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Old 03-22-2008, 03:43 PM #1
leftside
 
 
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How to Sell items with good photos

BST Guide to Taking Better Pictures

I've been a member here for a few years, and bought and sold a few things here. I can't help but notice that nobody knows how to take a decent picture of their BST gear. I am no expert at Photography, but I have sold on ebay for a few years now, and I know how to take a decent picture of an object. This is meant for someone who doesn't know much about photography. If your looking for a more in-depth approach you will have to find it elsewhere.
Taking better pictures is crucial is selling items.
1) It gives the buyer more confidence in the item.
2) Items usually sell faster at a better price with good pictures.
3) It protects you, the seller when the buyer says the item is physically broken, you have the evidence that proves it was in good condition before it left.
4) When you have a good picture it makes you look more professional

Like I said I am no photography expert, but there are a few things I know that can really make or break your bst thread.

1) Lighting
Lighting, Lighting, Lighting. It is THE most important aspect of any photo. I don't care if your using the best camera in the world or a camera phone, if your lighting is bad your going to lose detail and quality. Take pictures outside. Buy a few lamps, do what ever it takes, get better lighting.

Bad Lighting example:


The lighting coming from one light, this is obvious from the shadow.
Try to use more than one light, from more that one angle.

His camera is not using the correct white balance. This is obvious from the yellow hue.
Read your camera owners manual to set the correct white balance.

The picture is fuzzy, you cannot read the letters. Although this is a combination of low light and bad focus,
more light would definitely help.

Here is an example of a well lit photo.


I took this photo with a canon s2 IS. Using two desk lamps set on both sides of the expansion chamber. The white balance is set correctly in the camera settings. I didn't have to use the flash, and every detail can be seen.


2) Focus

Focus is the next most important aspect of a good picture. The difference is in the detail. Showing more detail gives more confidence that the 'small scratch ' is really just a small scratch and nothing to worry about. Auto focus works great for just about everything accept the close up pictures, the pictures that show the most detail about that 'one scratch'. In these cases I'm going to have to refer you to the owners manual once again. Using something called macro focus allows your camera to focus on closer objects. It is usually denoted by a button with a flower icon next to it.

Picture of my lens cap in regular auto focus:

Picture of my lens cap in Macro Mode:


See how much more detail you get in macro mode! This is just another tool you can use to show more detail in your photos. If your pictures farther away macro mode doesn't work anymore, you can switch back to auto focus. If your shots are still coming out blurry, try to use manual focus. Remember, if auto focus isn't working well, it may be a sign your not using enough light!

3) Tripod
The more light you have in a room, the less your going to need a tripod. But if you have shaky hands a tripod can really help. If adding more light and getting a good focus isn't working a tripod might be your best bet.

4)Add your Name to Your Photos
I have personally had my photos copied and used for someone else's listings on ebay. It doesn't seem like a big deal, but when I see someones user name written in ink on a piece of paper next to the item, it gives me a since of relief. It means that the picture was taken by the poster, and the item is in their hands.
Here is an example of a video card I recently sold.

edit: adding the time will also help establish ownership.

5) Sizing
Not everyone has a Huge monitor like you, and not everyone wants to wait 10 minutes for your pictures to download. It really helps to resize your pictures to a reasonable resolution. I think anything around 640x480 is about the best size (personal opinion). Just remember if your pictures are to big, its going to take to long to downlaod and people lose interest (not to mention side scrolling some huge photo that I cant see because it take up the whole screen). If there to small they don't show enough detail. Finding a happy medium is always the best choice.

I hope this helps, I would like it if people would start posting good pictures so when I want to buy something I know what I am getting into. Good luck!

Brad
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Last edited by leftside : 03-22-2008 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 03-22-2008, 03:47 PM #2
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Old 03-22-2008, 03:50 PM #3
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kinda weak how to, actually. i've seen a better one here, almost sure of it
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Old 03-22-2008, 03:59 PM #4
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Originally Posted by TheLPB View Post
kinda weak how to, actually. i've seen a better one here, almost sure of it
I would like to see it.
Like I said, its not for the photographer, but rather the average member here. I did this mainly so I could link members here who need help on taking pictures.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 03-22-2008, 04:01 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leftside View Post
I would like to see it.
Like I said, its not for the photographer, but rather the average member here. I did this mainly so I could link members here who need help on taking pictures.

Any help would be appreciated.
fair enough
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Old 03-22-2008, 04:06 PM #6
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wow, I can't believe I never thought of doing this thread. I complain about this exact thing all the time. It drives me absolutely bonkers to see people trying to sell stuff with blury, dark, out of focus crap photos. And then they wonder why nobody offers.

A great example of this... several months ago, I sold a Nick Saban autographed football on e-bay. I search for and followed all similar items. At the time there were several. Most of them had crappy photos. Mine sold for $192 plus shipping. The next closest sold for $125. After that the next was $78. They were almost identical items.
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:00 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonybhall View Post
wow, I can't believe I never thought of doing this thread. I complain about this exact thing all the time. It drives me absolutely bonkers to see people trying to sell stuff with blury, dark, out of focus crap photos. And then they wonder why nobody offers.
Ive debated this thread many times. In the end, laziness won the battle.

But a good piece of info nonetheless. Granted, this is the photo forum, it's not necessarily the best place for this.

all of the people who come in here, probably have a general interest in photography, so they already now how to at least take a decent picture of their gun.

Now I dont know if Tony has this power, but this is best displayed in the BST forums as a sticky.. and if that were to happen, it would need to be re-done with some other pictures, and maybe a few more tips.
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