A Natural State, Really

So, the urban corridor seen from the New Jersey Turnpike is not all there is to New Jersey after all. This photographic celebration of the state's natural beauty and environmental riches introduces places like the densely forested Kittatinny Ridge, a wilderness area called the Great Swamp, and the improbably immense Pine Barrens.

Photographing nature in an urban state can be challenging, Hiscano admits. "Avoiding litter, graffiti, distant cell towers, power lines, and passing airplanes can be difficult when composing an image. Minor acrobatics are often necessary to find the right angle, and a much more intimate approach is required. Instead of shooting lakes and mountains, I'm more likely to point my lens toward a tree or flower, a small stream, perhaps, or skyward, toward the sunset; it's all natural, though something unnatural may lie just out of view."

New Jersey may be the most densely populated state in the U.S. but, as this volume testifies, the human population is highly concentrated, leaving some room for natural places, if you know how to look for them.

New Jersey: The Natural State

Photographs by Dwight Hiscano

Foreword by Pete Dunne

Rutgers University Press, 2000