I introduced the Slow Shutter app several posts ago, but this time, I dug out my iPhone tripod and found a view of a highway bridge over a river so I could demonstrate this app creating light trails.
First and foremost, this requires a tripod. Here is a shot taken with an iPhone 3GS of my iPhone 5S in its nice little tripod courtesy of Photojojo (they have crazy accessories for iPhoneography that will make you feel like you’re buying Barbie photography gear). The one I have came with a telephoto attachment and works fine on flat surfaces, but if I had no interest in the telephoto attachment, I would go for the $15 Gorillapod. Just something to keep in mind for the post-Christmas shopping frenzy. 🙂
If you decide to buy something, Photojojo is offering $5 off to both you (if it’s your first-time order) and me if you use this link to go to the website: http://photojojo.com/r/afvu–a win-win deal!
To create the Slow Shutter images, I used an 8 sec exposure under the light trails settings. Below, find the two steps required to set this up plus what to do after you shoot:
Once you get your camera set up and going, you can keep adding to the exposure. In this example, I did a series of 4, 8-second exposures over top of each other before saving the final image. The key is not to move the iPhone at all when you do this. Any vibration from tapping the phone or in the tripod it’s sitting on shows up in the image. The problem I experienced was that I couldn’t tap the screen firmly enough without moving it to get the camera to focus on the subject, leaving me with soft focus on the distant bridge. Here are two images on the tripod, both with soft focus:
All-in-all, I’d have to say that Slow shutter is a great idea, but probably not a useful app if you just want to pull the camera out of your pocket and start shooting. In case you’re curious what it would do if you just hand held the iPhone, here’s the best I could do hand-holding:
Your Assignment: Do you have an interest in being able to capture light trails at night? Is it worth it to you to have a tripod for your iPhone to capture such images? If so, Slow Shutter is a great app to experiment with. We’ll also take a look at using Slow Shutter with panning in future lessons. In the meantime, give it a try with cars driving by and see if you can get the results you’re seeking.