Picture Quality

Jerryc41

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I hope I'm not offending anyone with this suggestion, but I'd like to see larger, better quality photos of ukuleles for sale. I see two areas for improvement: size and focus.

When I click on some thumbnails, the resulting images are barely larger than the thumbnails. Some pictures, often close-ups, are so blurry that they might as well be left out.

Size - Most cameras have settings in the Menu system for Quality. If you set the quality at the largest available, you'll be off to a good start. Here's a link to one of the millions of articles about quality you can find online.
https://www.lifewire.com/choosing-camera-resolution-493618

Focus - Using a tripod is ideal, but not everyone has one. You can improvise. Having the camera too close to the uke will prevent it from focusing sharply. Get enough light on the uke so the camera can use a high shutter speed. Check out the link below.
https://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-take-sharp-digital-images/

When I post pictures online, I make them 1500 pixels on the long side. There are lots of free processing programs available to tweak lighting and sharpness.
https://www.lightstalking.com/free-photography-software/
http://www.techradar.com/news/the-best-free-photo-editor

Posting better pictures will help you to sell and me to buy. : )
 

Kenn2018

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I will be willing to bet that the vast majority of the photos are taken on a smartphone.

I have absolutely no idea how to post pictures on this website. I think I have to put the photos on a URL site and then link them to the posting somehow.
 

Locolele

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To post pictures, hit the "Go Advanced" button on the bottom right of the reply window. Then, scroll down to "Manage Attachments." There, you can upload photos to be attached inline within your post.

Smartphones are some of the best cameras around these days. But, just like with dedicated cameras, one has to set the picture options, one of which would be resolution, as mentioned by the OP.

LL
 

KohanMike

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Smartphones are some of the best cameras around these days.LL

Being a professional photographer for about 45 years using Nikon pro equipment, I would say smartphones are good in certain conditions, but certainly not the best cameras, try and take a photo with flash in a somewhat darkened area, takes forever for the shutter to release. Give me a DSLR and strobe anytime.
 

DownUpDave

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I have done many NUD posts, build in progress posts and sold a bunch of ukes. I take pictures with my smart phone or tablet with good result, just a little thought and effort goes a long way. Here is a "TIP" take them in landscape mode and they come out upright and not side ways.

As locolele said it is easy to then add them to your post while you are connected with either device.
 

Croaky Keith

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Most people use digital these days, auto everything, some of Jerry's tips could help you get better shots, & possibly more interest in your sale, worth thinking about.

Personally, I went from SLR film cameras, to pocket digital with a 10X zoom, & a digital hybrid with 24X zoom, but I seldom carry a camera around these days - we're flooded with images - & every 'phone & tablet has a camera built in.
 

Jerryc41

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Even easier, click on that square, third from the right, and find an appropriate picture on your computer.

Post Picture.jpg
 

Jerryc41

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Being a professional photographer for about 45 years using Nikon pro equipment, I would say smartphones are good in certain conditions, but certainly not the best cameras, try and take a photo with flash in a somewhat darkened area, takes forever for the shutter to release. Give me a DSLR and strobe anytime.

Be careful of using a flash with a high gloss uke, though. Yes, the DSLR is King!
 

mineymole

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You can take decent photos with a cell phone. Here are some pointers of how to make them better.

1). Take them during daylight using light from a window to highlight what you are photographing
2). Make sure the background is clear of distracting elements
3). Take plenty of detail shots along with full body shots. Again, moving the ukulele so the parts you want to show are lit by daylight.

Honestly uploading them to Google is so easy. And the photos are large! And beautiful! Unfortunately the forum software doesn’t really do much to show off your instrument. The photos are tiny and the compression is bad.

If you don’t have a Google email account, then you can use Dropbox (for free!), or Amazon. All of them are very very easy.
 

Kenn2018

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Some very good tips on this thread. Here are a few more to consider:
I don't know about other smartphone cameras, but on the iPhone 6, 7 & 8 and I assume 10, if you tap the screen the focus box will come up where you tapped.
• If you are using a cell phone, and don't have a tripod, then brace the camera or your hand on something like a chair back. This will minimize camera shake. Even bracing on your knee or anything helps. The darker the light, the longer the shutter stays open, the more shake. Shake = blurry. Anti-shake on camera only goes so far.
• Bright sunlight is NOT the best light to take pics. Shade or diffuse light from a thin curtain would be better. Daylight balanced lights work well in a pinch, or to highlight something.
• Large areas of glare will hide parts of your uke. Just as dark lighting does.
• The darker the light, the wider the aperture, the shallower the depth of field. (What is in focus.) And vise versa.
• If you are using a cell phone, and don't have a tripod, then brace the camera or your hand on something like a chair back. This will minimize camera shake. Even bracing on your knee or anything helps.
• Take a ton of pictures. Take five of each position. All it costs is memory. Out of those five, one will usually be sharp. You can edit in your computer. Toss all the fuzzy ones first. Then narrow down.
• In-focus sharpness is more important than anything else when you are taking shots to show your instrument to interest a buyer. If they can't make out the wood grain or purfing or the other details, they aren't going to as likely to follow up and inquire about purchasing.
• And as Mineymole has said, take plenty of detail shots. Sound hole, Label if possible, bridge, head/tuners front & back, heel/body juncture, position dots, rosette, binding, full front, back and sides. Bottom. (Everything you'd want to see before you'd buy it.)

Look at photos on sellers’ websites. They ain’t fancy, but they show what’s most important, what buyers want to see.

Post the best 6 of: Overall front & back, Headstock front & back, & what's called a 3/4 shot. (Turned to show the front and side & back & side.) Or anything that makes the uke "special.” (Like an inlay or unique wood figuring, high end tuners, etc.) Offer to email more to any inquiries. Add one or two to keep the posting at the top.

You can get great shots from a cell phone. It takes a little time, but it's worth the effort.

If you want to sell it, ya gotta show it.
 

Kenn2018

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Okay, I tried the third square from the right. ;) That's the button I was looking for.

Example photos showing a 3/4 view, tuners & Front on an overcast day.

03Turned Front.jpg12Front-ground.jpg10Tuners.jpg
 
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rafter

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Forsythan, I think you forgot the spam link to help us become better photographers.

But looking at this resurrected, but not-so-old thread, it's interesting to see how far smartphone cameras have come. Obviously not in the same league as something with a real lens, but in the last couple years, phone cameras have become good enough to take amazing pictures, especially for things like uke listings. A newer pet peeve is bad shots/angles. Take a good shot of the bull front and back. A more detailed closeup of front and back. The sound hole if there's a rosette. Headstock. And sides if needed. At a minimum. But listings with a single partial shot of mostly fretboard, man those are not enticing.
 

counsel1

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Prior to the recent forum upgrade, any attempt to post a high res picture was "dummied-down" to something under 100KB --The only way to post high res pictures was to link to a hosting site-- Now, with the new upgrade, we seem to be able to post pictures up to about 1.3MB directly to the forum-- I think both our Marketplace and Ukulele Porn sections will be greatly enhanced with this new upgrade--
 

rafter

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I am happy to see thumbnails in the Marketplace. The advertisement just needs to provide enough information for a serious prospective buyer to take the next step and start a dialogue with the seller. The advertisement does not need to appease people who just like to collect photos of ukuleles.

It is the single UU forum where real money is involved, its not like a FB or Instagram news feed where you can have some sibling rivalry or post a photo of your lunch. The sellers want real money, and prospective buyers pay real money or swap something real. Before UU members comment in the marketplace they should ask themselves if the comment they are about to post is what they would like to see if they had their own advertisement to sell one of their own ukuleles for real money. Obviously the way the game is played is that sellers want the maximum price and the buyers want the minimum price, how they work that out is the business of the buyer and seller and no-one else.

Anyone who is serious about buying the uke that is advertised for sale should be prepared to respond to the seller, which is the time when there is an opportunity for larger photos and sound samples to be sent. Too bad if the Inbox is full or you have to wait a day or so for a reply, its the seller's problem if you lose interest.

If we want to see the best ukes on the planet moving through our marketplace so we have a chance to buy them, we need to give the sellers a break and make it easy to post an advertisement, within the rules that have been set by the UU owners and moderators. Imposing onerous requirements for photos and sound files and stuff is going to cost the buyers time and maybe money if you ask for super quality photos.

Then there is the space these photos take up on the screen, instead of being able to see several advertisements at once, you get whole screens of one photo for a single ukulele and need to scroll and scroll and scroll to get the end of the advertisement where the price and details are in text. Not everyone has two huge Computer displays on hand to look at UU.

If you want to peruse photos of the best ukes on the planet, good luck, many ukulele owners don't want detailed photos of their treasures plastered all over the internet where they are shared to strangers. But, if you think you can overcome that and want detailed photos to collect, put some incentives into the rules for the Uke Porn forum. Propose a plan to the owners (hopefully with some profit for the owners) to attract the photos and then be prepared to do the work to operate the plan within the rules and requirements of the owners if they choose to approve the plan.

Or maybe sellers could take good pictures of their ukes on their listings. I don't completely get why or how society has become so exhibitionistic about everything, but if there are times when it's useful and appropriate, selling goods seems to be one such instance.

Though the marketplace continues to be a friendly place of business, not every transaction goes well. As a buyer, I've had less than stellar transactions. There are only so many clues about a seller's personality, which is a factor when I'm making purchases. If a seller can't be bothered to put thought and effort into their listing, I'm less certain about how well they will package and ship the instrument, and how well they will communicate if and when there are problems.

I've passed on ukes that fell within my parameters, in part because of a poor listing. I've been tempted by ukes that weren't on my radar because the listings made them attractive.

I'm not trying to make rules for sellers or buyers. But I don't think my suggestions about taking good pictures are without merit.
 

Steedy

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I'm glad this thread has been revived as a reminder that good photos sell ukes, especially high end ukes.
 

Arik

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I agree with counsel1 that with the new upgrade with the website, photos will now be higher quality and less compressed. I've found that I don't need to downsize photos that are uploaded in forum. One format that I hope that can be added is HEIC, which is the compressed photo format of iphones. I have been able to convert it to jpeg but it's an extra step to upload images.
 

necessaryrooster

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I agree with counsel1 that with the new upgrade with the website, photos will now be higher quality and less compressed. I've found that I don't need to downsize photos that are uploaded in forum. One format that I hope that can be added is HEIC, which is the compressed photo format of iphones. I have been able to convert it to jpeg but it's an extra step to upload images.
I've used imgur on a couple of my listings because it's just easier to upload directly from my phone and then post a link instead of having to airdrop photos to my laptop and then open each one individually to convert to a jpeg. Hopefully that isn't something deterring anyone from any of my listings...
 

Arcy

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One format that I hope that can be added is HEIC, which is the compressed photo format of iphones. I have been able to convert it to jpeg but it's an extra step to upload images.
You can set an iPhone to save pictures as JPEG instead of HEIC in Settings / Camera / Formats / Most Compatible.

Would be nice to be able to upload HEIC directly as most systems can view them
natively now (assuming one can't: this screen shot was uploaded directly. Not sure where if it got converted)
68E19D62-8AFC-405B-8025-8DDE26D6FD3E.png
 

Arcy

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And a photo straight from the iPhone. It asked me what size and I had to choose a smaller one, but no need to transfer to the Mac to convert 79C217B2-1534-45B0-B3DF-8EF9DCD0D61B.jpeg