Better looking photos–only minutes away

Our friends at Ground Control know how to showcase their products.

You’ve just received your latest new car part, and you want to show it off to the world. There may not be time to bring in an professional photographer, but you can still generate some good, clear photos–perfect content for your Facebook page. First, find a good background. Have a laminate-topped desk? Clear it off. If it’s a neutral color, it’ll probably be good enough.

A second option: Grab a piece of brown craft paper and crinkle it up. Now smooth it out. There, now you have an easy, neutral background that has just enough texture to hide any imperfections.

While cell phone cameras have come a long way, unless you’re shooting outdoors it’s probably going to let you down. A $300 point-and-shoot camera will be perfect–and as an added bonus, it’ll capture great photos during your next family vacation.

Before pressing the shutter, here are a few simple tips:
• Set the camera to its highest resolution setting.
• A lower ISO setting will generate less static.
• If the camera has a still life mode, try it. If not, the landscape mode may help.
• Parts generally look more natural under available light; an on-camera flash tends to be harsh.
• Since you’re probably working in a low-light setting and aren’t using the flash, find a way to steady the camera. It can be as simple as resting your elbow on a flat surface.
• Take a good number of photos, and don’t be afraid to use different settings. To provide flexibility, shoot both horizontals and verticals.
• Save the images for future use, upload your favorites, then tackle something else.

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View comments on the CMS forums
6/5/13 4:01 p.m.

Some good information here. High resolution - i.e., large/fine jpg gives excellent results. By still life mode, you probably mean "macro" - also a good choice. A tripod is your best option for steady, low shutter speed images. Small tabletop units are quite affordable. Gitzo and Manfrotto make my favorite tripods. You can use flash if you diffuse the light with a thin white cloth (e.g., handkerchief). Don't be afraid to experiment.

For more info on car photography, see my series at:

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