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
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.