Within less than an hour’s time, your Miami travel photography can be truly enriched with a tropical wilderness adventure like no other: A journey into Everglades National Park. For many, “national park” conjures images of towering mountains, wild forests or starkly beautiful deserts, but the Everglades is uniquely different, presenting itself as the great River of Grass.
Although its 2,400 square miles is vast, it is only one-fifth of the enormous Everglades watershed that covers virtually all of the southern most part of Florida. It’s a delicate ecosystem that includes as many as 9 distinct habitats, although they are seldom static, as climatic influences are constantly changing them. If eco tourism is your thing, then there are many individuals and businesses that offer eco tours. You’ll learn about the various habitats and what animals live there as well as gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the efforts to preserve the Park.
Your Miami travel photography of the Everglades depends on which of the many activities there attract you and your camera. If your time is limited, then your best photographic journey is one of the Ranger-Led Programs. These include Royal Palm, Flamingo, Shark Valley and Gulf Coast. Royal Palm offers the shorter, .4-mile Pineland Trail, with its forest of pines, palmettos and wildflowers, or the Longer Pine Key Trail System of more than 22 miles. Explore this varied landscape by bicycle and stop often to capture beautiful images for your Miami travel photography.
By contrast, the Flamingo area of the Everglades is the last bit of land on Florida Bay. Here the marine habitat is represented in all its glory. Walk or bike the many trails along the shore or take to the water on the canoe trails. This area is definitely a birder and bird photographer’s paradise with hundreds of species of birds as well as manatees, alligators and crocodiles, and many other wildlife inhabitants. For a truly awesome adventure that will fill your camera with natural wonders, schedule enough time for the 100-mile Wilderness Waterway. You’ll glide through the Everglades backcountry by canoe or kayak and find incredible scenes and subjects to photograph.
It’s likely you’ve never seen the night sky as it is gloriously displayed in the Everglades. If you’ve always wanted to tackle the challenge of capturing images of the great sweep of the Milky Way, then make sure you read any of PhotographyTalk’s astronomy photography articles. They will help to prepare you with the right equipment and techniques to bring home amazing Miami travel photography.
Your Everglades photography adventure can be a learning experience too. Plan to attend one of the photography workshops that are hosted in the park by local photographers who know where to go and what to shoot.
You can also experience and photograph the wonder of the Everglades in a bit more comfort. Follow Route 41, Tamiami Trail, west through the Big Cypress National Preserve. There are many places to park along the road for photography. In the Shark Valley area of the Everglades, you can travel in the relative comfort of an open-air tram, taking a two-hour, naturalist-narrated tour offered by one of the park’s concessionaires.
South Florida is also a mecca for fisherman. If you’ve traveled to Miami to fish the waters of Florida Bay, south of the Everglades, for a trophy, then you’ll want to capture images of your battles, catches and fun with your fishing buddies. You can rent a boat or a charter and a guide to fish the thousands of acres of shallow water flats, channels and mangrove keys for snapper, sea trout, redfish and bass.
Miami may attract you with its glitter and glow, but another world awaits your Miami travel photography just a few miles west and southwest of the city in Everglades National Park.
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