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Author Topic: Photographing gold  (Read 2398 times)

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Offline Andrew McCabe

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Photographing gold
« on: August 15, 2012, 11:00:22 am »
I've been rather dissatisfied with my record in photographing gold coins: the results usually appear different each time as it seems my camera(s) had some difficulty managing such an intensity of metallic and reflective yellow-red colours. In order to at least align my gold coins - which all, in the hand, look as if they are made of the same sort of gold - I did some reshoots. A few samples below:





NB these coins vary hugely in size, from about 1 gram (20 As) to about 8 grams (the two aurei)

I'm much more satisfied with these than with prior efforts on the same coins, but I wonder whether others have experienced problems shooting gold (which is a rarely mentioned metal on these boards)?

4to2CentBCphilia

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Re: Photographing gold
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2012, 12:28:06 pm »
Have you tried using a polarizing filter on your lens. I find it can remove some of the reflection off the gold.

Also, (don't know if you do this,), but you can go into a program like Microsoft Live Photo Gallery and under fine tuning you can adjust highlights and shadows (in the adjust exposure category)

It is great for compensating beyond just brightness and contrast.

Having said all that, these are really good photos, and great coins.

BR

Mark

BTW I once owned this piece and despite hundreds of photos, I could never replicate the dealer photo below.


Offline Andrew McCabe

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Re: Photographing gold
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2012, 12:49:13 pm »
Have you tried using a polarizing filter on your lens. I find it can remove some of the reflection off the gold.

Also, (don't know if you do this,), but you can go into a program like Microsoft Live Photo Gallery and under fine tuning you can adjust highlights and shadows (in the adjust exposure category)

Thanks for the advice. I'll try get a polarising filter.

I use a relatively simple photo editor but it does include adjustment of exposure, colour saturation, individual colours, brightness, contrast, and many other tools. From my experience taking thousands of coin photos, it is often more effective just to take a half-dozen photos under different lighting conditions and lighting angles (which can be done in less than a minute) and choose the best, rather than spending 15 minutes trying to optimise conditions for 1 picture.

Lovely solidus. I would bet from the photo that the dealer has an automated set-up such as a Danner apparatus (which do not come cheap). As mentioned frequently on-list, I am a volume rather than a quality photographer, often shooting hundreds of coins in a day, so don't have the time to optimise per-coin. These goldies however have persistently caused me difficulty.

Offline Andrew McCabe

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Re: Photographing gold
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2012, 02:35:22 pm »
I have to admit I'm particularly happy with the photo of the Mars/Eagle 60 as denomination. This is about the tenth photo of this coin I've taken but is the first that looks really like the coin. I show below the fold the photo this replaced (which was already the best of many worse efforts), beside the new.

Top: old photo
Bottom: new pic

Offline benito

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Re: Photographing gold
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2012, 02:48:46 pm »
What could be the price of one of those Danner apparatus. Easy to use ? Me  :tongue: :tongue: :tongue: :tongue: for photography.

Offline areich

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Re: Photographing gold
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2012, 03:17:58 pm »
5000€ and upwards, I'm not even sure whether a (cheap) camera is included. It doesn't take better pictures than a cheap set-up and some practice but it is faster.
Andreas Reich

Offline PtolemAE

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Re: Photographing gold
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2012, 03:10:16 am »
Have you tried using a polarizing filter on your lens. I find it can remove some of the reflection off the gold.

Also, (don't know if you do this,), but you can go into a program like Microsoft Live Photo Gallery and under fine tuning you can adjust highlights and shadows (in the adjust exposure category)

Thanks for the advice. I'll try get a polarising filter.

I use a relatively simple photo editor but it does include adjustment of exposure, colour saturation, individual colours, brightness, contrast, and many other tools. From my experience taking thousands of coin photos, it is often more effective just to take a half-dozen photos under different lighting conditions and lighting angles (which can be done in less than a minute) and choose the best, rather than spending 15 minutes trying to optimise conditions for 1 picture.

Lovely solidus. I would bet from the photo that the dealer has an automated set-up such as a Danner apparatus (which do not come cheap). As mentioned frequently on-list, I am a volume rather than a quality photographer, often shooting hundreds of coins in a day, so don't have the time to optimise per-coin. These goldies however have persistently caused me difficulty.
try gamma adjustment in your graphics program
Ptolemae

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Re: Photographing gold
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2022, 09:23:33 pm »
I realize it is an old thread but does anyone have any additional advice for photographing gold, my problem is I only sometimes get it right.  I have several I just cannot get right.

What bugs me most id I cannot get a uniformity in the pics.
https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=5633 My main collection of Tetartera. Post reform coinage.

Offline esnible

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Re: Photographing gold
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2022, 07:23:31 am »
Gold is hard to photograph!

Below are six professional pictures of the same ancient gold coin.

These pictures appeared on the auction catalog or web sites of numismatic auctioneers Harlan J Berk, Classical Numismatic Group (twice), Heritage, Stack's Bowers, and the coin grading company Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.

These images were taken over the span of eighteen years. The version with the red background was scanned from a printed auction catalog. All of the other images are taken directly from auction sites or the slab company's slab verification image.

This coin did not change color in the last 18 years. Each photographer used different lighting situation, camera's color profile, or processing.

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Re: Photographing gold
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2022, 08:56:29 am »
Wow, that is an excellent example of the many ways a single coin can be depicted. Thank you for showing that.  It makes me feel a bit better.
https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=5633 My main collection of Tetartera. Post reform coinage.

Offline Ron C2

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Re: Photographing gold
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2022, 07:05:39 pm »
For what it's worth, I find traditional filament ring flashes produce the best results on gold coins.  The same is NOT the case for silver, but for Gold - it gives me decent results. 
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