The 2nd Annual NightScape Conference on May 20-22, 2020, is a fantastic opportunity to socialize, network, and learn alongside over 300 NightScape photographers. Held in Kanab, Utah, it’s surrounded by some of the most scenic land in the Southwest. The speaker list is an inspiring list of 32 top-notch nightscaper photographers. There are 24 workshops available (at an additional expense) to help you take your photography to the next level. Also, a Kickstarter Project will run through March 3rd, 2020, to help fund a new Youth Mentoring Program.

Royce Bair, the mastermind behind this conference, tells me there’s room for more attendees. If you’ve not signed up for the 2020 Nightscaper Conference, there’s still time. You can even get a discount by using the promo code “ADVENTURE100” to receive $100 off your conference attendance fee.


At first glance, you’d think Kanab was just another sleepy town in southern Utah. But it’s smack-dab in the middle of some of the most amazing landscapes in the desert Southwest. Overlooked by the much more famous Moab area, Kanab is a landscape photography destination of its own. Surrounded by Zion National Park and Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park to the west, Bryce Canyon to the north, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to the northeast, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Lake Powell to the east, and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to the south. Each of these destinations is within 100 miles from Kanab. And there are many more locations that I didn’t even mention. Check out the video above by Ron Risman to showcase the lands around the 202 NightScaper Conference.

2020 NightScaper Conference Speakers

2020 NightScaper Conference Speakers
NIghtscaper Conference 2020 Speakers

The keynote speakers this year include international astro-landscape photographer and professional astronomer Yuri Beletsky, timelapse master Ben Canales, TEDx featured photographer Jack Fusco, and 2019 Astronomy Photographer of the Year, Brad Goldpaint.

If you’ve been doing Milky Way photography for any length of time, you’ll undoubtedly recognize the names of several of the other speakers. Here’s a list of just a few of them – Alan Dyer, Ron Risman, Joshua Snow, Christine Kenyon, Wayne Pinkston, Russell Brown, Roger Clark, David Kingham, Mike Shaw, Eric Benedetti, Ryan Smith, David Swindler, Mike Taylor, our own Aaron King, and Royce Bair.

These 32 speakers will be presenting more than 65 programs. Each Day will include over 7 hours of indoor classes, panel discussions, and breakout sessions. The 2020 NightScaper Conference Schedule is here.

Shooting On Your Own

Since this is a nightscaper conference, you’ll want to get out and do some shooting on your own, so that presentations are held during the daytime. That will leave you plenty of opportunities to go out and shoot on your own, with new buddies you’ve made at the conference, or you can sign up for optional paid workshops.

It’s highly recommended you arrive in the Kanab area a few days early or stay a few days after to shoot under the amazingly dark skies that part of Southern Utah and Northern Arizona offer. Just try to photograph all night so you can stay awake during the daytime!

Conference Lodging

The conference fee doesn’t include lodging. The conference does have a block of discount rooms at most major Kanab hotels, including the Hampton Inn, The Holiday Inn, and the Parry Lodge. For more information, click here.

Nightscaper Scholarship Kickstarter

To help introduce youth and younger photographers to the night sky and nightscape photography, they created a 2020 NightScaper Conference Kickstarter Project. Running through March 3rd, 2020, it will raise money to fund a Youth Scholarship Program and a Youth Mentoring Program.

You can make a minimum pledge of $20 or more to this Kickstarter to help fund the Youth Scholarship. You can also get a discount on the conference by pledging $499 or sponsor the Conference through this Kickstarter. There are several other pledge levels available, so check it out here.

Youth Scholarship Program

A Youth Scholarship Kickstarter project has launched to pay for youth and parent/guardian travel expenses to the conference. Their tuition and registration are funded by the Conference through pledges. Up to three youth scholarships are available, and those chosen will receive up to $2000.00 to cover travel costs for the youth and their legal guardian to the conference.

If you know a youth interested in applying for this scholarship, you can download the Youth Scholarship Application here.

Youth Mentoring Program

The average age of conference attendees is about 45 years. The organizers want to allow younger photographers to have a chance to attend. So they are offering reduced pricing to those who bring a child (18 years or younger) with them to the conference.


Unlike most Kickstarter projects, this conference is proceeding without any Kickstarter funds. The goal is to encourage more youth participation.

2020 NightScaper Conference Poster
2020 Nightscaper Conference Poster

Last Year’s Conference

I went to last years’ conference, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This year looks to be even better! Attending is a great way to do some networking, meet new friends, and also meet old friends you may know only on the internet. There will be many opportunities to mingle and interact with fellow “nightscapers.”

And if you’ve already signed up, let us know in the comments below. We’d love to meet up and talk with you!

Kirk Keyes