Jefferson Graham shows how to do a hidden trick in Apple's iOS11 operating system upgrade called "Long Exposure," that turns running water into a cloud-like dream state, on #TalkingTech. USA TODAY

LOS ANGELES —Visit a national park like Zion or Yosemite and you’ll find art galleries with amazing photographs of the area, specifically running water that seems to flow in ways your camera could never capture.

The water looks cloudy, dream like and flowing, instead of the super sharp stopped- action most of us get.  

That’s because the photographers camped out, put their cameras on tripods and let the shutter roll for minutes, instead of the fraction of a second most of us take to snap photos.

Some good news for the rest of us: you can achieve a similar effect on your iPhone. It’s really easy to do, and it looks fabulous. 

You'll need an iPhone 6S, 7, 8 or the new X and iOS11, the latest edition of the Apple mobile operating system.

To make it work, you’ll need to take the picture with Live photos, the new tool Apple added to the iPhone camera with the 6S in 2015 that offered a snippet of live video in your photo.

I found that one to be a cute gimmick, but hard to share, so because of that, I barely used it.

But with Long Exposure, Live photos is definitely worth using—always.

I shot the running water by the Manhattan Beach, California pier, as you can see above. Like the approach? 

Here’s how to do it: 

— Open up the iPhone camera, and make sure Live photos is on. Tap the round icon on top of the screen, next to the flash, to turn it on.

Then take a photo, preferably of something with motion.

— Now that you’ve got the photo, open up your shot in the Photos app and swipe up.

You will now see four choices: the live video snippet, Loop, Bounce or Long Exposure.

Loop is a short video that runs over and over, while bounce is similar, but it goes back and forth between forward and backward motion.


Long Exposure is the coolest effect, showing your flowing water as cloud-like and dreamy, unlike the sharp and crisp stopped action water you'd normally see. 

Once you get the photo, you can share to social media or save to your computer.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. Have questions about how to make it work?


Look for me on Twitter where I'm @jeffersongraham or on 

facebook sharetwitter shareemail shareemail share
Read or Share this story: