Sunset Photography in Naples Florida with Paul Cook of PC3 Photos

Michelle and I left snowy Michigan and travelled to Florida. On this trip, we planned to do some seascape photography and meet fellow photographer and YouTuber, Paul Cook of PC3 Photos.

We left from Bishop Airport in Flint Michigan and had a great and uneventful flight (those are the best kind, right?) to Saint Petersburg, Florida. We rented a car and were quickly on our way to Naples Florida to meet Paul and scout the area.

We arrived in Naples around lunchtime and needed to find a place to eat. We ended up at Brooks Gourmet Burgers and Dogs in Naples’ downtown area. We both ordered hamburgers. Michelle got “The Herb,” and I chose “Ryle’s Ragin Cajun.” Both were delicious and paired nicely with a cold brew.

Here’s me and Paul on the beach in Naples. Is that Quentin Tarantino in the background?

One scene in my video, Paul and I are talking and there is a man behind us wearing red swim trunks. In reviewing the video, I have to wonder if it was Quentin Tarantino! We were in Naples, after all. I should note that Naples is very tourist friendly. The parking garages downtown are free and the area is very walkable. in fact, after parking, we were able to walk to Brooks Burgers and to the beach where Paul and I photographed the old pilings (groins?) at sunset.

It was an amazing photo shoot for both me and for Paul. At the end of the day, we both were able to capture some amazing images. But as for our vlogging… well, we both made some errors. We were observed by Michelle, and she attributed our vlogging difficulties as: “you guys were totally geeked out to finally meet!” Paul forgot to turn on his microphone for his video intro and (at least twice) I somehow didn’t turn on my GoPro to video some scenes! Luckily Michelle was filming one sequence with her iPhone and with the on-board recording feature of the Rode Wireless Go II, I was able to sync the audio and save the scene.

Paul showed me his new ND and CPL filter set from Blue Frog Filters. Blue Frog is a Florida based company and Paul says he’s getting excellent results with the filters. They looked to be of very high quality. According to Paul, their customer service is exemplary!

Of course, the true reason to be there was to photograph these pilings at sunset. We were presented with an absolutely spectacular sunset, and there was a large crowd there to toast a cup to the setting sun. I had never before done any seascape photography, and Paul shared with me (and you) his technique of capturing the movement in the water. I was using my ever trustworthy Fujifilm X-E3 with a Laowa 9mm manual lens.

The ultra wide angle, paired with its zero distortion, helped to capture the amazing sky that evening. As usual, I was composing using the Rule Of Thirds. While the sunset was truly spectacular, the closer shots I got applying Paul’s shorter exposure technique, were my favorite.

The experience of meeting a fellow photographer on location was one of the best experiences I’ve had in my photography career. Thank’s so much Paul for sharing your day and good humor with us that day.

Three days after this beautiful sunset, Michelle and I traveled to Venice Beach for a sunrise seascape session. We sadly left Florida a couple days later, but hope to return to the seaside soon!

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