Smartphone camera basics: Long exposures and light paintings!

  1. yash3339
    Gingerbread May 16, 2017

    yash3339 , May 16, 2017 :
    A week back, we did a quick guide on how the manual camera mode on a lot of smartphones is a potent yet underused tool. Today we'd like to focus on one specific control that can get you some truly interesting results -- long exposure (or slow shutter).

    We used the OnePlus 3 to shoot some long exposure pictures (trust me, we hardly put a lot of effort in taking these pictures), which turned out surprisingly nice and share-worthy (which is why, this guide!).

    So let's quickly go through some sample shots, and talk about the details of each of them.

    Picture #1


    Notice how the smoke looks unnaturally seamless? It's because how the long exposure shot combined 2-3 seconds of activity in one frame. Of course, the rest of the objects need to be absolutely stationary to ensure a good result.

    Picture #2


    Same situation, a few different parameters. Here, I asked the subject to use a light source (phone flash) and move it around a bit to create what they call a 'light painting'.

    Picture #3


    Cliched, yet a classic. We held a OnePlus 3 on a rail (in the hand, no tripod!) and this is what we got. Of course, you can play around with the parameters to get all kinds of fascinating pictures here!

    Picture #4


    Another fun picture. My cousin here attempted to 'light paint' his name using a smartphone's LED flash, covered with his finger (which is where the red comes from!). You see, there's virtually no limit to how creative you can be with this feature! You don't even need to head out of your home to try this.

    A couple of things to keep in mind while attempting long exposure pictures:
    1. The smartphone should be absolutely stable. Unless you have rock-solid hands, resting the phone on a stationary object (or even better, a tripod) is recommended.
    2. Balance between ISO and shutter speed: It's important to note that the sensor allows a lot of light in every second, so you need to be wise selecting the shutter speed. 2-6 seconds is usually enough, unless you're shooting in a LOT of darkness. Also, a low ISO is recommended; usually ISO 100 does the job.
    I hope this little guide helped you. If you do play around with the feature, let us know of your creations in this thread below. Be sure to share the exact parameters and share the info with fellow forum members!

    femiuex, helokki, navyman994 and 54 others like this.
  2. meatandy
    Oreo May 16, 2017

    meatandy , May 16, 2017 :
    Reviewing your thread now ,

    Thanks in advance for you work , this would be helpful to any smartphone user regardless of brand. :)

  3. sfomin
    Nougat May 16, 2017

    sfomin , May 16, 2017 :
    such valuable post [​IMG]

    Donut May 16, 2017

  5. Red Moon
    Cupcake May 16, 2017

  6. meatandy
    Oreo May 16, 2017

    meatandy , May 16, 2017 :
    Likewise o_O

    Did you allow yourself enough exposure to let the words soak in? :p:rolleyes:

    Max.Mar, theshinybeast and sfomin like this.
  7. yash3339
    Gingerbread May 16, 2017

    yash3339 , May 16, 2017 :
    Trust me, it wasn't! ;)

    meatandy likes this.
  8. sfomin
    Nougat May 16, 2017

    sfomin , May 16, 2017 :
    public exposure is a crime [​IMG]

    nemani22 likes this.
  9. meatandy
    Oreo May 16, 2017

    meatandy , May 16, 2017 :
    BTW , what's this guy smoking?
    is that you? Screenshot_20170516-092517.png

  10. sfomin
    Nougat May 16, 2017

    sfomin , May 16, 2017 :

    Nabil609 and Abdus_Samad11 like this.
  11. yash3339
    Gingerbread May 16, 2017

    yash3339 , May 16, 2017 :
    Nope, not me. :)

    He's smoking what we call a 'hookah' or 'sheesha'. In my opinion it's just not worth it.

    meatandy likes this.
  12. mr_priyanshu
    Jelly Bean May 16, 2017

    yash3339 likes this.
  13. aris
    Jelly Bean May 17, 2017

    yash3339 likes this.
  14. Seven丶
    Cupcake May 18, 2017

  15. F_Diganta_Koner_WIXu
    Jelly Bean Jun 2, 2017

    F_Diganta_Koner_WIXu , Jun 2, 2017 :
    At what shutter speed did you click the 3rd picture?

  16. eye842
    Lollipop Jun 7, 2017

  17. saurabhbajaj90
    Cupcake Jun 7, 2017

  18. Samaira0013
    Eclair Jun 8, 2017

    Rohit Hedage likes this.
  19. mishra.sidharth
    Cupcake Jun 8, 2017

    mishra.sidharth , Jun 8, 2017 :


    A few pictures I took with the One Plus 3T with low shutter speed and low ISO. Results are pretty decent!

    G_plusone likes this.
  20. Sandeep Poddar
    Honeycomb Jun 9, 2017

    Sandeep Poddar , Jun 9, 2017 :
    y there isnt any picture attached?