Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Editing On A Phone vs. Editing With Software

Take a look at the two versions of the same image below:

The Valley View - Yosemite National Park, California
The Valley View - Yosemite National Park, California
They are the same JPEG exposure from my Nokia Lumia 1020. One was edited on my phone using an app that came with the phone, the other was post-processed on my computer using photo editing software.

Which one is which? Which one is better?

A few weeks ago I visited Yosemite National Park. I haven't post-processed the photographs yet because I'm waiting to do so (as I wrote about here). But I needed an image for a post, so I edited an exposure on my phone and posted it.

I was post-processing a handful of images that were captured using the Nokia Lumia 1020, and so I (finally) got around to editing this exposure on my computer. I hadn't seen the original edit in several weeks. I was curious how different the two versions would be.

Even though the two versions look very similar at first glance, upon closer inspection there are some noticeable differences.

The top version is slightly brighter and toned a hair warmer than the bottom. I was a little too worried about blowing the highlights (this was a JPEG file and not RAW), and I could have and should have increased the brightness of the bottom version--I didn't notice until comparing these two side-by-side. Maybe I will go back and fix that, no big deal. You'll notice the slightly warmer tone of the top version mostly in El Capitan.

The top version is more color saturated. Perhaps slightly too saturated, especially the shadows--it doesn't look as natural as the bottom version.

The top version has a weird pixelation in the top-left corner in the blue sky. The bottom version is noticeably sharper. It's stands out as being much more crisp.

Maybe you've already guessed which one is which. The top image is the first edit and was post-processed on my phone using an app. The bottom image is the second edit and was post-processed on my computer using photo editing software. I will say, despite that it isn't quite as bright as it should be, the bottom version is the better version.

The conclusion is that it is better to post-process on your computer than on your phone, but in a pinch post-processing on your phone will suffice.
 
Update: I increased the brightness a little to make a "final" version The Valley View.
 
The Valley View - Yosemite National Park, California



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