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Photographer uses iPhone 11 Pro to capture Russian city's month of darkness

iPhone 11 Pro in Russia
iPhone 11 Pro in Russia (Image credit: Amos Chapple / PetaPixel)

What you need to know

  • Russian city Murmansk has 40 days of darkness from December into January.
  • Photographer Amos Chapple took their iPhone 11 Pro to capture it.
  • The images show yet again just how capable an iPhone is when in the right hands.

The Russian city of Murmansk has to deal with continuous night time from December into January and photographer Amos Chapple took a new iPhone 11 Pro to capture it. Murmansk is the largest city in the Arctic circle, and it's the perfect place to put Night Mode through its paces.

And that's exactly what Chapple did. With the sheer portability of iPhone making an immediate impression on the photographer.

On the first morning I woke up in Murmansk, it really hit me what a revolution this generation of phone represents. I got out of bed and was rummaging through my travel case to try to find my toothpaste and toothbrush. It took me a solid couple of minutes. Then after I'd scrubbed up, I grabbed my phone and headed out the door.As I walked down the corridor I remember thinking I'd just had more trouble organizing the equipment I needed to brush my teeth, than I had preparing for a 12-hour day of professional photography. No SD cards to check, no stacks of batteries to charge, no bag full of lenses… Total freedom.

Night Mode itself has become a huge feature for those using iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro when enjoying night time photography. And its capability is still amazing to even the most seasoned of photographers.

The iPhone's Night Mode is the witchiest camera technology I've ever used. I still don't understand it. I was shooting three second exposures made handheld, yet I never saw any movement blur. All of the shots I made were tack sharp.Even more strange is that, whenever there was movement in the frame, like a person walking, or snow falling, the camera somehow froze, or only slightly blurred that movement, while it was soaking up light for a long exposure.Interestingly, when the camera senses it's on a tripod it behaves exactly like a normal camera — so during a long exposure people walking or snow falling just become faint blurs. I took a tripod with me but hardly ever used it after noticing this switch that the camera makes

iPhone 11 Pro in Russia

iPhone 11 Pro in Russia (Image credit: Amos Chapple / PetaPixel)

However, Chapple does note something that's been an irritation for many – the inability to enable Night Mode on-demand.

The biggest problem with Night Mode is Apple insisting that they know best — so the camera only switches the option to use night mode in very dark scenes.

Some of the photos Chapple capture are truly breathtaking. You can see them all over on their PetaPixel photo essay.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.