When I thought of the theme of Abstract for this weeks images, it came to mind that the Slow Shutter Cam app would be of great use. It is an app I have played with off and on since some time in earlier 2011. It’s great for playing with light, showing motion and well, exploring abstract iPhoneography.
Here are some notes on how I’ve used the app.
First off this is an action app. You can utilise this app to embracement movement, blur and the abstract in our world. At least that how I like to use it. There are a few shooting modes: Automatic, Manual and Light Trail.
Before we talk about those, here is an intro to the controls.
Along the top of the app:
LP – Tap on this to show a smaller preview instead of full screen image. Tap on the small preview to go back to full screen.
Flashlight Icon – Tap on this to turn the flash – light off or on (iPhone4/iPhone4s).
Reverse camera – Tap on this to take a self portrait (iPhone4/iPhone4s).
Along the bottom of the app:
Aperture icon – Tap on this to bring up the shooting modes, Automatic, Manual and Light Trail.
Camera icon – Tap on this to start the exposure (when you are taking a photo the camera button turns into a stop button, this allows you to stop the exposure early, if you like).
Settings – Self-Timer, Exposure Adjust, Exposure Lock, Screen Shutter, Auto-Save, Pictures Size. Through these settings you can enable things like tapping on the screen to start your exposure or lock the exposure etc…
Once you have snapped a photo a new set of icons show up along the bottom.
Left Arrow – Will delete the image you’ve just taken and take you back to the screen to take a new photo.
Sliders icon – Click on this to access an additional control labeled Freeze, move the slider to the left or right to select at which point in the movement of the image you would like to save. Sounds a bit nuts but it’s kind of cool.
Save – You can use this to save the photo.
I spend 98% of my time in Light Trail mode, so I have a better understanding of that area more than others.
All of the modes allow you to Control the Shutter Speed, ranging from 0.5/seconds to B for Bulb. For the Automatic mode I’ve found some successes in just slowly moving either myself or the iPhone, to either create a bit of a ghostly effect or even a double exposure. If you do say a 4 second exposure on something, hold it on one thing for maybe 2-3 seconds then move it quick onto something else. See what you get.
I’ve had the least success or mastery with the Manual mode. I’m sure it just takes practice, but most of the images I’ve captured in this mode are over exposed. What I’d suggest is not moving the camera about too much during manual. But again, play about with it and see what ya get.
Along with the various shutter speed controls in Light Trail mode you have the option to control sensitivity. These are rated at 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64. What I have experienced with this additional control is the “1” is brighter and may have more detail, and “1/64″ is darker. And again, I say play around with it!
An app like this really is about experimentation and exploration. So mess about with combinations of settings until you find something that works for you. You can also use it for things like Fireworks and other such fun events.
Before image captured via Slow Shutter Cam
Final image, edited via Snapseed