Classical Numismatics Discussion Board
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
October 30, 2014, 09:12:14 am
Search Calendar Login Register  

Recent Additions to Forum's Shop


FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Coin Photography, Conservation and Storage (Moderator: bruce61813)  |  Topic: Your advice needed for cutting and cropping coins 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: 1 [2] 3  All Go Down Print
Author Topic: Your advice needed for cutting and cropping coins  (Read 31045 times)
Roma_Orbis
Consul
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 240


ad avgvsta per angvsta


« Reply #25 on: July 17, 2006, 03:37:09 pm »

I think I cope with bronze coins quite well, but I still have much problems with silver. And I look to the pictures of some international auctions with envy! See this one from Tkalec


Jérôme
Logged
DruMAX
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 514

Pecunia non olet


WWW
« Reply #26 on: July 17, 2006, 03:38:14 pm »

I still would say even with silver, IMO, there isnt much need for a complex set-up (I guess it matters what you are using) to get a good shot with good detail. I just recently tried pretty much every trick in the book and ended up with one light (at an angle) on black velvet...Like the following...






I have it on a low shutter speed so mounting the camera is a must plus I am using a digital camera thus I can take 10 shots at different speeds and angles and pick and choose....

Your silver shot IMO still is lacking a richness and maybe a bit more contrast. Less light and longer shutter speed is what I recomend. Try to get an angle in which the shadows will give more depth...to much light will rob you of realistic shadows.
Logged
slokind
Tribuna Plebis Perpetua
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7063


Art is an experimental science


WWW
« Reply #27 on: July 17, 2006, 11:03:15 pm »

22 12 03 AR denarius  Caracalla, laureatem draoed bust to r.  ANTONINVS    AVGVSTVS.  Rev., Salus, stg. l., resting her left on scepter-like staff, her snake climbing up it, with her r. raising to her feet a kneeling female person before her.  SAL GEN HVM, but the kneeling figure does not look neuter or masculine as Genus, Generis, n. would suggest.  RIC 42, marked S.  Among the young heir's more interesting reverse types.

I love this coin.  I got it just in time to send it out as a Christmas card to my more open-minded friends, and it was one of the first coins I photographed with my, then new, Nikon 5700.  I still like the gray that comes from placing silver on a transparent surface above a white dish, but look what happens when you use a lidded plastic dish and you don't think of inserting moonmoth's white tissue!  Nubbly.  Why does it have to be black OR white?
Pat L.
Logged
DruMAX
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 514

Pecunia non olet


WWW
« Reply #28 on: July 17, 2006, 11:43:43 pm »

Great Coin! The background is subjective to tastes I would think. Since I fit mine into a site I wanted the same background for all coins and I figured black was to my tastes and seemed to compliment each type of coin (or at least not distract with sloppy edges.)  Also because I have black velvet and it makes it easier to hide black edges from cut and paste. Since the photo is so magnified every little bit of dust shows on the surface of the black velvet and it blend well with a black background.
Logged
moonmoth
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2604



WWW
« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2006, 12:25:08 am »

Oh, I want a coin like that Salus of Pat's.  I have a page of Salus images but I don't have that one.  And now I am watching out for one ..  Nice photo, too, though I would prefer the face a bit better lit.  Has anyone tried using a ring flash?

I do get some texturing effect when taking silver coins, even with the tissue under the lid, as shown here.  (It also shows I should have wiped the lid first!  Dust accumulates overnight.)  But the paint bucket doesn't care about that.

The best reason for inserting a background of some kind is to get rid of the sharp line between the images of one side of the coin and the other, that is caused by the background illumination not being perfectly even.  But using photoshop, you could insert whatever texture you like.

Meanwhile, it strikes me that some of the comments you are making might be because I am trying with a difficult coin.  The Severus I was using has been harshly cleaned and has roughly textured surfaces.  On this coin, which has Nice surfaces, I used my setup and Pat's simple technique with auto white balance.  I followed Drumax's advice and set the exposure with all lights on.  A shorter exposure works better with silver.  (It's in my next message.)

I still has some trouble with the paint bucket filling in the shiny edges.  I tried filling with black to see exactly where it was happening, then went back and painted those areas with quick mask to protect them.  This didn't take long.

The result - using a combination of Pat, Drumax and my methods - plus a nice coin - is getting a lot better.

First two photos: showing background texture; showing a texture fill (not necessarily recommended but demonstrating the possibility).

Bill
Logged

"... A form of twisted symbolical bedsock ... the true purpose of which, as they realised at first glance, would never (alas) be revealed to mankind."
moonmoth
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2604



WWW
« Reply #30 on: July 18, 2006, 12:26:50 am »

Here's the coin photo mentioned in my last post .. I hope these come in the right order, this thread is behaving a little oddly.

Bill
Logged

"... A form of twisted symbolical bedsock ... the true purpose of which, as they realised at first glance, would never (alas) be revealed to mankind."
moonmoth
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2604



WWW
« Reply #31 on: July 18, 2006, 12:30:33 am »

And incidentally, here is a detail from my favourite Salus image .. Pat has seen this Macrinus coin from Deultum before.  This is Salus and her dad exchanging a fond look.

Bill
Logged

"... A form of twisted symbolical bedsock ... the true purpose of which, as they realised at first glance, would never (alas) be revealed to mankind."
moonmoth
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2604



WWW
« Reply #32 on: July 18, 2006, 04:27:37 am »

Ah yes, I'm getting the hang of this now.  Bronzes are dead easy, using the Pat Lawrence technique of setting custom white balance and taking JPEGs.  But I did have to adjust the levels and sharpen this up a bit to make it a realistic copy of the original.

This is a coin I find interesting. From the Kushan empire sometime after 100 CE, it is full of Hindu symbols. The trident symbolises the creator/preserver/destroyer. On the reverse is Shiva the destroyer, leaning back on his bull called Joyful. Shiva is carrying another trident, though it's obscured on this example. Yet this completely alien coin has something in common with Roman and Persian coins, and no doubt other types: the king's altar.  (And the king is carrying a club, too, like Elagabalus when he played at being an invincible priest.)  What is it about this sort of simple altar that made it such an enduring piece of religious symbolism?

Bill
Logged

"... A form of twisted symbolical bedsock ... the true purpose of which, as they realised at first glance, would never (alas) be revealed to mankind."
Tiathena
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1186


Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit


« Reply #33 on: July 18, 2006, 05:43:07 am »

   
          Salve Bill,
 
   “Ah yes, I'm getting the hang of this now
 
   Indeed, I would say so too…  I rather almost wish I could hire you to photograph my collection.  I’m horrible at it.
 
  “What is it about this sort of simple altar that made it such an enduring piece of religious symbolism?

   Despite my suspecting this is most-largely a rhetorical question …
  The elegant simplicity of at-once the device and the message, reminder and importance of Piety?
 
   Best,
   Tia
 
Logged

Facilius per partes in cognitionem totius adducimur.  ~ Seneca
My Gallery
moonmoth
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2604



WWW
« Reply #34 on: July 18, 2006, 06:13:24 am »

Hi, Tiathena.

If that question sounds rhetorical, then that shows it isn't. 

Demonstrating the king's piety is a common theme, and would reassure the population.  But why should diverse religions use an altar to do so, and show this particular expression on coins? 

1.  Why is a small, simple altar so common?  Most of these altars were used to make a physical sacrifice to a deity.  Could elderly priests perhaps not bend very easily, and needed something raised to hand height?  But they had to be limber enough to kill a cow, so maybe not.  Or, was it a good idea to raise the sacrifice to a more visible height? 

2.  Why show an altar and not something else?  I'm sure that many actual religious observances were kept by paying obeisance to objects in alcoves, but the coins don't show that.  Statues had oil or wine poured on them, or their feet washed, or parts of them touched or kissed, but not on these coins.  An altar was the symbol that everyone recognised, whether in Rome, Persis or Kushan.

Just a thought.

(Rome and Persis attached: Elagabalus, Ardashir II - both using the much easier black background method.)

Bill
Logged

"... A form of twisted symbolical bedsock ... the true purpose of which, as they realised at first glance, would never (alas) be revealed to mankind."
Tiathena
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1186


Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit


« Reply #35 on: July 18, 2006, 06:36:04 am »

   
     I really need sleep so, please forgive me if I’m just being thick here; but again, that’s just why I suspected your question was largely-rhetorical – and here you even articulate (quite nicely by the way) the answer we have both offered to it.
 
  “Why show an altar and not something else? [because] … An altar was the symbol that everyone recognised, whether in Rome, Persis or Kushan.
 
  ‘The elegant simplicity of at-once the device and the message, reminder and importance of Piety.
 
  There is an awful lot to be said for universal language in politics, religion and Empire …
 
  Of course, only my thoughts too…

   Best,
   Tia
 
Logged

Facilius per partes in cognitionem totius adducimur.  ~ Seneca
My Gallery
DruMAX
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 514

Pecunia non olet


WWW
« Reply #36 on: July 18, 2006, 07:03:45 am »


Meanwhile, it strikes me that some of the comments you are making might be because I am trying with a difficult coin.  The Severus I was using has been harshly cleaned and has roughly textured surfaces.


I was wondering if that was the case...I have a coin that was fire damaged and it was VERY hard to get a good photo because it had no luster at all and details were hard to make out. Ended up moving it well away from the light oddly and it came out rather well...I am now looking into ways to restore the luster.


Logged
moonmoth
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2604



WWW
« Reply #37 on: July 18, 2006, 09:50:49 am »

That's a good image even without the lustre, so good work!

One thing I discovered a while ago is that coins which are really low relief show up better using a flash from above.  So I tried it on this one with the white box.  It took a bit more work to remove the background - I think a slave flash illuminating the box would fix that. 

The result is maybe a bit too saturated and vivid to be an accurate representation, but it gives a much better depiction of the actual detail.

Bill
Logged

"... A form of twisted symbolical bedsock ... the true purpose of which, as they realised at first glance, would never (alas) be revealed to mankind."
DruMAX
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 514

Pecunia non olet


WWW
« Reply #38 on: July 18, 2006, 10:06:08 am »

you are right. The lower the relief of the coin the more I have to situate the coin closer and more directly under the down light. I bump in the brightness contrast / levels (just for the purpose of identifying the coin and seeing the details better) often helps as well.

Logged
jamesicus
Guest
« Reply #39 on: July 25, 2006, 08:42:28 pm »

Edited
Logged
slokind
Tribuna Plebis Perpetua
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7063


Art is an experimental science


WWW
« Reply #40 on: July 25, 2006, 10:02:28 pm »

Well, if you've gotten this far, you can just go your own way.  As Numerianus and I have agreed, there is no one good piciture.  It is a question of being able to get what you want, yourself.  When you go to photograph silver, you may want to diffuse that lamp with bubble wrap or tissue (watch out for heat!), but that's just a matter of experimenting.  If you photographed that lovely smooth, sharp Claudius Libertas (I am jealous!) yourself, then bravo.  Of course, they must be sharp and informative, but there are as many ways of fulfilling that requirement as there are photographers.
Since you photographed the coin on black, the camera read that as the dark end of your scale.  If in 'Levels' you slide the extreme left, the dark end just a wee bit to right, you can restore to the coin itself a couple of spots of true dark: gives it zip, if you want that.  Of course, using brighter<--> darker slide is murder; you've seen the results here.
Disregard my monkeying with your image if you don't like it.  Pat L.
Logged
jamesicus
Guest
« Reply #41 on: July 25, 2006, 10:25:52 pm »

Edited
Logged
moonmoth
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2604



WWW
« Reply #42 on: July 26, 2006, 06:41:37 am »

Pat and jamesicus, very interesting!  I would suggest to Jamesicus, as well as diffusing the light, try a simple reflector on the other side to the light source.  You can even use just a sheet of white paper to good effect.  You can see my kitchen foil reflector earlier in this thread.

Looking at the "Nero right" coin image, I would think the highlights were making it look a bit one-sided.  You can use "levels" just on the highlights in Photoshop by:

1. selecting a white colour range using select/color range and clicking on the whitest part;
2. feather the selection using select/feather so that there will be no sharp edges to the affected area.  A feather radius of 5 seems to work well;
3. adjust the selection using image/adjustments/levels by moving the left-hand slider in.  You need to be careful not to over-adjust.  Don't move the slider past where information starts to appear on the histogram.    This will - if the information is present in the image - remove areas of apparent white-out and allow the coin's surface to appear again.  If the original image has areas of blow-out that can't be corrected, there will be no information on the white colour range histogram at all.  Take another photo!

On this image I would also try to correct the way one side of the image is a little too dark,  by using levels, moving in the right-hand slider, and applying a gradient.  I would also sharpen the image just a bit.  This is not a cheat - digital images are usually a bit softer than real life.  Here's my adjusted version.  I'm not saying yours is a bad photo.  It's not!  I'm just taking advantage of Photoshop to make the image more like the real thing.

p.s. Nice coin! 

p.p.s. Another hint.  Be careful not to scratch the plastic surface by scraping coins across it.  Those scratches will catch the light.

Logged

"... A form of twisted symbolical bedsock ... the true purpose of which, as they realised at first glance, would never (alas) be revealed to mankind."
Congius
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1699



« Reply #43 on: July 26, 2006, 08:10:18 am »

Here's my adjusted version.

I hereby dub three "moonmothicus optimus photoshoppus"!  Smiley

Ben
Logged
DruMAX
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 514

Pecunia non olet


WWW
« Reply #44 on: July 26, 2006, 08:22:28 am »

Thank you everyone for your great information -- and for your willingness to share your techniques. I have learned more about coin photography from this posting than any other source. I have changed my own techniques to incorporate much of what has been written here. I bought a new digital camera -- Pentax Optio W10 -- which has really excellent macro capabilities. I adapted the shadow elimination technique for white backgrounds outlined by Slokind using a turned upside-down tupperware container ..........



.......... although I am now using the simple black background technique outlined by DruMax -- I use black suede on paper squares that I purchased at a fabric shop, "Sunlight" fluorescent  light bulbs for natural coin coloration, and I did buy an inexpensive ($10) mini-tripod stand for dead still snap-off ..........




Here are two pics (Nero RIC 544 & 543 - bare headed left and right) I took using the latter set-up:



looking good, looks a lot like my set-up save the upside down container which I dont feel is needed (for me at least) Smiley. My light is also mounted quite a bit higher so that the light is not so close and its not so bright. I use an optio as well and you are right, they have a great macro setting among other things. Since you have a stand you can set the shutter speed pretty low and you wont need near that much light...I see a lot of coins that, IMO, over light when a good digital camera set right can get incredible detail with far less light and IMO gives it a richer, less shallow, stark look.

Also, If you are like me and look to use as little PS adjustment on the coin and to capture the coin as it looks in real life, before I start adjusting levels or brightness contrast after the fact (a well shot photo shouldnt require a lot of this at all). Move your light away from the coin a bit and that will cut down on shine. With a digital camera you have a lot of shots and I like to take ob and rev shots of the coin facing in every direction. I keep my light a bit higher and to the side a bit and then I rotate the coin to get the light hitting every angle then pick and choose which angle of light looks best (light at angle, rotate coin to get light hitting from above, facing, behind, etc...)....sometimes the angle of light makes ALL the difference in detail and richness...

anyway...like people said, to each his own but you seem to be getting it...have fun.
Logged
jamesicus
Guest
« Reply #45 on: July 26, 2006, 10:02:38 am »

Edited
Logged
jamesicus
Guest
« Reply #46 on: July 26, 2006, 10:20:17 am »

Edited
Logged
DruMAX
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 514

Pecunia non olet


WWW
« Reply #47 on: July 26, 2006, 11:24:24 am »

Yes, I agree with your comments regarding light intensity -- I am now constantly experimenting with placement and distance

thats about it, constant experimenting until you get it just right. I must have filled up my camera 5 times before I finally got a setting and a set-up that works for most coins...good luck Smiley
Logged
jamesicus
Guest
« Reply #48 on: July 26, 2006, 02:16:45 pm »

Edited
Logged
moonmoth
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2604



WWW
« Reply #49 on: July 26, 2006, 03:26:26 pm »

I am finding that light intensity and source positioning requires constant experimentation. Gold coins are now my greatest challenge - especially ones with a lot of wear (quite frequent due to the softness of the pure gold). Aureus of Augustus, RIC206 (note banker's test mark under portrait chin) ..........
.......... This is a "first blush" image -- lots of experimentation to come!

Nice coin .. I wish I had the problem of photographing gold!

I would say this is well on the way to being good.  A quick bout of photoshopping reveals that your biggest problem is the highlights, which are washed out.  You need to diffuse the light source more, I think, and move it further away.  This will lead to problems with the exposure time.  Best of luck with the experimentation!

Bill
Logged

"... A form of twisted symbolical bedsock ... the true purpose of which, as they realised at first glance, would never (alas) be revealed to mankind."
Pages: 1 [2] 3  All Go Up Print 
FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Coin Photography, Conservation and Storage (Moderator: bruce61813)  |  Topic: Your advice needed for cutting and cropping coins « previous next »
Jump to:  

Recent Price Reductions in Forum's Shop


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 1.696 seconds with 74 queries.