Photographer's Ephemeris 3D 4+

Sunlight, moonlight, starlight

Crookneck Consulting LLC

    • 4.2 • 225 Ratings
    • $11.99



iOS 13 support with Dark Mode

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 1.4

- Support for iOS 13 and Dark Mode
- Performance improvements
- Updated SDKs

Terrain processing performance has been improved along with timeline scrolling (improved rendering performance under changing lighting conditions). We're saying goodbye to iOS 11 support in this release.

If you're finding TPE 3D useful in your landscape photography planning, a review helps us developing and working to improve the app. If you have any feedback or questions, please write to

Ratings and Reviews

4.2 out of 5
225 Ratings

225 Ratings

Robot-Duck ,

Excellent app, with only one real flaw.

The app works great for visualization of how the light will fall. Honestly it’s only competitor is Google Earth Pro (desktop only) and this does a better job than that. The controls take a bit getting used to, and I still slide around sometimes, but it’s workable.

The *only* reason this doesn’t get 5 stars is the amount of juice this app uses- on my iPhone 7 Plus it absolutely cranks and destroys the battery life; I pretty much can only use it plugged in if I don’t want to lose obscene percentages of battery quickly. However, newer phones may handle this better, I’m not able to test that unfortunately.

Even with this issue I still love this app.

BikerJared ,

Working well on iPad Pro 11” - I use this like crazy

Great app for framing landscape shots and planning for light. Was very helpful on my Iceland trip. I’m unaware of another app that does this. On my iPad Pro, the two search buttons at bottom right bring up a grey screen that I can’t exit out of. I have to force close the app. This makes it so I can’t jump from Iceland back to the sites in the US that I’m shooting. The app is basically broken for me right now.
NEW UPDATE: Its not network io. It’s screen orientation. When in portrait mode, the search pane is rendered off the screen. To see it, switch to landscape mode.
UPDATE: I waited about five minutes and the saved places screen finally came up. What I may be seeing is the app waiting for data that never comes. When I tap those buttons now, the saved places screen comes up fast now. Suggest adding a spinner or a way to cancel the sync.
UPDATE: I was able to verify the developer’s response. Things look good now. Been using the app a lot lately, (helped out a bunch on a trip last weekend to plan a Milky Way shoot). I’m very happy with the app. Thank you for the bug fixes!

Developer Response ,

Hi - the search issue that affected the 11” pro model was fixed in the 1.3.5 update. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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.

App Privacy

The developer, Crookneck Consulting LLC, has not provided details about its privacy practices and handling of data to Apple. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

No Details Provided

The developer will be required to provide privacy details when they submit their next app update.


  • Family Sharing

    Up to six family members can use this app with Family Sharing enabled.

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