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Night Photography with iPhone

Taking good photos at night with the iPhone is challenging. So I put up this page about night photography with iPhone to share my experience with this challenging topic and to help you to take better photos at night with your iPhone.

Scroll down to:

Sample Photos | Camera Apps | Tripods | Blog Posts

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When I ditched my DSLR in favor of an iPhone as my only camera in 2013, I was well aware that decent night photos with an iPhone would be difficult. Back then, iPhone photos taken at night were badly exposed and usually very noisy.

In the last years, several night mode camera apps were released. Today, you can use a number of great iPhone camera apps that offer a dedicated night mode that will help you to take great photos with iPhone in low light and at night.

Let's start with some sample photos of iPhone night photography to demonstrate, what you can achieve with the iPhone night mode camera apps.

Sample Night Photos taken with iPhone

Here are a couple of night photos that I’ve taken over the years using different camera apps. I think these illustrate pretty well what kind of photos you can take with iPhone at night.

I took all of these using three fantastic camera apps and I’d recommend these to you without any reservation.

Recommend iPhone night mode camera apps

The three night mode camera apps I recommend are Slow Shutter Cam App, that will help you to take true long exposures. The second one is ProCamera App with Low Light Mode and finally the new iPhone night mode that you’ll find in iOS13.

Please let me stress one important thing. While the iPhone night mode in iOS13 is truly great, it only works with the wide angle lens. You don’t get night mode with the telephoto or ultra-wide lens.

From the three apps listed below, only Slow Shutter Cam App and ProCamera support night photography with all three lenses of the iPhone 11 Pro.

Use iPhone 11 Camera Night Mode

If you own an iPhone 11 with iOS 13, you'll automatically get the new iPhone camera night mode. It's a special mode for taking low noise and detail-rich photos in low light and at night.

iPhone 11 will automatically enable it once it detects a low light scene you want to photograph.

Head over to my review about iPhone camera night mode in the blog to learn more about night mode, how it works, and about its limitations.

Try Pro Camera App Low Light Modes

My favorite camera app, ProCamera App, has a special low light mode for taking low noise and detail-rich photos at night.

While the iPhone 11 and iOS 13 camera night mode is excellent, it only works with the standard wide lens. ProCamera low light mode work with all lenses of your new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.

So you can take awesome night photos even with the new ultra-wide lens of the iPhone 11 and the telephoto lens of the iPhone 11 Pro.

Check out the ProCamera Low Light Mode review I've published in the blog.

Take long exposures with Slow Shutter Cam App

This app was one of the first apps with a dedicated night mode for iPhone. It allows you to take long exposures of up to a minute and even longer. Moreover, you can manually adjust ISO for really detail-rich and low noise photos for static scenes.

Of course, there's also a Slow Shutter Cam App review for you in the blog.

iPhone Tripods for Night Photography

Though you can shoot handheld with the iPhone 11 in night mode and even with ProCamera Low Light for some scenes, I recommend using a tripod. Your photos will be sharper. As a benchmark, I was able to get sharp photos with an exposure time of up to one second with the iPhone 11 night mode camera.

AmazonBasics Travel Tripod

This tripod is my favorite because it's affordable and portable. It fits into my travel backpack and daypack and is easy to set up. It comes with a ball head, bubble level, center hook, and much more.

Read the AmazonBasics Travel Tripod review if you're curious why this is my favorite travel tripod.

Joby Gorillapod Magnetic Tripod

If you want a more portable tripod for iPhone, then a Gorillapod for iPhone may be just what you're looking for. Joby sells a Gorillapod with magnetic feet. So you can use even a light post as a tripod.

As I use this one myself, I have a Joby Gorillapod magnetic review in the blog.

Joby Griptight iPhone tripod mounts

No matter which tripod you use with iPhone, you'll need a special iPhone tripod mount.

As always, I'm using a small and portable solution from Joby: The Griptight One and the Griptight Pro iPhone tripod mounts that I've written about in the blog.

Posts about iPhone Night Photography in the Blog

I’m documenting my various nightly photo walks and how I took photos with an iPhone at night in my blog. You’ll also find app and gear reviews for iPhone night photography there. Here’s some recommended reading for you to improve your iPhone night photography game from the blog:

And if you’re curious about more iPhone night photography, why not follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter? I’ll keep you updated there.