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Book Review

Shooting for Dollar$: Simple Photo Techniques for Greater eBay Profits

 Sally Wiener Grotta and Daniel Grotta  2005 Peachpit Press $24.99
248 pages softbound

Though the title references eBay, this is a great guide to taking better photos of practically everything except landscapes and your kids. While sharp, detailed photos in your eBay auction listings translate directly to higher final sale prices, you’ll also find this book gives you clear, concise directions for product photography for print ads, brochures and web sites.

You can spend a lot of time and money on trial and error, but if you buy the Grottas’ book you can skip all the experimentation.

The section on getting pictures from camera to computer is more clear than the explanation that comes with most camera.

Lots of full-color photos and graphics illustrate everything from choosing digital cameras to digital retouching using popular (and affordable) image editing software. Lighting for small objects and white balance are reduced to a fine science.

Equipment recommendations include specifics on commercially available equipment as well as home made substitutes.

For the eBay lister, you’ll find specific recommendations for picture size and layout. The Grottas list the three principal ways to host your photos for auction, with the pros and cons of each. There’s a concise but adequate plan for building listings, complete with instructions for writing HTML and links to several useful sites for further study.

Readers of the Photo/Image News Network will find three main uses for this book:

  1. Sell it to your customers, and display it in the same area as copy stands and lighting equipment.
  2. Study it to make better photos for your own advertising, brochures and eBay listings.
  3. Use it as the beginning of seminars you teach on Photography for eBay

I plan to do all three of those.

Shooting for Dollar$  is available from the PMA Business Resources Center.