Batsto Village is a preserved historic iron works in the middle of the New Jersey Pinelands. In the 18th and early 19th centuries it was a major industry and even played an important roll in the American Revolution.
I wanted to photograph a moonrise at Batsto Village, but right after arriving it became obvious that it wasn’t going to work out. There were just too many trees and no place to get a good composition. So I decided to scout out a place suitable for other photographs. I’ve recently spent time studying composition and have just finished a workshop on advanced color theory. Why not put some of this new knowledge to use?
While wandering around the village, I realized that my definition of landscape photography has changed over the last few years. Landscapes don’t need to be all natural, back country places. I found my landscape sensibilities come into play no matter what my camera is pointed at.
Hanging on a wall in my home is a still life with a simple, weathered, wooden bench. It is a beautiful painting by a Bucks County artist named Gene McInnerney. This was my inspiration for the next photo. The color of the red bricks were toned down in order to let the bench be the main subject. There is also a nice leading line above the bench that allows the eye to wander over to it from the textured wall on the left.
Benches must have caught my eye that evening because here are some more. While focusing on the bench in the foreground, I realized that the porch actually framed a nice little scene in the distance. Plus, the green tree provided a nice color contrast. I moved the camera in order to close up the spaces between the porch posts thereby creating the right side of the frame.
The Blue Door
Next I found this nice weathered blue door. Using Photoshop, I brought out the color saturation on this door just a little bit. I like this scene because it has a distinct “English Cottage” feel to it. The original inhabitants of Batsto Village came from England.
If You Can’t Have a Moon, Go for the Sunset
I have about 50 photographs of the changing skies as the sun set. There is a nice lake on this site that would have been an excellent place to frame the beautiful sky, but I thought the subdued colors of this old Post Office worked well with the bright colors in the sky.
I noticed how beautifully disruptive the sunset reflecting in the two windows of this old sawmill looked. It wasn’t easy to turn the camera from a colorful sky in order to capture this, but I’m glad I did.
While walking back to the car, I noticed the moon peeking through the trees. It was almost too dark to get a good photograph, but hey, I came to to photograph the moon so why not.
On any nice weekend, you will find that Batsto is crawling with visitors who hike, bike, paddle or just wander around and immerse themselves in some Pinelands history. On a quiet Monday evening, I pretty much had the place to myself. There is much more to share here so I’ll be heading back soon.