4 Questions With The April #DryTortugas Photo Contest Winner

Dy Tortugas Photo Contest April Winner

Meet Donovan Loh, our April 2015 #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 visited the Dry Tortugas National Park and camped outside Fort Jefferson for 5 days in March. I was at the Dry Tortugas for a research class studying the Sooty Tern colony on Bush Key and thus arrived on a NPS vessel.

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

Having spent most of my life in the city, I have seldom had the chance to enjoy a display of stars in the night sky. Seeing that the sky was clear and that I was far away from any source of light pollution, I decided to take some photos of the night sky during my first night in the park. Once the sun had set, I set my Canon DSLR on a tripod and started taking long exposures of the night sky. After a few tries, I was pleased to capture the shot that I had envisioned beforehand.

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

Being able to make small contributions to science while being in such a remote and beautiful location made this trip especially memorable for me. The group I was a part of was studying the population trends of Sooty terns in a bid to better understand the health of the surrounding ecosystem. Although I was only a small player in this project, I was glad that my time spent at the National Park had implications for conservation work in that part of the world.

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

This summer, I am doing a road trip with a couple of high school friends. Being nature lovers, we plan to cover a couple of National Parks including Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Redwoods and Denali.