The Franklin Parker Reserve in Chatsworth, New Jersey is a collection of old cranberry bogs that have been abandoned and allowed to return to nature. The former owner of the cranberry operation turned over the land to the New Jersey Conservation Foundation in 2003 in order to preserve the land forever. There are a number of pump houses remaining on the property which can be very photogenic under the right conditions. I was incredibly fortunate to experience a calm and foggy morning to capture this photo. Fog is extremely helpful to simplify the scene by concealing the background. Without the heavy fog on this particular morning the background would have been cluttered with a large pine forest directly behind this bog.
My greatest challenge in achieving this composition was battling the intense swarm of blackflies that are present in the swamp when there is little wind. They can be so pervasive that they will ruin your photo by swarming directly in front of your lens. It’s a classic rock and a hard place situation. Wind will remove the flies but also the reflection. I’ve found that spraying a hat with bug repellant works just enough to keep the flies at bay in order to get the shot. The Franklin Parker Reserve is an unbelievable gift to landscape photographers and we’re fortunate it will be preserved forever.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor