How to take long exposure dream pictures with your iPhone.

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Of IPhone 13 Pro. Can take amazing pictures that can be obtained from the phone. Even Apple’s cheapest. IPhone SE Can Take beautiful pictures That you can’t expect from such a cheap handset. But hidden inside these phones, or any iPhone launched after the iPhone 6, is a creative trick that lets you turn your everyday photos into long exposure shots into dreams.


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Read: Phone Photography 101: Take amazing photos from any phone.

A long exposure image is any image where the shutter is deliberately left open long enough to blur the motion of the image. Look at the pictures of the waterfalls and you will surely see the pictures where the storm of water has smoothed in this worldly flow – this is a long exhibition.

To take this type of picture with a DSLR camera, you usually need a tripod to keep the camera stable and a filter that blocks the light. This is often needed because leaving the shutter open for a second or more can cause too much light, resulting in an over-exposed shot.

Long exposure after the iPhone.

IPhone 11 Pro (left) and a standard image taken with the same image, with long exposure mode enabled (right).

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The iPhone uses a different and much more clever technique, however, it does not require additional equipment. It uses live photo, a feature that converts a still image into a short animation by recording a few seconds of video when you fire the shutter.

Analyzing what things are moving, the iPhone captures the motion and blurs it. It is also able to recognize what is not moving (for example a rock or a wall) and tries to keep these objects fast and focused. This is a great way because it allows you to get long exposure images in the bright sun in the middle of the day without using a tripod or filter. Take these, DSLRs.

Here’s how you can do it.


Sharp water creates an attractive opacity, while rocks remain static and sharp.

Andrew Howell / CNET

Learn what a great shot of a long exposure.

Not everything works as a long display image. The proximity of a flower flying in the air will only become a faded mess, while the image of a static car will remain, well, static.

All you need is a scene where both static and moving elements are present. Waterfalls are a common theme because the rushing water will fade while the rocks will remain solid all around. Any body of water, really, would be a good subject to experiment with.

Long exposure iPhone Disney

The standard shot (left) looks like an old, forgotten picture of Disney Park. But a long display (right) turns it into an ethereal image that really shows the movement in the scene.

Andrew Howell / CNET

You can also try the busy city streets (remember your social distance!) The effect of the long exposure will keep the buildings and streets sharp and stable in the image, but the people walking around will fade into the form of ghosts, which The atmosphere will look dramatic.

Turn on live photos.

Getting a long-exposure image requires animation recorded in a live photo, so it’s important to turn on the shooting mode. It is located in the camera’s upper right of the screen (when portrait orientation) or upper left (in landscape orientation). You will see a two circle icon surrounded by a circle with a third dot. If there is no line through it, live images are activated. If there’s a line through it, tap on the icon and you’ll see a “live” message appear in a small yellow box on the screen.

IPhone long exposure.

Make sure there is no line through this icon.

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Be steadfast

Although the iPhone does not need a tripod to get a good long view image, you will get the best results if you keep the phone as stable as possible while taking live images. I recommend hitting the phone against a wall or other fixed surface while shooting. If you have to hold the phone in your hand, I noticed that wrapping my elbows around my body and holding my breath helps to blur the motion while taking a shot.

It is also a good idea to hammer the shutter button when you are in position. This will increase your chances of capturing at least one image that is stable enough for an attractive long display.

Long exposure-iPhone-2

Swipe to your live image in the gallery and activate the long exposure effect.

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Make a long display.

Once you’ve captured your live image, it’s time to turn it into a real long display. Open your photo in your gallery and swipe up. This will bring up a panel called Effects Where you can loop movement in video into GIFs. Swipe to the end of the effects panel though and you’ll see a call. Long exposure.. Tap it

It will take a second or two, but you’ll quickly see how any movement in your shot is blurred, leaving you in a dreamy state. You can then zoom in to check if it’s still nice and fast. Feel free to apply the same effect to other images you have taken from the same scene, only if they work better.


I didn’t intend this shot to be a long exposure when I first took it, but since it was a live image, I was able to go back later and turn on the longer exposure mode.

Andrew Howell / CNET

Check your library.

Before looking for a waterfall near you, take a look at your library to see if you already have pictures that will work. The great thing about using the iPhone’s long display device is that you don’t have to use it while shooting. You can go back and apply it to any long exposure image you have taken so far.

You may have visited Niagara Falls or Howas Falls in Arizona a few years ago and enabled live photos while taking your shots. You can swipe and activate long exposure on any of these shots. You can even go to your live photo album in your gallery so you can see all the shots on your phone that can be turned into a long display. I suggest? Put on a good podcast, sit in a comfortable chair and see what dream shots you can take from your library.

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