Numismatic and History Discussions > Coin Photography, Conservation and Storage

Poll - Traditional Photography Vs HDR


Is HDR (high dynamic range) photography a good idea to use for ancient coins?  I collect ancient coins and I'm a photographer, so I use both.

Below is a comparison of traditional Vs HDR photography.  The subject is a Roman coin showing Faustina II.  The HDR version on the right was extracted from the traditional photo on the left which is a single exposure (versus 3 photos each of differing exposures that are normally used).

The HDR is a very dramatic but unrepresentative view of the coin.  It is "coin art", but is it a good thing to do?  Roman coins in themselves are works of art.  Garish or beautiful, you decide.  So what do you guys think of the HDR version?

Jay GT4:
I'm also an amateur photographer.  I like to get the coin to look as it does in hand.  Sometimes that means doing some manipulation in photoshop but I try to keep it to a minimum.

HDR is a helpful tool when you have a high dynamic range that you can't handle with the usual tools.

It makes absolutely no sense to use HDR when you have an object with a low dynamic range, like the Faustina coin. In this case, you usually want more contrast, either through proper lighting or software.

In your case, you can achieve an almost identical effect by simply increasing the brightness and contrast. I have done this. See below (first image, left).

But what you should aim for is something in between (second image, left)


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