If you have ever seen photos of smooth water or light trails at night, you are familiar with long exposure photography. You might even have tried to take such photos of your own.
Most smartphone cameras don’t have the capability to take long exposure shots. However, there are long-exposure camera apps available.
We have collected the best long exposure camera applications for you.
[Note: ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something, we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here.]
What Is Long Exposure Photography?
When we are taking long exposure photos, we are using a slower shutter speed than usual. By leaving the shutter open for a longer time, we can reach certain effects that give a unique look to our photos.
Generally, we are talking about long exposure photography when the shutter speed is slow enough to blur motion. This usually means setting it to seconds, instead of fractions of seconds.
You can learn how to take fantastic long exposure shots with Infinite Exposures!
When Should You Use Long Exposure?
Photographers usually use this technique when they are aiming to blur motion.
Landscape photographers take advantage of long exposure to make the water smooth and silky. In night photography, it is used to create light trails of traffic. Astrophotographers use it on a daily basis to let more light hit the sensor, thus capture the stars.
You can also think of using a long exposure in a creative way, such as blurring people in the street or capturing motion during sports. You can even use it to draw with light in the dark.
You might think you are missing out on these opportunities if you don’t have a camera. Luckily, all this becomes possible with long exposure apps.
Best Long Exposure Applications 2020
1. Shutter Stop
This app is perfect if you don’t want to overcomplicate things. You don’t need to change any settings manually; all you need to do is choose the Light Trail mode after opening the app. This will enable you to take long exposure shots in no time.
There is an option to change the light sensitivity and set a timer. After taking a picture, you can make it less blurry by adjusting “Freeze”. You can also adjust contrast within the app.
This app is only available for iOS, and you need to pay $2.99 to download it.
This application is specialised in taking long-exposure photographs at night. Therefore it is most suitable for creating light trail photos.
The use of the night camera couldn’t be easier. All you need to do is pressing the button and holding it down as long as you want the shutter to stay open.
Normally, you would need a tripod for long exposure shots, since it is nearly impossible to hold your phone steady enough. However, as the name of this app suggests, Stabilized Night Camera has built-in stabilisation. It fixes the camera shake effect and gets rid of the blurry effect. This way, you can get a clear image without any accessories.
It is available for iOS and also costs $2.99.
Manual Camera DSLR allows you to have manual control over your phone’s camera. The interface reminds the user of DSLR cameras. It also lets you control shutter speed, so you can use it for long exposure shots.
You can even record videos by using the manual settings that this app provides you with.
This app is accessible for Android devices. It has a free version as well, but it doesn’t give you access to the app’s full capabilities.
This is the most popular application for a long exposure on the iPhone. It even has a hashtag on Instagram that you can follow if you are interested in the pictures taken with this app.
After opening the app, you have to click on the settings icon to be able to adjust them manually. You can also choose from several built-in presets for specific scenarios. These include Light Trail, Motion Blur, and Low Light.
With the help of this application, you will be able to reach effects with your phone that wouldn’t have been possible before.
Slow Shutter Cam will definitely help you bring the most out of your long exposure photos. It is available for $2.99.
5. Camera+ 2
Camera+ 2 is one of the most popular camera apps for phones. It gives you manual control over shutter speed and ISO. It also offers stabilisation, RAW shooting and editing to enhance your images.
With the built-in presets that this app offers, you can also edit your images for specific purposes, such as macro or action. The ‘Slow shutter’ preset makes it possible to take long exposure photos even in daylight.
To be able to access the manual mode at all times, you need to go to Advanced Controls and choose ‘Always show’. You can choose either full manual or shutter priority mode.
This app comes for a price of $4.99.
ProCamera is another camera app with advanced manual settings, designed for DSLR-like photography. Amongst other settings, for example, ISO and exposure compensation, it also lets you adjust the shutter speed. This feature makes this app suitable for taking long exposures with an iPhone.
You can set it to shutter priority or manual mode in order to have complete control. Once you have a shot with slow shutter speed, you can also edit it within the app.
Quality always comes with a price. You can get this application for $8.99.
Long exposure is a technique that you should definitely try in your photography. It can not only come in handy in several niches of photography, but it also gives your pictures a unique look.
You don’t necessarily need a DSLR camera to be able to take such shots. We hope that the applications we collected will help you with taking long-exposure photographs.