Long Exposure Photography with iPhone

Long exposure photography is something that can really give you beautiful pictures.

With any digital camera, you’re going to be able to take these wonderful photos.

The thing with digital cameras is that not everyone has access to one. They can be relatively expensive and people aren’t always going to want to splurge on getting one.

However, something that most people do have nowadays is a smartphone. In particular, a lot of people have an iPhone.

When you look at long exposure photography, you may think that a fancy camera is absolutely necessary to get these pictures.

You can get high-quality long exposure photos with just your iPhone. You just need to know how.

Long Exposure Photography with iPhone

Your iPhone is a tool that can be used to take amazing photos.

You can actually use it for just about any type of photography. Because of that, it’s important to understand the iPhone camera settings fully.

Long exposure shots are something that may not be very easy to get, but once you understand how to get them with your iPhone, you’ll see that it’s not as hard as you may think.

There are a few tips that you can use to help you get the type of picture you want, then there are a few more things you need to know about your iPhone to help you get the long exposure photo you want.

Below you’re going to see both the tips to help get the photo you need and the things you can do with your iPhone to give you that long exposure effect.

What to Photograph

When it comes to long exposure photography, it can sometimes be difficult to really figure out what to photography, especially if you’re a beginner.

If you want to have a good long exposure photograph, you need to make sure the photo has some sort of movement in it.

Because of that, the best thing you can do is photograph moving water or cars on the street.

These are going to give you cool effects with the long exposure photographs.

If you take a long exposure photograph without any movement in it then you’re going to end up with a picture that essentially looks like a normal photo.

You’ve pretty much wasted your time with trying long exposure if you’re lacking any type of movement.

Some of the most common long exposure photos you’ll see are light trail photos. You see a car in the photo but you also see a trail of light behind it as if the light is trying to catch up to it.

If you want to really get creative with long exposure photos, you might have to do something that people may not think about. So, you could combine long exposure with some of these fun fall picture ideas to get something you may have never seen with long exposure before.


Having a tripod is one of the most crucial aspects of long exposure photography.

Long exposure photography means that your shutter speed is going to be much slower than usual.

Basically, your camera needs more time to take the picture. Because of this, any small movements are going to be detected.

Having a tripod is going to greatly help when it comes to this potential problem. A tripod is going to cut down on the movement that can occur when you’re taking a photo.

With an iPhone, you’re not going to really notice much camera shake when you take your picture. However, you’ll understand later on why a tripod is still necessary, especially when you want the perfect long exposure photo.

If you’re a little concerned about what kind of tripod to get, there are specific attachments that you can use so that any tripod will work with your iPhone.

You Don’t Need Apps

There are apps out there that can help you achieve the long exposure effect that you’re looking for.

In my opinion, this isn’t going to help you achieve as high of a quality picture as you can get.

All you really need is the camera app.

This is something that can help you achieve any type of photo you need, especially when you have an iPhone. The iPhone’s camera is good enough to the point where you can achieve very good photos without needing any extra apps to try and “enhance” the photo.

The only enhancement you may need to your pictures will come after the photo is already taken during any editing phase you do.

Take a Live Photo

The first step to actually taking a long exposure photograph is to make sure you have live photos turned on.

To do this, open the camera app. Once it’s opened, you’ll notice there is an icon with multiple circles around the top middle of the screen.

This is the live photo icon. You can make sure it’s on by tapping it. If it’s yellow, that means it’s on.

From this point forward you’ll be taking live photos.

A live photo is basically a mini-movie that your phone takes. It’s a clip that lasts a few seconds that your phone takes.

When you see the photo on your phone, it’s going to look like a normal photo. However, if you press and hold the photo, you’re going to see the actual live photo from start to finish.

Create the Long Exposure

After you’ve set everything up and snapped your photo, the rest is relatively easy.

Now it’s time to actually give your photo the live exposure look that you want.

You need to open your photo app. Go to the photo that you want the effect added to.

Once you’re on the photo, swipe up.

When you do this, you should be see something titled effects. If you swipe to the right some, you should see an effect titled “long exposure.”

All you need to do is tap the long exposure effect and your photo should automatically be edited.

You’ll start to see the motion blur that you’re looking for.

The long exposure photo that you want will officially be on your phone and you got it without a fancy camera.

Long Exposure Without the Big Camera

Doing iPhone photography is something that isn’t very easy.

Photography, in general, isn’t an easy task. It takes a lot of practice to even come close to perfection.

Even the most skilled photographers are never going to be perfect all the time. Photography is something that always has a ton of variables depending on what your intended subject is supposed to be.

Because of that, you can only imagine how much more difficult iPhone photography must be.

Your iPhone has a good camera, but it isn’t anywhere near as sophisticated as a camera that you spend a ton of money on. There aren’t as many settings to mess around with.

The iPhone camera is much more straight forward.

However, the good news is that not all of the things with your iPhone photos come straight from the picture itself.

Some of the work is going to come in the editing you do after the photo is taken. The iPhone has a ton of ways to edit your photos.

So, even if you don’t take the best photo, your editing can really make it so your photos look as though a professional took them.

Yes, you need to make sure your photo isn’t completely terrible, especially if you want the long exposure effect, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be perfect.

With enough practice and patience, you can get the long exposure photos you want with little to no problems at all.