Northern Lights with iPhone 11 ProSource: u/poookie

What you need to know

  • A Redditor captured the Northern Lights using their iPhone 11 Pro.
  • Night Mode was used with multiple exposure times.
  • The results are, as one former Apple exec would say, "Blow-away."

The night time photography landscape has changed a ton in recent years with Google's Night Sight and Apple's Night Mode adding capabilities that were simply not possible before. And one iPhone user put that to the test by capturing some images of the Northern Lights in Sweden.

The images, taken by Reddit user "poookie," are apparently unedited and show the Northern Lights in all their glory. Night Mode was used, with exposure times of between three and 10 seconds set. Amazingly, the shots were also taken handheld which is very impressive indeed. You can see more photos on imgur, too.

Swedish cabin with iPhone 11 ProSource: u/poookie

We've covered Night Mode before anad it's impressive what it can do, but I didn't expect results like this. They're certainly better than anything I've taken! And it's all made possible by some pretty fancy image work.

Night mode kicks on at below 10 lux on the wide-angle. On the hardware side, it uses that wide-aperture lens and those 100% Focus Pixels to drink in as much light as possible.

On the silicon side, it uses adaptive bracketing, again based on what it determines from the preview. Those brackets can go from very short, if there's more motion, to longer, if there's more shadow. Then it fuses them all together to both minimize blur and maximize the amount of detail recovered.

Like the other methods, Night Mode can also understand what's in a scene, including people, faces, parts of faces, and make sure skin tones keep the best color and detail possible.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to take some photos in the dark. I might not have any Northern Lights to capture but I'm not going to let that stop me!