I recently headed out to the Franklin Parker Preserve near Chatsworth, New Jersey very early on a foggy morning. While hiking there last year I saw three dead cedar trees in the middle of one of the lakes and wanted to photograph them in these conditions.

What was waiting for me was an almost mystical world. Instead of the photograph I was planning to make, I ended up with a series of images that I call “Dead in the Water.”

This lake is a mix of living and dead trees. Add a mystical fog and it inspires a reflection on the cycle of life and how it pertains to our lives and the people we are connected to. We are the result of our ancestors’ actions.  Our actions in this life set the stage for those who will pass through the world after us. This thought puts a perspective on our place in the universe. Who would have thought that an old swampy lake would “put me in my place?”

My friend and fellow photographer, Denise Bush, has also found this place and made two lovely photographs of these trees.  Click here to see them on her blog.

Like these photos? Feel free to visit my photography website and see more of my images

Feel free to click on the photographs to view larger

NJ Pine Barens Photography by Richard Lewis

Dead In The Water, Mystical Panorama
These three trees have a strong compositional element on their own, but making them the center of a larger scene where they are a meeting point between living trees on the left and dead ones on the right shows the perspective on life and death this place inspired in me..

NJ Pine Barrens Photography by Richard Lewis

Dead in the Water, Remembrance
The budding life of spring vegetation standing at distance from the three dead cedars provides another thought on life and death.

NJ Pinelands Photography by Richard Lewis

Dead in the Water, Standing Alone
A single tree standing away from the stand of cedars provides a feeling of meditative detachment and separation.

NJ Pinelands Photography by Richard Lewis

Dead in the Water
At most times this would not be an interesting scene, however, light and fog can turn the mundane into the magical.