Most of my biggest influences are no longer alive so you can imagine how special it was for me to spend an afternoon with Peter Fiore, a well-known, and very much alive landscape artist. Peter paints in and around the Delaware Water Gap. What attracted my attention to him was his amazing sense of light, texture and color. Even more interesting is his ability to revisit a place over and over again and create paintings that are fresh and unique. His White Pine Suite is an example of this. Although the subjects are the same, each painting is distinctive and adds a new interpretation.
The day after I met Peter I visited this little Birch forest before heading out to photograph the big waterfalls in the Delaware Water Gap. The weather was cold, gray and rainy which brought out the contrast of the white trees against their surroundings. My conversation with Peter the day before helped me see the importance of this place visually instead of just driving by it on the way to photograph something ”better”. I think I’ll go back here regularly to see how the different seasons change this little forest.
My inspirations in photography have always been from the great landscape painters. It is only recently that I’ve started to dissect my body of work and figure out just what specific influences ended up in what photographs.
These particular images came from my love of the 19th century Hudson River School of landscape painters. Here is my disclaimer. I do not claim to be an art expert and have not extensively studied this particular style of painting. All I know is that when composing a photograph or editing the final image that certain paintings or painting styles come to my mind and influence the final result.
In future posts I will share some of my other influences. Enjoy!
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is truly one of the amazing places in the North East. We’ve spent countless hours hiking the trail rich New Jersey side of the Gap. Mt. Tammany, the Dunfield Creek the Appalachian Trails are the source of many great memories and some of my favorite photographs.
There are two sides to every river and I realize that I have been guilty of being “stuck” on one side. The other side of the Delaware Water Gap can be a bit too touristy, which kept me from looking deeper.
I saw part of what I was missing after a recent trip to the Pocono Environmental Education Center, or PEEC. The name sounds like a place you take your kids when you don’t know what else to do with them or you want them to learn about the natural world in a safe, well contained place. Well, the PEEC is exactly that but it also has 10 miles of trails and many waterfalls. In fact, the entire Pennsylvania side of the Water Gap has waterfalls of all sizes.
Here are some photos from my day at the PEEC. Now that I’ve discovered the other side of the river there will be more exploration and I look forward to sharing it with you.
This image is one I’ve wanted to make for a long time. It is an old mill in Bucks County called the Bromley Mill. I’ve been by it many times at the wrong time of day or the wrong light for a decent photograph. This time I was lucky to be near the mill as evening was falling. The light was soft everywhere except in the forest on the hill where the late day sun was dong nice things with the winter trees.
Landscape photography is a combination of a lot of things, one of them is persistence. The more I do this the more I realize the importance of persistence. It helps you not take a photograph in mediocre conditions. Mixed with a little luck, persistence will cause you to revisit the scene until the light is perfect to bring it to life.
I’ve have not been out with a group of photographers taking pictures since I was a freelance photojournalist years ago. Now, as a landscape photographer I find that the solitude of being alone in the woods gives me freedom to create. No one is waiting for me to set up a shot and there is no particular schedule I have to adhere to.
So it was with a little trepidation that I decided to join a group of photographers from the South Jersey Camera Club on a recent outing in the New Jersey Pinelands. The camera club is a great group of people who love photography and have a lot of fun learning and sharing their talent.
About 10 of us spent a cold morning together photographing some of the old historic ruins in the Pines. Was it this great collaborative experience? Yes, sort of, but not what I expected. I spent a lot of time wandering around alone as most of the others did. Yet, I got to see what other photographers found interesting. Some of the images above are things that I probably would have walked by if I was on my own. It wasn’t like we huddled together and discussed what we were going to or debated the lighting, we just all sort of spontaneously fed off each others creativity.
Thanks to Pat Worley for organizing this trip and to all the photographers who braved a cold February morning to share a thoroughly enjoyable morning in the New Jersey Pinelands.
Sorry for the dormant blog but life can get away from you sometimes and I’ve been experimenting. I have to thank two friends for helping to inspire me. Denise Bush who introduced me to some great techniques and Tom Johnson-Medland who, contrary to the Dos Equis beer commercial, is actually the most interesting man in the world.
Tom writes books and is interested in collaborating with me on his next one. He is a big fan of the Delaware River, as I am, so I’ve recently started exploring the area again. I grew up along the Delaware and always have loved it. Now I’m starting to see it more artistically and am planning on spending time photographing the river and its many contributing streams and creeks.
Most of my inspiration comes from landscape painters so I’ve mostly worked in color. Recently I started exploring black and white and am finding it quite challenging and very interesting. Here are some recent photos along the Delaware River. The one in color just didn’t make it in black and white because it looks too much like something John Folinsbee would have painted.
In the New Jersey Pinelands, when the small creeks and tributaries start to widen into ponds it usually means beavers. Beaver’s, like humans, change the environment to meet their needs. They dam the streams, which create the pools that provide what they need to live. I found this dam on a hike and liked that the beaver lodge was visible along with the dam. My favorite part of this image is the timeless beauty that flowing water creates combined with the, well, random building design skills of the beavers. They are providing what is extremely rare here in the Pine Barrens, a waterfall.