I mentioned on Twitter the other day that I was working on some photos, and that I would be putting up pictures that were taken with my phone and with my Nikon.

I was then asked if I could tell the difference between the pictures, and which was better.

Honestly? Both are awesome. I got my Nikon to do YouTube with (I know, I promise I’m working on some videos for y’all!) but I use my Samsung (Galaxy 4, soon to be upgraded to a 6) for a lot of my pics too. I think that the key to using either is all about learning your functions and using light to your best advantage.

The second part of a good picture is editing, if that’s your thing. Some pics I edit for color and clarity, and sometimes I just let it be what it is. I’ll talk about what I use to edit my pictures with in a moment. First up, let’s talk about cameras.

So, here are two pictures. Which is my camera, and which is my phone?

1-20150422_211359_Richtone(HDR)

Option A

1-DSC_0129

Option B

Anyone? If you’re having a hard time, that’s my point. I’ll tell y’all which was what at the end. 🙂

It’s all about setting and lighting. You can take digital quality pics on a camera phone if you work it properly. Don’t get me wrong, there are some pics I adore my Nikon for. For example:

Gorgeous view, right?

Man…

My phone can take pictures NEARLY as crisp, but not this crisp. Maybe when I upgrade, that could change. But this Nikon is everything, and when I do my outfit posts I prefer it.

Since I don’t have a tall tripod (yet), using the Nikon for everything is difficult. Hard to take good pictures one handed. Here’s where the phone comes in. For the majority of my nail posts I’m using my phone for the pics, because I can control it with one hand. To make them look super good, I change the mode of the camera. This is best illustrated with selfies.

So, on my Samsung, I have a mode called “Beauty Face.” If you like to Photoshop your selfies a bit before you post them, this mode handles that for you, and all you have to do is pose and snap. Example:

wpid-20150329_110133.jpg

My eye bags are WAY more pronounced in reality…

See? I look all glowy and smooth, and let’s be real. I had no sleep the night before and no water, so I wanted the extra boost. Fly picture in no time.

And to answer which pic above was taken on my phone? It was this one:

1-20150422_211359_Richtone(HDR)

Taken with the Rich HDR setting on my phone.

Surprised? See, told you quality pics were possible! The makeup pic was my Nikon.

Now, let’s talk editing. I don’t use Photoshop because I didn’t want to pay all that money for it. I do have something quite similar that’s awesome and free: GIMP. Now, I’m still learning how to work it, so if you’re tech challenged, it may not be for you. I will say there are many tutorials out there if you want to learn more (and I’m taking full advantage of what’s available.) For quick editing (as in, click and fix, or some cropping) I use Picasa (also free.) This is easier, and you can do color and shadow tweaking as you need.

If you’re on the go, and can only edit things on your lunch break (me), then there’s Afterlight. It’s a dollar, and you can do everything that you can do in Picasa (shadows, highlights, temperature, etc.) plus some preset filters (like stuff you’d find on Instagram) right on your phone (available for Apple and Android.) I have it on my iPad, so I put my pics on there and do editing when I have time. Afterlight is just awesome. Want proof? Here’s the before and after of one of my shots. These shots were done on my Galaxy:

1-20150422_211149_Richtone(HDR)

Before..

1-IMG_0457

After.

So, I wanted everything brighter, with an emphasis on the bracelet. I increased the temperature (it warms up the colors in your photo) and increased the shadows. Since I used a circle light (aimed over my hand), it looks like I put a spotlight on the bracelet. Pretty cool, huh?

Whew! This is a lot, right? I’m still a novice, so I’m still figuring stuff out as I go along. Most of this was trial and error and playing with settings and thinking I broke something. But you can’t be scared of that–I didn’t know how good my phone camera was until I started looking through the different modes on there. Same with the Nikon: there’s preset functions, but play with the settings till you find something good! That’s really best way to find out what your tech toys can do.

Hope this helps anyone looking to get some good pics for their blogs!

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