iOS 11: How to Turn On the Long Exposure Live Photo Effect

A cool new feature that Apple introduced in iOS 11 is different Live Photo effects. Live Photos were introduced in iOS 9 with the iPhone 6s/6s Plus. When you take a Live Photo, the iPhone’s camera records data before and after the shot. Then, when you 3D Touch the photo, you see some brief animation. Here’s how to turn on the long exposure Live Photo effect on iOS. You can also edit Live Photos on macOS High Sierra too.

Long Exposure

Long exposure photography is when you use a long-duration shutter speed. If you’re taking a picture of a moving object, it will create motion blur in the final image. This type of photography is used for night photos, light trails, clouds, water, or stars. It records something that regular photos cannot: time.

Taking a long exposure Live Photo with the iPhone's camera.
Taking a Live Photo with the iPhone’s camera

When you take a picture with your iPhone, you’ll see an icon in the top middle of the UI. It looks like a bulls eye, and it’s the symbol for a Live Photo. If it’s yellow, that means the feature is active, and each photo you take will be a Live Photo until you turn it off by tapping it again.

Choosing a long exposure Live Photo effect in Photos.
Choosing a long exposure effect in Photos

After you take the photo, open the Photos app to take a look. You’ll see a label in the upper right that says Live. If you swipe up, you’ll get to choose from several different Live Photo effects. Swipe left until you see the Long Exposure effect.

Long exposure Live Photo effect on a waterfall.
Long exposure waterfall. Notice how the water looks smooth

Like I said above, long exposure is particularly good for photos in which you want to capture motion. For example, if you take a photo of a waterfall, it will look as if the water is frozen in time. But with a long exposure Live Photo effect, the water will blur together. This gives a stronger impression that the water was moving.

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