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A few months have passed to allow for some decompression and reflection about this past summer's Burning Man.
The theme this year was Metamorphoses, and I did feel a strongly different sense of myself navigating the experience this time versus the previous four Burns I've attended. There was a calmness, a deeper trusting of the magical fabric of energy connecting the undersurface of the world we perceive. It was easier than ever before to simply BE in the moment and thoroughly enjoy it no matter what I was experiencing - waiting for an unknown amount of time - comically looking for a place to pee - meeting new people - making photographs - feeling alone - feeling connected - etc etc etc. A highlight was to lead a "Photo Jedi Training" out on the playa, teaching a few participants the basics of composition and lighting - just enough to be able to vastly improve the way they approach the act of making a photograph. Although one may have a "point and shoot" camera, things get much more fun when we can move beyond that bleak simplicity and I look forward to teaching more at future Burns.
In the end, I believe that all art is an act of love, and it is a joy and a privilege to have the opportunity to create art at events like these and share them with others who may never get the chance.
Please enjoy the 2019 additions to my Burning Man / Black Rock City gallery, and I encourage you to share with any of your Burner friends who may appreciate seeing things from another artist's perspective. #INFINITELOVE to you all ;) - Ben Lehman aka Bobcat, Photon Jedi
*Click the Play arrow to watch the slideshow with an energetic soundtrack!*
Not a fan of slideshows? Here's a direct link to the gallery.
The last several days have been a real blessing, as I'm on a wonderful road trip out west to connect with friends old and new on the West coast! One of my oldest friendships is with my former housemate and college troublemaker, Donny. Over the years he found love, married an amazing woman, and now has two beautiful children. Visiting them when I'm in Los Angeles is always a treat. This time around I was honored to be asked to capture some images of my friends in their backyard and the results were delightful!
Are you considering investing in some gorgeous wall art that gets noticed every time you enter the room? I'd love to co-create that with you this winter :) Call, email, or message me on Facebook for a consultation (free of course)
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 ; )
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.
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.
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
We're already in the month of Thanksgiving and sooner than we can imagine, 2015 will be moving on. Word is that because of El Niño, this winter should be a great one for snow. (What qualifies as "great" depends on where you live and your proclivity for snow sports I suppose.) I'd like to share these two images from my collection to remind us to remember what we're grateful for in this time of bounty and hold onto that gratitude in the cold and harsh months ahead of us. Thank you for visiting and I am excited to continue sharing the beauty and peace of this world we call home. - Ben Realm of Icy Diamonds
The light of sunrise illuminates mountains and clouds above a watery mirror.
Despite my feelings on the profligate burning of fossil fuels, I do still enjoy a good cross-country road trip every now and then. One of my favorite stretches of highway is west of Salt Lake City, Utah where Interstate 80 crosses the southern edge of the famed Bonneville Salt Flats. One morning I awoke long before sunrise to document the transformation from starry night to brilliant day and was rewarded with a scene of indescribable and profound beauty. In addition to this and other photographs, I was able to capture some of the loveliest time-lapse footage I've ever had the privilege to bear witness to. Whenever I make a journey to be in a natural setting, unmarred by man (well, except for the Interstate Highway in this case), I always return moved and revitalized. Where do you find solace and tranquil beauty in your world? Leave a message here or shoot a line over on Facebook : ) - Ben
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