Back to All Events

Night Photography/Milky Way - Kirby Storter Wayside Park

  • Kirby Storter Wayside Park 48900 Tamiami Trail East Ochopee, FL, 34141 United States (map)

It's "milky way" season again, and I believe this is the first official Milky Way field trip we've ever done as a club. Much like shooting any night sky, you need three things... clear skies, no moon, and to be as far away from light pollution as possible. It will be a new moon (meaning no moon), and hopefully the weather will cooperate with no clouds. And looking south from Kirby Storter is about as dark as you can get in South Florida.

I STRONGLY recommend that everyone learn how to adjust your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO on your cameras, and be able to find and adjust them in the dark. Sit down with your manual and camera and learn where the buttons are. Even if you don't know exactly what they do, just learn how to change the settings. I would also recommend pre-focusing your lens to infinity (not just that little marker on the lens either - it may not be entirely accurate). If you have any questions about any of this, please send us an email and we can explain how to do this in detail. Don't be afraid, we've all been the new guy on the block. We're all here to help everyone learn.

Let's all meet at 1am on Sunday April 15th (that's like way late Saturday night) at the Kirby Storter Wayside Park. Never heard of it? Click the map to the left for directions. Its a little known wayside on the south side of US 41 or Tamiami Trail. There is a restroom here, basically it's a permanent port-a-potty. I've been there when it was pump-out day. Pew. But it's better than nothing. No fresh water. So bring wet naps or other to be safe and clean.

What will happen on site is we'll find a spot, get all set up, cameras on tripods facing southeast, south-southeast, and take a few practice shots, adjust your settings as needed, and then just sit around and let the cameras go. Take a look at this SLIDE SHOW from our night skies workshop in 2015 to familiarize yourself with night photography, if you aren't already of course.

I will also recommend that you listen to the author of the above mentioned slide show, Beth Ruggiero-York, along with Jason Eldridge and the Nature Photography Show, to their 3-part podcast about night photography. Very helpful. The show is linked here. Episodes 12, 13, & 14.

If you plan on coming, please RSVP to our email at We need to know who is going so we don't start without you.

What to bring:

  • Tripod - Highly recommended
  • Remote Shutter Release Cable or Intervalometer - also highly recommended. You can buy one fairly cheap, about $25 online. If not, you can use the cameras self-timer. If you use the self-timer, make sure you know how to use it.
  • Widest and fastest lens, whatever your lowest mm and lowest f-stop lens you have. 
  • Flashlight - for minimal use only.
  • Bug spray, ThermaCells, Bug Suits, long sleeve shirts and long pants. I suspect there will be mosquitoes, a lot of them. Please be prepared. We've had people leave field trips because the bugs were so bad. And with the amount of water still standing, I suspect there will be plenty of them out there. If you're sensitive to mosquitoes, bring everything you've got. I can't stress this enough. I'd rather you bring everything and not need it than to bring nothing and be miserable and have to leave early. Anything to keep the bugs off of you - bring it. The stuff doesn't take up much room. Just be prepared!!
  • Snacks/water/coffee/sodas - other beverages. There's no vending machines or water out here.
  • Protective sturdy footwear. This is the Everglades and critters are everywhere. We won't be hiking the prairies but better safe than sorry. Wear what you have. 
  • Lawn chairs. Let's be comfortable!

Hope you can all join us!

Non-member guest fee is $10 per person. You can pay online or in person.