Cool Long Exposure Photos on your iPhone - Here's How

I love long exposure photography. Many of my images are made by exposing a composition for several seconds or even several minutes. The results can be sublime...butter smooth streams of water or clouds stretched out and striated across the sky. This process can be challenging but super rewarding. Using a traditional camera you'll need a tripod, some neutral density filters and some understanding of how to operate the camera. 

with your iPhone you don't any of that stuff...long exposures are dead simple. 

Check out this image (see below) I shot of the Avalon Fishing Pier using my iPhone 7 Plus. Notice how the waves and surf have been blurred giving the image a surreal look while keeping the main subject - the pier - sharp and in focus. Pretty cool, right! Now, compare this photo to the original photo (no long exposure effect applied) at the bottom of this post. The long exposure effect changes the feeling of the photograph a lot. 

I posted a super short, how-to video on Instagram TV - check it out here:

Avalon Fishing Pier - Shot with iPhone 7+ with Long Exposure Effect applied - ©johnguillaume 

Avalon Fishing Pier - Shot with iPhone 7+ with Long Exposure Effect applied - ©johnguillaume 

Here are a few requirements and tips to make this work: 

  1. You need iOS 11 or greater - this has been around for awhile now...if in don't you probably already have it installed. 
  2. You need to have Live View turned on - in the Camera app, it's the wheel-looking icon on the top center of your screen if holding it vertically. 
  3. The scene must have some elements that are moving (e.g. water) and others that are static (e.g. the Pier) 
  4. Hold as still as possible when taking the image. 

There you have it - long exposure on your iPhone without all the hassles of a traditional camera. 

If you like this post, I would be grateful if you share it with your friends and give it a like. If you have questions, please comment below or email me at

If you want see some of my fine-art photos using the long exposure technique, jump to my gallery HERE



Original Photo shot on iPhone 7+ ©johnguillaume

Original Photo shot on iPhone 7+ ©johnguillaume