I'm sure most of your have seen photographs on E-Bay auctions that were indistinguishable from that fuzzy green thing left too long in the refrigerator. Nothing more than a blurry blob. Sort of like some of the UFO photos in the tabloids.
Nothing ruins a good presentation more than a poor photo. Good definition in a photo is worth 10 000 words, to paraphrase Confucius.
The difference between selling and not selling. If the potential buyers can't figure out what you are selling, they tend to look elsewhere.
There are 3 main essentials to good pictures: (1) Good Camera, (2) Good Copy Stand or Tripod, (3) Good Photo Processing Software on your computer.
(1) Good Camera A good camera of any make that has a setting for close-ups and some way to download the photos from the camera to the computer, either thru a card or USB cable. I use a FUJI E-550, which has the close-up settings, uses an XD card and has the USB cable.
I can work as close as 2-3 inches with out a supplementary lens. With another lens attachment I can work even closer. And with the LCD screen on the back I can adjust the height of the camera to enclose the entire object or detail of some small part, and also check for sharpness.
(2) Copy Stand or Tripod A good copy stand is essential for close-up work, if you do a lot of photos like I do. You need a stable holder of some sort, either purchased or home-made. Somethimes you can set up objects outside, letting the sun provide the illumination, with the camera on a tripod. Good lighting is also essential. Indirect sunshine is the best, then incandescent bulbs, and lastly fluorescents. Experiment with whatever gives you the best results.
(3) Software Good software on your PC is also essential. Use whatever you have, or purchase or download. I use and prefer Picture-It 99 and Picture-It Photo Premium 9. I use both because neither one does the complete job for me. Sometime the software that comes with the camera will suffice.
After my photos are downloaded to the PC, I send them to my "E-Bay" folder in My Pictures. From there I send the photos to Picture-It. There I can adjust the brightness and contrast, level off to horizontal, sharpen the image (if needed), enclose in a new box or frame, and then add text (if needed).
Text can be anything, such as a description of the object, reference numbers, dates, pointer to specific part of the object, etc. The text can be adjusted to size, color and font. Try to use contrasting colors; white or black, or vice versa, and a large enough type size to be read easily at a glance, and choose a font that looks nice; Times New Roman, etc
And don't forget to proof-read your text and double check your work on the photos. I make mistakes myself. After all I'm not 100% perfect. Maybe 99%, but not 100%.
After all this I send the photo back to my "E-Bay" folder, where I rename the photo, with whatever I need, name or number. Then when I am on E-Bay and need to browse for a photograph for my auction items, I can go right to it.
After the auction is over and an item has sold, hopefully, I send the photo back to Picture-It and add the word SOLD in red, then send the photo to another folder for my records.
I hope that this guide has been of value to some of you out there in E-Bay World. And I hope you take a look at my other guide, entitled "Spelling - Words I found on E-Bay"