Creative iPhone and iPad

How to Capture Great Night Shots With Your iPhone Camera

Nancy Messieh 19-12-2016

iPhone cameras have come a long way since the first model was released almost ten years ago. While night photography with an iPhone continues to be a challenge, there are some apps out there trying to improve the experience.


NightCap Pro, a $1.99 app, is trying to improve the quality of your night shots — particularly those of starry night skies.

How Does It Work?

There are some preset modes that you can use in the app that aim to make the process easier. These modes are available by tapping the star in the bottom left corner of the app. You can choose from Stars mode, Stars trails mode, and Meteor mode to capture the natural wonders the skies have to offer. If you’re interested in capturing satellite trails in your night sky, you can also opt for ISS mode.

Each of these modes works a slightly different way, but all of them will require you to use a tripod. In Stars mode for example, you have to keep your phone still for 15 seconds as the app captures the image. In other cases, you will have to tap the shutter button twice: once to start taking the photo and again to end the process. You can also give your photos a quick light boost by tapping the star, and tapping the icon that looks like a sun.


In addition, NightCap Pro has some manual settings that allow you to take other kinds of night photos. You can choose your exposure length in the settings, you can adjust the ISO, exposure, white balance, and focal point, by swiping on the screen. To adjust the ISO, swipe up and down on the left side of the screen, for exposure on the right.


To adjust the white balance, swipe from left to right at the top of the screen, and for the focal point at the bottom of the screen. The app is great, not just for taking photos of the night sky, but also for other night photography including fireworks and capturing lights on a highway using a long exposure.

To get a sense of how much the robust app has to offer, we would highly recommend the NightCap Pro tutorial page.

How Are the Results?

In terms of actual quality of photos, taking night photos with your phone camera will depend largely on your hardware, so while NightCap Pro is definitely going to improve the quality of your photos, it certainly won’t compare to a camera with manual settings.

That said, the best camera is the one that’s on you. And compared to taking night photos with the standard camera app, or other camera apps available for the iPhone, there’s simply no comparison to NightCap Pro.

What do you think of NightCap Pro? Let us know in the comments. 

Related topics: Photography, Smartphone Photography.

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