3D Sun, Moon and Night Photography Planning For Outdoor Photographers.

The Photographer's Ephemeris 3D (TPE 3D) is a unique natural light visualization tool for outdoor and landscape photographers shooting in varied terrain. It's a 3D map-centric Sun, Moon and Milky Way calculator: see how the light will fall on the land, day or night, for any location on earth.

"TPE3D predicted the light in the distance in the gap just before the right most hill very accurately." - OnLandscape Magazine

"This app has become an indispensable tool in my planning kit, I highly recommend it!" - David Kingham, Exploring Exposure

Watch a sunrise from the future in a rich simulation of sunlight, moonlight and starlight set against the actual topography of your planned shooting location.

Need to see when the arch of the Milky Way will rise between two mountain peaks? Need to see what time in the afternoon the valley will lose direct light in September?

Watch the light unfold under clear skies hours, days, weeks or years before you're actually there in person.

Key features includes:

- 3D topographic maps with simple navigation options
- Sun, moon and galactic centre continuous timeline showing key rise, set and transit events
- Full search capability to find your location (or enter decimal or DMS coordinates directly)
- Automated playback to watch a realtime or faster-than-realtime simulation of the light
- Flying mode for quick movement around a scene
- Enhanced mode for maximum topography and shadow detail
- Symbolic represetation of the Milky Way in Flying mode
- High resolution Milky Way and stars in Enhanced mode
- Direct elevation control for the 3D model camera
- Camera pitch and bearing indicators
- Moon phases are rendered accurately in the 3D scene
- Zoom in/out to equivalent 35mm focal length in enhanced mode
- Daily and annual events lists
- Shared location database with TPE
- Navigation and Artificial Highlights lighting modes
- Support for multiple map pins
- User settings for controlling scene complexity

If you like to plan your natural light photography to capture the photo opportunities others miss, TPE 3D is a must-have tool!


- This app is CPU and graphics intensive: modern device models provide the best user experience and highest resolution data
- Not recommended for users who only shoot in flat terrain
- Satellite maps are not included
- Building are not shown in 3D
- Max elevation data resolution is 1 arcsecond (approximately 30m/33yards)
- Requires an internet connection
- Does not currently provide simulation of lighting during solar and lunar eclipses
- Topographic data is available only between 83°N and 83°S: data may contain artifacts and errors
- Availability of map types is subject to change, due to 3rd party map service availability, terms or conditions

What's New

Version 1.3.4

- Camera max elevation above sea level (flight ceiling) increased
- Camera no longer moves horizontally if you hit the flight ceiling
- Display the DST aware time zone name (previously displayed the standard time zone name only)
- AzAlt indicator positions improved
- Updated SDKs, libraries

Ratings and Reviews

4.1 out of 5
87 Ratings
87 Ratings
setopete ,

Buggy and slow

Takes awhile to load the map even when on fast WiFi. When pinching to zoom out, once you hit the “flight ceiling” (which isn’t that high) it stops recognizing your pinch and thinks you’re pointing so the map starts moving around.

what’s the point of tilt slider on the left if you can’t manually change your tilt? if you tap or press it goes to -25. On a second tap it goes to 0 and every subsequent tap takes you back and forth between these angles.

The elevation slider minimizes too quickly when trying to do subtle changes. Say i want to lower my elevation 2 full swipes of the slider. I slide my finger from bottom to top. Then quickly move it to the bottom and begin to slide up again and the bar is in the process of minimizing so i’m moving the map not changing elevation. I have to wait for the bar to finish minimizing before i can begin swiping again. Unless you are frantically flicking your finger the bar minimizes before you get back to the bottom. I also tried using both my index fingers and it would still minimize almost instantaneously after i took 1 finger off my phone.

The light tracking is nice and is what the app for.

Bottom line: I expect more out of apps I pay for.

dkrowan1 ,

Great paired with Ephemeris and Transit

I just got back from the Smoky Mountains and used 3D to fully visualize and plan shots down to the lens used and where to set up. Very accurate and just plain fun to use and even did some "arm chair" travel and photo set ups in the hotel at night to pass the time - great app and I love the integration with Ephemeris for smooth work flow. Well done!

Developer Response ,

Thanks! Great to hear you were able to get the shots you'd planned :)

birdpadre ,

Powerful but very difficult

A great tool, but also incredibly frustrating to use. Did not recognize Schwanachers Landing in Grand Tetons, and its tough to find spots and get them entered. Once you do its great, but finding your specific spot on the map is excruciating.


Crookneck Consulting LLC
75 MB
Photo & Video
Requires iOS 10.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
English, German, Spanish
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© 2010-18 Crookneck Consulting LLC


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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