iPhone Tip: Get that long exposure look

January 19, 2018
In this post, we share a little known trick on how to get that long exposure look from an iPhone camera.

I like doing things a little different...

With the rising quality of iPhone photography, anyone can take a decent photo with a little bit of composition, some nice morning or evening light and BAM - you've got yourself a great snap to share.

I used to think that in order to get that bit of difference in my photography, I had to carry my DSLR camera everywhere, and filter in this instance, to get those popular smooth water, soft cloud or angelic waterfall shots that you see doing the rounds on social media.

One neat trick I recently found however, is that the iPhone is 'capable' of replicating these dreamy images - andI thought I'd share how to achieve this long exposure technique.

Steps:

Step 1 / Like every good photo, it's still important to get your composition, lighting, angle and mood right. Particularly with creating this type of image, moving things such as the ocean, clouds, motor vehicles or boats and waterfalls etc. make for a great shot.

Step 2 / It is really important on the iPhone for these types of shots that the 'LIVE' mode is selected. If it's just a normal photo, the phone can't create the long exposure look.

To do this (note: this may only be available on newer iPhones), open the 'Camera' app and select the little circle icon, in the middle, up the top of the screen.

live image activated
The yellow, circle icon activates 'LIVE' photos.

Step 3 / Having framed your photo up and turned on LIVE photos, it's time to take your shot. My tips for this step are to stay incredibly steady and take more than one photo.

If there's any movement, even slight, it reduces the quality of how well your shot may come out. Given we're not actually shooting with a long exposure, we need to help the process as much as possible. Use you knee or other arm to steady yourself, and have a good balance to ensure you're keeping still with each shot. Also, take a handful of photos to ensure you've got at least one good one to choose from.

the original shot at nutgrove
Here's our still, straight and LIVE original photo down at Sandy Bay's Nutgrove Beach.

Step 4 / Now we've got our LIVE photo, it's time to turn it into a long exposure shot. Do this by opening the photo in the PHOTOS app on your iPhone. 

Step 5 / Once open, drag up from the middle of the photo and you'll see a range of options like the image below.

how to access the advanced menus
Swipe up from the open image reveals these options. It might take a bit of time for the iPhone to render the different styles.

Step 6 / Once the options are 'rendered', swipe left around where it says "Loop" and "Bounce" (also cool effects, allowing you to create your own Boomerang too!) and you'll see "Long Exposure". Select this, and let it finalise your image (you may see the spinning wheel and this may take a bit of time - be patient here).

swipe to access long exposure
Once rendered, the "Long Exposure" option will be available and give your awesome snap that blurred look.

Step 7 / Just like that, you can now swipe back to your photo where you should have a sweet looking, 'long exposure' image from your simple snap! 

Remember, this is something that you may need to practice or do a few times to ensure you get the right shot - but it's something that you can also do on the fly.

Be mindful that the quality of these photos isn't anywhere near what a good DSLR setup can achieve, but if you're looking to improve your Instagram stories or want to share something a little different on social media - it's a great trick to know and hopefully comes in handy!

final shot with long exposure
The finished result down at Nutgrove Beach.
iPhone Tip: Get that long exposure look



iPhone Tip: Get that long exposure look

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