Aphrodite IX cosplay photo shoot in the Everglades!

A few friends and I are starting to go on regular “Photographer’s roadtrips” to get out there & flex our cameras. I read about an abandoned NASA rocket fuel laboratory that’s out in the middle of the Everglades, & decided that would be a great place to check out, so we picked a Sunday to head down there. It was a beautiful clear Sunday, and I met up with my buddy Chris, & our friends Matt & Gina from Airitech Creations. We loaded up our gear and headed south. After a few hours, & passing a few gator farms, we arrived at the road that led to the facility. We got a little ways down it, and then had to park because there was a big metal roadblock gate across the road! Oh man, that’s when we realized how much equipment we had. Especially Matt, who had his video gear and a big tripod. It was probably 2 miles before we got to the first set of buildings! Once there we did some “urban exploring” & checked out the long-since abandoned buildings which have become a great spot for some aspiring graffiti writers, marksmen, & a serious breeding ground for mosquitoes! Chris and I got some cool shots of the buildings & surrounding area while Matt & Gina shot some video for their Aphrodite IX cosplay video. We met back up with them & did an impromptu shoot with Gina. Crazy thing is this.. After lugging around about 20 lbs. of equipment all day, (DSLR, 4 lenses, batteries, GoPro, tripod, etc..) I snapped a few pics with my iPhone6 and they look absolutely amazing! Next time I’m just bringing my iPhone and a bicycle! Damn!!

And then it got shitty…

As the day was drawing to a close, & the sun was setting, I said ” We’d better head back. The mosquitoes will be getting bad soon.” & boy, was I right! I have the unfortunate condition of being allergic to Deet, so the bug spray Matt had with him did me no good, & I forgot mine, AND I forgot to change into my mosquito repellent clothes before we left! I glad I brought my “Buff” to cover my face & my adventure hat to cover my bald head, but my arms & legs got chewed up! That 2 mile walk (speed walk!) gave those mosquitoes plenty of time to get me. All in all though, we had a great time, got some good photos and footage, and learned some valuable lessons. Check out the gallery below!

Lessons learned:

When going to the everglades for a whole day of shooting pictures, bring these things:

Bicycle, water, snacks, mosquito repellent spray or clothes, only what camera gear you need! It get’s heavy quick! (especially with a 70-200 in the bag!), flashlights, a snakebite/first aid kit, and maybe a firearm (who knows what’s out there!).

Know of any other things that would be considered necessary for an outing like this? I’d love to hear in the comments below!