The Photographer's Ephemeris for iOS

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Beginner Intermediate | Advanced

Sun Moon Night Landscape Outdoor | Travel | Architectural | Cityscape

All about the light

The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) helps you plan outdoor photography shoots in natural light, particularly landscape and urban scenes. It’s a map-centric sun and moon calculator: see how the light will fall on the land, day or night, for any location on earth.

Our premier app for iOS, TPE offers a rich set of planning tools for landscape, cityscape, outdoor, architectural and night photography.

Night mode, Augmented Reality, line-of-sight analysis and visual search support the most sophisticated photo planning needs.

TPE is a universal app with optimized user interfaces for both iPad and iPhone/iPod Touch devices.

One of the most useful apps for any nature photographer.
— Outdoor Photographer

Augmented Reality

Use TPE's AR page, built on Apple's AR Kit for a "through-the-lens" simulation of sun, moon, milky way and stars directly on your device.

AR is ideal for checking alignment while in the field. Paths show you where the sun or moon will be at any time past or future.

Calibration and adjustment are quick and easy. Haptic feedback (vibration) and horizon and twilight altitude lines let you know when the sun or moon is rising or setting.

Night Mode

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

The night mode overlay is a true 3D graphic representation of key elements that matter to wide-angle night sky photographers. When you rotate or tilt the map, the night mode overlay moves too, giving a unique perspective for shot planning.

Tap a star to see its common name, Bayer name, azimuth and altitude. Relative magnitude and color (BV-index) determine the star's appearance.


Research and save your own list of favorite photographic locations, using seven different map types, including two offline maps, and save them in your locations list.

You can choose between using Apple or Google Maps depending on your preference and local coverage quality.

Show your favorite locations right on the map and navigate to them with a single tap.

Sightlines and Visual Search

The Geodetics feature lets you check the sightline between camera and subject, showing where the sun or moon will lie relative to a mountain summit or ridge line.

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

Visual search can tell you in one tap the exact dates and times when sun or moon will align with your subject.

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, stars and asterisms visualization via 3D map overlay
  • Moon phase and % illumination
  • Civil, nautical and astronomical twilight
  • 2 topographic maps
  • 2 offline map types
  • 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

  •  Augmented reality view for on location scouting
  •  Saved location synchronization between devices and the free TPE web app
  •  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

Map types

  • Apple Standard, Satellite/Hybrid
  • Google Standard, Satellite/Hybrid, Terrain
  • OpenCycleMap Topographic
  • OpenStreetMap

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
  • The app itself supports only English language at present
  • Augmented reality requires an iPhone 6s (or later), iPad Pro or 2017 model and iOS 11 or later

Skyfire (Subscription required)


Skyfire has partnered exclusively with The Photographer's Ephemeris to make Skyfire available on iPhone and iPad. Many photographers already use TPE day-to-day to plan natural light photography. Now you can view Skyfire forecasts directly within the app in one seamless workflow.

Capturing beautiful locations in the best light is the goal of every landscape photographer. Skyfire provides custom sunrise and sunset color forecasts that show where and when spectacular skies and great light are most likely.

Learn more →