My outdoor photography isn't awful, but I feel like I really struggle taking product photos indoors. I don't know if its my cameras or my understanding of lighting or what, but I think I need to do some research so I can get closer to taking professional-quality images.
But here's a question:
For product reviews, is it possibly better to have images that appear a little more amateurish, so the reader really understands that you're a real person who owns the product?
Or is it better to have higher-quality photos that show the product in extreme detail?
I took a fairly inexpensive photo class at a local arts center. It helped me improve my photos and was worth the money.
Yes, strive for the highest-quality photos possible in all Hubs.
I am terrible at photography, so I mostly use public domain photos that I edit via picmonkey.com. It's amazing to see how well they do.
Eugbug told me that smart phones take great photos, so I bought one for $50 at WalMart. Sooo easy to use. I also edit those photos for use on my hubs.
Sometimes you can sidestep the issue a bit if you wax creative. Since my niche is so limited, finding photos can be tough. So, I try different things. For example, on one hub about the downside of staying in campgrounds, I used a cartoon of a man being threatened by an oversized bee because finding photos of someone being stung wouldn't have worked.
The bottom line is that I use a mixture of professional and personal photos that I edit, and while they're not as great as the ones from Paul's hubs, they do OK and cost nothing!
Here are a couple tips for indoor photography lighting tips that might help you:
Try to take pics with natural light coming in from windows. You don't want harsh light coming in so mid morning is a good time or early afternoon. A cloudy day works well or if light is too bright, a white sheet or white tissue paper over window to filter it helps too.
Turn off the indoor lights (only use one type of light source)
If only one side of the object is lit by light, then get a cheap piece of white poster board or foam board and hold it on the shadowed side of the object to bounce light back onto it .
Thanks for the advice! I'll definitely try some of those things. When I do close-up pics outside they turn out fine. I've taken many very detailed images of flowers, bees, leaves, etc and I'm quite happy with them.
But close-up indoor photos are fuzzier than I'd like, without enough detail. So I do think learning to work with light better will help me a lot.
In my experience, it is always better to use your own image if possible. The new digital cameras and iphones have great camera quality. If you want some tips, just lookup common photo techniques...it is usually a matter of proper lighting. Use a flash when necessary. On some cameras, use the macro mode when shooting close shots. This will keep the image in focus and sharp.
I always use my own photos for travel articles wherever possible but often you find yourself writing about something you just can't find a suitable photo for. For instance, at the moment I'm writing about possible end of the world scenarios and there is no way I can take a photo of an incoming meteorite! So use your own photos if you can, if they're of an acceptable standard but don't worry if you can't. The whole idea of photos is to illustrate a point, so whether they're your own or someone else's, they need to be appropriate for your content.
The highest quality photos with authentic content is imo the best combination for in depth content. Yesterday, I was sharing what Serious Eats does editorially. See how the images support the words. It's like the images tell the story. http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/10/sous … -eggs.html
To me, this is the standard.
First off, that post made me really hungry for eggs. I'll be throwing a couple of hard-boiled in the big salad I am having for dinner tonight.
But the photos are excellent, and I guess I just need more practice and better technique to get to that point. Every time I write a product review or try to document a process I take 30 pictures or so, and I'm lucky if I can find three or four acceptable enough for my Hub.
I write about metaphysical topics, and it's very difficult to find or take photos of some of these things. I always felt this isn't a photography site, and that rule has no place here. If it takes longer to find or take a picture than to write the article, it's too much.
I've been trying to get better at photos as well. It's an art. I really love how Serious Eats food lab does it. So cool and they got tons!!! of traffic.
I'm not sure what type of camera you're using, but that fuzziness sounds like a symptom of not enough light. On my Nikon there is an ISO setting and sometimes if there is really not enough light and I can't get more light another way (I.e. slower shutter, external flash, daylight, even headlights) then I have to increase the ISO, but the trade off is graininess. You're camera may be making that adjustment automatically. Try some mid-morning shots indoor near a window and I'll bet you'll get that clarity back.
Clear photos with good detail is appreciated by Hub Pages! Your honesty as a real person will come through your words.
Product review photos are best when its realistic and visually catching. It may take some practice to take photos that are attractive, detailed, and realistic.
If you are reviewing a product, why not use the manufacturer's photos? They've been taken by professionals in a fancy studio with the best cameras - it's unlikely you will do better.
Product photos from a manufacturer's website are theoretically subject to copyright, BUT if you are writing a positive review recommending the product, it's very unlikely they will complain.
Remember also that if you include an Amazon link in your Hub, Amazon allows (even encourages) you to use their photos of the product.
The only time I'd recommend taking your own photos of a product is if you are able to show it in use (which Amazon might not have a photo of). But in that case, making a video of how to use it would be even better...
I've really been trying to move away from using manufacturer images when I write personal reviews. I feel like it's more genuine to use my own pictures. It is a struggle to create images of high enough quality, though.
If you intend to do more product reviews, perhaps you might consider investing in a mini photostudio/box. They are really cheap nowadays, and are self lighting. Under a proper environment, even a mediocre handphone picture would take reasonable pics.
It is my opinion too that while relevance is paramount, a good looking picture would assist with retention. I believe that is important for ads earning.
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