Renting a canoe or a kayak and taking dramatic photos at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park is a great way to spend a glorious day. The mangrove forests serve as home to many types of birds and animals that are perfect for capturing on film. As you move along the shore, you can capture dramatic shots of the shoreline and shore birds. Further out into the Gulf of Mexico, you can view things from a different angle, and in the mangrove channels, you’ll often see larger mammals at play. Of course, you do not have much room on a boat, so you will have to choose your equipment very carefully.

The best camera to use is a DSLR camera that has built-in vibration technology as it will help to minimize the effect of the rocking motion of the boat on the photo. Additionally, consider a camera that is waterproof as this eliminates the need to carry a dry bag. After all, while most trips go without a hitch, you never can be too careful.

You will probably only be able to carry one or two lenses with you on your canoeing or kayaking trip. You will probably want a wide-angle to zoom lens like the 18-200 mm F 3.5 to 5.6 that will cover most of your needs without having to change the lens. If the action gets fast like trying to catch a bald eagle in flight or one of the West Indian manatees at play, increase your camera’s shutter speed.

The Bald Eagle above was photographed at Lovers Key State Park at Big Carlos Pass in January 2011.

The Bald Eagle above was photographed at Lovers Key State Park at Big Carlos Pass in January 2011.

Additionally, you may want to take several filters with you. Since the sun can make the water bright and the sky bright, you will want an ultraviolet filter for your camera to help control the light. In some cases, the sky may still seem too bright, so consider using a neutral-density lens to help control the light’s wavelengths before it gets to your lens.

Landscape photos are some of the most dramatic photos you will be able to capture on your kayaking or canoeing adventure. If you want to see the water moving in your photos, then consider setting your shutter speed to 1/20 second or faster. Alternatively, if you want to freeze the motion, consider setting the shutter speed to 1/6 second.

The best time to take photos at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park is during the first hour that the sun is up in the morning and the last hour that the sun is up at night because the reds in the light make everything seem more dramatic.

If you do not feel comfortable kayaking or canoeing and taking photos, then consider a stroll through the park. If you are not sure where to start, try one of the tours from Naples Beach Adventures. One of the advantages of using a tour is that we spend so much time in the area that we already know where to capture the most dramatic shots.

Naples Beach Adventures
11135 GulfShore Drive
Naples, FL 34108
Parking Lot #4
(239) 596-9842

Photo Credit: Florida State Parks