Home>Sea Isle City, N.J. Photography Hot Spot Location

Sea Isle City, N.J. Photography Hot Spot Location

and the Colonnade Inn – Milky Way location

Sea Isle City, N.J. Photography Hot Spot Location is excellent for day, night, and milky way photography.  You will enjoy it here, no matter which type of photography you decide to do. This area can get crowded during peak summer weekends, but it has a friendly laid back atmosphere versus some other nearby shore towns that are loaded with hotels, restaurants, and bars.  Almost every place to stay in this town is a weekly or summer rental. This Inn that we feature in the article, The Colonnade Inn, is one of the few places you can go for a shorter stay, and it is a fabulous place to stay! 

Sea Isle City is a city in Cape May County, New Jersey, United States. It is part of the Ocean City Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city’s population was 2,114, reflecting a decline of 721 (-25.4%) from the 2,835 counted in the 2000 Census, which increased by 143 (+5.3%) from the 2,692 counted in the 1990 Census. Visitors raise the population to as much as 40,000 during the peak summer season from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Sea Isle City is located on Ludlam Island, which also contains the Strathmere section of Upper Township.

When you come to this area, stay at our favorite Victorian Style Hotel, the Colonnade Inn. It is a perfect location for doing milky way photography on the beach. Just a short distance over the border into Avalon, where you will find the pier pictured below to do more milky way photography.

We are going back. Rarely are we ever “not” in the zone. See our so-so images below—better ones to follow. We can’t always be exactly on the money with the Milky Way.

How to Shoot Milky Way and Night Sky Photography in Sea Isle City

What you will need:

Light pollution map light pollution map

Camera – You will need a camera to manually control your ISO, shutter speed, and aperture.

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 will appear in your photos. Nikon’s 28mm f/1.8G or Canon’s 28mm f/1.8 are good choices if you go shopping for your night photography trip.

Tripod – A good sturdy tripod is essential for night photography. If it gets windy, you will need a sturdy one, and we never know what Mother Nature will bring us while we are out there. Keep that in mind when you buy one to go in your suitcase if you are going on a plane. 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).   Android Version? Sky Guide is not currently available as an Android app.

Flashlight –  Our choice is Coast brand for flashlights. The ideal flashlight will have high lumens, and you will be able to zoom the in and out on the amount of light emitting from the flashlight. We like a small stream of light, not a wide amount of light.  Get the HP7, PX45, or the G50. Ideally, go with the  HP7 if you can.

Light Pollution and Moon Phaze Map – The best time to go is during a new moon, and you want to be in the darkest area possible.

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, so you are not using your hand to press the shutter button and make the camera move even a little bit.

Milky Way Photography

Use a Tripod – First of all; 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. When you use live view, your mirror locks up, and it does not drop, so avoid any movement inside the camera. If you are new to this, take a shot with regular focus.

To focus In the dark, use your camera’s live view 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.

ISO – Start with ISO 3200.  This is just a standard 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, which will not make for a crisp image. You can make star trails specifically, but that’s not what we are going for here since we are doing milky way photography. 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, 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 on these shots but letting the light in is; therefore, you should shoot wide open. (The lowest aperture your camera will allow).

Those are all of the essential starting points for doing your milky way shots.  You will want to find some interesting foreground to make your image dynamic. Doing plain old milky way shots will not win you any awards.

White Balance – Always shoot your night photography raw so you can easily edit in Lightroom.  When in live view mode, you can change your white balance settings and see which looks best for each shot. You can change it based on the subject matter. You can shoot in the shade or cloud mode as a standard-setting and adjust things later. You can shoot the sky in tungsten mode to make it bluer, but if you have trees and such in the picture, they will also come out blue.

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Park and Area Information Sea Isle City:

Entrance Fees: 

300 JFK Blvd. • 263-8687, Ext. 106
The Beach Tag Office is located inside the Welcome Center and is open from April through Labor Day.
Fees and Charges – 2017
Beach Tags are required for ALL BEACHES from Memorial Day Weekend
to Labor Day, 9am to 5pm. Tags are required for everyone 12 years and older and can be purchased on the beach.
Daily – $5 • Weekly (Sat.-Sat.) – $10
Season – $20 if purchased by May 15, then $25

Beach tags are non-refundable.
Wednesdays are FREE BEACH DAYS, except on July 4.
Beach Tag Office Hours
April through Labor Day, 7 days a week, 9am-4pm
Additionally, beach tags are on sale at the City Hall Tax Office, 233 JFK Blvd., 2nd Floor, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., except holidays.
We’ve Gone Mobile!
Download – for free – the Viply app to purchase seasonal tags. A nominal fee will be applied. The Viply web link will show you how it works:  http://www.viplypass.com/sea-isle-city/.
Beach Tag Vending Machine
Seasonal Beach Tags are on sale now at the season rate of $25.00 in the Beach Tag Vending Machine (vending machine accepts cash only) located in the lobby of city hall, which is accessible 24/7.
Active Military and Veterans
Beach tags may be provided at a 100% discount to qualifying active military
personnel and veterans of the following branches of service: United States Army,
Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, as well as members of the United States
Coast Guard and the New Jersey National Guard.
Active Military
– Military personnel, spouse/civil union partner and dependent children
age 12 years and older
– Qualifying active military personnel must be present at the time of request
– DD1173 (Identification and privilege card) must be presented
– Any individual who has served and was released through honorable discharge
with at least 90 days active duty or released from active duty by reason of a
service incurred injury or disability
– Qualifying veteran must be present at the time of request
– DD214 discharge papers must be presented
– Veteran tags are only available at the Beach Tag office
Active military and veteran beach tags are not transferable.
Photography Magazine Extra Pam Goodyer

Hotel Information:

The Colonnade Inn – Our favorite B & B to stay at in this area.

4600 Landis Avenue,
Sea Isle City, NJ 08243
Phone: 609‑263‑8868
Fax: 609‑263‑8869

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Sea Isle City, N.J. Photography Hot Spot Location, Sea Isle City, N.J. Photography Hot Spot Location

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