Take great long exposure photos from your iPhone

Long exposure photos with the iPhone

Surely on many occasions you have seen those photographs in which the water seems to slide through the image, or those in which different lights travel across the road. Well, they are long exposure photographs, something that you can do perfectly with your iPhone and that in this post we are going to tell you how to do them easily.

Long exposure photos on iOS

Surely you may be wondering about the particularities of this type of images and how to get them from your iPhone without installing any application. We will discuss this in the next sections.

How are these types of photos?

In the world of photography it is known that long exposure is the technique of keep the shutter open during a certain period of time, this means that during that space of time the camera is capturing everything that happens, therefore, if there is movement, it will also capture it. To carry out this technique with professional cameras, you must have certain knowledge about photography and play with the shutter speed to obtain the result you are looking for, something that obviously is not within the reach of all users.

One of the advantages of having an iPhone is the great photographic capacity that this device grants to all its users, and an example of this is long exposure photography, since you will not need to have a professional camera or know what the shutter speed is to get a long exposure image.

As we have mentioned, long exposure photographs are characterized by capture the movement of certain elements. The most characteristic examples are those in which the water of a river or a waterfall appears as a smooth layer that seems to be in motion. Also those photographs in which many lights are seen traveling along a road, the result of the movement of cars.

Steps to do it natively

Surely you are wondering if this impressive style of photography is capable of doing it on the iPhone, and the reality is that it is, and also the steps you have to follow to achieve it are not complicated at all. In fact, you won’t have to do practically anything different from what you usually do when shooting a photo, since everything is focused on what you have to do later. The steps are below.

  1. open the app Camera on your iPhone.
  2. Activate Live Photography by clicking on the icon that appears at the top right of the screen.
  3. Focus on what you want to photograph.
  4. take the picture staying as still as possible. If you have the possibility of using a tripod, the result will be even better.
  5. open the photo what you just did.
  6. Click where the word « appearslive» at the top left of the screen.
  7. Choose the option «Long exposition«.

get long exposure

With these simple steps you will have your long exposure photography ready. This process has been achieved by Apple by making the iPhone capable of shooting different photos over a period of time, however, and one of the handicaps of getting long exposure photos this way is that there is no way to be able to change the time that the device is capturing information, therefore, natively you will not be able to raise the level of this type of images.

Night mode and shutter speed

The long exposure is not only useful to be able to capture the movement of water or the lights left by cars along a road, but it is also very useful to be able to capture the starry sky at night. In that aspect, the iPhone each generation has been evolving the famous night mode, which after all, consists of taking a long exposure photograph for a few seconds. In other words, whenever you use night mode on your iPhone, be aware that the result you get is the result of a long exposure, which has an automatic or manual duration that you can change whenever you want.

iPhone 12 night mode

If at the time of shooting a photograph in night mode you do it with the device held in your hand, natively Apple will only let you increase to 10 seconds the exposure time. However, in order to capture the starry sky in the best possible way, you need to use a much longer exposure time and this is only possible if you use a tripod to leave iPhone fixed for the time you set later. In this case, Apple increases the exposure time to the 30 secondsbut if you still think that it is not enough and to obtain the result you want you need more exposure time, you can use one of the applications that we have talked about to configure a longer exposure time.

Apps that also add options

As we have just mentioned, the limitation that users who want to take long exposure photography with the iPhone have is that you cannot customize the time you want the camera to be taking a photo. Therefore, this means that certain results cannot be obtained, at least natively, since in order to raise the level there are different applications that allow you to use your iPhone almost like a professional camera, and therefore increase the possibilities for Time to take these types of photos.



This is surely about one of the most expensive camera apps that you can find in the App Store, yes, without having an exorbitant price. But it has a huge amount of functions that for all users who want to take their iPhone’s camera to a professional level, it will come in handy.

Obviously, and what interests us at this time is to be able to take long exposure photography, and how could it be otherwise, with ProCamera you will have access to set manually all aspects of the camera, including the shutter speedwhich is what will allow you to capture long exposure photos with the iPhone.

ProCamera.  RAW Photo Editor
ProCamera.  RAW Photo Editor

Slow Shutter Cam

slow shutter cam

We continue talking about payment applications, but this it is very specialsince it is an app that has been conceived and developed so that users have within their reach a perfect tool to take long-exposure photographs with the iPhone, in fact its very name makes it quite clear why users buy it.

Without a doubt, it is the ideal application for users who want to take long-exposure photographs. In addition, for those users who do not want to modify the parameters manually, it has three different shooting modesthe motion blurto generate those effects of waterfall or movement in the water, the trail lightintended for those images in which the light from the cars draws different lines on the roads, and the mode Low lightfor taking long exposure photos at night.

Specter Camera

Specter Camera

If before we said that Slow Shutter Cam is to meet the needs of users who want to shoot long exposure photos with their iPhone, without a doubt Specter Camera is a competition, and a very good one. In this case uses AI to create incredible images long exposure. It’s also a paid app, but at the end of the day, it’s ideal for photography lovers to get the most out of the iPhone’s camera.

If you want to get those images with rivers of light, with this app you won’t have to touch anything at all, it will take care of all the work so that the result is perfect. In the same way you will be able to get the photographs where the water seems to slide in the same image. After all, it’s made for users who do not want to complicate at a technical level, but if they want to obtain very attractive results.

Pro Cam 8

Pro Cam 8

We finish the applications section talking about one of the most popular in terms of photography. ProCam 8 has earned its good popularity based on giving users a tool to transform the iPhone into a truly professional camera thanks to all the functions it puts on the table.

Among all of them, obviously, in this post we have to highlight the one that will allow you to take long exposure photographs, since it has that slow shutter mode. In addition, you will be able to manually modify the focus, the exposure, the shutter speed, of course, the ISO and the white balance, so that the photograph you finally get is exactly what you were looking for.

Pro Cam 8
Pro Cam 8