iPhone Night Photography in Tirana, Albania

During a trip to Tirana, the capital of Albania, I tested the new ExoLens and experimented with ProCamera HDR LowLight mode. Using the Low Light HDR modes in ProCamera, the app takes several photos with different exposures and merges them into a low noise, well lit, photo.

So basically, Low Light HDR is an extension to the existing ProCamera Low Light modes.

Those pro extensions like HDR and Low Light mode were available through an ion app purchase. In 2019, ProCamera introduced ProCamera Up. It's an affordable subscription that will give you access to all of the fantastic pro features of ProCamera App like HDR, low light modes, automatic perspective correction and more.

So, during this photo walk in Tirana, I experimented with the low light HDR modes of ProCamera. This blog post is part of a series where I experiment with different apps and techniques to get get better photos at night with iPhone

ProCamera Low Light HDR mode

As mentioned above, you need to either have purchased both, low light modes and HDR through an in-app purchase or you've subscribed to ProCamera Up.

The Low Light HDR mode itself may be tricky to find. You need to:

  • Ion the mode selector, at the bottom of the screen, switch to HDR mode
  • Then tap settings
  • Now, tap HDR mode a few times. It will cycle through all the different HDR modes: auto, auto 3, auto 5, manual, AMEB, and then finally, Low Light HDR.

Tanner's Bridge in Tirana, Albania

So, the first stop of my photo walk was an old stone bridge in the middle of the city named Tanner's Bridge. Here I tried several photos in low light HDR mode. I originally edited this photo with Enlight, version 1. But as I turned to Adobe Lightroom Mobile a while ago, I re-edited this photo using Lightroom Mobile.

Tanner’s Bridge in Tirana captured with Low Light HDR mode using ProCamera

Tanner’s Bridge in Tirana captured with Low Light HDR mode using ProCamera

I took the shot using an iPhone 6S plus, mounted to the Joby Griptight tripod, and the ExoLens, of course.

When using Low Light HDR mode, a tripod is essential. In this mode, ProCamera takes several shots and combines and tone-maps them. I also recommend using a remote shutter release to avoid camera shake. If you have an Apple Watch, you may be happy to hear that ProCamera comes with a remote shutter release app for your watch.

Et'hem Bey Mosque in Tirana, Albania

I tried the same technique, ProCamera Low Light HDR mode, for this photo of the Et'hem Bey Mosque that's right near Skandaberg square.

Night Photography with iPhone: Et'hem Bey Mosque in Tirana, Albania

Night Photography with iPhone: Et'hem Bey Mosque in Tirana, Albania

Conclusion

 ProCamera Low Light HDR modes work surprisingly well for getting good photos at night, especially if the place or building you try to photograph is not evenly lit. I'm well aware that not everyone is fond of in-app purchases, but the low light modes and the HDR modes of ProCamera App are definitely worth their money.

And what about the ExoLens? Well, the ExoLens performed well in my tests (compared to the Moment Wide Lens I use otherwise). But there's one thing I didn't like, and that is the way you have to mount the lens.

You have to remove any case and put some strange mounting frame over the iPhone and then attach the lens to it. I find this inconvenient. I prefer to use the Moment way of mounting a lens to the iPhone with a dedicated case.