I heard about Slow Shutter from James Campbell, an iPhoneographer who I’m pretty sure has every iPhone photo app ever created. I was fascinated by the blurry, abstract long exposures that he had created with it.
I have a “real” camera, a Canon DSLR, that I could use to get long exposures. I’ve done so before, but it’s always a bit of trial and error, since I don’t create long exposures that often.
Slow Shutter has enabled me to get long exposures just with a click – the app is that easy. I downloaded it, played it with a bit (the controls are little cryptic), then went out into the street. I wanted a photo of cabs going by.
But the cabs weren’t going fast enough – they didn’t have the long lines I wanted. So, I went to another corner and waited for the stoplight to change. Taxis took off and I got my shot.
I ran the photo through Slow Shutter, adjusting the “freeze” until it was dreamy, blurry and ghostlike while still retaining enough of the scene to make it identifiable.
Then I used Instagram (best iPhone photo app ever) to crop it to a square, Polaroid format using the X-Pro II filter. The filter also vignetted the photo, something I always like.
My dreamy cab shot made the DCist Photo of the Day. It’s one of those common urban scenes but with a slightly different, mysterious perspective.
Some photographers might look at Slow Shutter and say, “That’s cheating.”
My knowledge of f-stops and exposure times is, at best, limited. Just a few years ago you’d need fancy equipment, technical knowhow and darkroom experience to get such a shot. Now it can be done with just a click.
But what can’t be duplicated by technology is a good eye. Apps like Slow Shutter just make it easier for photographers to achieve their vision.
And like a good iPhone app, it’s also a lot of fun.