HOW TO

Photograph really fast cars

Get up to speed with Slow Shutter Cam.

Photographing movement with your iPhone might not be as simple as snapping a selfie. And when that movement is coming from a car hurtling along a track at 160 kph, the challenge is real. But with the right technique, it’s not all that hard. The result is at once kinetic and dreamlike.

The secret? Using Slow Shutter Cam to capture multiple-exposure photos, like those you see here.

To test it out, we headed to a Formula Drift race in Long Beach, California, with an iPhone X in hand. Here’s what we learned.

Prep For Success

Tap the gear icon in Slow Shutter Cam to get your settings right.

Start by downloading Slow Shutter Cam and tapping the gear icon in the lower right. Then make the following adjustments to your settings:

• Capture Mode
set to “Motion Blur”
• Blur Strength set to around 50 per cent – or to your own taste. The higher you crank this, the longer the motion trail will be.
• Shutter Speed set to “1/2 Second”
• ISO set to “Auto” (push that slider all the way left)

Next, set the resolution of your shots by tapping the three-line icon and going to “Photo Resolution”.

Selecting “HD1080 (120 fps)” will result in a larger, more detailed file. The motion blur won’t be as smooth as selecting a lower frame rate, like “12MP (30 fps)”, but it still looks great. You can see examples of both resolutions below.

Two shots captured with Slow Shutter Cam set to a higher frame rate: “HD1080 (120 fps).”

Stand Your Ground

With the cars zooming by at these speeds, you literally have a split second to get the shot. Your position is crucial.

Find a spot where cars are moving across the frame rather than towards or away from it. Keep the sun and other light sources behind you or to the side if possible; silhouettes just make the resulting layered image muddy.

And don’t worry if you’re sitting farther from the action than you see here. A bird’s-eye view is just as compelling.

These speedsters were captured at “12 MP (30 fps).”

Take the Shot

You’ve got two options here. Either keep your iPhone still to let the cars zoom through the frame, or follow a car with your camera as it races by.

The former yields a crisp background with blurred action; the latter yields the reverse, so play around and see what you get.

After you snap the photo, tap “save”. If you don’t, you’ll end up with photos of multiple laps layered over each other in a single image. (You can change this behaviour in the settings menu.)

Now you’re all set to become a high-speed action photographer.

    Slow Shutter Cam

    Long Exposure Photography

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