How To Shoot Amazing Long Exposure Photos With Your Phone

Long exposure photography is one of the most interesting photography techniques. It allows you to create unique pictures using long-duration shutter speed, where moving subject are blurred out to create a beautiful surreal look and adds an artistic touch too. While long exposure photography is traditionally limited to SLR cameras, you can now use your smartphone too. With some practice you should be able to capture pictures, which are one of a kind. Here’s How To Shoot Amazing Long Exposure Photos With Your Phone. Check it out!

Use A Tripod

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Using a tripod is crucial to make sure your phone remains steady during the capture and you don’t end up with pictures where every object is completely blurred because of the low shutter speed. If you don’t have a tripod, you have to improvise and use your surroundings and to keep the phone perfectly still. Although, we would recommend that you beg, borrow or steal one, specially for long exposures.

When choosing a tripod for long exposure photography, keep in mind that the tripod must be sturdy enough to remain stable on different surfaces and weather. A good tripod should provide you great stability and a lot of control to get the composition and framing right. Also, try not to tap the screen too hard when taking the picture as the vibration from touching the screen can also ruin an otherwise perfect long-exposure shot.

There are many different tripod mounts available in the market, which allow you to attach your phone to the tripod and carry it around effortlessly. Choose one which provides maximum stability and ease.

Shutter Release


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Many smartphones, such as iPhone allow you to use earbuds for shutter release. If you plug in the earbuds, open the camera app and press the volume up button, you’ll be able to take pictures without physically touching your iPhone. Using earbuds for shutter release allow you to minimize camera shake while using a tripod.

Download An App

How To Shoot Amazing Long Exposure Photos With Your Phone

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Many smartphones don’t support true long exposures as their shutter cannot stay open for a long period of time. However, there are many apps such as Slow Shutter Cam, that digitally combining multiple exposures of the same photo to simulate long exposures. Choose one which suits your OS and smartphone and make sure you explore app settings to select the highest picture quality and turn on the volume button shutter.

Exposure Settings

Long Exposure Calculators for iPhone and iPad

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After framing the shot, all you have to do is select the right exposure settings. The settings menu differ from phone to phone, but there are basic settings, you can adjust in most, which is capture mode, shutter speed and ISO.
For exposures, choose a capture mode, which allow you maximum control. In most cases, it’s manual mode. Now, all you need to do is adjust the shutter speed or capture duration, according to your subjects and desired results. You can move from exposures lasting 4 to 30 seconds or as much your phone or app allows. However, if the shutter speed is too long, you risk blurring out your subjects, if they are not stationary altogether.

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Keep in mind, ISO and shutter speed settings are dependent on each other. So, if you are increasing the shutter speed value, the ISO should decreases and vice-versa. You may need slow shutter speed and higher ISO to shoot in low-light situations, but be prepared for noise with higher ISO. You must experiment with different combinations until you find the ones that work best for each particular picture. Also, try to maintain White Balance (WB), before you start shooting.


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For long-exposure photography, you can try landscapes, roads, highways and cityscapes. All of these are ideal for long exposures. You can even try light painting. Generally, try to avoid pictures with too many light sources. For example, street lamps and headlights could be too bright for your camera settings. The best for shooting long-exposure photographs is between evening and morning.

Final Step

Get On With It!

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