Long-exposure photography gives us the ability the capture some pretty amazing shots by delicately capturing moving elements in an image while keeping the shutter at a slow speed. While that's great for things like traffic, scenery, and carnival rides, it can come in especially handy for the 4th of July fireworks.
While DSLRs are second-to-none when it comes to taking long-exposure shots (their shutter can stay open for an extended period of time), you don't need one to capture some great long-exposure shots on the go.
With an Android device, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (or any other device running Ice Cream Sandwich or higher), you've got the power right in your hand using the LenX camera app from Android dev Fenchtose.
Sporting an extremely simple user interface, LenX has zoom and exposure adjustments, which you can toggle before taking a shot. Once you're done, tap on the shutter icon to start the process.
Unfortunately, there is no timer to turn off the long-exposure shot, so you'll need to tap the shutter icon when you want it to stop. After a few trial and error shots, I have a couple of tips on shooting with LenX:
- Dark Shot: Keep the exposure level at middle or high, and shoot for between ten and thirty seconds.
- Light Shot: Keep exposure at low (or between low and middle), and shoot only for a few seconds (or up to twenty).
Below is a picture I took with a middle exposure level and shot for about fifteen seconds.
If you keep the exposure on for too long, your image will become smeared and overdeveloped, so experiment with different lighting conditions and exposure levels to get the result you want. Have a safe and happy 4th, and share some of your fireworks pictures with us in the comments!
For more tips on taking better fireworks photos with your Android phone, check out my previous guide here.