Useful Websites

There are many different websites you can use to plan your night photos. I describe some that I frequently use below.

Weather Forecasts
Weather Underground
This weather site has a lot of useful information for night photographers. It has cloud cover maps and predictions and also includes an astronomy section.
Clear Dark Sky
This site is used to predict astronomical observing conditions. The cloud cover predictions can be especially useful for night photographers.
Tides Online
This site may be useful if you'll be photographing on the beach and need to know the tides.

Astronomy Calendars
Astronomy Calendar
This site lists the major astronomical events of the year, including dates of meteor showers and eclipses.
Planetary Conjunctions
This page tells you when two planets will appear very close to each other in the night sky.
Moon-Planet Conjunctions
This site tells you when the moon and a planet will appear very close to each other.
Heavens Above tells you when certain satellites will be overhead and when you can expect to see iridium flares from their attenas.

Northern Lights Forecast
Geophyscial Institute Forecast
This site has an easily understandable northern lights forecasts. It rates the intensity of the lights on a scale of 1 to 9 and shows where you can likely see them.
NOAA's Space Weather Forecast
This site has more detailed forecasts on the northern lights, but it can also be more difficult to interpet.

Light Pollution Maps
Light Pollution Atlas
This atlas has a colored-coded map of light pollution. Ideally, you'll want to shoot from a location that isn't colored, or at least try to get to a green or purple shaded area.
Night Lights in Google Maps
This light pollution map was updated more recently than the previous one, though it isn't color coded and therefore a little more difficult to interpret.

Miscellaneous Sites
DxOMark Equipment Reviews
DxOMark provides very thorough testing and reviews of cameras and lenses.
Depth of Field Calculator
This calculator can tell you what parts of your shot will be in focus with different camera settings (though you'll probably want one of the iPhone or Android apps to do these calculations in the field.
Volcano Discovery
This website has detailed information on current volcano activity throughout the world.

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