iPhone Night Photography in London

During a trip to London, I tried to improve my night and low light photography with the iPhone. If I'd still use a DSLR, I would have put it on my tripod, turned down the ISO and use a long exposure. Back home I would have edited the shot and apply some noise reduction.

I tried to use a similar approach with the iPhone. Starting my walk at Big Ben, I headed to the London Eye, City Hall, Tower Bridge and 30 St. Mary Axe. I shot with an iPhone 6, my Amazon Basics Travel Tripod and the Moment Wide Lens.

I believe that Big Ben has been photographed from all possible angles. So I tried to recreate a well known scene using the iPhone. First I tried to get a good shot with Pro HDR X and failed. Then I used Slow Shutter Cam App in low light mode. With a little editing, I got this:

Almost 8pm; (cc) by-nc squics.com

Almost 8pm; (cc) by-nc squics.com

The tower is well light at night. I set Slow Shutter Cam to Low Light mode and the minimal shutter speed. I don't really know how long or short "minimal" really is; it's just labeled "minimal". I avoided to use the exposure boost. That would just create noise in the image. I assume the "boost" just increases the ISO.

Then I loaded the final shot in Enlight [iTunes App Store Link], increased the black point and used selective brightness and contrast adjustments on the tower.

The next stop on my walk was the London Eye. Again, I used Slow Shutter Cam App to get this shot. This time I used the motion blur mode with a 40 second exposure time (The London Eye spins really slooooooow).

Spinning London Eye; (cc) by-nc squics.com

Spinning London Eye; (cc) by-nc squics.com

During post processing I removed the inner wires of the wheel with Touch Retouch [iTunes App Store Link] using a mix of "super-magic-repair mode" and the clone stamp. Then I increased black point and brightness.

The above shot of the London Eye is available as a canvas print on pixels.com. There are also other london eye photographs for sale

 

My third stop was the tower bridge. But the bridge is poorly illuminated and I tried several ways and finally ended with a mix of different long exposures tone mapped with Pro HDR X

Tower Bridge at Night; (cc) by-nc squics.com

Tower Bridge at Night; (cc) by-nc squics.com

I think the shot is quite good for an iPhone, but, as a project manager would say, there's still "room for improvement" ;) I'll try again the next time when I'm in London.

More night shots with the iPhone are on my flickr account or at my iPhone night photography page. There you'll always find the most recent edits of my iPhone Photos. Talking about it, why don't you come with me and follow my travels on Instagram or Facebook?