Getting That Soft Water Look in Your Photos

I’ve recently posted some of my photos from my hike up Lost Horse Canyon that had that soft, dreamy look to the water. The pictures I took of some of the creeks turned out beautiful. (NOTE: I have them posted on Facebook and Instagram if want to follow me there.) I think it surprised a lot of people to learn that the photos were taken using an iPhone. No DSLR. No special lenses … just an iPhone. Wait … say what? Yep. It’s pretty easy too. Here’s what you need to know: 

Disclaimer: Sorry Android users … not sure if you can do something similar but I love my iPhone and that’s what I’m familiar with using.

To start with, you need to take pictures using the Live feature on your phone/camera. These “live” photos actually regarding about 1.5 seconds worth of video in every picture. Your phone then takes the first picture and that’s the one that’s used as the picture you typically see. But what about that other 1.5 seconds of data? That’s where the magic happens. 

Turn on Live Photos

In camera mode on your phone, turn on Live mode by clicking on the circles in the upper right-hand corner. If there’s a line through it, it’s turned off, Tap it … if the yellow Live button comes on, you know you’re in Live mode. 

Take a Picture

This works best with anything in motion, from tail lights at night to dogs to a smile and of course, moving water. For best results, you can use a tripod but even doing your best to hold still creates some pretty amazing results. 

Edit the Magic

Now the fun part! Open the picture in the Photo app (or tap on the picture you took in the bottom left-hand corner of the camera app). Swipe up on the picture. Ah-ha! See those “Effects” that now show up? You can create a loop, a bounce and [insert drum roll please] long exposure! Hooray! It really is THAT simple. Click on Long Exposure and then sit back and admire your masterpiece. 

It’s also neat to point out that you can go back anytime on your phone and change it from Long Exposure to any of the other effects. Try ‘em out and have fun!

There you go … you now have a new tool or skill at least … to take some amazing photos that you can add to your website.

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