We have a few basic guidelines when preparing images for inclusion on CollectionDX.
- Images should be about 640 x 480 pixels and the resolution should be 72. Our gallery will resize images larger than this, but resizing the images beforehand saves on server load.
- File sizes should be kept under 100k.
- Images should be crisp and clear. Blurry / art photography is fine for your personal gallery, but not for reviews.
- Try to fill the space of your image with the toy. Don't be afraid to use both portrait and landscape shots.
- Close ups are your friend. Learn to use your macro mode.
- NO CELL PHONE CAMERA SHOTS.
For each review, we like to see at LEAST the following photos
- Box front ( back optional)
- Close up of face / head
- One image demonstrating each of the toys modes
- One image demonstrating each feature of the toy (weapons, accessories etc)
If the toy has a light or sound function, we like to see audio or video of the feature. A lot of digital cameras have movie modes. You can upload your video to YouTube, and then just copy and past the code into your review.
It's relatively easy to get crisp clear shots. What takes time is developing your own style. Here are a few tips to get you started.
- You can tape a piece of white posterboard to a wall to create a seamless white backdrop. If you want to invest a few dollars, you can buy one like the one shown here. A Light tent (or light cube) helps light your toy from all sides, eliminating harsh shadows.
- You can use any kind of light to light your subjects, but the best lights are studio lights. You can make do by going to a hardware store and getting clip-on shop lamps and high-wattage halogen bulbs. These lights get HOT so be careful. If you want to spend a few dollars, you can get an introductory lighting kit like this one.
- Invest in a good tripod. Cheap tripods with plastic clasps will break easily. Using a tripod will steady your shot and allow you to get longer exposures without blur.
- Learn about your camera. If you are using household lights, learn to use your camera's white balance. Home lights give off a yellow hue, and white balance usually has some kind of control to correct for it. Also learn about exposure control (letting more light into your camera), and Macro Mode (focusing on close objects).