How to Take Long Exposure on iPhone

Alicia Santos

iPhone, Tutorials

Long exposure photography is a popular technique that allows you to capture stunning images with unique effects. While traditionally achieved with professional cameras and specialized equipment, you can now experiment with long exposure right on your iPhone. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the steps to take long exposures on your iPhone, resulting in mesmerizing photos.

What is Long Exposure Photography?

Long exposure photography involves using a longer shutter speed to capture light over an extended period of time. This technique is commonly used to create stunning effects such as light trails, smooth waterfalls, or surreal nightscapes. By allowing more light into the camera sensor, long exposures can produce unique and dramatic visuals.

1. Find a Stable Surface

To ensure sharp and steady long exposure shots, it’s important to stabilize your iPhone. Find a stable surface like a tripod or any flat surface where you can rest your phone securely. You can also use accessories like tripod mounts or smartphone stands for added stability.

2. Enable Live Photos

Long exposures on an iPhone are achieved by taking advantage of Live Photos feature. Open your camera app and make sure Live Photos mode is enabled. You can find this option at the top of your camera interface; it should be highlighted yellow when activated.

3. Choose the Right Subject

Selecting the right subject for your long exposure shot is crucial in creating captivating images. Some popular subjects include flowing water bodies like rivers or waterfalls, moving vehicles at night, or even stars in the sky.


  • Bold Text: Experiment with different subjects to see what works best for you.
  • Bold Text: Look for scenes with interesting light patterns or motion.
  • Bold Text: Consider shooting during the golden hour (sunrise or sunset) for beautiful colors.

4. Compose Your Shot

Once you’ve found the perfect subject, take a moment to compose your shot. Consider the framing and the elements you want to include in your photo. Take into account any leading lines or points of interest that will enhance the overall composition.

5. Set the Exposure Time

Now it’s time to set the exposure time for your long exposure shot. Tap on the “clock” icon located at the top of your camera interface. You will be presented with several options ranging from 1/8th of a second up to a full 3 seconds of exposure time.


  • Underlined Text: Start with shorter exposure times and gradually increase as you gain more experience.
  • Underlined Text: Experiment with different exposure times to achieve different effects.

6. Hold Steady and Capture

To capture a long exposure photo, hold your iPhone as still as possible throughout the entire duration of the exposure. Any movement during this time can result in blurred images. Press the shutter button and keep your iPhone steady until it completes capturing the image.

7. Review and Edit

After capturing your long exposure shot, review it in your Photos app. You can edit it further using various editing tools available on your iPhone, such as adjusting brightness, contrast, or applying filters to enhance its visual appeal.

In conclusion, capturing long exposures on an iPhone allows you to unlock a whole new world of creative possibilities. By following these steps and experimenting with different subjects and exposure times, you can capture stunning long exposure shots that will impress your friends and followers.

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