Dry Tortugas Inspiration Deck

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.




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.



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.



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!

Butterfly Conservatory

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.


What I am MOST excited about – is that I am a much better photographer now compared to last time I was at this park.

Wish me luck and hope for pretty skies! Whatever I create has to be made in 3 days and 2 nights. If we are lucky we might be able to stay one extra day.

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