How to take a long Exposure of a Waterfall with iPhone

Today I'll introduce you to one of the lesser known (if you're not an Instagramer) parks in Vienna and demonstrate one way of taking a long exposure with iPhone. Here are some sample photos of waterfalls in Vienna, Berlin and Iceland I took as described in this tutorial.

Vienna is famous for many things. In facts, it's been chosen as the most livable city for many years in a row. Besides many other great things here, we do have a number of wonderful parks. One of them is Setagaya Park.

I discovered this park when I looked for a small waterfall near Vienna to learn and experiment taking long exposures with iPhone back in 2013. The park is a beautiful Japanese style park located in the 19th district of Vienna. It was designed and created to demonstrate friendship and a city partnership between Vienna and the Setagaya district in Tokio.

In Setagaya park, you'll find lots of great photo spots like a Japanese Tea house, a small lake, a bridge, and this little waterfall. The park seems to be a kind of "hidden" gem for Instagramers and wedding shootings; lots of posing going on there. So be there early; the park usually opens at 7am.

What you need to take a long exposure of a waterfall with an iPhone.

To take long exposures of a waterfall with iPhone you need:

  • An iPhone camera app capable of shooting long exposures (1 second or longer) like Slow Shutter Cam
  • A tripod like the Joby Gorillapod or the AmazonBasics Travel Tripod
  • A remote shutter release to avoid any kind of camera shake or movement when taking a long exposure.

Slow Shutter Cam App

Slow Shutter Cam App is one of the few iPhone camera apps that I've been using since I turned to iPhone photography and I've reviewed Slow Shutter Cam App here in the blog.

Tripod for iPhone

One of the tripods I use with iPhone is the Joby Gorillapod for iPhone. It's small, portable and the flexible allow me to use it on any kind of surface or even to wrap it around things like handrails. If you don't have one yet, I strongly encourage you to get one.

Remote Shutter Release for iPhone

I initially used Muku Shuttr as a remote and wireless shutter release. But after years of usage, mine broke, and I learned it's not sold anymore. So know I use the Joby Impulse Wireless shutter release that came with the Joby Gorillapod for iPhone.

If you have an Apple Watch, you can use that as a remote Shutter Release, too. Just install the Slow Shutter Cam App to your Apple Watch.

Using a remote shutter release with Slow Shutter Cam App

Using a remote shutter release with Slow Shutter Cam App

Using Apple Watch as a remote shutter release with Slow Shutter Cam App

Using Apple Watch as a remote shutter release with Slow Shutter Cam App

How to use Slow Shutter Cam App to take a long exposure

So, let's get started and take a long exposure of this gorgeous waterfall:

  • If you haven't done it already, download Slow Shutter Cam App from the App Store.
  • Check that your wireless remote shutter release is connected to your iPhone and works with Slow Shutter Cam App.
  • Make sure Slow Shutter Cam App is set to Motion Blur. To check that, bring up the settings screen by tapping the gear icon in the lower right corner in Slow Shutter Cam App.
  • If you're shooting in low light, set ISO to 100 to avoid noise. You'll compensate the low ISO setting with slower shutter speed.
  • Set the shutter speed to 2-3 seconds if you're not yet familiar with taking long exposures with iPhone or be brave and set it to bulb mode. This means you have to start and stop the exposure with your remote shutter, which is my favorite way to take long exposures because you can see the developing long exposure right on the iPhone screen.
  • Compose the frame and shoot.
  • Don't forget to press save when you're satisfied with the result to save your work to the camera roll.

The last point is particularly important. I learned during photo walks that some people forget to tap the save button because they're used to that almost all other camera apps automatically save the result.

And if you'd like to visit this park during your next trip to Vienna, here's the exact location of Setagya Park on Google Maps.

And finally, if you're interested in more iPhone photography tutorials, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where I share my photos shot on iPhone and how I shot and edited them.

And here's all the stuff you need for taking long exposures of waterfalls with iPhone. And now, let's take gorgeous long exposures of waterfalls together.