Jump to content
CoinPeople.com
Sign in to follow this  
altyn

Photography of a low contrast but glaring coin

Recommended Posts

I have been trying to photograph my Romanov Dynasty rouble, flat strike variety. The problem with this type is that the relief is very low (it is a flat strike after all). The coin itself is shining with no color whatsoever. Thus, on one hand the shiny surfaces reflect glare very strongly producing a high contrast image at some lighting conditions. So, one would need to reduce the contrast by using two lights instead of one or using a diffuser. On the other hand, the relief is really low and the coin can easily be made look rather flat. I tried to compromise between too much glare or too little contrast and here are some results. My inspiration was Numismatic Photography by Mark Goodman, which I find very useful.

Upper left: a single light at 1 o'clock, one of the most contrast images. Upper right: a single light plus a diffuser (just a sheet of white paper)

Lower left, two lights, at 11 and 1 o'clock. Lower right: two lights plus a diffuser, the lowest contrast

The images were not photoshopped and there was no exposure compensation. I wonder what image would be viewed by most as having the best eye appeal.

Dynasty Trials Small.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find the upper left image the most appealing. It's amazing the difference lighting makes in a subject so simple as a coin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the bottom left image the best. In the image at upper left, Nikolai's forehead seems overexposed. It is more natural in the lower picture which still shows a great deal of mint luster.

 

Both images on the right with diffused lighting seem a bit too red to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Top right for me, despite the color(which could be corrected), Ivan's hat band has so much more detail & Nick's brow is, to me, perfect.

 

I guess beauty really is in the eye of the beholder :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(...) Ivan's hat band has so much more detail (...)

Mikhail, I think (not 100% sure, but he was the first Romanov, wasn't he?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I go with the bottom right with color correction and a bump in contrast. I has the most even lighting in my opinion and no burned out areas as in the upper left. The other two images are variations on the one I like. The shadows are slightly different and that somewhat changes the appearance of the faces and their expressions. The preference in my mind is which one shows the coin and the two figures as you see them. Without the actual coin in hand (and I don't own one so I can't refresh my mind set with an actual coin in hand), the lower right is most like what I think the coin looks like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear All,

Many thanks for your comments, your input is very much appreciated. Regarding the redness of the diffuser images, I did not foresee it but with the hindsight this could be expected: the same physics that makes sunsets red. This minor aberration could easily be taken care of by adjusting white balance or later with Photoshop (along with slightly increasing contrast) as shown below. I must admit that after the adjustments the lower right image looks closest to the actual coin, but my favorite is upper right (which looks a bit better than the coin itself :))

Dynasty Trial 2 copy2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...