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Photographing Nail Art

With the explosion of nail art, nail artists are expanding their creativity into the field of photography. Here are tips on how to capture the best shot.

Which Setting Is Best for Taking Pictures to Get That Crisp, Zoomed-In Shot?

  • Start with the macro setting — the little icon of the flower. This setting works best for up-close photography, and the camera will automatically blur the background. Also, try increasing the exposure (the +/- button) to 1/3 and see if you like the result. By default, it’s at 0. If you turn it up to 1/3+, it makes a huge difference in brightness. Try setting the white balance at “tungsten.” — Payne
  • Use the “auto” setting and allow the camera to focus on a nail before you shoot. Typically this happens by holding the shutter button down halfway to focus, then pressing all the way to shoot. — Hoel
  • With a DSLR, play with the aperture to see which f-stop gives you the desired result.

 

Point-and-Shoot vs. DSLRs

With a DSLR, you have the choice of multiple lenses to give you different looks. If I’m shooting a set of nails and want the background blurred out nicely, having a lens with the ability to properly control the depth of field is very helpful and is what gives a picture a more professional look. Different lenses also gather different light. I may find that shooting a picture with one lens will turn out nicer than the same frame of picture using a different lens.

Point and shoots are great for pictures that are simply straight on without any background, like staggered hands or gripping a jar. — Hoel


Most Common Mistake: Blurry Pictures

Number-One Fix: Use the Macro Function.
First, try using the macro setting. In this setting, you’ll need to get very close to the nail for the camera to focus. If your camera doesn’t have a good macro lens and the picture is blurry, then stand farther away and use a normal setting. With today’s cameras, you have VERY large pictures to work with. So stand back two to three feet from the nails and get a good, focused picture. On your computer you can crop in closer to the nails. — Hoel


Next page: Props vs. No Props

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