5 Questions With The May 2017 #DryTortugas Photo Contest Winner

Dry Tortugas Photo Contest May Winner

Meet Timothy Pierce, our May 2017 #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?

We took the Yankee Freedom out and camped for two nights, February 28- March 2, 2017.

2. If you arrived by the Yankee Freedom, how was your ferry trip?

The ferry ride was very nice, it was a little breezy, but the trip was smooth and the water was absolutely gorgeous.

3. How did you capture your winning photo? What inspired you to take it? Did you use any cool camera gear?

Oddly enough, I had brought my Nikon camera along with an assortment of different lenses (as I am rather passionate about astrophotography); but this picture was captured with my cell phone as I took one last trip around the top of the South Wall, while we were waiting for the ferry to depart on our final day at Ft Jefferson. I was inspired by the sheer size of the ten inch cannon, and thought that incorporating the man-made trodden trails on top of the wall, as well as the American flag into the background, captured the essence of the isolation as well as the defenses and patriotic pride of our great nation.

4. What made your trip to the Dry Tortugas memorable?

Kayaking over to, and spending half a day alone on Loggerhead Key, without any other souls in sight (as that was the day that they were swapping out the people who look after the lighthouse), with Ft Jefferson resembling a mirage floating on the western horizon, really hit to the core the sense of isolation and separation from “the real world”. That and the beauty of the stars at night, beyond the reaches of civilization’s light pollution, is something that will be engrained in my memory for the rest of my life.

5. What do you plan to do with your National Park Annual Pass? Which national park would you like to visit next?

I spent the summer of 2016 traveling from the Florida keys out to Moab Utah, hitting as many national parks as we could fit in along the way, and they are all certainly unique and breathtakingly beautiful in their own way. However, I am not in a position to take advantage of that again in the foreseeable future, or for that matter the national parks pass prize. My brother, on the other hand, already had planned a trip to take his wife and four kids across the US in his Winnebago this summer to spend several weeks taking in the natural beauty that these parks have to offer; so in essence, I will be “paying it forward”, if you will, and passing the parks pass on to him to make his journey more financially accessible.