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The Ultimate Night Photography Destination in Florida

Florida is filled with some wide open places to get photos of the Milky Way. The only problem is not being able to get high enough to get clear shots. Look no farther though, Cedar Key has some of the best places to get the shots you want without trees blocking your view!

By: Garrett Schmidt + Save to a List

Growing up in Florida involves a lot of time spent on flat land. I started shooting as much as I could in the day time. Sooner or later you start to run out of water pictures; they just start to run together. I decided I would take another approach to photography; night photography. 

This place helped me really hone in my skills in capturing stars and the oh so majestic Milky Way. 

Cedar Key is about 20 minutes from my home town of Chiefland. There are some choice spots to get some great night photos here without trespassing on private property. 

The first place I would start is Dock Street. As long as you wait until about 2 A.M. you won't run into many people to block your shots. Also around this time the "night life" kind of dies along with the light pollution that can really blow out your white colors. This photo was captured on a nice winter night. I mention winter because it is Florida, so it does stay humid and this can fog your lens especially during some time-lapse photos. Unlike most places, winter is the driest season that we experience. 

Dock Street Cedar Key, Fl. 

You can still see how some of the lights off the dock can destroy the highlights but all in all you can really get a great view of the milky way on a nice clear night.

The next place I would go for good shots would be a place called Shell Mound. This little area you can google and find easily. It does close at night but usually you aren't bothered at all. Just make sure you are aware of your surroundings out here. There are some strange characters that fish at night here and could be bothersome. Personally, I would travel here with a group of fellow star gazers to avoid any trouble. 

Shell Mound can also be enjoyed all day and then stay out and enjoy the stars. You can put in a kayak and play around at the islands in the area and fish the day away.

Shell Mound (Cedar Key), Fl.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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