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Taking better photos for Ebay auctions

We started by taking pictures of magazines on a table with a white sheet on top.  Our digital camera wasn't top of the range but a general good spec camera for the time.  What we found is that if we took pictures on the table in the day, with natural light, then the pictures came out OK.  If we took pictures in the evening, then they always came out poor.  Tried with and without the flash on.  The flash usually made the magazines looks washed out and the colours wrong, or if the magazines where shiny, then it just didn't work.


In the end, we invested 25 and did the following.  Bought a large piece of black felt from a seller on Ebay, which covered a large part of the table.  This gave a good contrast to the magazines and then paid 20 for a pair of umbrella lighting stands from another Ebay seller.  They were under a description like:


Studio Photography 2x 135W Lamp Umbrella Light Stand Set Continuous Lighting Kit



Note - Buy items through your Ebay account where possible.  It just keeps bumping your feedback rating up.


We then used one of these positions on our table so the it lighted the entire black felt.  Just one note.  Make sure the inside of the umbrella is pointing down towards your photo area.  So in the picture above, the Ebay items would be placed to the left.  


Our pictures then looked really good, without flash, and we could take them at any time of the day. 


We also experimented with document cameras.  These are the cameras used in school and college class rooms when you have a camera on an arm and you put books, paper and small items underneath to take photos and they are normally connected to a computer and projector so that the entire class can see the objects.  However, we found the focusing quite difficult on the two models we tried and getting the magazines square was also a little fiddly.  We reverted back to the standard digital camera as you can take a straight picture easily and focused pictures very quickly with these.


Not got a good digital camera?


See Using your smart phone to take photos of Ebay items for sale.