Dry Tortugas National Park Inspiration Deck
As an Emerging Artist Grantee, I was assigned a Mentor by Creative Pinellas. My mentor MK Foltz and I talked on the phone the other day. She sounded like she was trying to envision the images I was planning on my trip to Dry Tortugas. I thought it was a good idea for my blog this week to create an inspiration deck.
This process is part of every trip I make. I don’t normally create a presentation. I research plants, animals, and major points of interest (landscape views) for my images. I also find inspiration images by other people help me figure out specific views. In this case for Dry Tortugas my traveling on site is very small, because its an island, plus an island 3 miles away. Usually I have a car and I drive hundreds (last trip thousands) of miles, then I use www.alltrails.com to research and coordinate timing of hikes. I will stay busy over the 2 nights on the island nonetheless, as long as the weather is good.
Dry Tortugas is a great place for milky way and star photography. I have the recommended lens for star photography. As inspiration I will present this video. This is nothing like what I will be doing. This is expert level star photography skills mixed with a professional motion artist touch. Its going to BLOW YOUR MIND.
You have to watch the whole thing
Not sure how much I’ll be sleeping on this trip.
Half and Half (half under water)
Two years ago when I went to Dry Tortugas, I was inspired by a Carlton Ward Jr. exhibition I saw at the gallery in St. Pete on the first floor of the Bank of America Building. It switched names a few times. I think it’s still called The Gallery. I took my friend with me to Dry Tortugas in 2016. He got a similar shot to Carlton Ward Jr. (but the fish was composite). All he talks about for 2 years is how much money he made off it!!! I am hoping to get a decent one myself to add to my National Park Collection.
Coral reefs rise close to the surface in Dry Tortugas National Park, with the historic lighthouse at Loggerhead Key in the background. Seventy miles west of Key West, Florida, this lighthouse marks the tip of a Marine Protected Area where the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico meet. Corals here remain relatively pristine compared to reefs closer to Florida's heavily developed coastlines. But no corner of the ocean is beyond the reach of plastics pollution. I share this photograph on #WorldOceansDay as a reminder of what is at stake if we don't clean up our act. Join me in signing the #planetorplastics pledge @natgeo. Shot #onassigment for @nature_org in @drytortugasnps. #Coral #reef #ocean #floridawild #keepflwild #pureflorida #lovefl
I shot an assignment on the Gulf of Mexico a few years ago for the Nature Conservancy and wanted to show off a favorite place in my native Florida— the coral reefs of Dry Tortugas National Park. The park preserves seven islands situated 70 miles west of Key West where the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic ocean meet. It’s a magical place where the reefs have been spared some of the destruction present elsewhere in the keys. On the west side of loggerhead key, the coral rises close to the surface with the iconic lighthouse casting a shadow over the shallows. I swam for two days over these reefs looking for the right angle for a split-level photo. When a meter-long barracuda appeared in my view finder, I kicked against the current and lifted my water housing into position with the dome port rising partially above the wavy surface to capture this frame. Please follow @carltonward for more #hiddenwild @nature_org @drytortugasnps #gulfofmexico #coral #lighthouse #barracuda #FloridaKeys #drytortugas #FloridaWild #KeepFLWild
My main project last time was to capture Macro Images for my Macro Collection. I did that. They weren’t the great resolution quality that I normally work in because its underwater. At the time I was operating with a Dicapac – which is a very fancy plastic bag. I only ever printed them at a 12 x 18 size or smaller. I will try to do this again, but not stay out so long. I over worked myself last time.
For this I am leaving you with an excerpt from PBS about a documentary I watched on Netflix called ‘Chasing Coral’. I recommend you see it. The macro coral are TIME LAPSE with corals in AQUARIUMS. I do not have access to corals like this.
ANYTHING SHOWING DAMAGE FROM IRMA OR CLIMATE CHANGE OR PEOPLE DAMAGING THE ENVIRONMENT
This topic has become a popular theme for exhibitions. Problem is catching pretty or cute photos of damage and destruction. Like, heart wrenching, touching peoples soul, but still pretty enough for me to want to show it. The point is to try to get people thinking about the bad decisions they make with their consumption but I try to make art that people might actually want to put in a frame and hang it. I took a very interesting picture in 2015 of mahi mahi chopped up in a trash can on the dock, but when would I ever show that? I had an image of a coral that was bleaching. I will just see what I get. I do know part of the moat was destroyed.
It’s a photo that I wish didn’t exist but now that it does I want everyone to see it. What started as an opportunity to photograph a cute little sea horse turned into one of frustration and sadness as the incoming tide brought with it countless pieces of trash and sewage. This sea horse drifts long with the trash day in and day out as it rides the currents that flow along the Indonesian archipelago. This photo serves as an allegory for the current and future state of our oceans. What sort of future are we creating? How can your actions shape our planet? . thanks to @eyosexpeditions for getting me there and to @nhm_wpy and @sea_legacy for getting this photo in front of as many eyes as possible. Go to @sea_legacy to see how you can make a difference. . #plastic #seahorse #wpy53 #wildlifephotography #conservation @nhm_wpy @noaadebris #switchthestick
Still to this day I have never actually made any of my panoramas in print, except one. I sold a small one to a law firm once years ago of a location in Tampa Bay. Someday I will find a good enough excuse to make a big one!
I LOOOOOOVE the Key West Butterfly Conservatory. It’s like heaven. They play heavenly music. The staff get really annoyed with me harassing the butterflies though, and going in over and over again in circles. Last time I was in Key West on vacation with my boyfriend in 2015 I went into the conservatory for a morning and the next day afternoon. Not sure if I will have time to do this. It’s not as much of a priority.