Restoring the Ossipee Pine Barrens

A Photographer's Angle

View a Slideshow

See Joe Klementovich's multi-media slide show on restoring the Ossipee Pine Barrens (requires Flash plug-in, 15 MB)

Photographer Joe Klementovich documented an important occasion for The Nature Conservancy this past fall: Our first prescribed burn in the Ossipee Pine Barrens. Joe wanted to see firsthand how and why the Conservancy needed to restore fire's role in maintaining this globally rare ecosystem. We asked Joe about his impressions of the burn, as both a photographer and a spectator.

Also check out Joe's multi-media presentation on the prescribed burns.

Why did you want to photograph the prescribed burn in the Ossipee Pine Barrens?

Joe Klementovich:

I had been working with Jeff on photographing some earlier projects ranging from moth studies to aerial photography of the PBs and surrounding areas so this was another piece to a larger project.

What did you think of the burn and the way it was carried out?

Joe Klementovich:

I had been in the loop on the first attempt ... so I wasn't expecting much at first. Once things got more serious and everyone could tell it was going to happen I was impressed with the amount of coordination and teamwork involved and upfront planning goes into a project like this. Once the fire was on the ground everyone knew what their job was and even with a few curve balls thrown by mother nature.

What kind of challenges did you encounter in photographing the prescribed burn?

Joe Klementovich:

Heat, sun and smoke. Shooting a wide angle lens requires getting really close to the action which is tricky and sweaty, even in my fancy blue Nomex suit. The time of day is always tough, midday sun in September is a difficult combination, bright direct light, or dark shadows. How did you like the images you captured?

How did you like the images you captured?

Joe Klementovich:

Going back to the challenges of the situations, smoke, sun, etc, make it difficult to shoot but at the same time provide a unique opportunity to create. One of the images I like best is one of the teams walking away in the hot sun, it's not so dramatic, but I can almost taste the dust from that day when I look at it. Why did you produce this multi-media presentation?

Why did you produce this multi-media presentation?

Joe Klementovich:

The combination of sound and images really does a better job at showing how much is involved, the radio communications, the planning, the prep work, and the actual burning all come alive when put together. As a photographer I'm partial to stills, they really invite the viewer to examine the image and not feel like they are rushing along through a fast pasted video production.

About the Interviewee

Joe Klementovich is an assignment and location photographer.