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Ebay Sellers - Help With Photography


Distinguished Member
Feb 26, 2003
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I'm having problems shooting decent clothing photos. Recently, I stepped up my game and got some better quality photographic equipment. Shoes and ties look great because I do them in a lightbox, but I need advice in other areas. I use a digital SLR camera. I purchased a jersey-covered pinnable apparel form with adjustable wooden stand. My background is an off-white cotton sheet. My lighting consists of three Quartz 250W professional photographic lights with tripod stands, adjustable from 2' to about 8'. I also have a tripod for my camera. I am shooting in my basement, which has 6'6" ceilings with white sheets attached horizontally across to hide the wooden beams. Perhaps this could be used to bounce the light slightly. My pictures of jackets on the mannequin look terrible, as do items that I display folded on a flat surface, such as shirts and trousers. I would really appreciate a few tips in this area. Examples to follow. The jackets were shot at f/8 and about 1/25 to 1/30 shutter speed. Example 1. Model was placed 12" from the background. One light was placed 4' to the right of the model, and 12" closer to the camera. Second light was placed 2' to the left of the model, and about 3' closer to the camera. Both of these lights were placed about chest high relative to the model. A third light was used centrally about 6' away from the model, and lower to the ground. Camera was perhaps 8' away from the model. Top half is overexposed, bottom is underexposed:
Example 2. Model was placed 4' away from the background. One light to the left of model, positioned at ceiling height and angled down slightly (approximately 1' higher than top of model), two feet to the left of the model, and two feet closer to the camera. A second light was attempted to be used as a 'fill', and was placed three feet to the right of the model and three feet closer to the camera:
Example 3 & 4. Decent shots I have taken:


Stylish Dinosaur
Jul 24, 2006
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The following is courtesy of Chuck Franke at Sartorial Solutions. I think his photos for his pre-owned clothes are among the best on Ebay!

I once asked Chuck Franke of Sartorial Solutions about how he gets his pictures to look so well. Take a look at his pictures in his Ebay listings at Sartorial Solutions.

I don't think he would mind, so I'll share what he wrote to me:

Hi Arnold,

I left Jersey at 15 but still prefer the dumpster method.

Pictures are the easy part - lighting is the hard part!!! We used a Sony Mavica on everything until 2 months ago when someone stole it and now I am using a Nikon D-50. It is a fabulous device but a pain ********** to learn. The real trick in taking good pictures is your lighting though. I built a frame around the dummy and shoot lights in through a diffusion screen (ie, nylon sheet) and then light from the front with one purchased and two homemade soft box lights. I use fluorescent so as not to get baked in the studio on August Dallas afternoons.

Let me know what your setup is like and how you have it lit and I will be glad to offer some tips if I can.

My project right now is figuring out how to take better pics of our ties (www.carlofranco.com)

Generally the two things you have to learn are

Double or triple the light in the room
Make sure all of that light is of the same color temperature and then set the white balance on your camera to match.

I'm running about 800 Watts of fluorescent lighting spread across 11 bulbs at daylight temps - 5000-5500K.

Here's a cool lightbulb for photography or if you just really want to attract every moth in Houston to your window to get eaten by the geckos:

http://www.electrical-supply.net/pro...r odID_E_2960

That one puts out more light than a 1000W tungsten bulb and it is white, white, white light. Just note the dimensions, it ain't going into a small fixture. If you are a real geek like me you can take two of those, two of the clamp reflector lights at home depot, two large lampshades and a little white nylon fabric and build two softboxes to diffuse your light. Whatchya do is spraypaint the interior of the lampshades in white or reflective silver then epoxy the shade into a 15" aluminum reflector and cover the wide end with the sheer white fabric. Two of those, each 45 degrees left and right of your subject and you will get a smoother light that "˜wraps' around your subject without harsh shadows. Two softboxes for around $100 or less with that setup. Then I have the extra large softbox from Amvona (often can be had for $150 on ebay rather than $800. The bulb in it sucks so I replaced it with another one of the big compact fluorescents and now all is well.

Aren't you sorry you asked?


BTW: I haven't duplicated Chuck's method yet. But if someone were to consider selling on Ebay, I think it would be extremely important to use the best pictures possible in their listings.


Distinguished Member
Feb 26, 2003
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Pics are getting a little better, I have been moving the lights around.

Setup is like this, except that the backlight is further to the left, and the fill light is located further back. Model was placed about 3-4 feet from the background:


Here's two pics. Top still seems overexposed.



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