If you photograph a fountain or waterfall with the iPhone camera-app during the day, the motion is frozen due to the fast shutter speed. The iPhone camera-app will always try to take photos with a high shutter speed. The water drops are sharp and look like marbles. But how do you take a photo that shows the movement of waterfalls and fountains with a milky dramatic effect?
Shooting at slow shutter speeds is a technique that you can use for your iPhone photography to add special effects to your photo. For a long exposure, the shutter of a camera is opened longer, so that moving parts are blurred. However, with the standard iPhone Camera-app you cannot set a shutter speed and the longest exposure is 1/3 of a second. If you want to photograph the movement of water, you need an exposure time of at least 1 second.
In this blog I will explain how you can use the Live Photos function of the iPhone Camera-app and the free camera-app Lightroom CC Mobile to simulate the effect of a slow shutter speed. With these apps you can photograph fountains and waterfalls with motion in a simple way and without a tripod.
Photograph waterfalls and fountains with the Live Photos function
You first take a Live Photo and for the slow shutter speed you then apply the Live Photo effect Long exposure.
A Live Photo is a photo with 3 seconds of video with sound. To make a Live Photo, launch the iPhone Camera app and select the photo mode. The Live Photos function is switched on by default. A Live Photo is taken the moment you press the release button. The video recording is started 1.5 seconds before and stopped 1.5 seconds after the photo. (Keep this in mind while shooting).
Photographing waterfalls and fountains
In the photo below you can see from the yellow circle that Live Photos is switched on. You can also enable HDR or the flash. Keep your iPhone as still as possible and take the picture. The word Live appears on the screen during recording.
The Live Photo effect Long exposure
You can reach the Live Photo effects by swiping up on your photo, after which you can choose from Live (default), Loop, Bounce and Long Exposure. Select Long Exposure so that the individual images of the video are merged into one photo and moving parts are blurred.
Video Live Photo-effect Long Exposure
Photographing waterfalls and fountains with Lightroom CC Mobile
The Camera app Lightroom CC Mobile has a long exposure mode, with which you can expose up to five seconds. The app then takes several photos in succession and merges them into one. From the iPhone 6S you can select the RAW file format DNG.
Select the Long Exposure mode to the left of the shutter button. The DNG or JPG file format is displayed at the top of the screen and you can change it by tapping it. If you have an iPhone with a dual camera, you can tap the symbol to the right of the shutter button to switch between the wide-angle lens and the telephoto lens. Tap Sec for the exposure time (0.5 – 5 Sec). If you do not use a tripod, leave the default setting Hand Held to on.
Photographing waterfalls and fountains
Keep your iPhone as still as possible and take the picture. Lightroom CC takes a series of photos in quick succession during the exposure time, which are combined into one photo. The duration of the merge depends on the exposure time and file format and can be quite long.
With the Live Photo-effect Long Exposure and the Long Exposure mode of the App Lightroom CC Mobile, you can simulate the effect of a slow shutter speed and thus capture motion. Both apps are easy to use and a tripod is not required.
The benefits of Live Photo compared to Lightroom CC Mobile
- You don’t need to install an additional app.
- Works fast.
- You can use the flash.
- HDR is available.
The benefits of Lightroom CC Mobile
- The photo is not cropped. The Live Photo Long Exposure effect makes the format slightly smaller to remove camera shake.
- The RAW file format DNG is available.
- The exposure time is adjustable.
For exposure times longer than 5 seconds you can use the app Slow Shutter cam.