After eight years of photography, one Miami man’s sunset shot of the Everglades will be immortalized.
To celebrate the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, the postal service created a set of Forever Stamps showcasing 16 national parks. The full set will debut on June 2 in New York during the World Stamp Show.
Miami photographer Paul Marcellini’s photo of the Everglades, made up on nine layered exposures, was the most recently unveiled.
“This is definitely next level,” he said.
Marcellini grew up in the Redlands, a 20-minute drive from the Everglades — his escape, his “home turf” and the spot for his 10th birthday party.
Restless and broke at 23, Marcellini entered one of his Everglades shots into an Outdoor Photo Magazine contest. He won a 10-day photo safari to Kenya, which pretty much sealed the deal for his photographic ambitions.
Now at 31, Marcellini is a fine art photographer. At shows, people see his work and say, “Oh, you must traveled the world.” But Florida — specifically the Everglades — is all he needs to capture great art.
“You can see all these sights within a four-hour drive of your home,” he said.
Cara Capp, National Parks Conservation Association‘s Everglades program manager, said the stamps are an exciting way to honor all national parks, but she’s especially thrilled with the Everglades stamp.
“It’s America’s Everglades,” she said. “It’s the only one like it in the world and the planet.”
Crunching 1.5 million acres of Everglades into one photo is impossible. But if you had to pick one ecosystem to showcase, Marcellini is glad it’s the pine rocklands.
These higher ground spots are the most tempting to developers, due to lower costs to drain and level the land. These prime spots are “globally imperiled,” he said.
Last year, activists and business interests clashed over plans to build a Wal-Mart on a sliver of pine rockland land (the last, largest tract of it outside Everglades National Park) next to the University of Miami.
While he can’t be found out waving a protest sign in the rocklands, Marcellini said he takes a passive, educational route to conservation. He sees the stamp as a reminder to everyone of the beauty that’s available right outside their door.
“A lot of people are oblivious,” Marcellini said. “It’s not that they don’t care, it’s that they don’t know.”