You've found the Lehman Images blog, where I'll share tales of good times had while toting a camera or three. Respectful comments and suggestions are always welcome, and I will aim to reply personally to every one. Thanks for having a look, and enjoy! - R. Ben Lehman
With the historic Paradise Theatre directly next door to the Lehman Images studio and gallery space in Paonia, I get the enjoyable responsibility of hosting Green Room space for many of the performing artists who grace the Paradise stage. Recently, a bundle of musical awesome called Andy Frasco & the UN rocked the house and I was thrilled to gulp thirstily from their musical punch bowl while making some gorgeous photographs capturing some modicum of the energy and enthusiasm that permeated the theatre... enjoy this slideshow complete with the group's song "You Keep on Holding Back Your Love," which the entire theatre was singing along to. Life is a song, are you dancing or standing at the wall?
Please share with your friends who dig the magic of live performance and support local, yall.
Enjoy the sounds of magical midnight music-making around the sacred fire as you time travel with images of the recent ceremonial and celebratory gathering at Anna Dharma Farm in Hotchkiss, Colorado. I recorded the audio in the deep dark night while revelers played with drums, flutes, guitars, and their own sweet voices ... want to hire Ben to capture your special event? Let's talk!
A crystalline pegmatite band snakes up the cliffs in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
During a visit to Black Canyon National Park this past Friday, my lenses bore witness to a game of shadows between the nearly vertical cliffs of the singularly unique canyon and the creeping light of late afternoon. Before all of the sun's warmth abandoned the cliffs of the northern edge, this pegmatite band with its "wiggle" holding a hardy high desert tree caught my eye. I stayed there on the south edge transfixed until the entire canyon was shrouded in shadow and only the distant roar of the Gunnison River's south fork remained.
Do you have any memories of the Black Canyon you'd like to share? Feel free to leave one in the comments ; )
When I moved to the small Colorado town of Paonia, I was struck by the palpable feeling of community that flowed throughout the agricultural valley. Never before had I experienced such cohesion among people of diverse political, religious, and economic backgrounds - people here come together frequently for music, local food (and brews), workshops, and festivals and performances throughout the year. Soon after arriving I knew I wanted to support as many local businesses as I could while simultaneously building my own photography business. Part of that was banking locally, and I chose to begin banking at First Colorado National Bank, a locally-owned and operated institution founded in 1903. The service is amazing and it's always a pleasure to go in greeted by friends and neighbors behind the counter. The experience of adjusting to increasingly support my immediate community is one that gives me hope for the future here and elsewhere. Fortunately, the support is mutual and I recently was asked to capture staff photos for my new favorite bank - the same fine folks who'd been helping me set up my accounts and debit card were now laughing and smiling in front of my lens. Sure, it can be a frightening, uncertain world with a lot to be concerned about - but experiences like those I have here in rural Colorado prove that working together for mutual benefit is pretty swell - and fun! Let's all seek what gets us enthusiastic, and then pursue a life that aligns with that in a way that can serve others. We'll all be richer for it.
A sincere thanks to the staff at First Colorado National Bank for doing a great job in the community, AND in front of the camera! - Ben
If you've been watching the progress of Lehman Images, you'll know that one of my photographs from an amazing expedition I joined and documented in the Grand Canyon in 2013 won the Grand Prize in a contest put on by the trip's outfitter, Hatch River Expeditions. The winner received a free river trip of their choice in 2017. Well, my choice was a 12 day full canyon hiking-focused trip in April, timed to coincide with the canyon's optimal wildflower expression. It's apparently a magnificent twice-in-a-lifetime experience that I feel so privileged and proud to look forward to! Now, what to do for the next 52 days?
Here's the winning image that was entered into the "Fun" category: (My entry into the "Action" category also garnered more votes than the other action finalists ... see that below as well. 2017 is going to be awesome.
Yesterday the last of three 24" x 36" canvas prints arrived for a client in Montrose, and I am quite excited to unveil them on Monday. All of the prints have been signed and will look amazing on the walls of their new home for all to enjoy ... it's an honor and a privilege to share these local mages with local businesses and their customers - what a way to celebrate the magnificence that surrounds us here on the Western Slope of Colorado.
I won't spoil the surprise just yet, but the image below will give you a sense of the scale of what we're going to be installing. Looking forward to it, and I hope to help decorate your space as well one day. ; )
Love is... a many-splendored thing, wings for the heart, a soul's recognition of its counterpart in another...
There are countless ways that people have tried to explain love. For me, it's best described as a fond and understanding connection - to another person, place, thing, idea, vista, song, life itself.
I had the pleasure of photographing my longtime friend Kyle's wedding in southern Utah at the end of July and the magic that he and his longtime fiancée beamed with on that day beneath the sandstone cliffs of Zion represent an energy that truly makes the struggles of the world worth the trouble. Despite wind and rain and two far-from-home Louisiana dogs having their own ideas about how the wedding should go, I was thrilled with the images that resulted from the weekend and am proud to share a few here.
What does love mean to YOU? How has it shown up in your life? How do you share it with the world?
If you have a person, a place, a pet, a business, or anything that moves you to a state of love in one way or another, it would be an honor to create imagery with you that can preserve and honor that feeling now and into the future. Let me know your thoughts!
Thank you Kyle and Leslie for the opportunity to preserve your special weekend forever : ) - Ben
...It's who you know!
For much of my photographic journey I was intrinsically drawn to connecting with and documenting the "more than human" world, aka "nature." There are patterns, forms, colors, textures, and unimaginable details in the wider world that many of us simply don't get the chance to witness often in the workaday computer screen routines of modern life. However, whenever I journeyed into a forest, onto a lofty stone crag, or among the extended company of wildflowers and wildlife, there was a certain flavor of peaceful connection that washed over me, and I strived to bring some of that peace back and share it with others whenever I could. The challenge of adventure, of physical exertion, and of facing the unknown will always appeal to the wildness in me but there is an equally nuanced and indescribably rewarding side of photography that I had not given as much attention to until more recently in my career.... my fellow Earthlings, specifically humans. To know others is to know oneself, simple as that, and it is a joy to do both in service of the community and the tribe at large. I hope you'll enjoy some recent images made in such service and think of me when you're in need of looking your best/funniest/most persuasive!
It's not what you know, but who you know - and I'd love to get to know YOU!
The winter on Colorado's western slope was a long and cold one, with plenty of indoor time to reflect on the introspective side of life and anticipate the inevitable blossoming and regenerative powers of springtime. Now, as the flowers and new buds dance to the sound of enthusiastic birdsong, it's time to once again celebrate the miracle of constant renewal in our lives! A recent work project allowed me to capture some details at a local farm retreat run with a mindset of sustainability, sanctuary, healing, and low impact living. Perfect work for my values and sensibilities ; )
The opportunities afforded me continue to expand and move into new avenues, and it's gratifying to be able to help responsible businesses near and far with enhancing their public image - taking what may otherwise seem an unremarkable door and transforming it through dramatic perspective into a portal of mystery worthy of Alice in Wonderland, for example. The Doorway to MysteryAn enigmatic doorway behind which unknown delights reside - the joys of bed and breakfasts!
Whether we find our sanctuary in the wild woods, our lover's arms, or a comfortable spot along the traveler's road, the human experience sometimes calls for a period of nesting-settling-resting and retreat. That's what I aimed to capture for this client and the results look as cushy and comfortable as curling up in a sunny spot with a good book.
"Environment is everything," and I intend to create for myself and promote for others healthy environments for people and the wider world to which we are all connected. On that note, I look forward to connecting with you, so send me a note and let me know how I can serve you in your endeavors! - Ben
"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” – Leonardo DaVinci
Yesterday I managed to nab tickets to Burning Man 2016: Davinci's Workshop. This is good juju, for that esoteric event in the empty expanses of northern Nevada desert spurred your humble photographer into a new stage in life that has led him directly to typing these words right now. Dreams can and do become manifest - this I learned without a doubt. They require the fuel of one's inner drive to do so, however. The eye-opening experiences made possible by the enigmatic Burning Man culture reminded me of my own innate fire, the gifts that I most enjoy sharing with the world. I was reminded that only I can share my specific gifts and no one else can force me to do so. It had to come from within. Hence the new work space. Hence meeting client after client in my wonderful Colorado community. Hence crafting top quality images that create wonder and value for their audience. Hence the gratitude I feel as I share this. Are YOU putting something in your life off for the "right time," or the "ideal opportunity?" I encourage you to make time ... create the opportunity by breaking one old habit and getting started on one new habit. Perhaps believing that it's actually possible is a good start. See you on the playa? - Ben
PS Want to learn more about Burning Man? Get started here: http://burningman.org/
Late 2015 and early 2016 have been exciting and busy times for me here at Lehman Images. I've enjoyed working for several new clients in and around the North Fork Valley here in Western Colorado. My work was shown for months in a gallery exhibit at The Hive Paonia and several pieces were sold to happy customers. It was a privilege to work on the TEDxPaonia planning team and help market the overwhelmingly successful event (sold out!) I also served as the event photographer and I invite you to enjoy some of the images from the inspiring day at http://tedxpaonia.fopt.org/gallery/ The full set of maximum resolution images free to share the world over can be viewed here at our TEDxPaonia Flickr page.
My partner Claire and I spent Thanksgiving feeling gratitude for the beauty of our home on the edge of the Colorado Plateau with a backcountry trip to Canyonlands National Park. The image below was made along a stretch of the White Rim Trail where we'd mountain biked from camp. Later in the day an early winter front came through and we found ourselves biking back in a beautiful swirl of snow, mysterious and white against the burnt orange of the sandstone cliffs above and below us. The peace one can access when accepting and embracing the wildness of our inner and outer landscapes is immeasurable ... and certainly worth expressing gratitude for : )
2016 is a year that has me off to a great start! A 3,800 mile road trip to Vancouver, BC included hot springs, snowshoeing on the "moon," Christmas watching Star Wars after a snowy hike beneath the mighty Tetons in Wyoming, and many more surprises and adventures. I am committed to serving the wider community with my visual art, whether beautifying spaces for living and working or creating images for clients that show off their products, services, and essence in the absolute best light. The small business where I live create so much value and contribute to a fantastic quality of life - I am excited to continue helping those businesses here and beyond with their imaging needs while continually foraging out into the wilds to experience and capture the beauty of the more than human world as well.
All this is wonderful, and I haven't even mentioned my new lenses and other equipment! Two super telephotos + a teleconverter, an L-series wide angle, and more. Tools of the trade and boy are they fun to work with ; ) This truly is going to be a fantastic year... thank you for sharing the journey with me. If there is something I can help you and your business with, simply contact me and we can get to work manifesting your vision.
Sincerely, R. Ben Lehman
The north slope of Grand Mesa shimmers in morning winter light.
Winter has truly descended in Paonia. It's a time of deep reflection and introspection, as well as a season for maintaining the heart fire - that core flame that drive us to keep bright during the darker months. We are surrounded by spectacular beauty at all times, if we are only willing to tune into it!
Tonight is my gallery opening reception - I am pleased to be presenting a selection of prints on exhibit at The Hive in Paonia thru the first part of February 2016. The experience of creating larger format prints, matting, and framing them was a real treat and I look forward to brightening the homes of some folks this holiday season. What are your hopes for the new year coming up? Please share in the comments : ) - Ben
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