Capturing Long Exposures on Your Phone: Mobile Photography Tips

As we’re out and about, our cameras may not always be at hand; that shouldn’t stop us from taking photographs of something inspiring that catches our eye.

Lauri Novak wrote an excellent piece a few weeks back about keeping your phone handy for photography, and it’s true: having your phone handy allows you to capture moments you wouldn’t otherwise. I use mine frequently while flying – photographing city lights below or beautiful sunsets above me.

Discovering that it is easy to capture long exposure images on a phone can be daunting at first, but here are a few techniques below to get you going.

Lightroom is my go-to app for iPhone photography, as it gives me access to all the traditional functions I would expect on any regular camera – ISO, shutter speed and white balance adjustments are just a few examples of these controls.

iOS users now have access to an exclusive technology preview offering them the capability of taking photographs with long exposure times of five seconds or longer using Lightroom mobile app for iOS. Perfect for some creative fun outdoors or around the house, and with stunning results! To enable it, click on the gear icon in the upper right corner and select “Technology Previews.”

Once the technology preview is activated, simply go to your camera in Lightroom and choose LONG from its camera options, making necessary changes as necessary – you can select between half second and five second exposure lengths while also customizing settings like image stabilization, white balance and more.

Adobe’s Pei Ketron provides an overview of this process below.

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