Meet Jose Torres, our February 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 went to the Dry Tortugas in August with my wife. We took the Yankee Freedom over to the Fort and camped out there for three nights. We planned our visit with the passing of the New Moon so we could observe the Milky Way on a fully dark sky.
2. If you arrived by the Yankee Freedom, how was your ferry trip?
It was a fantastic trip! The food was very good. The crews made us feel very comfortable and answered all the questions that we had, including any questions of our camping adventure. We moved all around the boat to take in the views from all angles during the ride to the Fort.
3. How did you capture your winning photo? What inspired you to take it? Did you use any cool camera gear?
I saw this composition during our initial walk of the Fort. At the time I didn’t have my tripod with me because it was more of an exploratory walk. When I saw it I couldn’t help but to imagine what it was like to live there back then. Either as a guard or prisoner. To look out of these windows and see this beautiful landscape. Yet feel completely trap. That is what I tried to capture in this image. The beautiful brick texture keeping you trapped. And the open blue ocean with a moat path leading you to freedom. I used my tripod for this picture to make sure I was leveled and because I needed the longer exposure.
4. What made your trip to the Dry Tortugas memorable?
I would have to say that staying out there overnight was definitely the most memorable part. The amount of stars that was in the sky out there was truly incredible. And also hearing the hermit crabs trying to break into my tent all night was pretty cool and creepy at the same time.
5. What do you plan to do with your National Park Annual Pass? Which national park would you like to visit next?
We’ll definitely visit the Dry Tortugas again! We already have plans to visit Acadia, Mt. Rainier, and Rocky Mountains National Parks. So this annual pass is going to come in pretty handy! Of course we will be visiting the Everglades and Biscayne as well on day trips!