Skip to main content

Apple shows how to shoot ‘otherworldly’ night mode shots on the iPhone

Apple has shared a new video featuring ideas on how to get “otherworldly” images using the iPhone camera’s night mode setting.

Night mode launched with the iPhone 11 in 2019 to help you get better shots in low-light conditions. Many Android handsets have offered a similar feature for several years now.

Shoot and Edit Otherworldly Photos in Night Mode with Maria Lax | Apple

Apple’s video focuses on Maria Lax, a London-based Finnish photographer whose wonderfully mystical images have helped her to build a loyal following on Instagram.

Talking about her work, Lax tells Apple’s Landon Smith that she likes to “reimagine real locations so that they appear unreal,” with night shots offering the best opportunity for this kind of approach.

In a sequence showing her strolling around the streets of the U.K. capital in search of a shot, Lax says how she likes to spend time searching for a striking light source, often finding herself drawn toward different-colored windows and the small details contained behind them.

Lax also highlights the value of experimentation when it comes to using night mode. For a different kind of image, she sometimes places a piece of colored plastic in front of the lens, and might also fire the flash or smear some vaseline on the plastic (not the lens!) for an even more unusual effect. “Definitely some alien abductions going on in this shot,” she says of one of her eerier efforts.

The Finnish photographer offers words of encouragement, too, saying you shouldn’t expect to go out and shoot great shots “one after the other,” but that over time you’ll “get to the good stuff.”

Smith, more of a beginner when it comes to night shots, is also shown in the video as he explores New York City while considering some of Lax’s tips.

Back home, Lax talks us through some of the editing techniques she uses to take her night shots to the next level, with all of the tweaks made in the iPhone’s Photos app.

For those unfamiliar with night mode, the iPhone automatically selects it if the camera deems the lighting conditions to be too low for the regular setup. When you hit the shutter in night mode, the camera works for several seconds to create the best possible image. There are also options to manually adjust the exposure, but most people start by going with the auto function and checking the result.

For more inspiration on how to shoot great shots, check out these top tips from an iPhone Photography Awards winner.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
How to block a number on Android phones and iPhones
social media moderation holding phone

Whether it is junk calls or a creepy ex, there are some people we don't want to keep getting calls from. The solution is simple, we know, all we need to do is block the number on our smartphone. But how you go about blocking a number is slightly different on each phone. Here, we present an ultimate guide of sorts for any kind of phone.
How to block a call on Android phones
Both iOS and Android offer easy options to stop unwanted calls, but since each Android smartphone manufacturer has the option to create its own interface, the steps will be different. We start with stock Android 11.
Blocking a call on stock Android 11

If you're using a phone running stock Android or that's part of the Android One program, you have three different options to block calls.
Block a spam call
Step 1: Tap to open the Phone app.

Read more
The best iPhone and Android apps for Black History Month 2024
best iPhone and Android apps for Black History Month.

February is celebrated as Black History Month to honor Black Americans' remarkable achievements and contributions. The theme for this year is "African Americans and the Arts," which shines a light on the impact of African Americans in different artistic fields, such as cultural expression, visual and performing arts, fashion, literature, and more.

In this regard, we present a list of popular iOS and Android apps developed by Black-owned businesses and cover various topics such as finance, entertainment, wellness, and more. These apps run on all the latest smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro.

Read more
iPhone Flip: what we know about Apple’s first foldable phone
Folding iPhone concept from iOS Beta News.

In the past few years, Samsung has become one of the leading manufacturers of foldable devices, including the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5. Though it's not the only brand making foldable devices, it offers the most mainstream and available options, especially in the U.S. That leads to the question of whether Apple will follow suit with a foldable iPhone — or even an iPad.

There have been long-standing rumors that Apple could be working on such a device, including a foldable iPhone, which we'll call "iPhone Flip" for now. Apple's a secretive company, so there may very well be at least some research and development taking place on such a device. But, of course, this continues to just be all speculation for now. From the latest news, rumors, and reports, here's everything we know so far about Apple's folding iPhone.
iPhone Flip: design and display

Read more