The Judges Shack Revisited
New Jersey excels at many things including great places to photograph a moonrise and quirky little gems of history. Those two things came together on a cold winter night along the windswept New Jersey shoreline of Island Beach State Park. The Judge’s Shack, located in the park, is always interesting to photograph. When the January Super Moon rose just after sunset, it seemed like the place to be despite the cold. It was so cold that my fingers were barely able to operate the camera controls. Still, my friend and I were able to witness and photograph a nice evening fade into a moonlit night around around the shack.
I wrote about New Jersey’s Judge’s Shack in a previous post. Besides being a quirky piece of New Jersey history, it is a popular place for photography. Photographers use the Shack as a backdrop for star trails, the milky way and brilliant sunrises and sunsets. To me, the Judge’s Shack’s simple architecture in this austere location doesn’t need to be just a backdrop. It has a quiet charm that does very well on its own as photographic subject.
On the evening we went to photograph the Super Moon rising over the shack, the light was very pleasing. This kind of light compliments this little building. The scene provided a glimpse of quiet beachside solitude that is now too often obscured by the Jersey Shore’s hotels, expensive homes and boardwalk attractions.
The following photographs show the progression from evening to night. The time each image was made has been added to help you follow along on this little journey without having to bundle up for the cold.
When the super moon shines, it is very bright. In the image below, the moon’s brightness is partially obscured by a small cloud bank that toned it down enough so as not to overwhelm the blue hour twilight.
When the moon was too high and too bright to photograph, it should have been the time to head back to a nice warm car. Instead we decided to brave the cold, windy evening a little longer and photograph the shack lit by moon glow. It was worth the extra time. The first image below may look like there is a light on in the Judge’s Shack, but it is the reflection of the full moon in the window.
For the last few years I’ve been enamored by the moon and the eerie light it casts on the world at night. This blog post shows some of my attempts to capture the special quality of moon light while following the progression of a winter evening’s descent into a Super Moon lit night.
Fabulous Rich!! Miles away looking at your NJ images warms my heart and soul.
Thanks Kathy. You know that the Jersey Girl can leave New Jersey but it never leaves her. I’m happy to help warm your heart and soul my friend.
It makes me miss the north but not the forlorn looking beaches.
Thanks for your comment Lynne
So beautiful Rich!
All of these are just lovely. Just after sunset could be snow or sand. I think that’s my favorite of this bunch.
Thanks Buck. I thought the same thing about the sand. There was something about the quality and direction of the light at that time. It was very unusual and only lasted a short time.
Thank you for documenting that beautiful scene under the varying lighting conditions Rich. It was both beautiful and instructive.
Thanks Bob. I really appreciate your comment. I’m happy you enjoyed this post and got something good out of it.
Very nice! Sure looks like it must have been pretty cold out there 😉
You have no idea how cold it was. Wait, actually you do! Thanks for freezing out there with me.
Your perseverance and creativity shines in this post. For me I have a very hard time re-visiting a place. You just seem to find subtle nuances that make one want to be their with you. Love the lighting and the mood of these and keep sharing!!!
Thanks Mike. Some places, like this one, keep calling me back. It’s like I’m not done with them yet. I’d love to have you join me the next time.
The Shack is a special place and I’m amazed it withstands mother nature’s events. What a gift to its existence that you have captured it so beautifully. I’ve enjoyed your images and sense of magic.
Thanks for your beautiful compliment. I am also amazed at, and very happy about, this iconic little shack’s durability.
Very interesting sequence ! Beautiful; especially the glow of the moon reflecting on the window of the shack!
Thanks Sharman. That moon reflection was something very special.
Wow. Beautful stuff.
Thanks Rajiv. i appreciate your compliment.
First class, Rich, but I most like 5:54 and 7:25, neither of which has the strong moon presence. Go figure.
Thanks Ralph. It’s funny that you liked the photograph made at 5:54. That one to me is the Jersey Shore at its best. I don’t think I would have seen that if it wasn’t for the inspiration I’ve gotten from your photography and stories from the shore. So, double thank you.
Very nice story and the progression of light.
Thanks Pat. I’ve been finding these kinds of progressions, day to night and night to day, to be very fascinating lately.
More fantastic photos. Thanks for sharing jon
Thanks Jon, I appreciate it.
That’s a great place for the moon Rich … good thinking! ‘Full Moon Reflections’ appeals to me the most. I love how subtle but visible all the details are. I like how you arranged them to illustrate the progression!
Thanks Denise. I’m kind of partial to that photograph myself as it was a nice surprise to see the moonlight so boldly reflected in the window. It was a fun, and pretty freezing cold progression.