Happy Anniversary Biscayne and Redwood national parks! We were so very thrilled and honored to be part of your 50th-year celebrations.
We obviously love going to all the parks, but when we can work closely with the rangers and officials that help run these amazing places, it makes the experience even more worthwhile. In 2018 we formed a very strong relationship with both the aforementioned parks. We were so excited to take our students there for workshops earlier in the year as well as keep the communications building to create a cross-country “From the Redwood Forests to the Gulf Stream Waters” celebration. It was absolutely wonderful to see the friends we made this year, in addition to meeting more creative lovers of the parks during the festivities.
A very big thank you goes out to Bay Photo Lab, which believed in our students’ work and printed a combined show of 42 night photographs, twice, so we that we could have the focal point of the celebrations be a gallery show at both parks.
Our opening weekend at Biscayne had a ton of activities. We kicked things off Friday night, when 30 people joined us for a scenic boat ride to Boca Chita. We disembarked and had time to scout and explore the many vantage points on the island. At the end of civil twilight we gathered our group, plus two law enforcement park rangers joined us and were excited to see what we were creating.
I had prepared a special “Birthday Wish” (below) on the Fotorgear Magilite, which is an LED light stick that you can program with an endless amount of colors, shapes and art and then “walk the image” into the scene.
That is always a perfect example of how we can write anything with light. From there we broke into smaller groups and did night portraits and light painting—all in all, seizing the night!
Saturday was a full day at the park. We were very excited to see our dear friend, National Park Patch Lady (below), who led a sunrise photo shoot, scavenger hunt and Biscayne quiz. Lots of fun Biscayne and national park stickers were finding their way to knowledgeable park goers. There was also a variety of ranger talks spearheaded by Ranger Gary Bremen.
That kept most people busy until we kicked off the gallery opening and official party. We had live music (below) and over 100 people came to enjoy our images and share stories about Biscayne as we sipped wine and (of course) gobbled up birthday cake. We were also honored to have in attendance Lloyd Miller, who was instrumental in saving and creating Biscayne National Park half a century ago.
That night we led another walk around Convoy Point (below) and the visitor center, and we were thrilled to be joined by a student from each of the Biscayne and Redwood workshops, in a truly wonderful weekend of celebration!
by Lance Keimig
That very same weekend we made a return visit to Redwood National and State Parks to help celebrate their 50th anniversary with an exhibit of student and instructor photographs from our June workshop, which will be on display at the Hiouchi Visitor Center in the park until January 2019.
The “From the Redwood Forests to the Gulf Stream Waters” exhibit opened on Friday, October 19, and was attended by the park staff, as well as members of the Save the Redwoods League, Redwood Parks Conservancy and the local community. About 50 people attended the opening during the course of the too-short evening. A highlight of the reception was ranger Michael Glore leading a singalong of Woodie Guthrie’s, “This Land is Your Land” (below), which alone was worth the trip to California.
In addition to the exhibit reception, and a gallery talk led by Chris and I the following day, we also taught a one-night mini-workshop for the local community on Saturday, October 20. We had a small group of eager students and a great night in the redwoods at Jedediah State Park, photographing along the banks of the Smith River.
We’d like to offer our thanks and congratulations to Michael, Chief Interpretive Ranger Candace Tinkler and Biscayne’s Ranger Gary for all of their hard work in putting together the events around the anniversary. It was a dream come true for National Parks at Night to collaborate with the parks in this way, and we hope to do more of these types of projects in the future.
Prints for Parks
Bay Photo was more than just a sponsor—they made the events possible. The prints for both the Redwood exhibit and the concurrent one at Biscayne were made with Bay’s patented Xpozer system, our new favorite way to display our work.
All of the images from the exhibits are available for purchase at our online gallery, with all profits going to benefit both Redwood and Biscayne.
Bay is a great partner to work with and they have stepped up in a big way to support both the parks and National Parks at Night.
One final note is that under Candace’s leadership, Redwood National and State Parks is pursuing dark sky certification from the International Dark Sky Association, and plans to hold more dark sky events in the future. We look forward to seizing the night with them more in the years to come.
Reminder: The exhibits are up in both parks until January 13; check visitors hours to see when you can view the prints. Or, you can support the parks by purchasing one of the prints at our online gallery.