Photo-a-Day: Long Exposure

Camera phones lack many DSLR controls. If you habitually use “Auto” with your DSLR you won’t notice or care. For the rest of us – what can we do?

Long exposure image captures allow me to do some of my favorite things which include:

  • Blurring a subject’s motion – such as fast-moving water
  • Making arty images of stationary subject – via camera motion

Unfortunately, manual camera settings aren’t always possible with phone cameras – certainly not to the degree possible with a DSLR. What can be done about it?


The early posts in this series on camera phones will pose a question and provide an image(s) to illustrate an answer. As an example, here’s the same scene as yesterday’s daily photo (straight from the iPhone 6+ with no post processing) using the iPhone’s built-in exposure settings:

IMG_0522

followed by a long exposure (16 sec.) version (iPhone & no PP) taken immediately afterward.IMG_0520


A future post will return to the topic of camera phone manual exposure control and discuss options.

For now however, I’ll jump ahead a little to note that making a long exposure image of a moving subject requires that the camera be perfectly still – the same as with a DSLR. How that’s accomplished is up to the shooter. Here’s my answer – which is no different from with my DSLR except for the gadget attaching the iPhone to my Gitzo tripod.

D800E_150722_101436__DSC4917-resize D800E_150722_101400__DSC4916-resize

The above two images were taken with my Nikon D800E.


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