For the past two decades the Burmese Python population has been flourishing in the Florida Everglades. Non-native to the area, the pythons are wreaking havoc throughout the fragile wetlands and have been destroying the natural balance of the ecosystem. Since 2013 the State of Florida has held competitions to help bring awareness to this issue and put a dent in the wild snakes population. These competitions were open to any licensed hunter or group of hunters and awards are given to the hunters with the most snakes or largest snake brought in from the wetlands. As a result hunters from all over the country came and hunted by car, 4wheeler, bike, or foot through swamp grass and roads in search of pythons.
Throughout the competitions Dylan Johnston traveled to the Everglades, met with hunters and accompanied some on their hunt. Documenting the hunt he drove through a control burn, saw few pythons, and gained an understanding of the ecosystem. He found most hunters weren’t there for bragging rights or “trophy” killings, but felt they were there to do their part in helping the state and rid the Everglades of these pythons.
Dylan Johnston has spent years hopping fences, meeting strangers, and exploring areas lesser known. His love for adventure started at a young age fishing off the coast of Florida with his father and exploring small towns with friends. This inherent love for adventure has helped shape his style of photography and cinematography and has developed his passion for creating documentary work. The personal connections he makes with his subjects allow Johnston to capture unique characters on film, and offer an original lens to tell their story. Johnston He currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.