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Night Photography/Milky Way - Everglades

  • Everglades National Park EC Visitor Center 40001 State Highway 9336 Homestead, FL, 33034 United States (map)

It's "milky way" part 2! We couldn't make up our minds which date to have our Milky Way field trip, so we're doing 2.

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. While it won't be a 'new' moon, the moon will be setting at 1:30am, meaning we'll get some moon-shine on our foreground, which can be blended later with a fully dark sky after the moon has dipped below the horizon. Hopefully the weather will cooperate with no clouds, again. And the southern Everglades is about as dark as you can get in South Florida.

Let's all meet at 11:30pm on Saturday, April 21st at the Ernest Coe Visitors Center at the Everglades National Park. Click the map to the left for directions. We will caravan down to the spot after we all get there. Plan on a late night.

Same as last week's week's instructions.

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.

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.