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The Fortress' Edge | by Matt Straite Photography
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The Fortress' Edge

We were camping on the key where Fort Jefferson presides in Dry Tortugas National Park. The sun was starting to set and every photographer knows that the the color during a sunset is fleeting. Time goes fast, and I was only there one night, so I had to get as many sunset images as I could, and fast! Not only was I racing the sun, but the Fort closes at dusk. So with the sun falling I was running all over the Fort trying to get as many images as I could. If you read my previous posts you know that the fantastic lighthouse on this island made that even harder because it was covered in scaffolding and I had to be sure it did not show up in any image. However, the sun was falling on that side of the island so it was in every frame! Grrr.


So in this shot I had to get creative. My wife would have killed me if she saw me shooting this. You can see on the left and the right that the Fort walls are high. The Fort is designed with eight points. Here, I was balanced on the far edge of one of these points as far back as I could possibly get, with a fish eye on the body. My foot was actually only half on the wall as I shot this. To top it off, it was windy, not real bad, but any wind is scary when you are balanced so precariously. The canon helped block the lighthouse yet still show the sunset. I am pleased with the final product. Blended a few images to get this one.


I have studied images of this Fort for a long time and I have never seen anyone do this, so I was excited to get the shot. Please let me know what you think. I worked for this one (not that I don't work for others, you know what I mean).

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Taken on December 3, 2017