How to Take Photos With Long Exposure with Live Photos

How to Take Photos With Long Exposure with Live Photos

Hello dear Apple users,
I think you are aware of Live Photos. It is a fancy iPhone & iPad feature that can transform a series of pictures into one single movie clip. The latest versions of iOS even support a range of awesome Live Photos effects, for example, people can create great long exposure pictures.

Long exposure is usually an advantage of professional photo cameras and tripods. You just leave your shutter open for a long time and get an awesome blur effect of motion. However, this feature became available on iPhones with built-in Live Photos app. You can get a long exposure picture instantly by taking a pic with an iPhone or iPad cam.

In my tutorial, I'll teach you how to take such beautiful long exposure photos by using the Live Photos app.

For making magic, you'll need a mobile Apple device with iOS 11 or later. Even if your iPhone or iPad runs an earlier version with Live Photos available, there may be no Long exposure option.

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How to Take Photos With Long Exposure

Taking photos with this effect via Live Photos app may seem a little complicated at first glance, however, it is easy and intuitive. Firstly, you take a photo with Live Photos, secondly, you add an effect to the picture. It may seem a bit confusing, but I am sure that once you try it and understand how it works, you won't have any additional questions to the process.

  1. Take a Live Photo picture with your iPhone or iPad.
    Open the Camera app and visit the 'Photo' option.
    Switch on 'Live Photos', check whether it is turned on. It looks like a ring with circles that become yellow after the function is enabled.

    long exposure live photos image6
    Shoot a photo as you usually do it, hold the camera steadily, and your Live Photo will be created.
    By the way, the 'Live Photos' feature will stay turned on until you decide to turn it off. You can take as many live photos as you like, and then review them and leave the best ones on your iPhone.
  2. Go to 'Photos' and choose one of the taken Live photos simply by tapping on it.
  3. Swipe this photo up.

    long exposure live photos image2
  4. Swipe over once again to enter the 'Effects' section. Here, you'll find the list of effect applicable to your Live photo.

    long exposure live photos image4
  5. Choose the 'Long exposure' option and wait for a couple of seconds for the effects to take place. The image will be transformed to a long exposure picture.

    long exposure live photos image3

Once you try it, you'll notice that some magic had happened. A long exposure image was created. iOS analyses the shots and keeps only necessary image data, so shots become great and I can really say that sometimes a masterpiece can be created by using this feature.

For instance, here is a long exposure image of a river created by an iPhone. It gives the picture some motion look by blurring the details.

Here's the result:

long exposure live photos image5
And this is the original image taken by Live Photos. See now? It looks like an ordinary picture of water.

long exposure live photos image1
After you've created a long exposure picture, feel free to share it via Messages, social media like Facebook or Instagram, uploading them to a Mac or a PC, or you may want to edit them more in some professional image editing software.
By the way, bot so long ago I wrote an article about my personal TOP image editors for Mac.


Tips for Taking Long Exposure Photos With Live Photos

These are the tips that will allow you to achieve the best results:

  • Take a picture of some moving object. The water images are a great choice, as water is always moving. Try to experiment by shooting creeks, rivers, sea and ocean waves, waterfalls. I can recommend you to experiment also with traffic light in the evening, fireworks and other light objects.
  • Keep your camera as steady as it's possible. This will reduce the blur effect and make picture more detailed.
  • If there is a contrast between an object and its surroundings,you'll get the best long exposure photos.
  • If you need, you can undo the effect of a long exposure. Just go to the Live Photos effects section, choose the 'Live photo' option instead of choosing 'Long exposure'.

For me, this is one of the most interesting Live Photos effects. Another one is creating GIFs, but I'll tell you about it later, in another article.
I think if you're fond of taking photos, this feature may be number 1 for you. What's more, I've noticed that this built-in feature gives more effect than third-party editing apps, you should surely try it.