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Where to Get Great Beach Photos in Southwest Florida

Four renowned photographers tell us their favorite beaches.

BY December 5, 2016

Dennis Goodman seeks out this setting in Port Royal for its surprising rarity. How often in Naples do you actually come across the stereotype of palm trees right in the sand? Couple that uncommon sight with a spot that allows him to combine unspoiled sea, land and sky in one frame, and he captures a truly unique view of the Naples beach.


This long stretch of beach—on Pavilion Key, found south of Chokoloskee in the 10,000 Islands—strikes Jim Freeman’s fancy for its solitude and driftwood. Accessible only by boat, the island is especially quiet in the summertime, when Freeman regularly docks his sailboat offshore and takes a dinghy in to photograph passing storms. He chronicled the transformation of this particular tree for years, until, he suspects, it lent itself to some other visitor’s coffee table or campfire.


This shot was taken in June 2016 during the nearly 40 mph winds resultant from Tropical Storm Colin, when the waves interacted dramatically with the wooden pilings that make this shoreline near Naples’ Gordon Pass a favorite for Marc Damon. The pilings, once intended to help with erosion, have been left alone to the elements and provide a weathered texture fitting for Damon’s black and white photography.


For R.J. Wiley, the prime time to photograph the beach is early morning, when the tide erases footprints and the sky is lit with soft colors. He prefers this Bonita Springs expanse along Hickory Boulevard—as does this blue heron—because it’s nearly always quiet at that time, helping him to achieve that “deserted beach look.”


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