Alcyon Lake Photos



Welcome to my gallery of Alcyon Lake photos, including nature, landscape, and wildlife photography and videos, as well as a few fascinating facts about this small recreational area in Pitman New Jersey. I'm lucky that it's just 5 minutes of travel time to visit this quaint little lake in the heart of South Jersey.

Alcyon Lake Fall kayak"Colorful Grandeur" Fall photography at Alcyon Lake.

As you can see from the photo above, Fall is a great time of year to photograph the lake. There are also parks on both sides of the lake that provide additional opportunities to take photos.

Gallery of Alcyon Lake Photography

Pond LilyPond Lily

The photo above was taken in June of 2020. Alcyon lake is teeming with life summertime. There is a tremendous amount of biodiversity to photograph when the temperature is high. That includes plant, insect and animal life in the water, on land, and in the air.

Wildlife Photography At Alcyon Lake

This is one of two eagles that come to feed at Alcyon. I use a fast focusing DSLR or mirrorless camera and a 100-400mm lens  and I combine that with some image cropping in Photoshop to get these fast-flying targets in a close-up photo.

Bald eagle in flightBald eagle in flight
June 20, 2019

Birds in flight are one of the most challenging subjects to photograph and are heavily dependent on having the right camera gear, using the right technique, and having lots of patience.

This busy beaver below was not overly concerned with the presence of me and my kayak and it was just a matter of me having my camera in hand and ready to shoot to get the following two photos.

Alcyon Lake beaver - side view"Beaver and Reflection" Alcyon Lake, Pitman NJ

When the beaver started swimming directly at me I was suddenly curious as to whether it would want to jump into my kayak. We were not directly near its home, so I'm sure it did not feel threatened.

Alcyon Lake beaverAlcyon Lake beaver frontal attack
Photographed with a 100-400mm zoom lens

Alcyon Lake is home to both Mallards, and geese, as well as many other species of birds that make for great photo subjects.  When they're swimming along the lake surface, Mallards are fairly easy subject to focus. The longer focal length the lens you have then the better your photos will be.

Alcyon Lake MallardMallard at Alcyon Lake
Jeff Mazzola Photography

Photographing birds in flight, like the ducks, geese, osprey, heron, eagles, and smaller birds is quite challenging. Then you need a fast-focusing camera/lens combination. Cameras with tracking focus capabilities and a fast shutter burst rate are helpful. 

The turtles at Alcyon lake seem to be quite timid and it takes a slow approach by boat or by the water's edge and a long focal length lens to get a decent photograph of them. 

Solo Painted Turtle at Alcyon LakePhotographed from a kayak
Painted Turtle at Alcyon

Both turtles and frogs appear in large numbers when the sun comes out and the temperature warms up.

Frog in lakeFrog in lake

The throat on this bullfrog was a brilliant yellow and was a great color contrast in this composition. I had to position my kayak at just the right angle to shoot between some over hanging branches in order to get a clear view of this guy.

Birds at Alcyon

Alcyon Lake is frequently dominated by large populations of water fowl, including these geese. You'll also have many good opportunities to photograph ducks, as they are very comfortable to be near people.

4 Ducks on waterGeese Quartet

I was intrigued by the individual spots of reflected blue sky in the lake water surrounding the geese as well as the strip of blue reflection in the distance.

Blue heron are another one of the water fowls family that are easy to photograph if you approach them VERY slowly.

Blue HeronBlue Heron at 1/2000 second

To get a tac sharp photo of birds in flight, you need a shutter speed of 1/1000 second or fast, as well as a camera with advanced auto-focusing capabilities.

Abstract Alcyon lake Photos

For those of you readers who are nature enthusiasts like me, I included some abstract nature photos from a few of my photo shoots at Alcyon over time.

Color abstract landscapeAlcyon Color Abstract

The next 3 Alcyon photos were all taken within a very short distance of each other, on the east side of Alcyon Lake that is named Betty Park.

Alcyon Lake fog"Branch Reflection"
Alcyon Lake in the fog

Alcyon fog abstractAlcyon fog abstract

I usually modify them somewhat when following one of the rules of composition, but the grass-lake-tree reflection photo above is a classic example of using the rule of thirds to compose a photograph.

Eerie Spooky lake photoThe creepy, eerie early morning scene under the cover of fog

Alcyon In Winter

Some of the best photo opportunities come during or just after a tough winter snowstorm. The photo below is one of my all-time favorite images that I've taken of Alcyon. It was just after the snow stopped and the sky was starting to clear.

After The Snowstorm"The Calm After The Snowstorm"
March 15, 2009

The photo of the lake and trees below was taken shortly after a snowstorm when the diffused sunlight was leaking through the thinning clouds.

Snowstorm at Alcyon"Snow Dusting"
January 7, 2022

As you can see from the photo below, the snow was coming down very heavily, but the deer were loving and full of playful energy. I had to shield my lens from getting pelted with large, wind-driven, wet snowflakes.

The deer were playing on the snow-covered soccer field at Alcyon Lake Park.

Deer playing in the snowDeer playing in the snow
March 2018

In addition to the still photo above, I was also able to shoot a short video of the frolicking deer. It was handheld without a tripod and with no image stabilization, but the jiggle is not too bad. See the short video below.

Alcyon Lake Video

I shot this video at Alcyon Lake Park during a mini photo excursion to Alcyon Lake during a snow storm in 2018. I was shooting still photos of the snowy landscape and was shocked to come across these deer dancing and prancing in the middle of the soccer field. It was a surreal experience and I was the one person in the park to enjoy it.

"Deer Frolic" Snow storm Alcyon Lake Park

You get a much different perspective of Alcyon Lake, Betty Park, Alcyon Lake Park, and the athletic fields from this video shot with a drone.

Channel 19 video of Alcyon Lake Park In Pitman NJ

Alcyon FAQ

Is drone photography permitted at Alcyon Lake Park

Drones are permitted in New Jersey for recreational and commercial use, but are subject to FAA regulations and flight controls put into place by local governments. There are no specific restrictions to flying drones above Alcyon Lake at the time of this post.

How deep and wide is Alcyon Lake in Pitman NJ

Alcyon Lake is approximately 23 sq acres and 10 feet deep near the dam . The widest section is about 413 feet wide and the lake is 2,587 feet long, measuring it following its dogleg shape.

Is Alcyon Lake Park a good place to hike?

Alcyon Lake in Pitman has several short trails you can hike, including two main loops around Alcyon Lake Park, a loop around Betty Park, as well as the opportunity to hike in the woods in the Disc Golf area. The hiking trails at both Alcyon Lake Park and Betty Park are considered very easy with little or no elevation change.

Can you swim in Alcyon Lake?

Swimming in any area of Alcyon Lake is prohibited.

How did Alcyon Lake in Pitman, NJ gets its name?

The name Alcyon Lake was derived from the word halcyon, which means "calm, tranquil, rich, prosperous and joyful." The "h" was dropped in 1892 to make it easier to pronounce by Dr. Henry Carr, who purchased the park area along with his brother, George Washington Carr.

Photo of Alcyon Lake kayakerPhoto of Alcyon Lake kayaker
Resolution is 14 inch width at 72 dpi

I hope you enjoyed this photographic glimpse into Alcyon Lake Park in Pitman, NJ, and that you're inspired to take a few of your own photos.  If not, feel free to share these images or this post on social media.

Bruce Lovelace portrait

Bruce Lovelace is the publisher of Bruce shot portraits full time for over 35 years. Now he shoots more travel photography.  Read more about him on the About Page. He also publishes how to articles and camera gear reviews at the  Photography Tips and Canon Geek websites.

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