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Spectre is an iOS app that uses AI to make fantastic long exposure photos with your iPhone

Ok, this is pretty awesome.

spectre ai ios photo app
Image: Spectre

While it’s true that smartphone photographers on iOS are fairly spoilt for choice, with Live Photos in the native camera app allowing long exposure functionality and tons of third-party apps to do the same, there’s now a new, AI-enhanced photography app with one focus – long exposure images.

Spectre can do some pretty advanced tricks with your long exposure photos, like removing crowds or traffic. It’s from Halide, one of the most popular third-party iOS camera apps, so they know what they’re doing.

While long exposure photography has long been a staple of DSLR and mirrorless cameras, it’s been largely ignored on smartphones. Those photos you see with streaks of light from passing cars, or creamy waterfalls that look straight out of fairytales – those were all taken with long exposure times on a larger camera.

A few smartphones have the option to create them, Apple’s Live Photos, or devices with manual camera modes from Samsung, LG, and others, but they’re still fairly basic in how much control you have over the image.

Spectre takes the long exposure one stop better, by using AI and computational photography to enhance your long exposures. The app can edit your shots without needing to learn how to use complicated features in Photoshop, enabling you to remove crowds from a scene, clear cars from the roads, or even automatically create those mesmerizing trails of light when it detects it’s a night scene.

Check out Spectre in action

Instead of just opening the shutter for a longer time, Spectre takes “hundreds of shots over the span of a few seconds.” During that time it constantly adjusts exposure settings to normalize the shot so nothing looks blown out or over-dark. You don’t even need a tripod to get crystal-clear shots, as “AI stabilization” enables you to take 9-second handheld exposures. If the app realizes you’ve opted for a tripod, it’ll turn off its own stabilization to prevent issues.

Spectre saves its shots as Live Photos, so you can grab any frame from the sequence to use as your main image. Plus then they can be shared with other iOS users who also have Live Photos on their devices.

The app is only $1.99 for the launch period, and it’ll go up fairly soon so I wouldn’t sleep on it if you like the idea of adding another tool to your iPhone photography app drawer.

What do you think? Is this something you’d use? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation and hoarding Reddit gold.

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