A trip to The Pinelands always brings the unexpected. This area of southern New Jersey is full of stories - from the home of the Jersey Devil to the dumping place for many an enemy of Tony Soprano. Usually for me, the unexpected involves just the natural world - the interplay of light, clouds, water and land in an ever-changing display of color.
It was time to go back. I hadn’t been to Hawk Mountain for a photo-walk in awhile and I had a specific idea in mind. I wanted to create some images with the mountaintop enshrouded in fog and cloud. I kept checking the “cloud ceiling forecast” to see when the cloud conditions would line up with a day off from work - yes, there really is a cloud ceiling forecast website!
My favorite time of year by far is Spring. I love to see the buds forming on the bare branches of the trees. In fact, if you are very observant, you will see the buds forming already in February here in the Northeast. But it is in late March and early April that they burst forth in all kinds of color. In many ways, this burst of Spring color rivals the color we see in Autumn.
I was hiking at White’s Bog on a breezy early spring Sunday and I suddenly stopped in my tracks. Bright white clouds racing against a spring blue sky grabbed my attention as they reflected off the still bog water. I had to work quickly since the clouds were moving and changing shape every ten seconds.
I was in Phoenix for business and I decided to add on three days to explore Sedona for the first time. What makes Sedona a great town to visit gave me challenges for photography. It was challenging to find views and make images that did not include the town or houses. But once I figured out the orientation of the town and the surrounding red rock canyons, I spent my time deep in the canyons away from town where a sense of wilderness could find me.
Another year has come and gone - it seems like time is flying by faster than ever. I hope 2018 was good for everyone and here's wishing everyone a great 2019! As I have done in each of the last two years, I am publishing a page of my favorite images from 2018. Check them out at the link below.
In early November Marilyn and I went to Sonoma on a wine country vacation with friends. I was still on East Coast time and woke up at 5:30 every morning. Instead of tossing and turning and trying to go back to sleep, I got dressed, grabbed my camera and went to a nearby woodland in the northern California foothills. I spent three early mornings walking and wandering through this oak covered hillside as the sun rose and its light filtered through the oak trees.
Five years ago on December 4th, I wrote my first blog post on this (no longer) new photo website. I used to display my photos on Pbase and I would send out an occasional e-mail about three times a year when I published a new gallery of images from a far away location. With the blog, I wanted to do something that would allow me to share photos more often - and push me to photograph more often.
I’ve always been fascinated by the wetlands - the area where land is slowly and gradually giving way to the sea. It’s not like the great cliffs in Acadia or on the west coast in Big Sur - those are much more dramatic. In fact, it is said there is no greater meeting of land and sea than Big Sur. But I would argue there is equal beauty in this more gradual transition - where the land gently gives way, over great distances, to the sea.
The sunset this day was magnificent - there was just the right mix of sun and clouds to make the sky look incredible - far better than the last couple afternoons when a stubborn layer of flat clouds blocked out all interesting light. The sun was bathing everything in the warm golden light of early autumn.
I discovered the NJ Pinelands earlier this year. Ok, they were discovered hundreds of years ago and long before my time. But I found out about them and started exploring them earlier this year. I was immediately hooked - what a stunning area of wilderness right within the most populated area of our country.
My wife and daughters have gone to the Jersey Shore every year for many many years. And occasionally they allow me to come along. I’ve always loved that last stretch on the Garden State Parkway before you exit for Ocean City - it’s usually late afternoon or early evening and the golden light on the marsh grass tells us the beach is near!
By now I think you all know that Ricketts Glen is one of my favorite places. In mid-summer I made my second visit of the year. And while I'd like to say there was some special "calling" that brought me back, it wouldn't be true. I bought some new camera gear and thought what better place to try it out than Ricketts Glen.
The Meadow at Longwood Gardens is a special place for my sister. So I thought I would tag along for a visit one recent afternoon. I've been to Longwood Gardens before and really like the place. But I wouldn't do "meaningful photography" there - after all, it's a "flower zoo". Ahh, but the meadow is different. It's a wild place in it's natural state - full of colorful grasses, wildflowers, and insects.
It was a very hot weekend in early July - almost too hot even for me to be outside. So I thought it would be great to spend an afternoon walking in the shade of the forests of the Pocono Mountains. Our daughter Gina is home for the summer and decided to come along for the hike.
A few weeks ago we traveled back in time. We traveled back hundreds of years - and spent a week in storybook villages in the French countryside, that we had no idea existed in real life. It was a feast for our eyes, with color in every direction, straight out of a fairy tale. Yet it existed in real life, in 2018.
There was a five day stretch in early May when it seemed like all the dogwood trees in the world bloomed at once. We went from a winter that just wouldn't quit to flowers and leaves bursting from the branches.
Early spring days are bright. The sun is high in the sky with strong, direct light and there are no leaves yet on the trees to cast any shadows. And so everything just looks bright and crisp and clear.
Continuing from last month's blog post is another image about snow. Because, what else have we had in late February and March but snow and more snow! While I was wandering around that snowy winter morning, I was very aware of how the colors changed as the sun rose, and then climbed higher in the sky.
The two mornings this weekend could not have been more different. I woke early on one morning to take some photographs of a stand of trees with sunlit brown leaves that have their own magic color in winter. It was cold but sunny, you could hear the bird sounds that seem to increase every day at this time of year, and I saw the first robin of the season - spring must be here soon.