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Long Exposure with Live Photos



None of the photos posted here today are beautiful by any means.  They were done to try out a feature that’s being hanging around in iOS 11 released a few months back.  There’s a editing feature available in the Apples iOS photos app.  Actually, there are four action there.  It takes a gesture to get to them and they only work with Live Photos.  To take a Live Photo, you must have (at least) an iPhone 6s.  For my pictures today, I used an iPhone 7sPlus.  When the Live Photo feature first came out in iOS 9, people thought it was great – but wondered what can I do with it.  It looked like a GIF, but you couldn’t easily post it anywhere and have it work automatically.  But that’s not what I want to talk about today.  It turns out you can use Live Photos to create Long Exposures.  I say ‘create’, because you’re not actually taking a long exposure image (one in which your shutter is open for an extended period, blurring any motion in the image).  You’re ‘creating’ one from all the photos that your iPhone took to make the Live Photo.IMG_7580 2

First, make sure you have Live Photos turned on in your Camera App.  There’s a yellow ‘Bullseye’ at the top of the screen.  If it’s yellow, Live Photos is on.  If white, then it’s not.  If you click on it, it will tell you what setting you’ve selected.

My first choice was to take a picture of moving water.  The shot below is from the Powder Canyon north of Fort Collins.

IMG_9002If you were to ‘3-D touch‘ it in the Photos App the water would begin moving like in a GIF. If you swipe up from the bottom of the photo, then four options will appear below the image.  Only two are visible at a time, but by swiping left the other two are exposed.  The first two are Live and Loop.  Live being what you see before you swiped up.  Loop creates a repeating GIF (like when you ‘3-D touched the image).


By pressing one of these options, it will change the image into that choice.  It’s a non-destructive action, you can come back to this place and change it back anytime.  Next, if you swipe left the other two choices, Bounce and Long Exposure, are revealed.  Bounce is like Loop, but instead of a continuous loop it reverses back and forth. The last one, Long Exposure is the one I want to work with today.  Press it and you get the effect where any motion in the image is blurred. (see image at the top of this article).  The feature does a great job.  However, if I were planning to make a print, I think I would still use my DSLR to create the image.  But for the web, this is a great feature to always have available to you in your pocket!  I even compared using a tripod with my iPhone vs handheld.  For the most part I could only tell the difference until I zoomed in on the image.  Again, for the web, the effect was great.

Below I tried it on a busy street in Oldtown of Fort Collins to see what the taillight trails would look like.  It did a pretty good job. The problem was due more to the situation I was photographing in.  The cars were only moving between 15-25 mph along this road.  If it were a faster highway I think the effect would be better.  Still not bad-see below.


So, go out and give it a try.  It’s something different to play with and doesn’t need a lot equipment and prep!


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