Jacki Dickert: Blog https://www.lightdance.org/blog en-us @ Jacki Dickert www.lightdance.org jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) Sat, 03 Dec 2022 21:08:00 GMT Sat, 03 Dec 2022 21:08:00 GMT https://www.lightdance.org/img/s/v-12/u311653635-o403451610-50.jpg Jacki Dickert: Blog https://www.lightdance.org/blog 101 120 New! Beauty By the Bay Calendar https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/12/new-beauty-by-the-bay-calendar If you know me, you know wandering around the bayshore makes me happy and peaceful.  This year I decided to make yet a 3rd calendar, this one featuring some of the photographs I've made there.  Another hyperlocal project, the images are from the Cliffwood Beach area, which I love. Check out the gallery here and you'll see some of the reasons why.  If you'd like a copy, click here: https://tinyurl.com/beautybythebay and remember to look for a LuLu coupon code! 


jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/12/new-beauty-by-the-bay-calendar Fri, 02 Dec 2022 20:30:00 GMT
2023 World of Wonder calendars are ready https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/11/2023-world-of-wonder-calendars-are-ready

Click here to see the selections included in this year's collection of my recent favorite photographs. If you'd like to order a copy, visit the listing on Lulu.com The calendar photos are 8.5x11.  Retail is $22 and Lulu almost always has coupons.  Try WELCOME15 or JOYFUL15. Thank you in advance if you decide to order!



jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/11/2023-world-of-wonder-calendars-are-ready Tue, 29 Nov 2022 04:33:49 GMT
2023 "Down the Woods" Calendars https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/11/2023-down-the-woods-calendar-selections-revealed Cover - Autumn Fog on the RiverCover - Autumn Fog on the River

Talk about "hyperlocal" - All of these photos were taken within a 10 minute walk from my front door!  I am lucky to live in a town surrounded by parkland - the Rahway River Parkway to be precise, a natural greenway surrounding the river that makes a loop enclosing most my town.  It's suburban here for sure, but as you can see, it's possible to find beauty and inspiration practically in my backyard. To see the images closer up, visit www.lightdance.org/downthewoods2023


If you'd like order a copy, I am using the print-on-demand site Lulu.com. They don't send me customer info, so let me thank you in advance if you do decide to place an order. THANK YOU!  


Two versions are available, with and without local recycling dates.  CLICK HERE TO ORDER  Calendars are $22 each, but Lulu has frequent coupons if you search.  Try WELCOME15 or JOYFUL15.  If you are local and want to get in on my bulk order and save shipping, fill out form here https://forms.gle/o1ya9V1aSGtrpoxu7


Thanks, everyone, for your support! 




jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/11/2023-down-the-woods-calendar-selections-revealed Wed, 23 Nov 2022 19:44:00 GMT
Camera Naturalists Exhibit https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/11/camera-naturalists-exhibit I’ve been a member of the Camera Naturalists Photo Club for about 15 years. It’s been a great place to learn, share information, and socialize with other nature photographers.  Our club has exhibits from time to time, and the next one opens December 1 at the Somerset County Courthouse gallery. Included are 33 photographs, all nature, and all stunning if I may say so! 😀 I decided to stick with a theme for my entries and show my metal prints from a most-inspiring trip to Namibia in 2019. The gallery is open from 8:30-4:30, and the show will be up until January 17. Hope you can stop by and see the works! Gallery is located at:
20 North Bridge Street Somerville, New Jersey 08876-1262    Phone 908-332-7700

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/11/camera-naturalists-exhibit Tue, 22 Nov 2022 19:44:00 GMT
Newark Airport New Terminal A is Displaying My Photo! https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/11/newark-airport-new-terminal-a-is-displaying-my-photo Included in the rebuilt Terminal A at Newark Airport is LOTS of art - including a piece of mine! "Misty Spring Morning at Warinanco Park" was selected to be a part of the year-long exhibit called "New Jersey - Journey of Surprises." You can see the exhibit on a new digital "welcome banner" while while checking in and waiting to go through security. It is also in print on a display kiosk in the terminal.  I am very proud of my state and thrilled to be showing visitors one of the many beautiful places we have here. 


jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/11/newark-airport-new-terminal-a-is-displaying-my-photo Tue, 22 Nov 2022 19:12:13 GMT
Free Lecture: Pathway to Creativity https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/10/free-lecture-pathway-to-creativity The Raritan Photographic Society is hosting me on November 10 to speak about creativity. The camera club is open to visitors, so if you are interested, feel free to join us for this event! I will discuss how increasing awareness on 5 different levels will help you produce creative, personally expressive photos - all without having to travel to exotic locations. I hope to see you there! 

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/10/free-lecture-pathway-to-creativity Mon, 31 Oct 2022 23:36:42 GMT
Free Lecture: Nature Photography for Everyone https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/10/free-lecture-nature-photography-for-everyone I do love to teach! 😍 If you are local to my area and want to learn more about nature photography, please join me on Monday, November 7 at the Cranford Community Center, for a free lecture. I will go over best practices for the range of camera types, share local hotspots, and hopefully inspire everyone to know they can make beautiful nature images close to home! The talk is free but registration is appreciated. CLICK HERE or on picture to let us know you are coming. Sponsored by the Friends of Cranford Library. 

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/10/free-lecture-nature-photography-for-everyone Thu, 13 Oct 2022 15:17:22 GMT
Guild of Creative Art Open Juried Show https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/10/guild-of-creative-art-open-juried-show I am honored to have had my photograph “Morning Conversation” accepted into the Guild of Creative Art’s annual fall juried show. There are so many talented artists in this group, which is based in Shrewbury, NJ. The works in show - paintings, sculpture, photography, mixed media - are all amazing! The photo of mine is a metal print of a scene I captured in Deadvlei, Namibia, as I watched the early morning light hit the sand dune and move across the flat valley toward the trees. It’s one of my personal favorites. I imagined the trees comforting each other after a long dark night, reminding the other that light will soon be there. The show runs till October 26. Stop by if you can!   Call or check website for current hours. 

Guild of Creative Art 620 Broad Street | Shrewsbury, NJ 07702 | 732-741-1441 | info@guildofcreativeart.org

Namib DesertNamib Desert
Morning Conversation, 10x20 high definition aluminum print by Jacki Dickert $250 

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/10/guild-of-creative-art-open-juried-show Sun, 02 Oct 2022 15:45:00 GMT
Upcoming show in Cranford https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/9/upcoming-show-in-cranford I’m having a local exhibit of metal prints showcasing some of the scenic areas of my home county here in New Jersey. You are very welcome to stop by the Cranford Library during the month of October to view them. Artist talk to be held Monday, November 7 at 7 PM next door at the Cranford Community Center. The exhibit will then travel to the Union County Courthouse Commissioners' Gallery in December - details on that show will be forthcoming. 

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/9/upcoming-show-in-cranford Mon, 05 Sep 2022 23:51:41 GMT
"Kindness" Exhibit https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/8/-kindness-exhibit My photo of an adult Great Horned Owl comforting her soon-to-be fledgling is to be included in the upcoming exhibit at Nails in the Wall Gallery in Metuchen, NJ.  The show runs from September 10- December 16.  Click link or see flyer below for complete details.

Here is the backstory of the photo:  With a river between us, I had been quietly watching this young owl with its sibling on a branch close to where the family had been nesting. Not yet able to fly, the owlets were in the process of slowly moving away, in a process actually called "branching." I did know realize the parent was nearby.  All of a sudden a Great Blue Heron flew up the river, a little too close for mom's liking, and she swooped in seemingly out of nowhere, making sure the heron did not get to close to her precious offspring.  She landed near them, and one at a time the owlets scooted close to her and receive some comforting contact and loving preening. It was a beautiful, moving thing to witness.

Owl Comfort

12x12 photo matted and framed


jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/8/-kindness-exhibit Wed, 31 Aug 2022 04:31:00 GMT
Review Published! https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/7/review-published What an honor to have my work reviewed by the writer David Brighouse, who attended several of my shows in the past year. I am overwhelmed, actually!  Click HERE or on the photo to read his essay.

photo by David Brighouse

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/7/review-published Sun, 31 Jul 2022 15:12:37 GMT
Art Alliance Group Show https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/6/art-alliance-group-show I’m very pleased to be showing two photos in the current juried exhibit at The Art Alliance of Monmouth County in Red Bank, NJ. The annual Ebba Osborne Memorial Exhibit features works with the theme of “Green” and “Homage to the Square.” I have a 20x30 canvas of “Spring Birch” and a 12x12 metal print of “Koi Impressions” included in the fabulous show, which includes paintings, sculpture, mixed media and beyond! Check it out if you are in the Red Bank, NJ area! 

Koi Impressions 12x12 high definition metal print

Spring Birch20x30 on canvas

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/6/art-alliance-group-show Sun, 05 Jun 2022 04:04:00 GMT
A Visit to the Bethlehem Steel Mill (A Story in 12 Abstract Photos) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/4/a-visit-to-the-bethlehem-steel-mill-a-story-in-12-abstract-photo
1. Enter into the door to my imagination!
2. Don't have a heart attack about what you might see.
3. It's just rust and rivets, colors, flakes and drips.
4. Sometimes the drips looks like heavy rain.
5. But that's what makes the flowers grow!
6. Look, a rose arose!
7. And is that the famous blue poppy my photographer friends all go to see? Guys, it's looking a little peaked, dropping petals. 😉
8. This miserable blockhead does not like the rain.
9. Cheer up! The sun is starting to show!
10. And after the rain there's a rainbow...
11. Ah, finally, a beautiful sunset.
12. After dark, the stars come out and more magic awaits for those who open their eyes...
jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/4/a-visit-to-the-bethlehem-steel-mill-a-story-in-12-abstract-photo Fri, 29 Apr 2022 14:00:08 GMT
Return to Love Exhibit https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/2/return-to-love-exhibit


Three of my photographs are included into the current exhibit  “Return to Love” at Metuchen  Gallery Westerhoff. Celebrating love in all its forms, the show opens on Valentine’s Day and can be viewed virtually on the gallery’s website



jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2022/2/return-to-love-exhibit Sun, 13 Feb 2022 05:05:00 GMT
Select Metal Prints on Display at The Gallery Space in Rahway https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/12/select-metal-prints-on-display-at-the-gallery-space-in-rahway Screenshot

Six of my photographs have been selected to show at The Gallery Space in Rahway, NJ as part of its HomeGrown2 exhibit, on display from January 10 through February 4. Works include:

Glory of the Night, 20x30

Conversation between Trees, 12x24

Ice Abstract, 12x18

Fog Edge, Infrared, 16x24

Kiss of Light, 10x30

Moonlight Fire Spinner, 12x18

These are all high definition aluminum prints, prepared using dye sublimation. I hope you can stop by to see these as well as the other works by some amazing local artists. Our opening reception is Sunday, January 23 from 1-4PM. Poster below lists additional information.




jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/12/select-metal-prints-on-display-at-the-gallery-space-in-rahway Sat, 25 Dec 2021 02:56:16 GMT
Moon Calendars! https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/11/moon-calendars


Usually, I publish a "World of Wonder" general photography calendar each year, but this year I made *2* different projects.  The first was a publication to go along with my local photography exhibit, and now I am pleased to have created another work, a calendar with a Moon theme!  I hope you enjoy these 12 pics inspired by the moon. In keeping with the theme,  I've even included the dates for the full moon and new moons of each month.

You can order it by clicking HERE. Be sure to look for a coupon from Lulu.com!  *Sometimes* LAKAB317CD works for 10% off …but you might even find a better coupon. (It doesn't affect my take.) Thank you so much!




jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/11/moon-calendars Mon, 29 Nov 2021 00:29:45 GMT
Down the Woods Calendar AVAILABLE FOR ORDER NOW https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/10/down-the-woods-calendars-available-soon Front Cover - Down the Woods 2022 CalendarFront Cover - Down the Woods 2022 Calendar

Calendar selections revealed! Click here to see them. Or see below for collage of calendar photos.

This is a companion publication to my current hyperlocal exhibit at the Winfield Community Center which is on display until the end of December. These photos show the beauty of the area where I grew up and have returned. It's amazing to think that all of the image were taken in less than a square mile!

If you'd like to order one, you have 2 options:  

1. Click here for one that includes the Winfield recycling dates.    

2. Click here for the version with no recycling dates.

Please note, these calendars will be coming right from the publisher, www.lulu.com, not from me directly. They are $21 each.  Usually you can do a search for a coupon code and find one for at least 10% off.  Try LAKAB317CD

Unfortunately the online bookstore does not tell me who orders the calendars, so I will say thank you right now if you decide to get one.  And I would love to hear from you if you do!  Hope you love it as much as I enjoyed making it. 



jacki @ lightdance .org




jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/10/down-the-woods-calendars-available-soon Thu, 28 Oct 2021 17:41:38 GMT
"Down the Woods" https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/10/-down-the-woods New hyperlocal exhibit!  "Down the Woods" showcases photographs from the forested parkland near where I have lived most of my life.  Technically, the area is called the Rahway River Parkway, but when we were kids, we just called it "down the woods."  The framed, matted photographs, all of which were taken within a mile of my home, will be on display at the Winfield Community Center on Roosevelt Drive in Winfield until the end of December.  Hours are Monday-Friday 10 AM-3PM. An artist meet-and-greet will be on Tuesday, November 16, from 6-7PM (before the town membership meeting.)  If you'd like to meet me there during regular hours, drop a line and I will try to be there.  After all, hyperlocal means it's right up the street!  See below for Artist Statement as relates to this work. 

NEWS FLASH!  Companion calendars available. Click here for info and ordering link. Photo: The Rahway River as it goes over Bloodgoods Falls, aka "the falls." “Down the Woods”
Artist Statement

    Growing up in a big family in a small Winfield home, it’s no wonder I developed a love for the outdoors.  Inside, our house was always crowded, but outside I could breathe.  We were lucky to be situated on the county road, right next to the Rahway River Parkway. Naturally, my favorite place to go, like many neighborhood kids in those days, was “down the woods.”  
    I am so happy I was able to grow up close to nature, in tune with the seasons, and aware of the animals and plants that shared my world.  I also feel fortunate to have had a father who was a wonderful photographer as well as nature lover. My dad, Frank Dickert, could walk the same path 100 times and always see something new and interesting to photograph. I seem to have inherited his eye.  
    I feel it’s also the heart that makes a photograph special. These images were surely made with love, showing a treasured place that has been my home for most of my life. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Jacki Dickert
October 2021  




jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/10/-down-the-woods Thu, 28 Oct 2021 17:32:56 GMT
WHALES! https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/10/whales What could be better than a perfect autumn Saturday?  A perfect autumn Saturday aboard a whale watch boat as it explores the humpback whale feeding grounds right off the coast of NJ and NY!  I decided to check out the Seastreak Ferry whale watch cruise after noticing all of the birds pulling copious amounts of mendhaden from the Raritan Bay on my walks along the bayshore. (See this post.) I figured the whales might be feeding on their favorite food, too.  Well, we were only on the boat about 15 minutes when we came across our first whale...not feeding, but breaching!  It jumped high out of the water five times in a row! Not much in world can compare to the excitement at seeing muscular creatures (up to 40 tons!) propelling themselves out of the water and crashing with a monumental splash! After its joyful breaches, the whale started rolling over and slapping its pectoral fins, almost like it was waving at us.  Everyone on board was thrilled.  The excitement didn't end there.  In the course of the next several hours, we went on to see at least 3 more whales swimming, diving, blowing, lunge feeding, fin slapping, and even more breaches.  At one point, a pair came right along the boat and amazed us with their size and beauty.  To top it off, when they made their blows, a rainbow was seen in the moisture of their breath!   FOR REAL.  Just WOW. During the trip, a clear-speaking naturalist gave us facts and a deeper appreciation of these special marine mammals. The captain tried to find dolphins that had been in the area, but this was meant to be a day about WHALES.  No one was disappointed! (And by the way, no one seemed seasick on this sturdy vessel.) If you live in the NJ/NY area, check out the Seastreak's whale watching tours before the season endsCLICK FOR MORE PICS

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/10/whales Tue, 05 Oct 2021 13:56:35 GMT
Birds at the Bay https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/9/birds-at-the-bay I've been seeing sooo many bird fishing at the Raritan Bay.  Osprey catching fish after fish, herons and egrets gorging themselves, and recently, bald eagles pulling the bunker fish from the waters.  Good thing these mendhaden fish are doing so well to supply the food chain.  It's an exciting time for birdwatching at the bay!


jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/9/birds-at-the-bay Thu, 30 Sep 2021 14:45:00 GMT
Gallery Show opens TODAY! Aug23 https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/8/gallery-show-opens-today-aug23

This special exhibit, part of Rahway’s first annual River Fest, is housed in Art on Main, a pop-up gallery at 1425 Main Street, Rahway. The “Real” section of the show features photographs of the Rahway River through the seasons, giving us an appreciation of the beauty of local natural landscape.  The “Abstract” portion of the exhibit takes a unique look at water in it various forms - from intricate ice patterns and colorful wavy reflections, to more impressionist work in which the photographer has intentionally moved the camera to create almost painterly images. The exhibit runs Monday to Friday during River Fest, from 11-8, with an opening reception on Monday, August 23 from 7-8:30 PM. The photographer/artist will be in attendance, and light refreshments will be served. Please join us!  



jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/8/gallery-show-opens-today-aug23 Mon, 23 Aug 2021 13:24:01 GMT
Tree Graveyard Studies https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/7/tree-graveyard-studies

I recently discovered a section of shoreline along the Raritan Bay on which numerous tree skeletons lay. I don't know when they washed up or were otherwise deposited there - perhaps by Hurricane Sandy, years ago. In any case, the weathered trunks were smooth like bones, and in some cases, covered with seaweed from the ebb and flow of the tides.  It was a fascinating place to explore and photograph.  Click here to see some of my work from my visits to this tree graveyard.



jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/7/tree-graveyard-studies Sat, 17 Jul 2021 19:46:27 GMT
Fireworks! https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/7/fireworks I don't usually find myself photographing fireworks, but this year was an exception.  For one, the setting was beautiful and not crowded - Union Beach, along the Raritan Bay.  In addition, I decided to play a little more with my camera during the show, including zooming and moving my lens during the exposures, getting some fun results. Click here to see the images.

Firework with zoom burst:

The scene at Union Beach:



jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/7/fireworks Sun, 04 Jul 2021 15:59:00 GMT
Spring Birds in the Neighborhood https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/6/spring-birds-in-the-neighborhood Even though i make my home in suburban New Jersey, very close to an urban area, I manage to photograph a lot of wildlife in the area.  One reason is that I live along a river corridor, surrounded by natural greenery, which makes for good habitat for birds and other animals.  This spring, I was happy to be able to photograph great horned owls, pileated woodpeckers, and bald eagles locally. Photos here: https://www.lightdance.org/birds2021

Fledgling bald eagle practicing flying and landingFledgling bald eagle practicing flying and landing


jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/6/spring-birds-in-the-neighborhood Sat, 26 Jun 2021 04:23:00 GMT
Horseshoe Crab Spawning https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/5/horseshoe-crab-spawning

What a thrill to witness the ancient ritual of horseshoe crab spawning of the spring full moon tide!  Pics from Union Beach and Cliffwood Beach along the Raritan Bay can be found here: https://www.lightdance.org/horseshoecrabs. 

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/5/horseshoe-crab-spawning Mon, 31 May 2021 15:22:00 GMT
Reaching and Reflecting - https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/2/reaching-and-reflecting The image below has been published in the current issue of The Sun Magazine, accompanying a compelling personal narrative by Hank Stephenson. I photographed these branches and their reflection on a foggy day near the river by my home, on a meditative walk. I think the image can have many interpretations.  Check our Hank's article "The Point" and let me know what it makes you think of.

Reaching and Reflecting - will need to be cropped to fit standard size mat or frame. PM me for help.Reaching and Reflecting - will need to be cropped to fit standard size mat or frame. PM me for help.

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2021/2/reaching-and-reflecting Mon, 08 Feb 2021 18:44:32 GMT
2021 World of Wonder Calendars Available https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/12/2021-world-of-wonder-calendars-available

Better late than never!  I wasn't sure I was going to be able to publish my annual World of Wonder calendar, but it finally happened!  This past year has been crazy for many reasons, which you all know.  I recently found out I have to move, and preparing for this big change put me behind on my usual photography projects. Things are slowly falling into place, and now I am happy to share with you this collection of some of my favorite images from 2020. Most of the photos are from my home state of New Jersey; indeed, my home county!  I did make a couple trips to neighboring states and one trip to Mexico before the pandemic hit, so you will see a few pics from there. But no matter where I found myself, I seem to be lucky with encountering beauty and wonder on a regular basis! I hope you all got through 2020 relatively unscathed, and I certainly wish you the best in 2021!  May beauty, joy, and wonder abound!

Calendars are $17.95 and may be purchased at this site: ORDER CALENDAR  The photos are a standard 8.5x11, the calendar taking up 11x17 on the wall when open.  If you *really* want a large one, contact me about a special order. Thank you!!


Back of calendar gives locations:

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/12/2021-world-of-wonder-calendars-available Mon, 21 Dec 2020 03:49:40 GMT
PRINT SALE! Special Holiday 2020 Prices https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/12/print-sale-special-holiday-2020-prices At the end of a challenging year, perhaps some beautiful art can make us all feel better!  :-)   I'm offering special pricing on standard and metal prints, from now until the end of the year.  If there is a desired size or other special request, please write me, and I will do my best to get it for you.  Likewise, if you saw an image on my Facebook or Flickr that is not included in the galleries here, let me know and I will upload it. ***Note: To order, please use the drop-down menus to see all available sizes and options. 

Thank you, and Best Wishes for wondrous holiday!







jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/12/print-sale-special-holiday-2020-prices Fri, 04 Dec 2020 21:39:07 GMT
Water B'Witched Seawall Abstracts https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/10/water-bwitched-seawall-abstracts


I've mentioned my travels around the Raritan Bay this past year, and hinted at one of my projects which involved Seeing and Imagining in the patterns of rust on the iron seawalls in some of the bayshore towns.  This led to a project I call "Water B'Witched" because most of the images were from an area called "Water Witch." You can see some of the images I made here.  Also, I have some 5x7 metal prints on display at the most awesome WaterWitch Coffee Shop and Art Gallery in Highlands, NJ, as part of my larger "World of Wonder" metal print exhibition there, now until October 30.  I'd love to hear what you think about this new work!  Thanks.  

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/10/water-bwitched-seawall-abstracts Wed, 07 Oct 2020 23:31:23 GMT
Water Witch Coffee and Art Gallery Show https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/9/water-witch-coffee-and-art-gallery-show

I'm thrilled to partner with the fun and funky Water Witch Coffee, bringing my World of Wonder series of metal prints, as well as some new work, to their space.  Twenty one metal prints from around the world hang on the walls, and 10 all-new easel-backed metal prints have their own display area. My new series, Water B-Witched, was inspired by the sea wall right down the street from Water Witch Coffee, in Highlands, NJ.  During the Covid-19 pandemic, instead of traveling afar, I focused on my local area, especially around the Raritan Bay. (See earlier blog post.)  The rust patterns on the sea wall totally fascinated me, and I made a series of "rust-scapes" from my what I found there.  If you are in the area, stop by and check out the exhibit!  And make sure to try some of Water Witch Coffee shop's great food and beverages.  Hours are 7-1 Mon through Friday and 7-5 Sat/Sun.

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/9/water-witch-coffee-and-art-gallery-show Sun, 27 Sep 2020 02:11:00 GMT
Metal Prints https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/9/metal-prints Wondering what metal prints really look like?  Here is a 2 minute video showing some examples, front and back.  I love them and think you will too!  Sorry about the background noise - part of living in the great (but sometimes noisy) state of New Jersey! CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO.

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/9/metal-prints Fri, 25 Sep 2020 20:25:23 GMT
Croton Arts Live https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/9/croton-arts-live Screenshot

You are cordially invited to a FREE arts festival, featuring live music, talented artist vendors, and opportunities to socialize...all safely from home!  The Croton Arts Live Festival is happening September 25-27 from 6-10 PM each evening.  You have to register in order to get in, but it's quick and painless, and allows you to "chat" with the vendors in real time.  I have a booth that will be featuring metal prints from my "World of Wonder" collection.  I hope you can stop by!  Link: https://live.crotonarts.org

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/9/croton-arts-live Wed, 02 Sep 2020 21:02:48 GMT
Online Art Show https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/8/online-art-show


I am proud to have had a metal print selected for inclusion in a classy online gallery show.  Artfront Galleries  based in Newark, NJ, has found a way to continue their work in sharing art with a really cool cyber experience simulating walking through an actual art gallery.  Check out this show: Heliotrope: Turning toward the Light. My photo "Glory of the Night" is in the 2nd room on the wall across from the door.  Go full screen for the best experience!

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/8/online-art-show Thu, 20 Aug 2020 20:15:00 GMT
Roaming ‘Round the Raritan Bayshore https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/7/roaming-round-the-raritan-bayshore

I’ve been staying close to home this summer, for a change, exploring the beaches along the Raritan Bayshore. I love the open spaciousness there...and am excited by the drama of the dynamic clouds and changing skies. Favorite town beaches I’ve photographed are: South Amboy, Old Bridge, Cliffwood Beach, Keansburg, Union Beach, Keyport, Highlands...Click here for a gallery of photos from the Raritan Bayshore.

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/7/roaming-round-the-raritan-bayshore Fri, 24 Jul 2020 00:30:00 GMT
Elephants! https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/6/elephants Etosha NP, NamibiaEtosha NP, Namibia


I recently had a client in need of elephant photos, and I was more than happy to have a excuse to go through my hundreds of elephant pictures from Namibia last year.. These majestic animals were a highlight of my safari with Gava Explorations! I especially loved seeing the desert-adapted elephants of Damaraland, and how family-oriented they were.  This big boy in the picture was joyfully splashing in a waterhole in Etosha National Park.  Enjoy my collection of elephant photos from Namibia as well as a previous trip to Tanzania here.

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/6/elephants Sun, 28 Jun 2020 19:00:00 GMT
Enjoying the Local Scene during Covid-19 https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/5/enjoying-the-local-scene Rahway river ParkRahway river Park


I have a few "secret galleries" on my website, and the most populated one is probably the one that features scenes of natural beauty from my local area. Most people don't think of New Jersey as a place of natural beauty, but I beg to differ.  Even though where I live is very suburban, we have a well designed, historic park system that follows the Rahway River where wildlife and other natural wonders abound.  It is getting well-used during the virus pandemic, when people don't want to be indoors.  I am glad others are discovering the treasure in our backyards.   Click here to check out my gallery from beautiful Union County NJ!

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/5/enjoying-the-local-scene Sun, 31 May 2020 18:45:00 GMT
Experimenting with Mixed Media during Covid Lockdown https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/4/experimenting-with-mixed-media-during-covid-lockdown Lockdown (Covid-19)Lockdown (Covid-19)

I tried something new this spring - combining my digital photos with digitized versions of dissolved-ink art I created.  I used old National Geographic magazines, and poured a solvent on the pages, and was amazed at some of the results.  Many of them suggested landscapes or scenes having nothing to do with the original photos printed on them. Going a step further, I took photos of the papers, and then combined them with my own original photos.  I got some very interesting results! It was a great thing to do while I couldn't travel and when the local parks were closed...In fact, it seemed like a metaphorical activity at the time: society as we knew iit seemed to be dissolving, and it is up to us to create something new from what's there.  Click here to see some of my "mixed media" creations from this spring.




jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/4/experimenting-with-mixed-media-during-covid-lockdown Thu, 30 Apr 2020 18:30:00 GMT
Lecture Postponed https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/3/lecture-postponed

I'm so sorry to announce this lecture has been postponed until we can safely meet again!

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/3/lecture-postponed Thu, 12 Mar 2020 18:33:09 GMT
Cover Photos on The Sun Magazine https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/2/cover-photos-on-the-sun-magazine      I’m so pleased to have my work published in The Sun Magazine from time to time, and it’s been especially thrilling to have had photos featured on its cover in both January and February.

     The January issue shows a magical night in Glacier National Park a couple of years ago. I was camping in the Two Medicine region and was amazed at the number of stars that could be seen there. One of the campsites had a red light that lit up the dead tree in the foreground. When I developed a picture in color, the artificial lighting was garish,  so I converted it to black-and-white with a digital red filter, and the tree popped out so white against the black sky!  I like how it mirrors and extends the split shape of the Milky Way. 

     The  photo on the February cover is an infrared photo I made in the Highlands of Scotland. I was pulled over on the side of the road trying to assist a motorist in need, and while we were waiting, I wandered about a bit.  I crossed a bridge and looked over at the train tracks, and immediately knew I had to make a photograph. I chose to use my infrared camera because I knew that the foliage would all turn white and make a great contrast with that dark track curving through.  I’m so happy it found a place on the cover of a magazine I enjoy and respect so much.


jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/2/cover-photos-on-the-sun-magazine Sun, 09 Feb 2020 22:20:21 GMT
Pearl Street Gallery Exhibit https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/1/pearl-street-gallery-exhibit


Announcing a solo exhibit at the Pearl Street Gallery, housed in a historic building along Elizabeth River in Elizabeth, NJ:  Landscapes of Wonder includes 13 metal prints from around the world, both near and far.   As a bonus, 2 canvas prints have been hung over the mantels of the large fireplaces in the building.  The gallery is open from Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30 PM For more information,  please see this article.   


Below: Scottish Highlands, 30x40 canvas print



jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2020/1/pearl-street-gallery-exhibit Tue, 14 Jan 2020 21:02:42 GMT
Impressionist Series on Exhibit https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2019/12/impressionist-series-on-exhibit Three pieces from my Impressionist series are currently on exhibit and for sale at Simply Art and Frames in Cranford. These works were created by introducing motion to the scene - either by moving the camera during the time of exposure or afterward in the digital darkroom.  Lines are softened, and colors are blurred, creating more of a suggestion of the actual subject rather than a sharply focused one.  The prints on display have been prepared with dye sublimation on glossy aluminum sheets, with float frames.  Stop by Simply to see them in person! 

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2019/12/impressionist-series-on-exhibit Thu, 19 Dec 2019 15:06:00 GMT
2020 World of Wonder Calendars SOLD OUT {{THANK YOU!}} https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2019/11/2020-world-of-wonder-calendars-available-for-preorder   Click here to order this year‘s calendar. 

Sorry - Sold out! Contact me if I can help you with prints or anything else. Thanks! Jacki

This year's calendar features photos from 3 different continents! Last year I traveled to northern Italy, Namibia in the south of Africa, and of course wandered around my neighborhood in NJ, North America! I love seeing the beautiful things nature has to offer wherever I go.  I hope you enjoy this year's selection and that it inspires you to appreciate the wonder of of world!  Calendars are $13 each - Click to order.

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2019/11/2020-world-of-wonder-calendars-available-for-preorder Mon, 25 Nov 2019 05:04:49 GMT
Mobile Phone Photography Talk https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2019/10/mobile-phone-photography I am giving a talk on Mobile Phone Photography at the Raritan Photographic Society on November 14th.  Info and registration here.

Here is an example of a long exposure simulation you can make with "live photos" - Come to my talk and find out how!


jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2019/10/mobile-phone-photography Mon, 21 Oct 2019 00:19:18 GMT
Free Nature Photography Field Session https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2019/9/free-nature-photography-field-session Please join me for a free photowalk on Saturday, September 28th in Rahway River Park! There is something there for everyone - birds, small mammals, a river, a small lake, nice trees and flowers...Hope you can make it!

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2019/9/free-nature-photography-field-session Mon, 23 Sep 2019 00:30:00 GMT
Free Nature Photography Class! https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2019/8/free-nature-photography-class On September 28, from 10-12, I will be be offering a free nature photography class at the Rahway Public Library as part of a series put on by the Rahway River Watershed Association.  There will also be a field session/photowalk on October 19 at Rahway River Park.  If you are local and want to learn some photography tips and techniques, please join me!  Both events are free; but please call the number on the poster to preregister.


jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2019/8/free-nature-photography-class Fri, 30 Aug 2019 14:45:20 GMT
Land, Water, and Light of the Rahway River Watershed https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2019/6/land-water-and-light-of-the-rahway-river-watershed I am so excited to have the first art exhibit at the new Education Center of the Rahway River Watershed Association!   One of my greatest pleasures is to show the beauty and wonder of my local area, which is often disregarded or overlooked.  The RRWA does great work, and I am proud to partner with them. The new center is opening Saturday, June 15 - It's a big bash and all are invited!  Click here for info.

Rahway River, above Jackson FallsRahway River, above Jackson Falls

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2019/6/land-water-and-light-of-the-rahway-river-watershed Sat, 15 Jun 2019 01:37:00 GMT
Metal Print Display https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2019/6/metal-print-display Several photos from my "World of Wonder" collection are on display at Simply Art and Frames in Cranford, NJ. If you walk past the shop, you will see them in the window!  While you are there, check out the great collection of art and gifts they have.  Rainbow over Vermillion LakesRainbow over Vermillion Lakes

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2019/6/metal-print-display Sat, 15 Jun 2019 01:28:05 GMT
Infrared Photography Lecture https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2019/5/infrared-photography-lecture Get an introduction of infrared photography on May 21 at the Somerset Photography Club. I will go over options for conversions and give advice for making unique and beautiful images.  The talk begins at 7 PM.

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2019/5/infrared-photography-lecture Mon, 20 May 2019 01:30:00 GMT
Earth, Our Island Home https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2019/4/earth-our-island-home Two of my pieces are included in a fabulous collection of art at  Nails in the Wall Gallery in Metuchen, NJ.  "Island in the Sky" is a night photo I made in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, and "Stargazer" is from New Zealand.  I am proud to have given one of the keynotes at the opening on February 2. The show runs to May 15th.  Stop by if you are in the area!


Blueberry Island - MassachusettsBlueberry Island - Massachusetts



jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2019/4/earth-our-island-home Wed, 03 Apr 2019 12:07:29 GMT
Celebrating Local Beauty https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2018/11/celebrating-local-beauty


I’m proud to have several of my high-definition metal photographic prints on display at a wonderful gallery and shop called Simply Art and Frames, in Cranford, NJ. The theme is “Celebrating Local Beauty,” and all the photos are from parkland in Union County, where I live - Rahway River Parkway, Echo Lake Park, and Warinanco Park. Lucky for us local folks, these parks were designed by the acclaimed Olmsted firm, who designed Central Park and other famous parks. There’s never a lack for beautiful photographic subjects here! if you are in the area, check them out, as well as the other great art and gifts Gary Fletcher has in his shop.

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2018/11/celebrating-local-beauty Sat, 24 Nov 2018 17:59:46 GMT
2019 World of Wonder Calendar https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2018/11/2019-world-of-wonder-calendar World of Wonder 2019 CoverWorld of Wonder 2019 CoverTo purchase, please submit $12 per calendar and $3 for shipping to my paypal link. Be sure to include your shipping address. Additional calendars are an extra $1 each to ship. Thank you so much! Jacki


The 2019 World of Wonder Calendar is now available for pre-order!  It features some special moments that I experienced in the natural world in the past year...from quiet moments like a leaf caught in ice and dewdrops caught in a low web...to the excitement of a baby moose leaping out a pond and a regal osprey leaping from a branch. My love for landscape shows, and this year there are many "intimate" or close-up landscapes - and many are from my neighborhood. No matter where I am on this lovely planet, I love looking up and looking down and finding wonder all around! The photos look great printed on the 8.5x11 professional glossy paper.


To purchase, please submit $12 per calendar and $3 for shipping to my paypal link. Be sure to include your shipping address. Additional calendars are an extra $1 each to ship after the first one. Shipping will be in early December.  Thank you so much!  If you are local, send me a message and we can arrange pickup. 


Thanks for your interest and support!  

Best regards,



Slideshow of images from the calendar



jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2018/11/2019-world-of-wonder-calendar Wed, 21 Nov 2018 01:50:46 GMT
Autumn Photowalk - Mohawk Park, Cranford, NJ https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2018/10/autumn-photowalk---mohawk-park-cranford-nj Local friends - Hope you can make it to this photowalk I am leading for the Friends of the Rahway River Parkway.  We want to show everyone how beautiful and special this series of parks is - and help you take better photos while enjoying it! Open to all levels of photography and all types of cameras.  Hope you can make it!  If you'd like to receive updates on the walk, join the Facebook event on the Friends of Rahway River Parkway FB page.


jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2018/10/autumn-photowalk---mohawk-park-cranford-nj Mon, 08 Oct 2018 16:43:27 GMT
Mobile Phone Photography Class https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2018/10/mobile-phone-photography-class Interested in taking better cell phone pictures?  Check out this free class. 

Registration not required - just come on by the Linden Library!


jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2018/10/mobile-phone-photography-class Mon, 08 Oct 2018 16:39:29 GMT
2018 Calendars Available https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2017/12/2018-calendars-available 2018 Calendars available!- $12 each. Please add $3 shipping; plus $2 for each additional calendar. Thank you! Click here to go to PayPal.Please include your shipping address. 


This year, the publication features some magical Scottish landscapes, our new national monument in Maine, a rust collage, one motion blur, one black and white, one iPhone photo, and a few intimate landscapes from NJ. I hope you like the collection, which represents my work in the last year.  Thanks for checking it out!

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2017/12/2018-calendars-available Fri, 15 Dec 2017 04:01:25 GMT
"Light" Exhibit at Gallery U Boutique - Westfield, NJ https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2017/12/-light-exhibit-at-gallery-u-boutique---westfield-nj Please join me and other local artists at the Gallery U Boutique in Westfield, NJ on Friday, December 7 for an opening reception for "Light" - an exhibit that runs until January .  Click here for event info.

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2017/12/-light-exhibit-at-gallery-u-boutique---westfield-nj Fri, 15 Dec 2017 03:55:55 GMT
October 14th Photography Workshop https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2017/10/october-14th-photography-workshop Field-Based Photography Workshop

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2017/10/october-14th-photography-workshop Sun, 08 Oct 2017 01:45:00 GMT
Solo Exhibit at the Palmer Museum https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2017/9/solo-exhibit-at-the-palmer-museum The Palmer Museum, housed at the Springfield Free Public Library, is presenting my "World of Wonder" all-metal print show until October 6th.  Over 2 dozen pieces, celebrating the beauty of nature, are on display in the gallery.  The public reception is on Saturday, September 23rd, from 2:30-4:30 PM.  The Facebook event is here. Hope you can stop by!



jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2017/9/solo-exhibit-at-the-palmer-museum Tue, 19 Sep 2017 00:17:16 GMT
Nature Photography Workshop Announced https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2017/5/nature-photography-workshop-announced  


jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2017/5/nature-photography-workshop-announced Sun, 14 May 2017 02:20:05 GMT
2017 Calendars Available! https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2016/12/2017-calendars-available The 2017 World of Wonder Calendar features images from my travels and wanderings in the past year...Starting in my local NJ neighborhood...then heading to  Yellowstone & The Tetons - and getting all the way to Death Valley, California, these photos showcase landscapes, wildlife, and patterns and details from the glorious world of nature.  If you'd like a closer look at the photos for each month, click here.  The 8.5x11, full color glossy calendars sell for $12 each or 3 for $30.  Shipping is $3 for the first one, add $2 for each over that.  To purchase, use this paypal link:   Be sure to include your shipping address.  If you're local, we can arrange for pickup or stop by the WINFIELD PARK BAKERY DELI to pick up your copy.  Thanks, and best wishes for a very happy holiday season!   Jacki 

Cover of 2017 World of Wonder calendar

Thumbnails for the 2017 World of Wonder Calendar



jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2016/12/2017-calendars-available Mon, 12 Dec 2016 02:58:10 GMT
Contest Winner! https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2016/8/contest-winner Photographer on the EdgePhotographer on the Edge

I am happy to announce that my photo "Photographer on the Edge" has won first prize in the "My Ansel Adams" photography contest sponsored by the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, NY  The challenge was to share a photo influenced by the style of Ansel Adams.  I chose to enter this one because of the subject matter (mountains of the West) and well as the tonal range in the image.  My other 2 entries (below) were runners up.  I am looking forward to visiting the museum in a few weeks. One of their current exhibits features early works of the famed and influential photographer.


Runner up: "Mountain and Cloud" by Jacki Dickert

Mountain and CloudMountain and Cloud

Runner up:  "Sand and Sky" by Jacki Dickert


jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2016/8/contest-winner Thu, 11 Aug 2016 19:43:04 GMT
June 10 Photowalk - Union, NJ https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2016/6/june-10-photowalk---union-nj Please join me for a photowalk on Friday, June 10 from 7-8 PM at Kawameeh Park in Union, NJ! It's part of the annual Union County Bioblitz, a 24 survey and celebration of the natural world.  This year, teams will be collecting and sharing information about Kawameeh Park, Black Brook Park, and the Galloping Hill Golf Course.  I will give tips for nature photography and then go on a little "photoblitz."  Meet at Kawameeh for the photowalk and other activities.  Hope to see you there!

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2016/6/june-10-photowalk---union-nj Fri, 10 Jun 2016 11:48:33 GMT
Upcoming Lecture: A Guide to Using Nik Software (May 10) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2016/4/upcoming-lecture-using-nik-software-to-bring-out-the-best-in-your-digital-photos Last month, Google made the big announcement that their powerful photo editing software, The Nik Collection, is now FREE.  This is a powerful and easy-to-use suite of plugins that make it easy to make selective edits, apply filters, convert to black and white, do HDR, reduce grain, and sharpen your pictures.  I've been using these products for years, in conjunction with Photoshop and Aperture, with great results.  On Tuesday, May 10, at the Somerset County Photography Club, I will be giving an overview of this software and sharing many tips and tricks I have learned.  The talk is free, and visitors are welcome. If you are interested in learning some new photo editing techniques, please stop by.  The meeting begins at 7:00 PM.

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2016/4/upcoming-lecture-using-nik-software-to-bring-out-the-best-in-your-digital-photos Wed, 27 Apr 2016 01:59:25 GMT
Be a Painter…Using Intentional Camera Movement! https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2016/4/be-a-painter-using-intentional-camera-movement Be a Painter…Using Intentional Camera Movement!


Most of the time, we photographers try to avoid blurry pictures… carefully choosing shutter speeds to achieve sharpness…holding our bodies still while we release the shutter to preserve detail…So why would we want to intentionally move our cameras in the midst of making exposures?  


Beside being a fun and freeing experience, Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) can also satisfy our basic creative urges. We are able to do something different than “straight” photography, in a way that can be even more personally expressive. In addition, much can be gained by experimenting with such a technique: a deeper understanding of how our cameras work, increased fluidity while shooting, and composition skills that become refined as we tune into and play with some of the basic elements that make up our images.

Springtime in the Swamp, ISO 100, f32, 1.3 sec

Obviously, when we practice intentional camera movement, we are creating something very different than detailed, documentary images. The results will naturally be more abstract and impressionist. Details are generally obscured, and what’s left after ICM is often an impressionistic wash of colors, with only the implication of basic shapes. However, the sense of movement that is inherently imbued in these images carries a sense of energy that can be very compelling.

Koi Pond,  ISO 100, f25; 1 sec.

The basic technique for ICM involves choosing longer shutter speeds that will allow you to move the camera without overexposing your picture.  Depending on the ambient light and focal length, somewhere between 1/8 of a second and 2 seconds is a good place to start experimenting. Since these long exposures will let in a great deal of light, you will have to compensate in one or more ways: lower your ISO, stop down your aperture (higher number f-stop), or add a polarizer or ND (neutral density) filter.  I’ve even used sunglasses in a pinch, on my point and shoot camera!  (You can also just wait until it gets darker out!)


Camera movements can vary, though it is generally effective to move in the direction of your main subject, and in the same plane. Vertical movements work well for tree trunks and plant stalks, horizontal sweeps are pleasing for beach scenes, and circular movements can be magical for flowers.

Sumac Stalks in Early Autumn, ISO 100, f32, 1 sec.

To preserve some of the graphic elements in the scene, movements are smaller than one might expect, several centimeters at most.  Motions can be either in one direction, or back and forth once or several times, depending on the length of the shutter speed and the desired effect.  Some ICM artists like to work on a tripod for consistency, while others prefer handheld for its fluidity.  


When choosing your composition and framing, including some strong or definite shapes will anchor your image and keep it from becoming a complete abstraction. Abstractions can be wonderful, though…so it’s really a matter of personal preference.

Twilight at the Beach, ISO 100, f22, 2 sec.

Tree trunks are fairly easy to use as subjects when starting with ICM. With just a slight up and down motion, you can make the trunks seem like they were made with brushstrokes. Look for good separation between the trunks for cleaner lines and forms.

Aspens, ISO 50, f27, 1/3sec

Color and lighting play an important role.  Having your main subject contrast from the background - by color, for example - will allow the forms to take center stage in your composition.  

Yellow on Green, ISO 100, f5.6, 2 sec.

When considering lighting, be careful of bright spots that might blow out during the long exposures.  Flat light is often easier to deal with…but depending on the capabilities of your sensor, contrasting lighting can be dynamic and attractive.  I particularly like sidelight when making blurs of tree trunks, as it helps accentuate the shapes.  

Sidelit Trees, Impressionist

These suggestions are really just starting points for experimenting with ICM.  Don’t be afraid to experiment.  There are many ways of working with camera motion - pan blurs, zoom blurs, camera toss techniques, to name a few. An expanded world of creative expression is open to us when we use our cameras like this to “paint” with light, form, and color.  


Jacki Dickert

March 2016



jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2016/4/be-a-painter-using-intentional-camera-movement Sun, 03 Apr 2016 19:17:11 GMT
Benefit Auction and Special Sale https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2016/2/auction UPDATE FEB. 28:  ALL THE PIECES HAVE SOLD!!  Thank you so much for a successful fundraiser.  I am so appreciative to be among this community of such generous, caring people. 


Many of my local friends and I are heartbroken over the death of 24 year old Joseph Parrillo, a former student of mine, who recently succumbed to Leukemia only weeks after being diagnosed.  We are mobilizing to help his family with medical bills and other expenses.

My part is to offer my art at special prices, and I will donate the money I make to the cause.  Some pieces are available at an auction that will be held Saturday, February 27th.  They also may be purchased at "Buy It Now" prices, with 100% of the proceeds (not just profit) being donated. 

In addition, if anyone wants to buy ANY prints of mine, just send me a message and I will custom print them for you and donate any profit I make, after printing costs, now through March 1.  

Below are the pictures up for Auction/Buy it Now.   To pay for Buy It Now, Click this PayPal link and make a note telling which picture you are paying for.  ***Some have already sold, so please check the info below or contact me to see if something you want is still available.***




NEW ADDITION TO AUCTION!  Milky Way and Tree  20x30 framed print  Starting bid $25


Golden Pathway, A misty autumn morning in Rahway Park makes a magical scene. 16x24  High Definition Aluminum Print   Starting Bid $40   Buy it Now $150  SOLD!!  Contact me if you would like to special order a print.  


Autumn in the GlenAutumn in the Glen Autumn in the Glen - Ricketts Glen, Pennsylvania  High Definition Aluminum Print  SOLD!  Contact me if you would like to order a specially priced custom print with profit going to the cause.


Sunrise at Mesa ArchSunrise at Mesa ArchCanyonlands National Park, Utah, USA
Please select 5x15 print for correct aspect ratio or contact me for other sizes.

Sunrise at Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, Utah  12x36 print, in black fame w/glass  Starting Bid $20  Buy it Now $125


Misty AlaskaMisty Alaska

Misty Alaska - 16x24 high definition aluminum print; Bidding starts at $40; Buy it Now $150


Belmar Fishing Pier, 12x16 gallery wrapped canvas, ready to hang  Starting bid $20; Buy it now $75  SOLD Contact me if you would like to order a specially priced custom print with profit going to the cause.


Kiss of LightKiss of Light

Kiss of Light - the last rays of sun fall upon a dune fence at Island Beach State 7x21 with 3 inch white border; 2 inch wood frame w/plexiglass. Bidding starts at $20. Buy it now: $85


Zion MoonriseZion Moonrise Moonrise at Zion National Park, Utah   12x16 gallery wrapped canvas, ready to hang  Starting bid $20; Buy it now $75


Seastar WashoutSeastar Washout

Seastar Washout - Cape May, NJ. 14x14 on gallery wrapped canvas. Bidding starts at $20. Buy it now: $75  SOLD!!!   Contact me if you would like to order a specially priced custom print with profit going to the cause.

Drama on the SavannahDrama on the SavannahTanzania

Drama on the Savannah - a glorious sunset in East Africa, sepia toned. 12x18 matted, framed, with glass. Bidding starts at $20. Buy it Now $100.  SOLD!!!   Contact me if you would like to order a specially priced custom print with profit going to the cause.



SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY for fellow Winfielders!!  This was an original photo taken and printed by my father, Frank Dickert, Jr., in the 1970's.  I worked hard to digitize it in a way that would make him proud...It is now available in a 16x20 ready to hang canvas gallery wrap for $125  ***BOTH HAVE SOLD*** I will take special orders on this.  Contact me if you would like to order one. 

If you would like other sizes or formats, they may be ordered as well, with all profit after printing costs going to the cause.  Prices:  8x10 print on photo paper=$20;  16x20 print on photo paper=$40.  The canvas is really nice, though! 





jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2016/2/auction Sat, 20 Feb 2016 19:44:22 GMT
2016 Calendars Available Now! https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2015/12/2016-calendars-available-now The 2016 World of Wonder Calendars are available now! 

Each year, I try to present a variety of images that celebrate the beauty and wonder of the natural world. This year, many selections are from my local area, but there are also some images from favorite areas in the Southwest, New England, and Iceland.  I usually like to make BIG calendars, to really show off the photos, but the company I usually work with discontinued the large 11x17 size.  This year, I tried out a couple of new places to print, and I am happy to report that the calendars look very good, even at smaller sizes.

If you are interested in purchasing a calendar, there are 2 size options:  Regular (8.5 x 11 inches folded) which sells for $12 (add $3 for shipping) and Large (11.5 x 14 folded) which is $22 (add $5 for shipping.)   The large size has thicker, glossier paper which shows off the pictures nicely.  The regular is more of a matte look, but the colors are still strong and true. 

Send me a message if you would like to order any!  Thanks.  Best wishes to everyone during this holiday season! 

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2015/12/2016-calendars-available-now Fri, 11 Dec 2015 02:18:52 GMT
Trailside Nature Craft Show - December 6 https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2015/12/trailside-nature-craft-show Hi everyone! I will be selling metal prints, calendars, fabric wall stickers, and photo cards this Sunday at the Trailside Holiday Nature Crafts Show from 11 AM - 5 PM. Stop by if you are in the area!  Click here for information:  http://goo.gl/uGDIjZ

The waterfall photo in the picture below is a large fabric wall sticker. Sometimes called "removable wallpaper," it's an affordable way to make a very large print and not have to spend the money to frame it. I will have some samples with me at the Trailside show and can take special orders to print any of my photos on the wall stickers, if you would like to try them.



jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2015/12/trailside-nature-craft-show Sat, 05 Dec 2015 04:18:54 GMT
World of Wonder Photo Exhibit Comes to Trailside Nature and Science Center https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2015/12/world-of-wonder-photo-exhibit-comes-to-trailside-nature-and-science-center UPDATE:  The exhibit has been extended through the summer!

From now until the end of February, you can view the  World of Wonder Photography Exhibit at Union County's Trailside Nature and Science Center, one the premier environmental centers in New Jersey. The exhibit has grown bigger and better, now with 25 metal prints featuring landscapes and nature images from NJ and around the world. The center, which is Mountainside, NJ, is open from 12-5 each day.  Stop by if you get a chance!

photo by Dave Williams www.feralflower.com

This grouping in the photo below shows some of the new work from around New Jersey:  Rahway Park, Warinanco Park, and Sandy Hook.

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2015/12/world-of-wonder-photo-exhibit-comes-to-trailside-nature-and-science-center Wed, 02 Dec 2015 00:16:20 GMT
Fall Into Creativity! https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2015/9/fall-into-creativity An article I wrote has just been published on the Adoramampix blog !  It give suggestions for creative things to try while photographing during the fall season.


Fall into Creativity
by Jacki Dickert

Autumn is an inspiring time for photographers. Whether it finds you photographing richly colored leaves against a bright blue sky or composing atmospheric images of bare trees on a foggy day, fall always presents great potential for creating visually interesting shots.  It is also a wonderful time of year to go beyond the obvious, to engage the imagination, and to push the limits of your creative expression. Here are some techniques to experiment with during this colorful season, as you make your fall into creativity!

Capitalize on Colorful Water

Leaves and Reflected Leaves ISO 1600, f8, 1/30 sec. (handheld; no polarizer)

Colorful leaves are beautiful on their own, but you can sometimes use their reflections to add an important visual element to your images.  If you are lucky enough to be near a lake or stream, look at it from different angles and levels, and notice how the water reflects the colors in different ways.  For the image above, I had to crouch quite low to make the leaves appear to float on the yellow reflections, rather than the blue water.   If you are using a polarizer - as you usually should do in autumn, to cut down on glare on leaves, water, and wet rocks - be aware that it will also cut down on desirable reflections as well.  Adjust or omit the polarization accordingly.

Paint with Leaves
  Mystical Falls - Ricketts Glen, PAMystical Falls - Ricketts Glen, PA

Waterfall with Swirling Beech Leaves ISO 100, f16, 8 seconds on tripod, polarizer

There are several ways to achieve a painterly effect, using motion blur during long exposures. Since long exposures allow a lot of light in, this technique works best on cloudy days or at dawn/dusk. However, it is not impossible to achieve in  bright conditions.  Two especially useful tools in such situations are a polarizer and a neutral density (ND) filter.  Both cut down the amount of light entering the lens, allowing for longer shutter speeds.  Once you slow the shutter speed down, you can “paint”  either by capitalizing on movement already occurring in your subject or by intentionally moving the camera during the long exposure.

The image above shows what can develop when a handful of colorful leaves are thrown into flowing water. It was taken on a fairly bright day, so I needed to cut the light by using a polarizer, dialing the ISO down to 100, and using a small aperture (f16 in this case.)  These settings allowed me to have a shutter speed of 8 seconds, enough time to “paint” the flow pattern of the moving leaves into my image. Of course, a tripod is essential in such long exposures, to keep everything else from blurring.  I also usually use a 2-second self-timer or cable release, to avoid camera movement when pressing the shutter. It’s helpful to study the water first, noting the patterns of movement, and then imagining what it might look like if traced out.  There may already be leaves floating  in the water, or you can toss in a handful to create a natural painting from the resulting movement!

Tree Allee, Warinanco Park - ImpressionistTree Allee, Warinanco Park - Impressionist
Autumn in the Park, Impressionist: ISO 200,  f5.6, 2 seconds with camera movement, polarizer

Another type of creative painterly image that works well with autumn colors is made by actually moving the camera itself during a slower exposure. Again, you may need to cut the light by using a polarizer or ND filter as well as a low ISO and small aperture. A shutter speed of around one to two seconds often works well.  The camera is moved up and down (or side to side, or in circles, depending on the major graphic elements in the composition) a small amount - perhaps an inch or two - in the same plane. The more the range of movement, the more abstract the result will be.  Some experimenting is necessary to see what works. Look for compositions with contrasting colors and some definite lines - tree trunks work well, especially with a vertical panning motion.  Try to avoid bright spots from the sky.  Post-processing usually involves adjusting contrast, especially the midtones. Often the results resemble impressionist paintings!


Take Advantage of the Autumn Fog


Trees Dancing in the MistTrees Dancing in the Mist

Trees Dancing in the Mist  ISO 1600, f6.7, 1/30 sec. (handheld)

Boldly colored leaves are even more striking against a soft backdrop of fog or mist.  Such atmospheric conditions are not uncommon in fall. When cool autumn air meets the warmer lakes and waterways, wonderfully evocative atmospheric conditions result, and opportunities abound for rich imagery. Fog often has the effect of simplifying a composition, as potentially distracting elements are softened or obscured, and other graphic elements can take center stage. Autumn in also a great time to find and photograph mist-covered spiderwebs!  Using a zoom lens at maximum reach will help further eliminate background distractions. If your camera has a depth of field preview button, use it to see exactly what will and will not be in focus. Adjust your f-stop so the subject is in focus but the background is soft.

Spiderweb in the Rain, ISO 200, f8, 1/125 sec.  


This autumn, get caught up in the beauty of the season by making some creative photographs! 



jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2015/9/fall-into-creativity Thu, 17 Sep 2015 21:50:35 GMT
World of Wonder Exhibition - August 2015 https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2015/7/world-of-wonder-photography-exhibition All are invited to visit the Essex County Environmental Center during the month of August to view my "World of Wonder" photography exhibit there. This show will feature 18 landscape photographs, which celebrate the beauty of the natural world.   A special feature of this show is that all photos are printed on glossy aluminum!  This unique process creates an exciting, vibrant piece of art, no frame needed. The metal prints are so durable, even suitable for outdoor display. If you get a chance to visit the exhibit, please let me know how you liked it.  And if you can visit on Saturday, August 29, from noon-1:30, I will be there to welcome you and discuss the photos in person. Hope to see you then!  SHOW OPENS MONDAY AFTERNOON, AUGUST 3rd.


jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2015/7/world-of-wonder-photography-exhibition Mon, 27 Jul 2015 15:38:25 GMT
Millburn Library Show https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2015/7/millburn-library-show This week wraps up the month-long photography show at the gorgeous Millburn Library , featuring the works of Jessica Kirste, David Williams, Janet Bongiovanni, Cristine Lang, and Jacki Dickert.  We are group of photography friends who frequently shoot together and actively participate in the local camera clubs.  We had a good response to our photographs!  The space is beautiful, with a curved exhibition wall and lots of light.  Thanks to all who stopped by!

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2015/7/millburn-library-show Mon, 27 Jul 2015 15:30:13 GMT
Upcoming Lecture: Digital Infrared Photography 5/13/15 https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2015/5/upcoming-lecture-digital-infrared-photography-5/13/15 Where: Cranbury Camera Club

When: Wednesday, May 13, 8 PM

Cost: Free

Photographing the infrared spectrum can enhance our creative output and exercise our ability to "see" photographically. In this program, I will give an overview of the options in making IR images, explore the issues involved with this kind of photography, make workflow suggestions, and hopefully inspire everyone to try something new!  (And, yes, it can be done on a budget!)

This program will be presented at the Cranbury Camera Club, which welcomes visitors.  Please click the link for more information about the club.



jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2015/5/upcoming-lecture-digital-infrared-photography-5/13/15 Tue, 12 May 2015 22:12:08 GMT
Upcoming Photography Show https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2015/5/upcoming-photography-show Announcing "Landscapes of Wonder," my newly-booked solo show for the month of August 2015, at the Essex County Environmental Center in Roseland, NJ.  It will feature approximately 10 of my photos, printed on metal, celebrating the beauty and wonder of the natural world.  Stay tuned for the opening reception date!

Shakes Lake, AlaskaShakes Lake, Alaska

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2015/5/upcoming-photography-show Tue, 12 May 2015 11:32:03 GMT
Ambassador for Adoramapix https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2015/5/ambassador-for-adoramapix I am pleased to have been asked to be an Ambassador for Adoramapix! They have been my go-to printing company for years. The quality is top-notch, production and shipping are super quick, and customer service is always helpful.  I am especially enamored of their metal prints.  With fabulous color, detail, and pop, they make my photos stand out in the crowd.  I can always trust AdoramaPix to do a great job! If you would like to try out their printing services, click here for a $5 off $15 or more discount.  


That's me :-)That's me :-)A

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2015/5/ambassador-for-adoramapix Tue, 12 May 2015 11:22:25 GMT
2015 World of Wonder Calendars Available! https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2014/12/2015-world-of-wonder-calendars-avaialble This year's calendar can be ordered via this link.

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2014/12/2015-world-of-wonder-calendars-avaialble Fri, 05 Dec 2014 02:55:56 GMT
New Facebook Fan Page https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2014/8/new-facebook-fan-page I will be posting my newest work on my new Facebook fan page.  Go ahead, give it a "Like."  Thanks!

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2014/8/new-facebook-fan-page Mon, 18 Aug 2014 17:40:22 GMT
2014 Calendars Available! https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2013/12/2014-calendars-available Please visit here if you would like to preview or order the World of Wonder Calendar for 2014! http://www.cafepress.com/dickertphoto.1002126832

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2013/12/2014-calendars-available Sat, 21 Dec 2013 18:42:21 GMT
2013 Calendars Available ! https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2012/11/2013-calendars-available The 2013 World of Wonder wall calendar is available for purchase here http://www.cafepress.com/dickertphoto 

jacki@lightdance.org (Jacki Dickert) https://www.lightdance.org/blog/2012/11/2013-calendars-available Mon, 26 Nov 2012 18:02:07 GMT