― Flannery O’Connor

Well, back to reality. I live in a land of four seasons, often extreme and more often, surprising, offering unexpected gifts.

I got out on the trails again. The trails, at this time of the year, are downright treacherous, not only icy, but uneven and icy. So, a good set of ice cleats or ‘icers’ is an essential, unless you enjoy spending your time on your backside, sprawled across the trail. For me it’s also about protecting my camera gear. There’s not much more painful than watching a $1,600 lens bounce off the ice.

That’s the preface to today’s post. It was a gorgeous, sunny day, but still quite crisp and the trails were ice-covered, snow strewn in patches in the darker recesses of the forest. Late winter is like that around here. We get a few warm days, the snow melts and the resulting slush freezes overnight, only to repeat the cycle, especially on the packed down trails.

I have posted several photos earlier this year of my forest hikes, all are a bit dull, in this icy world of muted shades. In fact, that alone has kept me from bringing my camera with me on the past few hikes, nothing inspires.

Last week I purchased a new camera pack , a Tenba Solstice 24L, for those interested, which I am hoping to use in a few future expeditions, and today I decided to carry the pack with most of my gear to try it out. It is perhaps the best camera pack I have owned yet and opened up the option of having a large selection of lenses, filters, and accessories with me.

This ‘test’ hike brought me through familiar territory and I made a few images along the way. Then, I came across this beautiful scene. The late morning sun flashed from bright green spruce sapling and lit up the golden leaves of a small beech tree. I was determined to capture this bit of magic. After a few trials, I believe I have something close to what I saw. I am now re-inspired, despite what largely appears as a dull and tired landscape. Nature always seems to have a few tricks up her sleeve to keep me coming back.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 90mm
1/4 sec, f/11.0 ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
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

“Three?”

“Three?”

“You might as well ask an artist to explain his art, or ask a poet to explain his poem. It defeats the purpose. The meaning is only clear thorough the search.” 
― Rick Riordan

And this search goes on., as I embark on another series of photographic abstracts. Yet, despite the quote, I believe I am able to explain my art. I take great satisfaction in these ‘light paintings’.

I find that by adding the slight movement it disturbs the viewer just enough that they begin to pay attention to details that are often missed. As I study my own photos of the same scene, one, a still photo and the other, a slight pan, colours that are lost or subdued on the static photo seem more vibrant, more alive. I find the movement adds a dynamic that is not there in a still image.

Perhaps it’s just how I see things and this is a way for me to ‘realize’ them. It’s also a way for me to create art, using light and movement rather than a brush. It is very satisfying because I am creating something new, something that was not there before. It the creation that drives me, that combined with the fact that the images seem to resonate with the viewer.

It’s been interesting for me, since I started creating these images, that not once, has anybody said to me, “That’s just a blurry picture”. Most viewers are intrigued with the images, and I find them drawn deeper into the scene than with crisp, clean shots, which seem to briefly satisfy.

As yet, this new series remains unnamed, but that will come to me shortly. In the meantime, enjoy.

This particular image is named “Three?” because there are three dominant trees, but there is more to it, isn’t there? There are more than just the three trees, there are others in the periphery that count too, do they not?

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@75mm

1/4 sec, f/10.0, 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

“Hairy Woodpecker”

“Hairy Woodpecker” - Secord Forest

“Birds know themselves not to be at the center of anything, but at the margins of everything. The end of the map. We only live where someone’s horizon sweeps someone else’s. We are only noticed on the edge of things; but on the edge of things, we notice much.”
― Gregory Maguire

At first, I thought this was a Downy Woodpecker, the most common species around here, but when I checked my bird books it looks more like this is a Hairy Woodpecker. They appear  very similar, except the Hairy Woodpecker has a longer beak. I’d appreciate a verification from my bird watching connections, since I use this blog as a learning tool as well.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/40 sec, f/3.2, 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

“December Trails”

“December Trails” - Durham Forest

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”
― Edith Sitwell

This image, made on the same day as yesterday’s post, this view of the beech lined trails of one of the East Duffins Headwaters trail system, near Uxbridge, Ontario, is a testament to the beauty that can still be experienced in the winter months. Cross country skiers, hikers, and dog walkers have all enjoyed this trail before me. The snow squalls from the previous week deposited about a foot of soft snow which stuck to everything and stayed there for several days, still the winds began to blow some of it off.

It really was a winter wonderland, hiking below the canopy of snow-covered branches, the temperatures just cool enough to remind me winter had arrived. But, what really dominated the scene for me was the warm glow of the beach trees, holding on to their leaves when all others have long since dropped.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 85 mm
1/30 sec, f/2.8, 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