I recently joined the Pinelands Photography Group which is a loose affiliation of people who include photography in the New Jersey Pines among their interests. What makes this group so fascinating is the members. There are botanists, wildlife experts, a few landscape artists and a spattering of all sorts of other people. The most interesting thing I’ve learned in this group is how little I know about the Pinelands. I’ve spent years riding, hiking, and paddling around these woods and have created a large portfolio of images. But, I don’t the plant’s names, not sure of the animals and know little about why this area is the way it is.
Every meeting we get to show off some of our images and most of them are straight up photos of plants, animals and bugs. Everyone oohs and ahhs about a rare orchid or a particular bird. Me, I just sit there amazed at how many different types of dragon flies there are. I’m not learning too much about photography but am learning a heck of a lot about photographers who don’t work like I do but work where I do. It is a cathartic experience. The following is a portfolio of recent photographs I’ve made in the Pines. These images are born out of a deepening understanding and appreciation of this landscape. I still don’t know many of the plant and animal names, maybe I’ll learn them someday.