The Dry Tortugas

Jose Saenz

TPF Noob!
Jun 12, 2008
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South Florida
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Hi all!

This is my first post outside of the "beginners" section of the forum. Feel free to tear into me as you would with any pro. I'm eager to learn and all of your comments are greatly appreciated.

Here are some photos I shot while camping out on The Dry Tortugas for Valentine's Day weekend. First off, let me just say that it is rare to have thick fog down here in south Florida. We hardly ever get any fog, much less heavy fog.

The Dry Tortugas, if you guys don't know where it is, is 70 miles west of Key West and 95 miles north of Cuba. If anyone gets a chance to go, I highly recommend it. It is serene, great for snorkeling, and has lots of history behind it. It's a small group of islands that is home to Fort Jefferson, a military post for the Union soldiers back during the Civil War. It was also where Dr. Samuel Mudd, the doctor who aided John Wilkes Booth with his broken leg, was sentenced to spend the rest of his life at.

Anyway, it was my first time there, and I got to witness something amazing. The thick fog was beautiful and creepy all at once. It made for some great pictures. Here are some of them:








The other really cool thing I learned from my tour of the fort at The Dry Tortugas is that, because of its proximity to Cuba, HUNDREDS of cuban immigrants make landfall there every year in boats, rafts and just about anything that floats! They had one of the boats/raft there on display...and I use the term "boat" VERY loosley. I mean, these things are a mess. It's a miracle that these folks make it over. The last pic is a close-up of some stitching found on the boat.



-Jose S.
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#3 is my fav of the group, i've been out to the fort once myself definitely a trip to make, also remember to number your post it helps with replies
Nice shots! A couple of them really make me wonder what they would look like had you had a little more latitude like from a really nice Ilford or Agfa BW film. Excellent work.

Thank you, Allan. Maybe when I get better at digital photography I'll tinker with film. It would be nice, but as of right now I'm petrified of film! :mrgreen:
Hey José, nice collection of photos to introduce yourself to the General Gallery crowd. My favourite here is #5 (selective colouring bores me to death, but this particular image I really dig). Although your subject looks a bit soft, I also like #6.
The photo I looked at for longest is 4, wondering if it could be my favourite.
And the longer I look, the more I think that if you had stepped just ONE step to the right, only one, and had slightly bent your knees, this photo would have been a true winner. So that the tip of the boat on the right had been inside your frame, and the view through those square structures had been TOTALLY symmetrical. Bending your knees would have make the mast of the sailing boat show in full (tip visible).

I sure like the simplicity of composition in 5 and wonder if it would have the same, strong effect without the selected red. It sure works as a selective colouring photo, in that I agree with "invisible".

I also like the simplicity of 7 (and my son would LOVE the fact that there's an angler to be seen! ;)), but all in all I find that too far on the dark side (not to be confused with "the darkside"!)... some selective brightening of all that is wood might help here (though: beware of halos, don't go too far!).
Thank you guys! That's great feedback. Lafoto, I think you're on to something with number 4. Now I wish I would have gotten a shot with the framing you're suggesting. I'm also reconsidering lightening number 7 up a bit too like you suggested. The thought had crossed my mind as well.

Thanks again!

-Jose S.

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