North Wildwood Things to Photograph
During the day, you can see dynamic colors, moving waters, and abundant people in the area and on the boardwalk.
You can do long-exposure Milky Way photography at night just a short distance out of town on the beach. This is one of the few places in New Jersey where the Milky Way is visible. There is also a fishing pier less than a ten-minute drive that makes for some great long-exposure milky water effect photography and fabulous sunrise images. The bayside has ample opportunity for sunset photography.
The only bags we use! That should say it all.
BEST TIME TO GO TO NORTH WILDWOOD
The best time is in the spring, early summer and fall. Wildwood gets very busy, so to avoid the crowds, going off-season and mid-week during this time is ideal. Go during the Milky Way season to photograph the Milky Way. It’s one of the few places in N.J. you can photograph the Milky Way. See our Milky Way section for details of when you can see it.
HOW LONG TO PHOTOGRAPH
Stay overnight for this location. There is a lot to photograph plus Milky Way. You have the boardwalk, bird locations nearby, boats, long-exposure waters, sunrise and sunset photography, pier photography, long-exposure boardwalk rides for light trails and more.
PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR TO BRING
DSLR, tripod, wide angle lens, zoom lens, circular polarizing filter, neutral density filters, batteries, extra memory cards, drone if you have one!
WHAT ELSE TO BRING
Organic sunscreen, (sunscreen is a cancer causer, the more it bakes into your skin the more carcinogenic it gets). Hiking boots, beach towels,
HOW TO GET THERE
From Northwest (Philadelphia):
Take the Atlantic City Expressway West and go to Exit 7 South to get on the Garden State Parkway. Go to Exit 4A South onto Route 47 South (Rio Grande Avenue).
From the South (Cape May & Cape May-Lewes Ferry):
Take the Garden State Parkway North. Go to Exit 4A, then go South on Route 47 South (Rio Grande Avenue).
From West (Delaware Memorial Bridge):
Take Route 40 East to Route 55 South. Go to Route 47 South which will take you to Wildwood
From North (New York):
Take the Garden State Parkway South to Exit 4A. Go South onto Route 47 (Rio Grande Avenue).
OTHER PHOTOGRAPHY NEARBY
Several Beach towns are nearby and during Milky Way season take advantage of the East Point Lighthouse being just a short trip away! It’s one of the best locations in New Jersey to photograph the Milky Way. Avalon right next door is also a top Milky Way location for N.J.
HOW BUSY IS IT?
Summer after school gets out, and it is very busy! It’s better off-season, but it is still an active area.
HOTEL, RESTAURANTS, CAMPING & WEATHER – SEE BELOW
We love the Florentine Family Motel!! Details below.
We focused on the Milky Way on this trip and needed to go back for one more day. You can get tons of light trails and long-exposure images at the amusement park on the boardwalk. If you stay at the Florentine Motel, which we highly recommend you do, it’s just a short walk to the boardwalk at night time to get your light trails while photographing the excitement of the town. We will be going back to get more night trail images of the boardwalk for you.
If you have your family along for the trip and they don’t want to follow you around doing photography, there are a plethora of things for them to do. There are also all kinds of festivals all season long, from the Elks Weekend, Boots on the Ground, The Firemen’s Convention, the Italian and Irish Festivals, and more.
There is a bird sanctuary, The Cape May Wildlife Refuge, just a few miles away at the other end of the barrier island for our bird photographers. The snowy owl makes a showing at this location on occasion.
Nearby Avalon Beach Milky Way Night Photography
It’s a little too dark in North Wildwood, but just a short drive over to Avalon Beach, you have dark enough skies to do Milky Way photography. The last image on the right is East Point Lighthouse, which you can do on your second night traveling from this location. We will venture out to another area near the south side of Wildwood, where the wildlife bird sanctuary is located. It may be dark enough to see the Milky Way, and we will add our information for you. We are also going back out for a night of amusement park long exposure light trail photography, so more will follow in a Wildwood Photography Hot Spot, the other end of the barrier island.
While in North Wildwood, Stay at the Florentine Family Motel
This is one of the TOP-TEN families we met in our worldly travels.
The Number One Ranked Traveler Hotel in North Wildwood
You will love this family-owned and operated establishment. The owners live on the premises, and you are in very caring hands. We fell in love with the whole atmosphere and did not want to leave. This hotel is just a short hop from the beach and boardwalk and is immaculate in every area. The deck that overlooks the pool was quiet and relaxing. The atmosphere is geared towards families; your children will enjoy the heated pool and dolphin swim at night. People have been coming here regularly for many, many years.
The one image of the TV screen with the number forty-five (in our gallery) on the top displays the person’s name who has been returning to the hotel for forty-five years. A customer coming back for that many years sums up how well you are treated and how excellent this hotel is. They display a long list of return customers and how many years they have been coming in the slideshow. If you stay here, you, too, will want to return year after year.
The service is impeccable; it’s clear to see that the owners have put a lot of effort into perfecting every last detail. Not only do they strive to make their guests happy, but their pleasant service is also a major contributing factor to why so many people come back year after year.
Beach and boardwalk block
Laundry room and grills on the premises
Various specials throughout the season.
Captain kid weekend. Meet the Captain at the Florentine.
Stay and play packages that include tickets to an amusement park and water rides.
Great view of the fireworks, Friday nights, June – September.
Dolphins in the pool at night. A family event geared for children.
Various style of rooms that sleep up to ten guests.
How to Shoot Milky Way and Night Sky Photography
What you will need:
Light pollution map – light pollution map
Camera – You will need a camera to control your ISO, shutter speed, and aperture manually.
Lens – A fast wide-angle lens of 1.4 – 2.8 is ideal. If you use a 3.5 or higher (slower lens), you will have to increase the ISO. The higher the ISO, the more grain or digital noise or grain in your photos.
Tripod – A good sturdy tripod is essential for night photography. If it gets windy, you will need a sturdy one. Keep that in mind; when you buy one, it should be sturdy enough to withstand the wind but small enough to fit in your suitcase.
Sky Map – Sky Guide is available through the iTunes Store for $1.99. It has a 5 out of 5-star rating on both the current (3.2) version (1200+ ratings) and all previous versions (8600+ ratings).
Flashlight – Our choice is Coast brand for flashlights. The ideal flashlight will have high lumens, and you will be able to zoom in and out on the amount of light emitting from the flashlight. Get the HP7, PX45, or the G50. Ideally, go with the HP7.
Moon Phaze Map – The best time to go is during a new moon, and you want to be in the darkest area possible. The week before the new moon, when the moon has not risen, is a perfect time to go, so check the moonrise chart to see when the moon will be up.
Remote Shutter Release – When painting with light and you want to go over a 30-second exposure, you must have a shutter release to use your bulb mode. When exposing your pictures in general, you can use the remote release, or you can use your camera’s built-in two-second timer.
Use a Tripod – First, you must be on a tripod. A good sturdy tripod is necessary if it is windy. If the tripod moves, your picture will blur.
Focus – Use live view. Use your camera’s live view to focus in the dark, hit the zoom button, and focus on a bright star. You can also use the infinity setting on your lens but do several test shots to see if it is accurate. It can be off a little on some lenses. You can also light it up with a flashlight, focus, then gently, without touching the focus ring, put the camera in manual focus so it will not search for the focus. Each time you move your camera to take your next angel, you would have to do this.
ISO – Start with ISO 1600 – 3200. This is just a common starting point, and you will adjust from here.
Shutter Speed – Remember, the earth is rotating. If you leave the shutter open for too long, you will see star trails that will not make for a crisp image. We want crisp non-star trail images. Here is the formula to avoid star trails. The 500 rule – Divide 500 by the focal length of your lens. So, if you have a 24mm lens on a full-frame camera, you will set your shutter speed to 20 sec. (500/24 = 20.83). If you are using a crop sensor camera, first do the math of the crop sensor to find the focal length. Cannon is 1.6, and Nikon is 1.5. Convert to full-frame focal length, then use the formula. Nikon 18mm x 1.5= 27mm – 500/27 = 18.51 seconds.
Aperture – Depth of field isn’t critical in these shots, but letting the light into the camera is; therefore, you should shoot wide open. If the depth of field is essential to you, try not to go too high. (wide open =the lowest aperture your camera will allow). You will have to increase the ISO some, which will give you digital noise.
White balance suggestion: Use live view mode to change your white balance settings and see what it will look like. You can shoot in shade or cloud mode as a standard-setting and adjust things later.
Park and Area Information:
Entrance Fees: None
North Wildwoods has FREE beaches. North Wildwood: 609.522.7500 – Transport via surf chairs at First Aid Station at 15th Avenue.
Dogs are allowed on all beaches from October to May. Dogs are not allowed on the Boardwalk at any time. A dog park and beach are located at Glenwood Ave in Wildwood and clearly marked with a giant fire hydrant sculpture. Hours are from 6 a.m. until dusk. A dog park is located on the east side of the beach at 24th Avenue in North Wildwood; a permit ($10) is required for your dog, and hours are 8 a.m. until dusk.
There are no fees to visit East Point Lighthouse. There are no tours inside.
WHAT HOTEL TO STAY AT
The Florentine Family Motel
The Best Place to Stay in North Wildwood
Address: 1901 Surf Ave, North Wildwood, NJ 08260 – Phone: +16095224075 – Hours: 8:00am-10:00pm
This Motel offers you everything you need with a fabulous pool, immaculate rooms, great management at one of the best prices in the North Wildwood area. Look no further.
We highly recommend you stay here! Book Now.
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WHERE TO CAMP
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Do you want us to send our photography and ghost-hunting friends to your campground to stay during their ghost-hunting trip? Put your campground information here. We will put a picture of your establishment, the website link, the phone number, and your information on your campground to make it easy for our photographers and ghost hunters to find you. They are good at getting there in the dark.
Would you like to be featured in an article as a place to stay while doing photography or ghost hunting? If so, please send us an email. You will be surprised at how affordable our prices can be.
FOOD & DINING
Add your Restaurant here!
Do you want us to send our photography and ghost-hunting friends to your restaurant after their ghost-hunting trip? Put your restaurant information here. We will put a picture of your establishment, the website link, the phone number, and the information on your restaurant to make it easy for our photographers and ghost hunters to find you.
Area Weather: Click here to see what the weather at this location
Don’t forget that you can use a rain sleeve on your camera if it is raining. If it is bright and sunny, you want to use a low ISO, such as 100.
If you are doing photography along with your ghost hunting on cloudy days, you can do running water or waterfall photography to avoid the glaring sun. You can also use an ND filter to get a long exposure for dramatic effects, even in the sunshine. If you ghost hunt indoors in abandoned places, be careful!