The Franklin Parker Preserve

The Franklin Parker Preserve

The Struggle Between the Inner Artist and Inner Engineer

Fading Light in the Franklin Parker Preserve New Jersey Pinelands by Richard Lewis

Fading Winter Light by Richard Lewis 2017

I love going out on New Year’s Day to hike to get a first photo of the year. This year the first photograph of 2017 was made on January 8. Why? Because I’ve been feverishly preparing for a solo exhibition of my New Jersey Pine Barrens photography showcasing the 10,000 acre Franklin Parker Preserve that opens January 20. You can read more about this exhibition by clicking the link below. Consider yourself invited to the opening!

Richard Lewis’ Franklin Parker Preserve Photography Exhibition

To the right is the actual invitation. 

Exhibiting your work is time consuming. Don’t get me wrong, I love exhibiting, it is just that the preparation photographic prints is the least creative part of photography. After planning, setting up, shooting and editing a photograph, the creative part is pretty much over. Once the final image file is saved, the process becomes mechanical. Creating files for web and printing, calibrating monitors and loading printer profiles means my inner artist needs to step back and let my inner engineer take over for a while.

For the last few weeks that pesky inner engineer has been ruling the roost as I’ve been preparing and printing photographs. That ended for a while on a Sunday afternoon. It was very cold, it was windy and it had just snowed, but the artist in me had enough. I bundled up and headed for the Franklin Parker Preserve to remind myself why I’m doing all of this work.

Hiking in frigid weather can be a challenge, but creating is even harder. However, I let my far too-restrained lately artist out to wander around and this is the result. After the sun set and I was making my way back to the car it became really cold. It still felt good that some balance had been restored.

Art is a balance of creativity and mechanics. While mechanics ensures what is in your soul makes it to the medium you want to express it on, creativity will always be the ultimate driver that moves your art forward.




2017-05-19T10:35:45+00:00 January 9th, 2017|8 Comments


  1. fiebs January 9, 2017 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    Congrats on the new exhibit! It’s interesting to read about the behind-the-scenes work involved. I can’t do opening on the 20th, but I will try to make one of the other two receptions.

    • Rich Lewis January 10, 2017 at 7:04 am - Reply

      Thanks! I appreciate the comment and hope to see you again at one of the receptions.

  2. southjerseytrails January 9, 2017 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Awesome! The wife and I are going to see if we can line up babysitting so that we can go to the opening. I’ve never been to one of these, but since I enjoy your pictures so much and love the Parker Preserve, I can’t think of a better one to start with.

    • Rich Lewis January 11, 2017 at 10:59 pm - Reply

      That would be great if you can make it. It would be nice to meet you and your wife.

  3. Nehemiah Project January 10, 2017 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    You love to exhibit? Should I make a remark about you being an exhibtionist? No, I should not.
    I love your pictures of the Pine Barrens. People need to be reminded that there is a great amount of nature and beauty in this state.

    • Rich Lewis January 10, 2017 at 11:54 pm - Reply

      Funny. I’m definitely not an exhibitionist. Thanks for the compliment on my photographs and you are right that there is a tremendous amount of unique natural beauty in New Jersey. That is something that never ceases to amaze me.

  4. Anushka January 12, 2017 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Very well said, Rich.

    “Art is a balance of creativity and mechanics. While mechanics ensures what is in your soul makes it to the medium you want to express it on, creativity will always be the ultimate driver that moves your art forward.”

    And it is so True.
    Thank you for the Inspiration!

    • Rich Lewis January 12, 2017 at 11:19 am - Reply

      Thanks for your comment Anushka. I really appreciate it and am glad you found some inspiration in this post.

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