Image for the article titled You Can Turn Your Live Photos into Long Exposures, Loops, and Boomerangs

Photo: Khamosh Pathak

Live Photos are those little moving pictures that you never knew you needed. Just like in Harry Potter, these little videos capture the essence of the moment, something that sometimes just can’t be captured in a still photo. However, unlike GIFs, they also record a snippet of sound, which makes them look like micro-short videos of a moment.

But Live Photos offers even more. With a hidden effects function, you can turn your live photos into long exposures, GIF-like loops and even boomerangs (without having to use Instagram).

Open the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad and find the live photo that you want to edit. If you’re using iOS 15 and above, tap the live Button in the upper left corner of the screen. If you’re using iOS 14 or earlier, swipe up on the photo to see the Effects section.

Image for the article titled You Can Turn Your Live Photos into Long Exposures, Loops, and Boomerangs

Screenshot: Khamosh Pathak

From here you will see three options.

  1. ribbon: This creates a video in an endless loop, like a GIF, but with the clarity of a video format.
  2. Bounce: This creates a boomerang effect where the video loops forwards and then backwards.
  3. Long exposure: This doesn’t work for all photos, but if your live photo has captured motion (such as a flowing river), you can use this mode to create a cool looking long exposure where the motion is out of focus, but the rest of the picture remains.

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Select the mode and in a second or two the Photos app will switch to it. You can tap the same “live”Again to switch to a different effect or return to the live photo. Now, with that knowledge, go ahead and flood your social media, group texts, and WhatsApp chats with cooler photos than ever before. Have fun.