How to take incredible long exposure photos

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Long exposure photography with ZenFone 4The ZenFone 4 Pro can take incredible long exposure photos in low-light situations. With a large f/1.7 aperture, 1.4 µm pixel size, and the Sony IMX362 sensor, the ZenFone 4 Pro enjoy eight times the light sensitivity of other 16 megapixel cameras. Here’s how to get absolutely beautiful pictures in low light situations with a ton of detail.

Stabilize

Before anything, the ZenFone 4 Pro has to be as stationary as possible. Since the camera’s aperture is wide open for a long period of time, any movement will leave a streak in the photo. This can be intentional when capturing people or cars moving in front of your shot, but camera shake in general is undesirable. The ZenFone 4 Pro uses optical image stabilization to offset camera shake in other low-light situations, but when it comes to the kind of 32-second long exposures we’re taking here, a tripod is really the best way to go.

Use the primary camera in Pro mode

Pro camera mode on the ZenFone 4 Pro

For full control over the camera once you have it stabilized, you’ll need to switch over to Pro mode. By default, this can be accessed by the Pro button shortcut, but if you’ve assigned something else there, you can swipe on the screen to switch between modes. The ZenFone 4 Pro has a dual camera system, including 2X optical zoom. You’ll want to stick to the primary camera to enjoy the best light sensitivity and detail in your photo however. You’ll know if the standard lens is active if there’s an icon with three mountain peaks next to the shutter; tapping it will activate 2X zoom, and show the icon as a single mountain.  You may also want to set a 4:3 aspect ratio, which will produce a higher-resolution photo in the end, even though it won’t fit as conveniently into widescreen formats. If you see an icon that says 16:9, tap it and switch to 4:3.

Decrease shutter speed

ZenFone 4 Pro long exposure

Once you’re switched to Pro mode and using the main camera, you’ll have a few settings to tweak. The first is the shutter speed. Tap the  S icon and swipe on the wheel until it’s set to 32s. This will leave the shutter open for a full 32 seconds to let in as much light as possible. This will pull in lots of detail that may even be hard to see with your own eyes.  Since so much light is being let in, it’s possible you’re actually letting in too much. If your photo just looks like a lot of white, you’ll need to increase your shutter speed a notch or two, or manually set your ISO to something low.

Increase ISO

ZenEone 4 Pro mode camera

On the flip side, if you’re still not getting enough detail at maximum shutter speed and the photo is still very dark, you’ll want to gradually increase the ISO value. ISO represents the sensor’s sensitivity to light, and though it’s possible to get a lot more detail than otherwise available, increasing ISO also adds more visual noise to the photo. If at all possible, keep this value low, and only start increasing it when necessary. That said, with more details to work with, you can always use noise removal software to smooth out your photo later if needed.

It will take a bit of experimenting to get the perfect shot, but once you do, it will absolutely be worth it. Be sure to learn more about the photographic capabilities of the ZenFone 4 Pro over at the official product page.