Hiking the New Jersey Pinelands for Therapy and Art
I had a knee injury from a bicycle accident a few months ago and have been walking as part of a physical therapy program. On a recent Saturday afternoon, I decided to do some therapy by hiking in the Franklin Parker Preserve, one of my favorite New Jersey Pinelands spots. It ended up being more of a spiritual therapy session than a physical one.
I intended to hike without my camera to save weight in my pack and stress on my knee, but it just didn’t feel right. That camera has been with me on hikes everywhere from Alaska to right down the road. It felt to me like leaving a friend behind, so I ended up taking it.
The Franklin Parker Preserve features a series of old cranberry bogs with an open landscape and expansive views of the sky. Right after I began hiking, a storm front started moving in. That sky began changing from bright to dark. During the transition, the light became so magical I had to stop and set up my camera. An hour later, I was abruptly knocked out of that creative zone we artists love to be in when the realization hit that this storm was moving in rather quickly. I high-tailed it back to the car and arrived just as the first rain drops started falling.
More photographs of that seductive Light
That 5 mile hike only ended up being 2, but it was worth the sacrifice of physical therapy to get a little soul therapy. Hey, I can exercise anytime, right?
Click Here to see more photographs of the New Jersey Pinelands.
Nice to see you outdoors again. “A Seductive Light” is powerful!
Thanks Ralph, it is nice to be back out there again.
You are right Rich, about you comment of being in the creative zone. And think how you would have kicking yourself had you not decided to take along that camera. I have experienced that zone before where everything seemed just right. Other times I could simply not make anything happen. Usually in the latter case it’s that I have neglected my camera too long. And sometimes the experience is more important than the images. But you’ve come away with some nice ones here. ~~~~~Your Camera!….Never leave home without it!~~~~~ 🙂
You are right Craig, never leave home with out the camera. You would think that I would have learned that by now. I agree with you that sometimes going through the creative zone is more important than the resulting images. In this case there happened to be some awesome light. Of course there are also those times where there is an amazing sky and nothing worth while to frame it against, or a beautiful landscape with a plain sky and not such good light. When that happens, it’s a good time to just enjoy where you are and leave the camera in the backpack.
Franklin Parker Preserve is a favorite place of mine too, I like to spend time re-connecting to nature for my Biophilia. Great photos Rich, loved the light that you captured with that landscape.
Some day we are going to get there together Lou. Thanks for the compliment and the new word for my vocabulary, Biophilia. I love it!
Wonderful imagery and backstory. As with many things we seek out, the objectives we never intended and happy ‘accidents’ we received enhance the total Experience and stay with us for a very long time……
Thanks for your comment Scott. I’m a big believer that with good landscape photography requires a fair amount of skill but great landscape photography also needs the cooperation of nature to provide those happy accidents you refer to in the form of great light and conditions.
I hope your knee recovers fully.
Thanks Derrick. It is getting better all the time, but it is a slow process unfortunately.
Reblogged this on South Jersey Trails and commented:
Beautiful shots by Richard Lewis of one of the best spots in the pines. His blog “Painting with a Camera” is well worth following if you don’t already!
Thanks for the compliment and for re-blogging this post.
I would like to suggest “moody’ for the lighting. Nice captures. It would be a great day when water resistant or water proof digital cameras have full frame Imaging capability. The FPP is a real treasure thank you for sharing.
Thanks for your Comment Mike. I would agree with you that moody is a good description for the lighting. It was quite moody out there. It will be nice with a full frame camera is waterproof, until then we will have to settle for waterproof covers and backpacks. If one has to get wet, the Franklin Parker Preserve is a great place to do it. It is on of the treasures of the New Jersey Pinelands.
Beautiful images, Rich. The top one is outstanding. I’m glad you carried the extra camera weight because it sure paid off big.
Thanks Ken. I do like that top one too. It would have been really depressing to stand there without a the right camera to record this great place in fantastic light.
Great images Rich. I love the stormy clouds. Hope you will be back to 100 percent soon.
Thanks Denise. It’s getting better. We did an 8 mile slightly hilly hike today and I did okay.
They are beautiful and I hope your knee is getting better!
Thanks Laura, It is getting better all the time, but just not fast enough.