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The Photographer's Ephemeris - Sun, Moon and Night Photography Planning For Outdoor Photographers

By Crookneck Consulting LLC

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"Head and shoulders above the crowd is The Photographer’s Ephemeris. Odd name, great app." - National Geographic

The Photographer's Ephemeris (TPE) helps plan outdoor photography shoots in natural light, particularly landscape and urban scenes. It's a 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.

Whether you need at-a-glance information on today's sun and moon data for your current location, or need to plan a precise alignment of the full moon for a future shoot, TPE has the tools you need. The combination of line-of-sight analysis with visual search supports the most sophisticated sun/moon research needs.

"It worked perfectly. The program was dead on…" - National Geographic

"One of the most powerful photography applications that I've seen, one that you'll be using for years and years." - AdoramaTV

"a godsend of an app for forward-thinking landscape photographers" - MSN Tech & Gadgets

"One of the most useful apps for any nature photographer" - Outdoor Photographer Magazine

"Get it. This is a quality application that has been very thoughtfully and carefully designed." 5 Stars -

Night mode features a 3D representation of the Milky Way, pole stars and major constellations directly over the map, so you can easily visualize exactly how to align your shot.

Research and save your own list of favorite photographic locations, using 7 different map types (including two offline maps) and save them in your locations list. Favorite locations are always displayed right on the map.

Advanced features including visual sun and moon search, automatic time zone and elevation detection, correction for atmospheric refraction and height above the horizon, ensuring that you have the best possible information for planning your shoot.

You can even determine when the sun or moon will rise from behind nearby hills and mountains.

Key features:

- Time/direction of sun, moon, and galactic center rise/set
- View azimuth and altitude of sun/moon and the galactic center for any time of day/night
- Milky Way visualization via 3D map overlay
- Moon phase and % illumination
- Civil, nautical and astronomical twilight
- 2 topographical/terrain map types
- 2 offline map options
- Movable map pins: drag and drop the pin exactly where you need it
- Map autorotation using the compass (on compatible devices)
- Shadow lengths displayed to scale on map
- Save any location you want: no fixed lists
- Celestial events including moon phases, apogee, perigee, solstice, equinox
- Network connection not required for rise/set time, azimuths and sun/moon position

Advanced features:

- Automatic time zone detection
- Elevation above sea level
- Distance, bearing and elevation angle between any two points
- Location import/export from KML
- Magnetic north option
- Configurable timeline display
- Sun/moon transit times
- 'Golden hour' time/duration
- Light pollution overlay

Geek features:

- Line of sight analysis
- Find when the sun/moon will appear from behind a hill or ridge
- Advanced visual sun and moon search
- Azimuth or altitude search priority
- New crescent moon visibility
- Distance to the visible horizon

Available map types include:

- Standard, Satellite/Hybrid, Terrain
- OpenCycleMap Topographic
- OpenStreetMap

Location synch between devices and the TPE web app is available via in-app purchase (3 month free trial available, requires free account sign-up).

Sunrise/sunset color forecasts are available with a subscription to the Skyfire service, available via in-app purchase.


- Maps and elevation-based calculations require a data connection, except for offline map tiles previously downloaded and stored on your device
- Topographic map data is available only between 60°N and 47°S
- Availability of map types is subject to change, due to 3rd party map service availability, terms or conditions
- Future updates to TPE will require iOS 8.1 or higher

What's New in Version 3.5

- Common asterisms including the Teapot, Summer Triangle, Big Dipper/Plough, Little Dipper, Great Diamond, Great Square of Pegasus, Winter Hexagon, Winter Triangle are shown in Night Mode
- Majors stars of Sagittarius and Pegasus are shown in Night Mode
- Light pollution overlay available via new map overlays button
- Skyfire can be enabled/disabled via button in map overlays section
- New geodetics controls: reset grey pin position, zoom map to show both map pins
- Improved availability and stability for location search
- Night mode shows date range (e.g. 13-14 Aug 2015)
- Astronomical twilight is included in Extended Daylight timeline display option
- "Day mode: All" option added
- iPad screenshot in Email Shot now shows complete screen
- Bug fixes

To exit Geodetics and Map Overlays, press the back button ('<') at the top right of the map.

To enable Night Mode:

- Tap the Date at the top of the screen
- Choose the moon + stars option under Mode
- Night mode is selected

What else would you like to see in the app? Write to us at and let us know!


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Customer Reviews

Was good in the past improvements too complicated

This application was a pleasure to using past. The reason provement the last one or two years I've made it so complicated that it is difficult to use possible. The instructional material is extremely limited compounding the use of it. Even the new ad in application to evaluate sunrise and sunset gradations is so difficult to use, and lacks credible explanation, to make it a functional application. There are many other products that deliver sunset and sunrise information available for less cost and more simplicity especially with iPhone use. I wish I could give it a higher grade is deteriorated with technological improvements.

Great photographers tool in the field and planning at home

This is the best available program for planning a photography trip that ever used. My fellow outdoor photography consistently recommend the program. It easily allows for the timing and direction of sunrises and sunsets, and additional evaluates terrain from specific locations indicating which landmark geological features and subjects will be visible.

Wish I had this for the super blood moon

Amazingly useful tool for plotting landscape and celestial photography. If I had this before this weekend I would have had much better photos of the eclipse. Well also if there weren't clouds halfway through but the app can't help with that. I expect to use this for every session outdoors going forward.

The Photographer's Ephemeris - Sun, Moon and Night Photography Planning For Outdoor Photographers
View In iTunes
This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
  • $8.99
  • Category: Photo & Video
  • Updated:
  • Version: 3.5
  • Size: 30.6 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller:

Compatibility: Requires iOS 8.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Customer Ratings

Current Version:
All Versions:

Top In-App Purchases

  1. Location Synch (1 year)$0.99
  2. Skyfire Plus (3-months)$14.99
  3. Skyfire (3-months)$9.99
  4. Upgrade to Skyfire Plus$5.99