Shutterbugs, night sky gazers and National Park lovers take note: Key West Art & Historical Society has created a symposium just for you.  The Society has partnered with the National Park Service and B&H Photography to welcome the public to a free “Night Sky Symposium” on Wednesday, July 26 from 6:00pm-8:00pm at the Eco Discovery Center, 35 E. Quay Road, featuring an astronomy talk about Florida Keys night skies, a brief history and overview of the Dry Tortugas National Park by the Park’s Cultural Resources Specialist Kelly Clark, and a showcase of night photographs from National Parks throughout the country by “National Parks at Night” photographers Gabriel Biderman and Tim Cooper.

“The Dry Tortugas National Park is excited to partner with the Key West Art & Historical Society for the first night sky photography workshop at the park,” said Clark, who is also an amateur photographer. “This partnership will enhance the Park’s ability to educate and inform the public about the connected cultural and natural resources of the Dry Tortugas and Key West, managed by these two groups.”

Clark will offer an introduction to the unique and special cultural and natural resources of the Dry Tortugas for all visitors and will provide those that camp there overnight with some what-to-expect details in regards to the lay of the land and access during night-time photography activities.  Biderman and Cooper will share their nocturnal experiences in the many breathtaking National Parks they’ve visited under the dark skies, milky way, and surreal moonlight, inspiring visitors to “see these parks in a whole new way.” Florida Keys Astronomy Club members Jay Elliot and Elizabeth Moore will discuss the nature of Florida’s night sky in the summer months, the changes that occur, mapping the sky, and attributes of the stars and constellations.  An informal Q and A will follow each presentation.

“Everyone is intrinsically fascinated with the night sky. Instructor Gabe Biderman and his students have captured images from National Parks all over the country that will inspire the audience to develop their understanding of how to use aperture, exposure, and ISO settings to achieve breathtaking results. If you are looking for some order to the chaos of the night sky Jay and Elizabeth, informed night sky guides from Crane Point Nature Center, will shed some light on the subject,” says Society Directer of Education, Adele Williams.

The Symposium is a spin-off of a three-night, four-day full-immersion “Dry Tortugas by Boat and Night Photography” workshop offered by The Society in its new partnership with “National Parks at Night,” which is a series of night photography workshops taught by experts that take place exclusively in America’s National Parks. The “National Parks at Night” experts, who will visit it each park once as part of a goal to capture all of the national parks, craft a deep exploration into all aspects of night photography and light painting with the magnificent backdrop of the Milky Way, the sea, and the imposing Fort Jefferson. Only one spot remains for the July 27th-30th excursion, which can be purchased at nationalparksatnight.com/dry-tortugas-national-park-2017/.

Sponsored by the Dry Tortugas National Park Service, The Society, and B & H Photography.  While the symposium at Eco Discovery Center is free, participants must advance register at kwahs.org as seating is limited. For more information contact Adele Williams, Director of Education, at 305-295-6616, x115. Your Museums.  Your Community.  It takes an Island.

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KWAHS_Night Sky Photography:  Key West Art & Historical Society and the National Park Services present a free “Night Sky Symposium” at the Eco Discovery Center, Wednesday, July 26, from 5:30-8:00pm. (Photo courtesy Gabriel Biderman)