In the Hall of the Swamp King


In preparing for the editing phase of “Birth of a Predator” (finally) I’ve been going through the hundreds of clips that I’ve filmed over the last 4 years. As I went through the clips and started organizing them into some semblance of structure I saw a story starting to unfold. That story became “In the Hall of the Swamp King” which you can view below. Full screen is absolutely the best way to view this short film or you will miss important details. Featuring some cool aerial footage in the intro and also one of the largest alligators I’ve ever seen nicknamed Brutus. Big George will always be my favourite but Brutus is gigantic. A beautiful alligator and rarely seen which only adds to the mystery surrounding this creature.


In the Hall of the Swamp King from Gator Creek Films on Vimeo.

Alligators have been getting some bad press lately but there’s no denying they are survivors. They’ve been around since the dawn of time and have survived eons of evolution as well as the challenges of the natural world. What of the things I wanted to capture was the beauty and majesty of these amazing reptiles. Black and white seemed to be the best fit for this project and I think it captures the mood perfectly.



“Highway to the Stars” – Everglades National Park.

Starting in September the new Alligator Outpost Newsletter will make it’s debut. This newsletter will feature content separate from the blogs. I’ll also be including exclusive videos as well as updates from the documentary “Birth of a Predator” as we enter the post production phase of the film. To sign up for the newsletter just click on the Alligator Outpost menu and select Outpost Newsletter from the dropdown menu to sign up.



“Milky Way Fire”

The Milky Way adventures continued this summer as I headed to Everglades National Park to photograph the Milky Way. The first night there I realised that while I had checked the weather I did not check other conditions. A brush fire was raging in ENP which obscured much of the sky that night. Luckily though it provided me the opportunity to capture the unique image above. That was luck. It doesn’t always work out that way. Always check ALL conditions before investing time and effort traveling to a location.



“Milky Way Planet”

Returning to Everglades National Park three nights later provided much clearer skies and this time I DID check all conditions. For this trip I headed all the way to the southern tip of Florida to the Flamingo Campground area in Everglades National Park. Facing south I could see the lights from the Florida Keys in the distance but that I have to say that was the least amount of light pollution I’ve seen to date for photographing the Milky Way.



Everglades Gatorland ruins…

A few years ago I picked up the book “Painting With Light” by Eric Curry. This book opened up a whole new world for me as a photographer and still inspires me to this day. I recently received an email from the author asking for permission to use my image of the Everglades Gatorland ruins for the second edition of his book coming out later this year. Of course I said yes and in return I’ll be getting the hard copy of the updated edition. If you’re at all interested in light painting to add a new dimension to your photography, I can’t recommend this book highly enough.



“The Last Warrior” – A Man O’ War illuminated from behind with a small maglite.

Make sure you bookmark this page and I’d also like to add that if you sign up for the newsletter you’ll also be notified whenever I post a new blog here on this page. I’m already at work on the next blog called “In Search of the Milky Way” and I’ll be sharing some of my tips for capturing, you guessed it, the Milky Way! A bit of a challenge but not as hard as you may think so stay tuned for that. Until next time, get out there and explore!


-Mark Andrew Thomas
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