Long-exposure photography creates smooth transitions by keeping the camera shutter open for a long time. To take such a picture with a DSLR camera, you usually need a tripod and a light-blocking filter to avoid getting highlights in the picture.
But the iPhone uses a different technique that doesn’t require any special equipment or much time. With Live Photos, you can turn your photo not only into an animation but also into a beautiful blurry photo with a long exposure effect.
Your device combines all the pictures together and blurs them slightly. In addition, iPhone can detect which objects are not moving and keep them sharp. If you want to know how to take a photo with double exposure you can learn about it on the Skylum blog.
How to take a Live Photo with a slow shutter speed
Please note that you must have an iPhone 6 or later because devices starting with this version support this feature.
- Go to the standard camera app and turn on Live Photo by clicking the icon at the top;
- Take a picture in Live Photo mode, and try not to move your iPhone while it’s taking the photo. To take a long-exposure Live Photo, it is better to choose a river or a night street;
- Go to the gallery, tap the Live Photo icon at the top, and select Long Shutter Speed.
With this simple “trick”, you can create beautiful pictures that will copy the effect of a professional camera. It’s an interesting idea to dilute your everyday pictures from your summer vacation.
But, unfortunately, the standard iPhone camera does not offer such precise settings as, for example, Halide or Lightroom, which allow you to adjust the shutter speed manually and work in pro mode. Therefore, the Live Photo option is only suitable for beginners.
To create a long exposure picture make sure there is at least one moving element in the frame at the right moment. It could be a car passing by, a train arriving at the station, or falling water. The background should be clean and static. So, a Live photo with too many people running around can turn into a blurry mishmash.
- Launch the standard Camera app on your iPhone;
- Make sure Live Photos is active in the settings;
- Select a subject to take pictures of. Cars, lights, a running fountain, and a waterfall are good choices. In general, anything that moves will do;
- Take a picture of the moving object. At this step, you just need to hold your smartphone steady in your hand (or with a tripod) and press the shutter button. The iPhone needs to be held still for another two seconds. Live photos include a second and a half before you press the shutter button and a second and a half after that;
- After the picture is taken, open it in the standard Photos app (Albums tab → Photo Live Photos section).
Next, if you have an iPhone running iOS 15 or a newer version of the software, tap the LIVE button in the upper left corner. In the list that appears, select Long Shutter. The system will put together all the frames of your live photo and the result will be a great photo with the desired level of blur. It can then be edited like a normal photo using the built-in tools in the Photos app or third-party photo editors for iOS. You can easily find the photo itself by going to Photos → Albums → Media File Types → Long Shutter.
You can easily find the photo in the Photo Capture by the Slow Shutter icon (in the upper left corner).
If you need to return the photo to its original Live Photo appearance, you can do so.
- Open the captured picture with the slow shutter speed in the Photo app;
- Swipe up from the bottom to navigate to Effects;
- Select the Animation effect (the first in the list).
This will return you to the original Live Photo.
Of course, this is not a “real” long exposure, but a software simulation. But the visual effect is still very impressive.
How to take a looping (long exposure) photo on your iPhone using the Slow Shutter Cam app
This program gives a perfect balance between ease of use and functionality. It offers three basic modes, one of which is designed specifically for photos with a slight blur (Light Trail). Conveniently, the app is not overloaded with unnecessarily complicated functions, and learning how to work will take much less time than with a professional camera.
What’s important to us is the Slow Shutter Cam’s ability to adjust the shutter speed depending on what you’re shooting. The app allows you to use your smartphone’s volume button as the shutter and set a self-timer to minimize camera shake.
- Launch the program and click on the gear icon;
- Select the Light Trail profile and move the Shutter Speed slider (shutter speed in seconds) to the Bulb value, thus setting the manual mode of the application and allowing you to decide at what moment to take the picture;
- Press the Shutter button to take the photo;
- Watch what is happening on the iPhone display. The boundaries of moving objects will begin to blur in real time. For example, the surface of a waterfall will become smooth, the flames of fire will lose sharpness, etc. If you are satisfied with the effect, press the shutter button again;
- To save the picture, press the Save button.
So you can take a photo with a long exposure in another way. Use the information from our knowledge and have patience and you will take great pictures!