How to: iPhone Night Photography in London

´┐╝Night photography with iPhone is still a bit tricky. During a trip to London, I tried to improve my night and low light photography with iPhone. If I'd still be using a DSLR, I would have put it on my tripod, turned down the ISO and use a long exposure. Back home I would have edited the shot on my Notebook and apply some noise reduction using one of the popular noise reduction programs.

iPhone Night Photo of Big Ben

I tried to use a similar approach with iPhone. Starting my walk at Big Ben, I headed to the London Eye, City Hall, Tower Bridge and 30 St. Mary Axe. I shot with an iPhone 6, my AmazonBasics Travel Tripod and the Moment Wide Lens.

I believe that Big Ben has been photographed from all possible angles. So I tried to recreate a well known scene using iPhone. First I tried to get a good shot with Pro HDR X and failed. Then I used Slow Shutter Cam App in low light mode. With a little editing, I got this:

Night Photography with iPhone: Big Ben

Night Photography with iPhone: Big Ben

The tower is well light at night. I set Slow Shutter Cam to Low Light mode and the minimal shutter speed. I don't really know how long or short "minimal" really is; it's just labeled "minimal". I avoided to use the exposure boost. That would just create noise in the image. I assume the "boost" just increases the ISO.

Originally, I edited this photo in Enlight. Recently, as I turned to Adobe Lightroom Mobile, I re-edited it basically in the same way:

  • Increased the black point
  • Selective brightness and contrast adjustments on the tower.

So, Slow Shutter Cam App is a great app for night photography with iPhone.

Long Exposure of the London Eye at night shot on iPhone

The next stop on my walk was the London Eye. Again, I used Slow Shutter Cam App to get this shot. This time I used the motion blur mode with a 40 second exposure time (The London Eye spins really slooooooow).

Long Exposure with iPhone of the London Eye

Long Exposure with iPhone of the London Eye

During post processing I removed the inner wires of the wheel with Touch Retouch using a mix of "super-magic-repair mode" and the clone stamp. Then I increased black point and brightness. ´┐╝ I think the shot is quite good for an iPhone, but, as a project manager would say, there's still "room for improvement" ;)

I'll try again the next time when I'm in London.

I've put up a page where I summarize all the apps and iPhone photo accessories that I use for night photography with iPhone. You'll find more recent sample shots there, too. This way please to an overview about night photography with iPhone.

Conclusion

Well, taking good photos at night with iPhone is possible but you will have to use an app like Slow Shutter Cam App that's capable of taking long exposures. And don't forget to use a tripod for iPhone, otherwise your photos will be quite blurry.

In the blog, you'll find some more posts about night photography with iPhone and more specifically, how to take long exposures with iPhone.

And now, let's take fantastic night photos with iPhone together.