How to: Long Exposure of a waterfall with iPhone (Sep. ‘18)

Today I’ll introduce you to one of the lesser known parks in Vienna and demonstrate my way of taking a long exposure of a waterfall with iPhone.

 Learn how to take long exposures with iPhone in this tutorial.

Learn how to take long exposures with iPhone in this tutorial.

Vienna is famous for many things. Among those are the hundreds of thousands square feet of public parks.

I discovered Setagya Park when I was looking for a small waterfall near Vienna to learn and experiment taking long exposures with iPhone back in 2013. The only waterfall near Vienna I knew was Myra Falls, which is an hour from Vienna by car. But a Google search revealed Setagya Park and I was surprised to learn that we do have a small waterfall in Setagaya Park here in Vienna.

The park is a beautiful Japanese style park in the 19th district of Vienna. It was designed and created to demonstrate friendship and city partnership between Vienna and the Setagaya district in Tokio.

In Setagaya park you’ll find lots of great photo spots like a Japanese Tea house, a small lake, a bridge and a small waterfall. The park seems to be a kind of hidden gem for Instagramers and wedding shootings; lots of posing going on there. So be there early; the park usually opens at 7am.

What you need to take a long exposure of a waterfall with iPhone.

To take long exposures of a waterfall with iPhone you need:

  • An iPhone camera app capable of shooting long exposures (1 second or longer) like Slow Shutter Cam, I’ve already reviewed.
  • A tripod. I like to use an ultraportable Joby Gorillapod especially when taking photos in a city plus an iPhone tripod mount.
  • A remote shutter release to avoid any kind of camera shake or movement when taking a long exposure.

Wireless Shutter Release for iPhone

I originally used Muku Shuttr as a remote and wireless shutter release. But after years of usage, mine broke and I learned it’s not sold any more. So know I use the Joby Impulse Wireless shutter release that came with the Joby Gorillapod for iPhone. See my review of the Joby Griptight One Magnetic Impulse.

 Using Muku Shuttr as a remote wireless shutter release with Slow Shutter Cam

Using Muku Shuttr as a remote wireless shutter release with Slow Shutter Cam

If you have an Apple Watch, you can use that as a remote Shutter Release, too. Just install the Slow Shutter Cam App to your Apple Watch after you’ve downloaded it from the App Store.

 Using an Apple Watch as a remote shutter release with Slow Shutter Cam App

Using an Apple Watch as a remote shutter release with Slow Shutter Cam App

Tripod for iPhone

My preferred tripod for iPhone is the Joby Gorillapod for iPhone. It’s small, portable and the flexible feet of this tripod allow me use it on any kind of surface or even to wrap it around things like handrails. If you don’t have one yet, I strongly encourage you to get one. It one of the few things I consider a must have for iPhone photography. I’ve reviewed a bundle consisting of the Gorillapod, iPhone mount and wireless shutter release here in the blog.

How to use Slow Shutter Cam App to take a long exposure

This app is one of the few iPhone camera apps that I’ve been using since I turned to iPhone photography in 2012 and I’ve reviewed Slow Shutter Cam App here in the blog.

Here’s how to take a long exposure of a waterfall with Slow Shutter Cam App:

  • Download Slow Shutter Cam App from the App Store.
  • Make sure your Wireless Remote shutter release is connected to your iPhone and works with Slow Shutter Cam App.
  • Make sure Slow Shutter Cam App is set to Motion Blur. Bring up those setting by tapping the gear icon in the lower right corner.
  • If you’re shooting in low light, set ISO to 100 to avoid noise. You’ll compensate the low ISO setting with a slow shutter speed.
  • Set the shutter speed to 2-3 seconds if you’re not yet familiar with taking long exposures with iPhone or be brave and set it to bulb mode. This means, you have to start and stop the exposure with your remote shutter which is my favorite way to take long exposures because U can see the developing long exposure right on the iPhone screen.
  • Compose the frame
  • Don’t forget to press save when you’re satisfied with the result to save you’re work to the camera roll.

The last point is particularly important. I learned during photo walks that many people forget to tap the save button because they’re used to that almost all other camera apps automatically save the result.

And Voila, here’s the result.

 Final shot of a small waterfall in Setagaya Park in Vienna

Final shot of a small waterfall in Setagaya Park in Vienna

By the way, if you’re spending some time in Vienna, I recommend to plan a one day trip to the beautiful Myra Falls. It’s a one hour drive from Vienna and a great all day hike. If you’re in Berlin, be sure to visit the waterfall in Victoria’s Park.

Here’s the exact location of Setagya Park on Google Maps. Once you’re in Google Maps swipe up and tap save to save the location for your next trip to Vienna. This way the park will show up automatically under saved places in Google Trips, a great app for travelers, I reviewed here in my blog.

And finally, if you’re interested in more iPhone photography tutorials, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where I share my photos shot on iPhone and how I shot and edited them.