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Burlington County Times: See the Pine Barrens through a photographer’s lens

If you live, work or vacation in New Jersey, you’ve probably seen at least a small part of the vast, 1.1 million-acre Pine Barrens. For Burlington County residents, it’s right in their backyard.

But what do you “see” when you look at the Pine Barrens? For many, it’s simply a vast, unending expanse of wilderness. For others, it’s the place where Tony Soprano buried an unlucky mobster.

Nothing about either of those visions calls to mind the setting for a stunning photography exhibit.

But Richard Lewis, a New Jersey photographer, sees the Pine Barrens through a different lens. Lewis has spent years venturing into the farthest depths of the Pinelands to capture his vision of the area, and share it with the world.

Beyond the seemingly unending canopy of pine trees exists a world of untouched and unspoiled beauty. From sandy pathways to majestic reeds waving in the wind, Lewis’ Pine Barrens is a sight to behold. His explorations have uncovered ancient bogs, a lily-pad-strewn pond, and a vast palette of brilliant colors.

Because of the rich saturation and variation of hues brought to life by Lewis’ lens, he refers to his artistic style as “painting with a camera.” One of the crown jewels in his portfolio is right here in Burlington County. The Franklin Parker Preserve in Woodland contains over 10,000 acres of Pinelands forests, some of the most diverse in the state. Past the pines lies a colorful world of blueberry fields, cranberry bogs, cedar swamps, and lakes that glimmer in the setting sun.

On Wednesday, see the Pine Barrens like never before when Lewis visits the theater at Medford Leas at 1 Medford Leas Way. Experience “Visit to the Parker Franklin Preserve” through Lewis’ captivating photography and rich imagery. Learn why the award-winning photographer calls the preserve his favorite muse, and how the history of the land has inspired his work. View some of Lewis’ most awe-inspiring photographs, and see how he uses light to bring out the land’s best features and amazing colors.

The free presentation, from 10 to 11 a.m., is part of the Pathways to Learning program, which brings various presenters to Medford Leas. Registration is required by Friday by calling 609-654-3588, emailingpathways@medfordleas.net or visiting medfordleas.org/event.

Published by Melissa Hanejko, Correspondent, on October 25, 2017

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