2022 was the first year in a several where New Jersey Pine Barrens photography was not my only focus. As much as I love the Pines, it was good to finally travel. If I showed all the images I’m proud of in this post summing up the year, it would be way too long. So instead, here are my favorite photographs from the place I call home.
Zooming in on the Pine Barrens
When starting to photograph the Pine Barrens, it’s easy to chase the sky colors showing our beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The light reflects in some of the 17 trillion gallons of water under the Pines that makes it to the surface in the form of bogs and lakes. As you get to know the Pine Barrens, you start to see the beauty of the shapes, forms and textures of the forest in differing light.
Fall in the Pine Barrens
Although it is called the Pines, we have our share of deciduous trees that put on their best for fall and decorate the Pines in beautiful colors. While this year’s drought and warm temperatures put a damper on our fall season, it did have its moments.
Unique Scenes in the Pines
That old adage about missing 100% of the shots you don’t take applies to photography. Interesting and unique scenes reveal themselves to those who are out there and know how to read the landscape. The key is to be out there and paying attention to the light, both bold and subtle.
The Cedar Swamps
The cedar swamps have been a subject I have been exploring for several years now. 2022 was kind of a breakthrough that came from embracing the chaos of the swamp and learning to work in more varied light. This has also led to announcing my first Pine Barrens Cedar Swamp photography workshop to be held in March. Find out more here.
The Pine Barrens From Above
The drone has been a real game changer for Pine Barrens photography. In a landscape that lacks mountaintop or even hilltop views, the drone provides a prospective that is otherwise impossible to get in the flat million plus acres of the Pinelands National Reserve.
Fire In the Pines
This year the Pine Barrens experienced one of the largest forest fires in many years with around 15,000 acres being burned. The Pines are enduring and fire is part of the ecology. I was able to photograph the damage and the beginnings of the forest’s recovery. Here is a link to more images of this fire.
The Pine Barrens were for the Birds in 2022
If an epic forest fire wasn’t enough, this year the Pines experienced a terrible drought, too. Since the water levels were so low, the fish in the bogs became trapped which attracted a lot of hungry egrets. In the Franklin Parker Preserve the large numbers of egrets would settle down for the night in one of the ghost forests of dead cedar trees.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post about 2022 in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Feel free to browse the rest of the gallery on this website to see more photography in the Pines and other places.
Learn more about my Pine Barrens photography workshops here.
They are all wonderful especially Sunrise over the Mist! Amazing body of work. It was a very good year!
Thank you Bonnie. I appreciate it.
Great body of work. Can’t wait to see what develops in 2023
Thanks Bob. I’m already on to 2023 ideas. We need to talk and you need to dig out your boots and join me!
I always enjoy taking the time to admire your work and especially like the creative captions “Threegrets” and “Hood ornament”
Thanks Linda I appreciate your compliment. These birds could be quite comical as they settled down and interacted with each other. I guess these captions sort of reflect tat.
All photos are gorgeous! For me the most outstanding is “Settling in among the ghosts” I can stare at this picture for hours.
Thanks Rafal. That is one of my favorites of the Great White Egret invasion this summer. That particular bird found this spot and I just couldn’t stop looking at it. This image was made well into twilight and I was happy the subject stood still during the long exposure.
Rich your work is beautiful and consistent with your ‘why’. I love your macro work and would love to do a shoot or two with you with macro as a focus.
Thanks Brian. Macro is an interesting way to see the Pines. Let me know if you want to set up a class.
Great collection! Hard to pick a favorite but I love Misty Morning. Thank you for being such an inspiration!
Thanks Marie. You keep up being inspired and creating the photographs you do. Hope to see you sometime out there.
They are all great, Rich. It is still on my bucket list to get down to the Pine Barrens. Where is the best place to visit?
Thanks Les. I hope you make it down here. The questions you ask has a long answer but I published a book that can give you the best spots to visit. Here is a link to learn more: https://richardlewisphotography.com/books/
Love knowing someone that not only has an extreme knowledge of the Pines but also gives back. Your take on this place seems to come from within and shows by the creativity you are able make of this somewhat blank place. We drive and walk through it but you seem to catch its soul.
Your work inspires and drops my jaw- hard to pick from the selection, but i am most blown away sunrise in the heart of the pines- it makes our humble pines look like a boreal forest!
Looking forward to seeing what else inspires you this year!
beautiful images.. especially love the mist and fog..
Thank you for a beautiful tour of the Pinelands. You have captured them eloquently.