Having lived with my family now for two years, I’ve gotten used to some of the weird things humans do in summertime; like setting off rockets of light and watching them explode in the sky to celebrate something called “Fourth of July.” While I run for cover (which I think is very smart), my humans do the exact opposite—gathering under the light explosions and even taking pictures.
Unfortunately, most often these pictures come out blurry or with otherwise poor quality. And though I’m not a fan of these rocket-things, I know my family is, and I know how hard they’ve been trying to get high-quality photos of this exact happening. So, I decided to check my favorite resource—the internet—to see if I could find anything that might help them to take the best photos, even if just with their smartphones!
If you’re thinking of taking photos of nighttime light-rocket explosions, be sure to download one of these apps for the doggone best photos of the night!
Photography Apps for iOS Devices
$3.99; Available on iOS only
Aptly named (pun intended), Manual takes the camera settings for iPhone and iPad and puts them together in one intuitive, easy-to-use control center—with some extra features, too! Lengthen your exposure with shutter speed controls (you may want to invest in a tripod for long shutter speeds), gain precise control over focus, white balance and flash level, and fine-tune your ISO settings (the camera setting that brightens and darkens your photos) to truly add depth and clarity to a dark photograph. You can also switch between the lenses for iPhones with two rear cameras, including for the iPhone X models. It’s like turning your iPhone into a DSLR-type camera.
$2.99; Available on iOS only
The Camera+ app was given a complete makeover into the new and improved Camera+ 2 version. As with Manual, you have complete manual control through advanced settings for shutter speed, ISO and white balance, plus a “digital flash” for clearing up dark photos. This app allows iPhone users to switch between Wide or Tele for dual-lens devices, too, as well as for seamless work across iPad and iPhone devices. Additionally, users can take advantage of the automatic Smart Clarity filter or the manual-editing clarity provided by RAW images, enabling RAW capture as well as the ability for post-editing with Camera+ 2’s built-in RAW Editor feature. And, this app provides depth capture and editing capabilities, so you won’t have any issues shooting stills of those faraway light-rockets. It even has specific shooting modes the most amateur photographer will feel confident using (like Slow Shutter and Stabilizer modes).
Slow Shutter Cam
$1.99; Available on iOS only
As you might expect, the Slow Shutter Cam app provides users with precise controls for shutter speed to lengthen exposure and capture clear photos in low and dark lighting. This app also features three capture modes: motion blur (clarity blurring for fast-moving subjects), light trail (capturing light while it’s moving) and low light (lengthening exposure to incorporate every light photon hitting the camera sensor). Basically, it’s perfect for photographing light-rocket explosions.
$1.99; Available on iOS only
This neat app was created to capture lightning strikes with clarity, so its functions can easily be applied to light-rocket photography. Features like precise ISO settings and real-time recognition features to detect the light as it appears and moves across the night sky makes for perfectly composed shots, and you barely have to do anything! There’re even instructions on the developer’s website for best practices in taking photographs of lightning and light-rocket explosions.
Photography Apps for Android Devices
$2.99; Available on Android only
This app is basically the same as Manual iOS, but for Android—it provides those precise camera controls for shutter speed, focus distance, ISO, white balance and exposure, all in one handy place. Because this app takes advantage of Lollipop’s Camera2 API, which is implemented in the ROM of the Android device, you will need to check whether your Android smartphone is compatible.
$3.95; Available on Android only
If you have an Android smartphone and you’re thinking about buying a DSLR camera, you should first check out this app and its capabilities. That’s because its features mirror those of an expensive DSLR professional camera, including the ability to capture and process RAW images. This app also provides all the precise manual photography controls right at your fingertips, allowing for manual tweaks for ISO, white balance, exposure and focus modes. Its display even features a DSLR-like viewfinder to see settings like exposure and aperture in real-time for top fine-tuning.
Free; Available on Android only
Android users rejoice, for there is at least one comparable nighttime photography app that doesn’t cost a penny! Open Camera is an open source app that essentially provides a quick upgrade to your phone’s camera. With features like auto-stabilization, focus modes, scene modes and manual controls for white balance, ISO and exposure lock, you can easily get that next-level photography experience. Plus, because it’s an open source app, you will immediately benefit from any continuous updates that are made.
I may never understand why humans run towards these big light-rocket explosions in the sky, but I will admit that I do like looking at the lights through post-Fourth of July photography. Hopefully my humans will, too, especially after they start using one (or more) of these handy apps!
Until next time,
Your pawsitively pawesome pal Cache