There seems to be a lot of commentary lately on the topic of auction houses, and what they do (or don’t do) to their scans and photos, in terms of presenting them to the hobby in auction catalogs and websites. Since the topic is “hot” just as our auction is going live, it makes sense for us to state right here, publicly and for the record, precisely what our policy is on this matter.
Taken right from our auction rules, rule #27:
“Love of the Game Auctions makes every attempt to describe each item in our sale as accurately as possible. We do not “sweeten” or otherwise enhance any scans or images, save for general unsharp mask or image re-sizing, general color correction of photographs, and cropping out unsightly background distractions with the magical Photoshop program.”
This has been our published rule since Day One.
When scanning cards, our process is very simple. We use a Canon CanoScan 9000F – a consumer-grade scanner that anyone can buy for less than $200 – and the software that came with the scanner. We do not alter the scanner settings, in any way. Whatever the settings on the scanner were when it shipped from the factory, that’s how it is now.
When we scan cards, we do it at 200 DPI resolution. Then we import the image into Photoshop Elements and crop out the background. We like to crop the image flush to the card holder, and ensure that it’s nice and straight. For ungraded cards, we leave a thin border around the cards, so that the edges and corners are clearly visible. Then, we reduce the size of the image. We like all our scans of similar cards to be uniform, so that when you open them in your browser, they’re all the same size and not totally haphazard and sloppy-looking. For instance, all cabinet cards get reduced to 5″ in width.
Once we’re done changing the file size, we use the “Unsharp Mask” function at a very low setting, to correct any blur that may have resulted when we reduced the file size. That’s it. We take great care to ensure that our scans properly represent the item you’re buying, so that when you receive it in the mail, you aren’t disappointed. No brightening, no changing color saturation, no changes to the contrast to hide creases, no changes to the image itself (aside from the aforementioned unsharp mask), whatsoever, of any kind. Period.
We want everything we do to look great. However, we do not do anything – anything – to physically alter the appearance of anything in our auction in a deceptive way.