Meet Wade Wilson, our November 2018 #DryTortugas Photo Contest winner. We had the chance to ask him a few questions about his experience at the Dry Tortugas National Park. Read on to learn how he captured his amazing photo!
1. When did you visit the Dry Tortugas National Park? Did you arrive by seaplane, the Yankee Freedom ferry or another way?
I took the Yankee Freedom ferry and arrived at Dry Tortugas on September 29th. Camped there on the night of the 29th and 30th. Then departed on October 1st.
2. If you arrived by the Yankee Freedom, how was your ferry trip?
The ferry trip was great! Stormy and windy conditions, boat took it like a champ. This is my second time visiting the park and enjoyed the ferry both times.
3. How did you capture your winning photo? What inspired you to take it? Did you use any cool camera gear?
One of the main reasons I wanted to camp at Dry Tortugas was due to no light pollution and an incredible view of the night sky, which I love to photograph! I went out to find a cool spot for a star trail sequence of photos but thunderstorms were moving in. Managed to snap a few photos before heading back to camp. During one of my photo’s 30 second exposures, the camera caught multiple lightning bolts far in the distance, which was enough to light up the clouds in a unique way. Camera and gear included a Nikon D750, Tamron 15-30mm lens, and a Manfrotto Befree tripod (which I actually broke on this trip) also some headlamps to illuminate the water in the foreground.
4. What made your trip to the Dry Tortugas memorable?
The most memorable part of my trip was the feeling of having the island all to ourselves once the ferry left. It was only me and a few other campers on the island. And of course the incredible view of the stars at night! An experience like no other..
5. What do you plan to do with your National Park Annual Pass? Which national park would you like to visit next?
The goal is to visit them all! I’ve checked off most on the east coast and a couple in the Midwest. The week after I took this photo, I actually flew out to Zion National Park to hike the subway, narrows, and angels landing! Which park will be next, I’m not sure. I’d really like to go visit Yosemite and Sequoia National Park!