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Long Exposure Practice

Lesson 20 from: iPhone Photography & Mobile Photography

Philip Ebiner

Long Exposure Practice

Lesson 20 from: iPhone Photography & Mobile Photography

Philip Ebiner

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Lesson Info

20. Long Exposure Practice

Next Lesson: Panoramic Practice


Class Trailer

Course Introduction


Welcome to Class


Why Are Smartphone Cameras Awesome?


The Course Challenge: Capture Your Day in 5 Photos


Camera Basics for Mobile & Smartphone Photography


Intro to Camera Basics




Focal Length


Lesson Info

Long Exposure Practice

All right, everyone. It is now night time. Uh It's kind of a brisk night here in California, but we are going to play with the long exposure mode, which is something that's brand new to most mobile phones today. Um But it's just such a cool feature. I love long exposure. I love being outdoors at night and sort of doing these photos that enable you really to see more than well, enables your camera to see more than you're able to see. Now. Looking out here, I'm going to start off and you can see that in this lower left corner, there's a little illuminated yellow box. Um And that thing that wants to do a three second exposure, it automatically tells you that it's dark, it wants to do a long exposure. I'm going to go ahead and turn that off just to show you this is the frame that we're seeing. It's, you know, not completely dark, but it's definitely pretty dark. That's the moon up there. Um It actually, to be honest, I kind of like the moodiness of this shot as is, but we're gonna go in an...

d do a long exposure just to see what it looks like. Now, what's really amazing with this camera is that it has internal stabilization for the lenses. So it actually keeps it quite still even if handheld. So that's not to say though that you don't need to keep things steady. So I'm going to sort of lock my shoulders in, set up my shot, let the autofocus hit its thing says three seconds click and I'm just doing my best not to move. It brings this little cross in the middle of the frame that you probably saw there and it shows you, you know, you're moving a little too far this way and, and helps you adjust. So there you have it. That's a three second exposure. If I zoom in, you know, there's definitely some noise. It's a little softer. I think these long exposures with how the phone sort of brings it all together. It gets a little soft, but when you fully zoom out, it's a pretty good looking photo. Now, let's go into this and see what more we can do here. So I'm going to go ahead and send it all the way to 10 seconds just to sort of see what happens. And I'm going to set up and maybe I expose out there. I'm gonna drop it down on exposure. All right, 10 seconds. So I click and you can see it counting down. Now doing this handheld is definitely not the best way. But again, like I was saying with that internal stabilization, the phone does a pretty incredible job. Now, look at that, that is 10 seconds. You can see the water out there has completely sort of flattened off. You get that water motion and it just, I don't know, it's a, it's a beautiful looking image. In my opinion, the clouds have sort of been smeared across the sky, you get some of that movement. Um But doing this handheld is definitely a bit rough. So I'm going to go and take a couple more photos, but stabilizing the camo by placing it down and getting it to sit still just to see what the difference is if we really have it secured and locked off. All right, everyone. So we are now back by the house. Uh get a little lights because we went out to basically just the darkness, the moon is up. And so we are taking some photos just by moonlight. And so let's check out the first one. I looked north and pretty cool. You know, you have the the city lights are illuminating the clouds. There's a bunch of clouds out here. It's kind of like feels like there's some mist maybe coming in and first off, I switched to the wide angle lens. So what I do love about this, you know, most astrophotography, most nighttime photography I do at least I like wide angle lenses because you get the whole sky. You get a little bit more scenery. Um Obviously though, with this green layer, we don't have many stars and so you just really see all of the um all the clouds coming over. So not my favorite photo kind of has a mood though, moving on. I pointed towards the ocean and I was up on the stairs and I looked out and, you know, it's a nice image. There's actually, it's pretty incredible. You can see the rocks that are on the sand there. Um Pretty good definition. There's definitely some noise when not in the light of where the moon is. You know, there is a lot of contrast in this image. I then went down onto the actual beach opposed to being on the stairs. And I was really excited. But then I realized that you can see my wallet in the left corner there. That's what I was using to actually prop up my camera because the thing is when taking these long exposures, if you're hand holding that just the slightest amount of shake is going to make this photo a little softer. So you really want as little movement as possible. So then this last image I actually used the timer. I made sure that when I clicked it, it go off without any movement and got this image. And I think it's pretty incredible level of detail of those rocks. You get the moon overhead and then the water, you know, becomes this really sort of shimmering, um, flat plane out there. And I, I really like that image. I then walked up the steps and I attempted some handheld ones, um, which you can sort of see a lot of, sort of just shakiness and just doesn't look as good. Um, it really does make a big difference by being stable. And if you have a tripod that has an iphone holder, that's kind of a deal. If you're really trying to get into this, it's also just a fun thing to play with, you know, professional cameras are going to be a lot better at long exposure photography. That being said, it's pretty incredible what these can do. I was actually on a camping trip recently and we had some raccoons visit us at night and, and a skunk and my buddy couldn't see what was outside of his tent. And so he used the camera to take a long exposure photo and then saw that it was a skunk outside his tent and he couldn't see it. So pretty incredible, the camera can see a lot more than you can actually see. So I highly recommend going and playing with this feature. You can do it in your backyard, you can do it inside, just turn off the lights and see what you can capture if you're in complete darkness. Like we have the moon, at least it might not be able to pick up too much. So typically having at least some light is going to be beneficial to really, you know, make the long exposure work. Well, I would love to see some submissions of star photography from your mobile phone. Um and I'm definitely going to try that next time there are stars out because this is a very, really cool feature and I hope this has been useful for you. And so let's move on to the next lesson.

Ratings and Reviews


Definitely geared to beginners, but the class has a lot of good information. As an advanced camera photographer still trying to get to know my phone camera better, I learned a few things I didn't know (like you can use portrait mode for selfies, what hyper lapse is and the VSCO app). Nice job!


Good course for everyone starting out and needed to have some more basic info beyond the common snap shot. I had wished for more info on using mobile in the more professional field like when switching from camera to mobile. Additional lenses and flashes and things like that. But this course was obviously not targeted at this. So overall still a nice brush up.


Great class. Well organized and clearly presented. Would be very good for beginners and mid level users. highly recommend.

Student Work