Dave Morrow is a full time landscape & night sky photographer, author, educator, and world traveler. He teaches Star Photography Workshops and provides a large selection of Free Tutorials over on his website.

In this tutorial, Dave shares his expert tips on scouting & planning for Milky Way, star, and night sky photography. Using this free 3 part video series you’ll be a master of planning your night sky photography shoots in just one watch! Scroll down & get started.

Just Me &  the Milky Way - Rialto Beach, Washington by Dave Morrow on 500px.com

Scouting & planning is all about dreaming big and finding new locations that will be exciting to explore, and beautiful to photograph. The world is your playground; pick a location and go for it!

In the following video series I’m going to show you my favorite tools for scouting new locations and how to quickly implement them into your own photography planning workflow.

Why even go to a location if you don’t know what the ever-changing situation is around you? You can improve your chances for great photography opportunities by learning to scout, read the weather, and know how the Earth, stars, and celestial bodies move with respect to each other and our planet.

The following is a 3-part video series dedicated to teaching you the exact workflow I use to scout & plan for my night sky photography trips. You can use these same tools to plan for standard sunrise, sunset, travel, and landscape photography as well.

I’ve also provided you free access to the Scouting & Planning Chapter as well as the Composition & Focusing at Night Chapter of my latest book, Photograph the Night Sky. Inside the eBook I provide links to my favorite photography resources and tools as well as in-depth written explanations to all the skill sets taught in the videos below.

There is also a free Landscape Photography eCourse for anyone interested 🙂


Part I – Moon Phase, Dark Skies & Weather

Part I Overview & Links

Step 1: Moon Phase

Step 2: Find Dark Skies

Step 3: Weather
World Wide Weather, reference in video: http://wxweb.meteostar.com/
NOAA, Used in Video for United States Weather: http://www.weather.gov/

Part II – The Photographer’s Ephemeris & Google Earth

Part II Overview & Links

Google Earth – Free Download

The Photographer’s Ephemeris
I really enjoy PTE for iPhone as well as desktop. It’s worth having both.

Desktop / Web

iPhone / iPad

Part III – Stellarium

Part III Overview & Links

Stellarium is a free program for computers and a paid application for smart phones and tablets.

Stellarium Desktop:

Stellarium App: