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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

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 3.4.1

3.4.1 contains bug fixes and UI refinements.

New in 3.4: Night Mode:
- Visualize the Milky Way, pole stars and major constellations in 3D, overlaid directly on the map
- Timeline includes the position of the Galactic Center (the brightest, most photogenic part of the Milky Way)
- Polaris and Polaris Australis are shown on the map to help orient star trail photographs
- In night mode, the displayed time period is changed to midday-to-midday to allow you to focus on the night hours
- The map can be tilted† and rotated using two fingers to get a side-angle view of the Milky Way and stars

Other changes:
- Add a direct link to our Vimeo channel for video tutorials (see Help)
- Email shot now includes just the elements you select in the timeline (double tap or long press the timeline to configure)
- Skyfire: submit field reports directly from within the app to help use continue to improve the forecast algorithms
- Bug fixes, user interface refinements

To enable Night Mode:

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

† Apple Satellite and Hybrid maps do not support tilt.

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


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Customer Reviews

Been a long time friend

I've had this app for years and it's always been just the perfect tool for planning my real estate shoots and landscape portraits. Thank you, TPE

A must for all photographers

Been using TPE for years. Just gets better and better. I consult TPE while planning every shoot and vacation. Worth every penny and more.


I've used this app many times to accurately place myself for shots of the moon and stars. All I can say is that it works!

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: 3.4.1
  • Size: 46.4 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller:

Compatibility: Requires iOS 8.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus.

Customer Ratings

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Top In-App Purchases

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