Tag Archives: long exposure

Fireworks and “Flashjacking” on the 4th


From our perch upon a rooftop in the Mission, we could barely see the “official fireworks” launched from the pier… but that’s okay, because we were surrounded by the best illegal fireworks in the city. At 19th and Folsom, we had huge explosions launching a block or two in just about any direction. So I set my iPhone on a tripod, and used the Lightbomber app to capture long exposure shots of friends, as the fireworks popped behind them. I then popped off color filtered flashes manually from an external camera flash (for the shots below).
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I’m fascinated with how a long exposure can transform an ordinary scene into something surreal. For this shot I placed my iPhone on the ground, centered at the bottom of a moving escalator and took a four second exposure using the SlowShutter Cam. It’s important to use the timer to minimize movement of the phone. I wanted the final image to be edgy so I opened the long exposure image in Camera+ and applied the Clarity filter. I saved the file and then repeated this two more times to really bring out the detail. Before saving the last time, I applied the Redscale effect in Camera+ and dialed it down a touch with the slider.

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the dreamy sea

the dreamy, foggy pier
We went back to the beach for today’s shot, in our case the familiar and foggy San Mateo coast.

One of our favorite things about the iPhone is the ability to take long exposure pictures in the daytime. No neutral density filters necessary, either. It’s amazing, really. To get a 15-second exposure in the daytime on your DSLR, you’d need … oh, I don’t know, maybe two -10 stop filters stacked on your lens? And then you wouldn’t be able to see or focus on your subject, because the filters would make everything in the viewfinder dark.
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