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eBay Hacks by David A. Karp

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Mastering Close-Up Photography

Control the depth of field to get a perfect close-up every time.

Nothing helps more than close-up photos to compensate for the fact that bidders can’t see your item in person. A good close-up photo will show detail (a really good close-up will show the texture of the paint), and will also allow you to adequately explain any flaws or damage. Different ways of shooting close-up photos will yield different results.

Understanding depth of field is the key to shooting good close-ups. Depth of field is the distance between the closest object in focus and the furthest object in focus, as illustrated in Figure 5-4.

Depth of field is the width of the plane in which your subject will be in focus

Figure 5-4. Depth of field is the width of the plane in which your subject will be in focus

Several things affect the depth of field:

Distance from the object

The further the distance between the camera and the object, the closer your lens will be focused to infinity, and the wider the depth of field will become. Bring the camera closer to the object to narrow the depth of field.

Focal length

A wide-angle lens will increase the depth of field, and a telephoto lens will decrease it. This means that if your camera has an optical zoom lens (not a digital zoom), you can zoom out to put more of your object in focus, or zoom in to throw more of your object out of focus.

Tip

As you zoom out, hoping to increase the depth of field, you might be inclined to walk toward ...

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