Tips and Tricks for Taking Pics

I recently started using Google Analytics which gives me loads of useful information about The Nailasaurus’ audience. If you have a blog or website, I really recommend trying it out.
One of the ‘keywords’, or searches that keeps popping up is ‘nailasaurus what camera do you use’ so I thought I’d share some of my tips for taking and editing pictures and run you through my… ‘process’, if you will!

The main camera I use to take most of the pictures you see on this blog is an Olympus E510 with a 14-42mm lens.

Recently, I have also started using this Panasonic Lumix FS30 which I got for Christmas. It has superior macro capabilities, but obviously doesn’t give the same quality or range of settings customization you get from a DSLR. I use this for really close-up pictures.

How do I take my pictures?
I photograph with my hand and camera both resting on a flat surface. This minimises the chances of blur from unsteady hands.
Focus is important
I think focus is the most important factor in photographing nails and nail art, where every tiny detail counts.
I’ve found the best way to get sharp close-up pictures (with the DSLR) is to zoom in as far as I can and hold my hand a little further away from the camera as opposed to shoving my hand in to my camera’s face!
Don’t worry if you can’t get in as close as you would like with your camera. Just make sure it’s in focus, then crop it later like I do.
Set the white balance
This just makes sure that you get colour-accurate pictures.
All you need to do is find out how to set the white balance on your camera (however, not all cameras have this feature). It will normally tell you how to do this in the instruction manual, or if not I’m sure you can find some instructions online. It involves holding a white piece of paper in front of the lens and taking a dummy picture, the clever camera then decides the correct exposure and colour settings for your picture.

This is one of my pictures before any editing. You can see that my hand is resting on a flat surface (in this case, the floor!) as I mentioned above. I’m also resting the camera on the floor. This is the closest I can get my hand to the camera, if I move any closer, it won’t focus on my nails.
The software I use for editing is Adobe Photoshop CS5 and this is my routine editing process. It’s quite basic really, I just rotate the image 90°, crop it down and then stamp on my watermark.
Sometimes I also have a quick mess around with the contrast and colour settings if I don’t think the colours in the photo are true to real life in an attempt to match them up.