Thanks to the great performance of the iPhone’s camera, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to be able to capture long exposure photographs. This popular technique, allows you to capture motion blur, light trails and improve shots in poor light conditions. Although the default Camera app is not designed to give you control over aspects like light sensitivity and the speed of the shutter, you can find a good selection of apps in the App Store that offer this features. In order to get stunning long exposure photos, you just need your iPhone and a good tripod. Here we’ll share some tips that will come handy.
How to take great long exposures using your iPhone
The iPhone 6 and the new iPhone 7 are set to offer the best camera quality in the series, but even previous versions were known for offering great results. Apart from your iPhone, you will need a good tripod in order to capture long exposure photos effectively. This is because during long exposures, the shutter has to stay open for long periods of time, which means that you really need a tripod. If you have one for a large camera, you can find an adapter to fit your iPhone. There are affordable options (around $20) that work with a variety of smartphones, including different iPhone models.
Once you have the equipment, the nest thing you need to get is an app that will help you to get great long exposures. Slow Shutter Cam by Cogitap Software is a great option that is specifically designed for long exposure shots. It offers a great selection of features that you won’t find with other apps. You will be able to check a live preview of the picture, make any necessary adjustments and check the final results immediately. This is very convenient and allows you to spend less time editing the image afterwards. Slow Shutter Cam is available for $1.99. There are other options like LongExpo by EyeTap Soft , which is free. However, Slow Shutter Cam offers richer functionality.
This effect is created when an object passes by and with Slow Shutter Cam, you will be able to edit the photos. You simply need to tap on the edit button and you will be able to rewind and fast forward the capture to get the right balance. It is also possible to add small editing effects within Slow Shutter Cam. Motion blur allows you to make your photos unique and with Slow Shutter Cam, you will be able to get great images.
Improve low light photos
In order to get better low light photos, you will need a lot of light, but if you leave the shutter open for too long, you would get motion blur. The iPhone boosts the light sensitivity to balance things up, but this results in noise. Once again, Slow Shutter Cam proves to be a great option because it allows you to control the shutter manually. It is likely that you will need to try different shots until you find what you are looking for, but usually, you can use medium exposure setting for low light and then adjust the shutter speed to suit the environment where you are taking the photo.
Capturing Light Trails
Light trails are created by moving objects that emit light and they are usually best to capture when night is approaching. Dusk is the perfect time for this technique because it is when you will be able to capture light without getting street lights and other objects that can interfere in the image. In most cases, 15 seconds and 1/4 light sensitivity are the perfect conditions for light captures. It is also possible to stop the capture earlier if needed. You can simply tap the start button to capture a new image over a previous one, if you don’t want the first one. This is useful when you want to stop and start captures while cars are passing by and you want to focus on tail lights instead of getting the headlights.
You can also capture images after dusk, but this will require a higher light sensitivity and longer capture. You can use the pause and start feature that Slow Shutter Cam supports in order to avoid capturing cars’ headlights. To make adjustments in the photos, you can use editing tools like Google’s Snapseed.