In order to get a head start on knowing my way around north central Florida, I subscribed to the Gainesville Sun about a year before I moved from Cambridge, Massachusetts to Williston, Florida. On the front page of one issue was a photograph that portrayed the threat of development to Florida better than than anything I’ve ever seen or read.
The photo was a close-up of a gopher tortoise, looking up, dismayed, at the overpowering blade of a bulldozer. It was by a Gainesville Sun photographer, John Moran. That was about 23 years ago. I’ve never been able to find that picture, but I’ve never forgotten it either. Maybe some day I’ll be bold enough to write him and ask for a copy.
Moran left the Sun several years ago to devote himself entirely to capturing the quickly disappearing Florida landscape on film. He is one of a number of photographers–albeit the most prominent–who spend their days and nights sloshing through swamps, diving springs and hiking through dense hammock to sit, watch, wait till the sun is just right or the heron moves just so. if Florida is saved from developers and the politicians who work for them, we can thank these photographers for their efforts at bringing the glories of the land and water to the public’s attention.
Please take a look at some of John Moran’s photographs. Sorry, I haven’t figured out how to insert links, but you can copy this URL to your browser. http://www.johnmoranphoto.com/