How to Shoot Long Exposure Pics On an iPhone

Slow Shutter Cam Makes It Easy to Shoot Long Exposure Photography

Jose Rizal Bridge (2015) - Slow Shutter Cam
Brad Puet

The Slow Shutter Cam ($.99 in iTunes) app is not a newbie by any means in the App Store (it's exclusive on iOS).  It is designed to focus on a genre of photography that is used by all types of photographers.  It's focus - long exposure photography.  The idea behind it is that it simulates the idea of setting longer shutter speeds than normal.

The shutter control on the iPhone is not user controlled.

 Unlike Android and Windows Phone devices, the iPhone has not released the manual control of the shutter without a third party app.  The iPhone's camera automatically adjust the ISO and shutter speed to get you the correct exposure.  It's limiting if you wanted to expand and become more creative in mobile photography.

The best app with the longest record of great standing is - the Slow Shutter Cam.

What Can You Do With It?

Slow Shutter Cam gives you different types of long exposures through different capture modes:

  • Motion Blur mode is used for suggesting movement in your images by adding blur.  For example waterfalls are a great visual to show long exposure through motion blur.
  • Light Trail mode is the type of long exposure that you use to capture car light trails or fireworks.  It's capturing moving light.
  • Low Light mode allows the capture of as many of the light sources available and sending it to your phone's camera sensor.  The longer the shutter speed, the more light it captures.  It helps make really dark scenes become brighter.

    Using the App

    It's a relatively simple app to use because it's so straight forward as far as its purpose.  Once you open the app it automatically goes into the live shooting.  Here you can choose the modes listed above for the scene you plan on using.

    On the left hand side (always use this app in landscape mode) will be your options: front/rear facing camera - AF lock - AE lock - option to remove live preview - flash.

     The live preview window is the smaller window and you can see what you capture based on the settings you choose.

    One the right hand side from top to bottom: settings - shutter button - capture modes.  The settings tab opens up all the app settings.  The shutter button is self-explanatory. The capture modes is the types of mode you decide - motion, light trail, and low light. Depending on the mode you choose, each gives you extra sensitive settings.

    Word Up! My Final Word

    Slow Shutter Cam gives you the best chance to become creative and controlling long exposures with your iPhone.  The capture modes are diverse enough to be able to produce different outcomes and its relatively easy to use once you start to play around with the settings per mode.

    Just like using a big camera DSLR, it takes a bit of a learning curve to know exactly what you are capturing.  Play with the settings and find the sweet spot for the scenes and environments you choose.  Because long exposure photography is sensitive to camera shake, the best and really the only way to do long exposure for mobile or big camera work is by using a tripod, a remote camera app for shutter press, patience, and understanding the idea of long exposure capture.

    Slow Shutter Cam is an easy to use camera app.  My recommendation is to certainly purchase it.  My advice is to simply experiment with the settings.