(Editor’s note: Welcome to Mobile Mondays. In this new column, we’re going to show you some great ways to further you photography with the camera you always have with you — your smartphone.)
As we’re out and about, we might not always have our cameras with us. But that shouldn’t stop us from capturing something we find inspiring.
Lauri Novak had a great piece a couple weeks ago about keeping your phone ready for photography. And it’s true — having your phone on you is a great way to capture something that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to. I use it often while I’m flying, capturing the city lights below or a beautiful sunset in the clouds.
But did you know that you can easily capture a long exposure on your phone, too? Check out some of the techniques below to get started.
Lightroom is by far my favorite photo app for my iPhone, as it lets me control all the usual functions that would be available to me on my regular camera. Things like ISO, shutter speed, white balance and more.
Available as a technology preview for iOS users, you can use the Lightroom mobile app to capture a long exposure up to five seconds. It’s great for some creativity outdoors or around the house, and the results are stellar! To turn on this technology preview, click the gear icon in the upper right corner, and click “Technology Previews.”
Once you have the technology preview activated, it’s as simple as going to your camera in Lightroom. There, choose LONG from the camera options, and adjust the settings as necessary. You can select from a half second all the way up to five seconds in length. You can also adjust settings like image stabilization, white balance and more.
Adobe’s Pei Ketron walks through the process below.
How does it work? Well, Lightroom captures several images, and then blends them together for a long exposure effect. So while it’s not a true long exposure, it captures a similar view of what you might see with your real camera.
I played around with this over the weekend and captured the shots you see below around my neighborhood and condo. Long exposures aren’t just for water or sky — they can offer a creative view of everyday objects, too!
Other apps to use
There are a few other apps that let you control your shutter speed in a more traditional fashion. Depending on your phone, you might have the ability to take long exposures right through the stock photo app. This is typically under a “Pro” mode.
Gear to check out
In order to get a tack-sharp image, you’re going to need to stabilize your phone. If you already have a tripod or Platypod, it’s pretty cheap to pick up a phone mount. The Oben ASPTA-20 is a great sturdy mount. The Magnus STA-100B is a great and affordable choice, too.