The Photographer’s Ephemeris
This is the yardstick sun and moon mapping app against which all similar offerings are judged
What the app does
Like PhotoPills, The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) is an app that gives you the edge when planning your outdoor photography shoots. Although PhotoPills is currently our go-to app for this kind of thing, it isn’t available for Android devices. As a result, TPE remains the number one choice for people with non-Apple devices. Even so, it’s a close contest between the two apps on iOS, as there are features that each offers that the other doesn’t. For example, unlike PhotoPills, TPE includes Google Maps, which some people prefer.
When to use it
TPE enables you to plan your landscapes and other outdoor shots well in advance, calculating the moonrise/moonset and sunrise/sunset times and the angles of each. You can drill down deeper too, pinpointing if the sun will appear behind a building, hill or other feature, so you can work out where to position your camera.
How to use it
Place a pin on Google Maps to indicate your position and you’ll see the rise and set azimuth lines for the sun and the moon. These locations can be saved, recalled and edited, enabling you to build lists of the optimum times to visit great locations. There’s even a free web-based desktop version of TPE that can be accessed on a computer, enabling you to do your research on a big screen before syncing with your mobile device, although you’ll need to sign up with a subscription to enable syncing.
Tap here to switch between day mode and night mode and scroll through dates Unlike PhotoPills, TPE gives you a screen-filling view when you rotate your phone The thick yellow line indicates sunrise, with the thick orange line showing sunset
Keen on night photography? Tap the Layers icon to enable a useful stars overlay
You get a free 30-day trial of Sunfire, which forecasts the best sunsets and sunrises
TPE enables you to highlight areas of light pollution so that you can avoid the hotspots