In the case of e Bay selling, good pictures really do tell a story. Every listing is dependant on a picture, the only tactile method the buyer has to get excited about your product.
The saying goes that a picture is a thousand words and if you are a seller or buyer, it's worth more than that! Given modern technology, it should be easy to snap a picture of good quality, but that is often not the case. Even though modern digital cameras can aid in many ways, pictures that go onto the web are often not of the quality we desire.
This guide is a simple step-by step process to ensure that your pictures look great when you list.
Step 1 - Download Picasa from Google -it's free!
From the Google home page, click " more..." above the search box, and under the section "Communicate, show & share", choose Picasa and download. You will be delighted at how easy and feature rich Picasa is for dealing with photographs
Step 2 - Purchase some basics, if required
Invest in a simple low cost extendable lamp and a daylight bulb. This enables you to take photographs anytime and anywhere using natural light conditions. If you live in a sunny part of the world you might not require this, but it is handy to have daylight available for that late night listing haunting your dreams!
Purchase a good sized piece of white paper, something that will comfortably serve as a background for your product without showing parts of your house or garden to distract buyers!
White still stays the best background to ensure that your product stands out, especially a thumbnail picture that goes with your listing. One cannot always use white as is the case for white or light items. In general most articles stand out on white so it's a safe investment.
Step 3 - Read your digital camera's manual...
And turn off your flash; it will do you no good! Also check how to set your camera for taking close-up photographs if necessary. Some cameras have an automatic close-up functionality.
Natural light, provided from any angle is far better than a flash directly aimed at your product.
Step 4 - Snap away and play
The marvelous thing about digital cameras is that you can get carried away and take as many photographs as you like. Place your product on the paper or position your paper behind your product so that you have ample white space around the item you are photographing
Zoom in or out so that you fill the screen allowing for some white space around your item. Don't worry about checking what the shots looks like; you can do that later on your computer screen where you will be able to see better. It is vitally important that you focus correctly. Most digital cameras will do this automatically, but take extra care with this.
Step 5 - Edit your photographs with Picasa
To edit your photographs to perfection, follow the following procedures. (You can play with Picasa's other features in non working time!)
- Upload your photographs
Plug in all the bits and pieces required to link camera and PC and choose Picasa as your editing tool when prompted. Upload all photographs, do not be tempted to to edit now, it's a waste of creative energy!
Make sure you choose a good descriptive name for the group/file of photos. Your product name might be a good choice so that you can find it again when you upload to e Bay or your favorite photograph service.
- Pre-view and delete the really bad photos
Once uploaded you will see all your photographs appear in the "library" mode. Double click on the first photograph and you will be in editing mode presenting you with several editing options on the left and an enlarged view of your photograph right.
Use the handy navigation tool at the top of the photograph to move between photos. Now is the time to get rid of the really bad shots. Out of focus ones goes first. Be careful to judge dark and non perfect white background photos too harshly as they can be fixed. Just hit the "delete button on your keyboard and your bad photos will never haunt you again!
- Cropping - cutting photos down to perfect size
To cut out excessive borders, use the "crop" tool. Simply click "crop" and drag a box around your item as close as it will fit or leave a small white border, your choice.
You can include natural shadows as long as they enhance your product. Preview and apply. Made a mistake? Use the "Undo Crop" button and start again. Finally, "apply"
Click on the "Tuning" tab. Use only the "fill Light" and "Highlights" tools and play later with the others when you are more experienced.
The "Fill Light" tool provides additional light and will lighten darker areas caused by uneven lighting. Use the slider until you like the result.
The Highlights" tool is used to make your background as white as possible. Use the slider to the point where your background is just perfectly white.
- Apply an effect, but only one!
Click on the "Effects" tab. Normally one would not use arty special effects for listing photographs but the one useful effect is the first one in the grid, "Sharpen". Click on "Sharpen" and you will notice that the surface detail of the photograph improves remarkably. The overall effect is one of increased focus or sharpness.
- Save your changes
Use the " back to Library" button situated top left corner and make sure you have saved your changes by clicking the "Save Changes" button located below the file name. Picasa stores all the original photographs and one can always revert back to the origenal and start again.
Upload photographs to e Bay or your favorite photo hosting site by browsing for your file under "My Pictures"
For examples go to:
Thank you for taking time to read this guide.
The Putu Team