So I have a iPhone 6s and it doesn't have much in the way of night mode and really never will in the standard package. Looks like Apple is leaving that to the improved hardware and software. I wanted to do a little more with the night pictures so I started experimenting with an app called ProCamera version 13.4.3. I wanted to create smooth water and reflections using just the iPhone so i went ahead and gave it a try in the quest to elevate my pictures with iPhones.
Using the app I took this picture as I got acquainted with the functions. A tripod is a huge help which I didn't have, so I was using a rail to steady my hands and that was just ok but here I made rookie mistakes as I was messing around waiting for my better half to arrive. 1). Because I wasn't using a tripod, I had some blurry pics. So I end up taking one after another trying to keep my hands steady which lead to another issue. 2). I didn't lock the exposure and focus so while keeping hands steady and working the controls on the screen, the focus and exposure changed in turn making the need to take yet another picture that would fill up my iphone. Sigh!
Finally I got an "ok" picture considering all the rookie issues. The water was naturally rough so it smoothed out a bit but not like holding a shutter open on SLR for 30 sec at low aperture.so here is the details:
1/3 sec but the app has a lux mode (more later on that)
Not the reflection and blur I want and that I get with my SLR and tripod but my question is can I get close?
So this low light mode the app has and addition of lux+ which allows for a digital compilation of many single pictures taken at the iPhone's capabiliity (as slow as 1/3) to make a composite picture like one would do in something like Photoshop for example. This allows the app to create kind of pictures we do with our SLR when we don't have them with us which is great for social media or sharing for fun.
The app says use a tripod, which i did not have, and therefore I had blur in the buildings but I was trying to see what I could do with the water anyway and I convinced myself if I had a tripod AND locked focus and exposure on the screen, I could have done better.
It does get easier when on the tripod when you can take time to compose and lock the focus and exposure. Below i used the ProCamera app and a tripod and was happier with the result. Light was low apart from the walkway light on the right and the building lights.
I would like to acknowledge a great blog with a awesome name but great content for iPhone Photography. NoCameraBag.Com
In addition there is a tripod or camera holder here that is pretty handy and I wish I had one with me here as it's super compact and fits the goal of traveling light. It can be found here Pocket Tripod.