Everglades Re-Visited

Early morning ground  fog in the swamps of Everglades National Park, Florida.
Early morning ground fog in the swamps of Everglades National Park, Florida.

By Jerry Ginsberg

In these days of COVID-19, very little seems normal. Our daily routines have been drastically altered. That certainly includes travel and photography. Had this been a normal year, I would have traveled to both Switzerland and Argentine Patagonia. Under the circumstances neither country was about to allow entry to foreign tourists. After tolerating cabin fever for just so long, I had to at least get in the car and go someplace where I could photograph some natural beauty.

The national park and, by far, greatest nature preserve closest to my home is Everglades at the southern tip of the Florida peninsula. Since I hadn’t been there in several years (as a species, we frequently seem to avoid the easiest options), it seemed like the obvious choice. So, in early December I packed up and headed south. Once finding a convenient and presumably sanitized motel in nearby Florida City, I began cruising through this very familiar more than one million-acre wilderness of avian and reptile life, swampy prairie, and slow moving river of grass.

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Dreaming of Argentine Patagonia

Evening Light on Mt. FitzRoy and Cerro Torre © Jerry Ginsberg
Evening Light on Mt. FitzRoy and Cerro Torre © Jerry Ginsberg

By Jerry Ginsberg

This month, allow me to describe not a trip that I have already made to a place that I have photographed, but travel that I have carefully planned to a place that I have not yet been with plans first postponed and then canceled – thanks to the coronavirus that has stalled most of the world for the past year: A dream trip to the southernmost part of South America, the Argentine Patagonia. I have never done this type of article before. Never even contemplated going off on such a tangent. But in the very strange age of COVID-19, many once unforeseen things have become real possibilities. With fervent hope that this plague will soon be in our collective rear-view mirror, I expect to make this trip in late 2021 or early 2022. I’ll keep you posted.

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A Photographer’s Guide to “Cruising the Pacific Coast”

A dramatic Pacific sunset paints the sky in Garapata State Park, Big Sur, California. © Jerry Ginsberg
A dramatic Pacific sunset paints the sky in Garapata State Park, Big Sur, California. © Jerry Ginsberg

Story and photos by Jerry Ginsberg

Over a span of many years I have driven and photographed the entire Pacific Coast, a varied landscape of beaches, sea stacks, forests, buildings, and lighthouses where the vast Pacific Ocean meets the contiguous US. However, that cruising has been strung out over a long series of disparate, bite-sized, bits and pieces. One of the many items on my bucket list is a single, continuous drive from San Yisidro, California, on the border with Mexico, all the way up to Port Angeles, Washington, right across the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

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Necessary but not Sufficient: The Great American Outdoors Act

Photo of a brilliant sunset from atop Clingman's Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited National Park in the country with a deferred maintenance backlog of $235 million.
Brilliant sunset from atop Clingman’s Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited National Park in the country with a deferred maintenance backlog of $235 million.

By Jerry Ginsberg

Back in August the Great American Outdoors Act was signed into law. Among its provisions, it provides funding of approximately $1.3 billion per year for five years to address long-delayed maintenance needs of the National Park Service. Clearly, this is a good thing and a reason to rejoice.

That said, it isn’t a perfect bill.

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The Navajo Nation: A Photography Guide

The famed Mittens, calling card of Monument Valley Tribal Park, Utah and Arizona. © Jerry Ginsberg
The Famed Mittens, Calling Card of Monument Valley Tribal Park © Jerry Ginsberg

Story and photos by Jerry Ginsberg

These days, whenever I think of the innumerable terrific photo destinations throughout our county, especially the great Southwest, my reaction has become, “Wait until next year.” With travel planning now stuck in limbo waiting out the coronavirus, it doesn’t hurt to catalog some of the places that await us when we are once again free to roam around in search of great places and great images. High on that list are the lands of the Diné Bikéyah or Navajo Nation.

At over 27,000 square miles in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, this sprawling tract is home to about 180,000 Native Americans. Tragically, they have been hit very hard by the coronavirus. As a result, the reservation has been locked down and prohibiting visitors for some time with an end not yet in sight.

Looking forward to brighter days, let’s take stock of some of the region’s visual highlights.

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Spectacular Florida

Glorious sunset in the Florida swamps.
Glorious sunset in the Florida swamps.

By Jerry Ginsberg

Even though we have been uncharacteristically and, in many cases, uncomfortably cloistered in our homes for several months now, there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. With the optimistic expectation that we will be unleashed to once again be out in nature creating beautiful images sooner rather than later, the following is a portrait of yet another great photo destination.

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Cuba, Si

Antique and historic American cars are common sights in Central Havana,  Cuba. 1960 Chevrolet Impala convertible.
Antique and historic American cars are common sights in Central Havana, Cuba. 1960 Chevrolet Impala convertible.

Story and photos by Jerry Ginsberg

In recent years, Cuba has been a hot spot for photographers seeking fascinating new subjects as well as for those seeking (normal) tourism. A photo trip to Cuba offers the combination of interesting travel photography along with fascinating and informative sightseeing. This small country offers both an exciting city environment as well as a largely unknown countryside. The often prohibited and prohibitive nature of traveling to this close-by island nation only adds to its exotic allure.

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Art & Craft vs. Technology

Photo of snow-covered mountain in background with lake in foreground. While timing my visit to mighty Denali to coincide with the peak of the late summer color in the tundra, I was able to camp just a half mile from Ansel Adams Point. Fuji GSW-690, 65mm, Velvia.
Denali – While timing my visit to mighty Denali to coincide with the peak of the late summer color in the tundra, I was able to camp just a half mile from Ansel Adams Point. Fuji GSW-690, 65mm, Velvia.

Story and photos by Jerry Ginsberg

Because I always have something to say and am pleased to share many stories with people, I am often asked to address audiences ranging from the Garden Club of America to National Park visitors and staff to camera clubs. These talks accompany slide shows featuring some of my favorite images of our National Parks and other ‘Scenic Gems of America.’

The Questions

Once my prepared bloviating is done, we open it up to Q&A. The first questions that will invariably come from any audience are,

“What is your favorite national park?” and “What camera do you use?”

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Oh Shenandoah, My Shenandoah: Photography in Shenandoah National Park

West facing view of scenic Franklin Cliffs in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.
West facing view of scenic Franklin Cliffs in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.

Story & photos by Jerry Ginsberg

As I write this, the United States, like many other nations, is just beginning to stir after a long shutdown in a Herculean effort to slow the spread of the deadly corona virus pandemic. The great National Parks that I typically write about have been closed to visitors. As spring turns towards summer, some restrictions are easing and people are venturing out of their homes. In the meantime, we’ve spent a lot of time online. I have kept busy editing last winter’s images and re-playing webinars on You Tube while my wife is immersed in Words with Friends and ‘encourages’ me to clean out the garage. We look forward to returning to the gym and continue to diligently do what we can to avoid this horrendous plague.

In late May, Shenandoah National Park took the first steps towards reopening. Conditions vary from place to place, so please check with your park before heading out for a visit. In anticipation of better days ahead, then, it seems like a good time to share the information below.

In the meantime, above all, stay safe!

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