Apple's newer iPhones, beginning with the iPhone 12 mini, ‌iPhone 12‌, ‌‌iPhone‌ 12 Pro, and ‌‌iPhone‌ 12 Pro‌ Max, are equipped with a photography feature called Night Mode, which is designed to take crisp, clear photos even when lighting conditions are poor, such as at night.

‌Night Mode‌‌ originally debuted in the ‌iPhone‌ 11 series, but its use was limited to the rear-facing wide-angle camera. With ‌‌iPhone‌ 12‌, however, Apple has extended ‌‌Night Mode‌‌ functionality to all the lenses, and if you have an ‌iPhone‌ 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, you can take advantage of the LiDAR Scanner's advanced photography smarts to unlock ‌Night Mode‌ Portraits, too.

Apple nightmode demo photography 10132020
Apple's Portrait Mode has become a popular way of taking impressive shots using a depth-of-field effect known as bokeh, allowing ‌iPhone‌ users to shoot a photo that keeps the subject sharp with a blurred background. With the addition of ‌Night Mode‌, ‌iPhone‌ 12 Pro can automatically brighten Portrait shots while preserving the night time feeling, balancing the light and dark elements of an image.

Here's how to take a Portrait shot using ‌‌Night Mode‌ on ‌iPhone‌ 12 Pro and ‌iPhone 12 Pro Max‌‌.

  1. Launch the Camera app on your ‌iPhone‌ 12 Pro or ‌iPhone 12 Pro Max‌.
  2. Select Portrait below the viewfinder.
  3. If the flash icon is yellow in the top-left corner of the screen, tap it to turn it off.
  4. Look for the ‌Night Mode‌ icon at the top of the viewfinder – it looks like a crescent moon. If the ambient light is low, ‌‌Night Mode‌‌ will automatically engage and the icon will be yellow. If it's not engaged but you think your portrait would still benefit from ‌‌Night Mode‌‌, simply tap the button. If you don't see the ‌Night Mode‌ icon at all, there's too much light and you won't be able to use it.
    camera

  5. If you manually engaged ‌Night Mode‌, you can adjust the exposure time with the slider just above the shutter button. If ‌Night Mode‌ automatically engaged then the exposure time is already selected, but you can adjust it yourself by tapping the yellow moon icon and moving the horizontal dial.
  6. Tap the shutter button and hold your ‌iPhone‌ still while the exposure time runs and your Portrait picture is taken.

By recruiting the help of the gyroscope in your ‌‌iPhone‌ 12 Pro‌, ‌‌Night Mode‌‌ can detect when the device is attached to a tripod and will present longer exposure times than normally offered, enabling you to take more detailed shots in very low light.

portrait night mode vs non night mode

‌Night Mode‌ portrait (left) vs regular portrait

When taking ‌‌Night Mode‌‌ shots during handheld use, you'll usually see 1-3 second delay and you can manually select up to a 10-second delay, but with a tripod you may see up to 30 seconds available in the Night mode dial.

Top Rated Comments

synergize Avatar
43 months ago
Took some Night Mode photos last night. The bright light in the sky is the moon and it was dark outside. The light casting shadows in the picture is from 2 street lamps about a 1/4 mile away. The camera works great and that was only my 3rd photo...I am impressed. How dark was it outside by the car? If you dropped a coin on the ground you would not be able to find it!




Attachment Image
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nozuka Avatar
43 months ago
Once you know what the icons mean it is pretty easy to use. But i feel like Apple doesn't really tell you in the App. (Or i missed it)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rcooked Avatar
43 months ago
Night mode is great. Got this shot last night in Marblehead, OH (Lake Erie) with the Blue Moon as well.

Attachment Image
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
edk99 Avatar
43 months ago

Err, correct me if I’m wrong, but the regular iPhone 12 also supports night mode on the front camera....
They stated that in the article in the second paragraph...



Night Mode‌ originally debuted in the iPhone 11 series, but its use was limited to the rear-facing wide-angle camera. With ‌iPhone 12‌, however, Apple has extended ‌Night Mode‌ functionality to all the lenses, and if you have an iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, you can take advantage of the LiDAR Scanner's advanced photography smarts to unlock Night Mode Portraits, too.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
43 months ago
Great article. Thank you. Will def check it out.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mindsaspire Avatar
43 months ago
Nice article! I was wondering how the various camera controls worked. Needed this info last night for Halloween photos. :)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
samsung galaxy ring

'Apple Ring' Allegedly in Development to Rival Samsung Galaxy Ring

Tuesday February 20, 2024 2:27 am PST by
Apple is speeding up development of a smart ring that can be worn on the finger to track users' health biometrics, claims a new report coming out of Korea. Teaser image of Samsung Galaxy Ring shown at Galaxy Unpacked in January Apple has toyed with the idea of a ring wearable for several years, as indicated by several patents, but with Samsung preparing to bring its own product to market, the ...
volvo s60 drivers apple maps

iOS 17.4 Beta Adds CarPlay Option to Show Upcoming Maneuvers in Instrument Cluster

Tuesday February 20, 2024 10:47 am PST by
The fourth beta of iOS 17.4 that Apple released today adds a new CarPlay feature, according to the notes that Apple provided to developers. In supported CarPlay vehicles, there's now an Apple Maps option to show information about upcoming maneuvers in the instrument cluster. CarPlay users will be able to swap the display type between the main and instrument cluster by tapping on the map...
m3 macbook pro 14 16

Apple Now Selling Refurbished M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pro Models

Monday February 19, 2024 5:04 pm PST by
Apple today began offering refurbished versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M3 Pro and M3 Max chip options, offering the machines at a discount for the first time since their October 2023 release. The release of M3 Pro and M3 Max models on Apple's refurbished store comes almost two weeks after the entry-level 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro first appeared on the store....
iPad Pro OLED Feature 2

Apple's Upcoming OLED iPad Pro Models Rumored to Be Much Thinner

Tuesday February 20, 2024 1:39 pm PST by
Apple is planning to update the iPad Air and iPad Pro lineups as soon as March, and the new iPad Pro models will be significantly thinner according to dimensions shared by 9to5Mac. Citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans, the site claims that the larger version will be more than 1mm thinner. The current 12.9-inch iPad Pro measures in at 6.4mm thick, but the new model is said to be 5mm ...
apple wallet drivers license feature

Apple Said iPhone Driver's Licenses Will Expand to These 8 U.S. States

Monday February 12, 2024 7:51 am PST by
In 2021, Apple introduced a feature that lets residents of participating U.S. states add their driver's license or ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch, providing a convenient and contactless way to display proof of identity or age. Unfortunately, states have been slow to adopt the feature since it was first announced in September 2021, with IDs in the Wallet app only available ...