Composition For Pine Barrens Photographers

Composition For Pine Barrens Photographers

For Everyone Else, Creating Something from Nothing

I recently had the amazing privilege of leading a group of photographers on my first Pine Barrens Photography Workshop. It was a great experience showing off this special place to both local and not-so-local photographers.

When I teach workshops, I am not there to take photographs. Most of the time, I don’t even bother to set up my camera because I want to focus all my time on helping the workshop participants. Consequently, after the workshop, I had an overwhelming urge to create. After saying good bye to some great people, I headed back out to the Pine Barrens to a savannah which I recently became aware of.

Photographing the Pine Barrens is not a “point and shoot” place. When you photograph a flat landscape like this, composition becomes critical. To get the photograph shown here, it took wandering around for almost an hour to find the right spot.

The composition in this photograph is designed around the curve of the darker foliage on the left. The foliage acts as a leading line to draw the eye into the texture and color of this open meadow with the rows of pines in the background and a soft pink evening sky. It’s a composition that is based on color and shapes.

There is little visual “drama” in the New Jersey Pine Barrens’ landscape, but that doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful. To the uninitiated, it may seem like a magic act that makes something out of nothing. But to those who love this place, it’s finding and crafting the beauty in a way that invites those uninitiated masses to see and feel the beauty of these scraggly pine forests.


Learn more about my one day New Jersey Pine Barrens and other workshops

2017-03-05T14:35:54+00:00 March 5th, 2017|10 Comments


  1. Susan Addelston March 5, 2017 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    Yet again, your trained, artistic eye has opened new worlds to us. While we enjoy all of nature, your special way of looking at it and preserving special views via photographs are commendable. Helpful also to have your explanations of just why you took the shots you did…a visual education! Thanks so much for sharing. Keep up the good work.

    • Rich Lewis March 6, 2017 at 5:36 am - Reply

      Thank you Susan for your very nice compliment. I like your term “visual education” and am glad you are enjoying it. Nature, particularly the Pine Barrens, never ceases to amaze me. The more you think you know a place, the more you are blown away when you find something new.

  2. Laura (PA Pict) March 5, 2017 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    This is a lovely photo. You capture the textures and colours beautifully and that curve does lead the eye into the image. We drove out to the Jersey Shore a couple of weeks ago and I mentioned to my husband that we should take a family trip to explore the Pine Barrens because following your blog has made me curious to see the area. I am much more of a woods and wilderness person than a beach person so I am eager to explore this area.

    • Rich Lewis March 6, 2017 at 5:31 am - Reply

      I think you would love it here. When you decide to the Pine Barrens, I’d be happy to suggest a few places to visit that you would enjoy.

      • Laura (PA Pict) March 6, 2017 at 6:32 am - Reply

        Please do suggest away. I can make notes. I think we might go sooner rather than later, perhaps spring break when the kids are out of school. Thanks!

  3. denisebushphoto March 6, 2017 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Good luck with your Pine Barrens tours and workshops!

  4. Peta Kaplan March 7, 2017 at 11:51 pm - Reply

    Love the color, tones and texture of this shot.

    • Rich Lewis March 11, 2017 at 7:44 am - Reply

      Thank you so much Peta.

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