Photo Corners

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.

Matinee: 'Master Pinelands Photographer Albert Horner' Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

25 March 2017

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 180th in our series of Saturday matinees today: Master Pinelands Photographer Albert Horner.

Albert Horner doesn't have a Web site with his name embedded in the URL. You won't find him at He inhabits instead Pinelands Imagery, named after the New Jersey national reserve he loves and hopes to protect.

This video begins with Horner revealing he decided in 2005 to photograph the reserve almost exclusively. He had photographed throughout the U.S. and Europe but there's no place like home. Especially for photographers, he says.

It's the raw beauty. The intimate scenes as well as the big overall picture.

He likes to shoot in the morning. The light lends itself to a painterly rendering, which he relishes. And it gets brighter not darker, so you can shoot for a long time.

He knows the when and where of his sunrises and moonrises. It's how you make a picture rather than merely take one. He discusses his approach in this short video:

But he came to realize that the Pinelands needed an advocate. They had come under seige from off-road recreational vehicles tearing up the landscape.

And Horner realized the best advocate for the Pinelands reserve just might be his artistic images. They stand in stark contrast to the devastation the recreational vehicles are doing to the landscape.

He takes us out to Quarter Mile to see the destruction from which, he fears, the reserve will never recover.

He compares the muddy tracks to a nearby vernal pool full of color. "That's what this looked like," he points to the mud.

It's not a cut-and-dried case, however. The recreational vehicle drivers argue they have a right to the land too. And, he points out, they claim to only use a small part of the reserve's total land area.

Still, they destroy it.

We see one kid in a truck try to get through a rut dug into the reserve by other drivers. It's as deep as his truck, raw earth. "Wow, you've got to be an (\S+?) to try that," Horner remarks as the truck slips and slides over the dirt, digging deeper into the earth.

You can enjoy Horner's Pinelands portfolio at Pinelands Imagery. And Horner has published Pinelands: New Jersey's Suburban Wilderness, a 144-page book featuring 84 of his images of the Pinelands taken over a nine-year period.

"I think it shows the beauty of the Pinelands and why it should be preserved forever and always," he says of the book, which is also available in a signed edition on his Web site.

But then he's about creating not destroying things.

BackBack to Photo Corners