I’ve done a lot with Long Exposure in the past using my Canon, and typically feel quite comfortable with the idea, squeaking as much creativity out of the technique as I can at the time. However being stuck (not a bad thing by the way) with my iPhone as my main camera over the last couple weeks definitely proved to be a bit challenging, as I searched through the limited apps available frivolously spending money here and there trying to find the one that would give me the most pleasing results.
Unfortunately given the nature of the cameras in phones, there’s not really an option for long exposure. What the apps do is stack layers of images as it shoots multiple frames simulating the trails of light and subject that you get with a wide shutter speed on a dslr. Unfortunately this faux exposure doesn’t leave room for shooting in low light situations, and leaves a sort of sketchy skipping movement to any motion blur, as seen in the motion of the speedboat on this photo. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just a characteristic of this kind of shooting with the iPhone.
I wouldn’t exactly suggest this as the best camera to try long exposures with, even though it is a fantastic camera and definitely holds its own on most other instances when I need a quick camera at a moments notice. But, for this kind of technique the apps still have a few major quirks to iron out… like focus lock unlocking resulting in a constant refocus leaving nice double edges like the edges on the lighthouse above.
In the end after tons of tests and fiddling with the various apps I was able to squeak one photo out that captured the blurred motion I was looking for.
The app used to capture this shot was “Slow Shutter” and 99% of the editing was done on my phone as well in “Snapseed”