As a buyer and a seller in audiogon, how do I improve on my digital pictures so that I can better serve our audiophile community?
I have seen some high resolution pictures and please advise on how to do it as I have a reasonable digital SLR camera.. your input will be appreciated...
You can take large picures (like 2048x1600) and then resize them to like 640x480 to accomodate some people's smaller screens and make the file size acceptable for online viewing. But the trick is to maintain 72 pixels/inch resolution - which is probably the default setting in your camera - but use photo editing software that can keep it that way. Photoshop will as well as many others.
As for appearance, keep the color space as RGB which your digital SLR will capture in, unless it is set to "RAW". RAW would be the optimum format to shoot in, as it gives greater freedom for color and lighting adjustments prior to importing it into an image editing program like software. However, for A'Gon purposes, a higher resolution setting with RGB as the color space should be fine.

When I compare the small preview images Audiogon creates compared to the actual uploaded photos in the ads, I can see that Audiogon is running an auto color adjust possibly in Photoshop on the images so they appear richer and deeper in color.

In Photoshop, as long as you haven't reset the white point and black point of your curves or levels adjustments to some crazy color, an "auto" will find the lightest part of the image and set that to specular white and the darkest part to max black. That way dull, hazy washed out images will have deep, rich tones, and vibrant contrast. Not always realistic, but definitely makes for a dynamic looking picture.

Another thing you could do is to run a very mild unsharp mask on the image to sharpen things up a bit. However, if you create enough contrast through color adjustments, any sharpeneing may have the effect of enhancing digital jaggies or JPEG compression which is a bad thing.

Regarding resolution, don't upsample the image you take if your camera is at a low setting. This will cause the image to become softer and will actually enhance some of the compression so image looks poor.

As Aball suggested, shoot it at a higher resolution than you intend to use it at, make all your retouching and color adjustments at that resolution, then crop it and save out a smaller file size for uploading.

We have a lot of photographers on Audiogon, hopefully they can chime in with lighting tips.
I found this little tutorial on using highpass filters in Adobe Photoshop for web photos to yield nice, sharp results:


Good luck!

The high pass layer is pretty cool. It creates a nice blend of sharpening and contrast unlike any sharpening filters in Photoshop. I use it when retouching at work all the time. Most high pass filter tutorials only suggest using "overlay" as the blending mode, but I've found "soft light" and "hardlight" are good alternatives depending on the effect or the degree of contrast you want.

I was kind of shocked at the results... Felt like I was being let in on a special secret.

The tutorial itself is pretty well put-together, independent of the effect.

Yeah Eric, a lot of the art directors where I work love that trick. I didn't know about it until I started working here a year ago. You can find a lot of neat methods like searching this online or at the NAPP website. Sometimes if needed, I even run an unsharp mask on the high pass layer afterwards.
I have to say your pics look pretty good to me, certainly a lot better than mine. You should email Larry at High End Palace, he advertses on here a lot and his photos are amazing. I'm sure he'd have some tips. Good luck!
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