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Author Topic: Coin backgrounds - black, white, or? What do you prefer and why?  (Read 374 times)

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Offline Ron C2

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Coin backgrounds - black, white, or? What do you prefer and why?
« on: December 03, 2021, 08:37:09 pm »
It seems the most popular gallery backgrounds are black or white, though some other choices are also evident.  Which do you prefer, and why?

Personally, I prefer a white background as I find it best focuses the eye on the coin itself and has the added benefit of looking great in forum posts where the background of the photo merges into the post windows. 

Would love to hear of your preferences and why you have them! Also, post a nice example of how your typically present a coin when you respond :)

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https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=173376
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Offline Joe Sermarini

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Re: Coin backgrounds - black, white, or? What do you prefer and why?
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2021, 09:00:28 pm »
Gold and silver look good on black. But bronze on black is not so good. That is why I chose white for FORVM.
Joseph Sermarini
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FORVM ANCIENT COINS

Offline Virgil H

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Re: Coin backgrounds - black, white, or? What do you prefer and why?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2021, 09:05:49 pm »
White for me all day long. No contest.

Virgil

Offline Ron C2

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Re: Coin backgrounds - black, white, or? What do you prefer and why?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2021, 09:10:03 pm »
Virgil - pics or it never happened - lol.
My Ancient Coin Gallery: Click here

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Offline Virgil H

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Re: Coin backgrounds - black, white, or? What do you prefer and why?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2021, 09:50:48 pm »
LOL, I use white as a background for any "product" I photograph. I sell stuff on ebay a bit (not coins) and I just find white to be neutral and most things look better and stand out more with a white background (unless they are really light colored). I also think it may be easier to light items on a white background versus black. I would provide evidence, but my coin photographs suck no matter the background. LOL.

Virgil

Online Jay GT4

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Re: Coin backgrounds - black, white, or? What do you prefer and why?
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2021, 09:58:37 pm »
Personally I like black backgrounds.  With silver the edges can be washed out by over exposure on white.  Similarly, with black the edges can be lost due to under exposure.  But I just like the look of black.  It pops.


Offline Steve Moulding

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Re: Coin backgrounds - black, white, or? What do you prefer and why?
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2021, 12:42:58 am »
Black for me. I agree with Jay - coins do seem to 'pop' more, but there are good reasons when I'd use white instead. So...it depends...

(Apologies...not an ancient coin, but my photography setup is basically non-existent....to be addressed soon. This photo I took a few years ago)
 
Steve Moulding
New York

Offline SC

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Re: Coin backgrounds - black, white, or? What do you prefer and why?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2021, 09:22:01 am »
Many coins look nicer on black, but white is easier to use, trust me.

I like white because when you place it in a document it means the coin stands independent on the white page.  Though you will often discover that some backgrounds you thought were white were not completely white and editing is required.

Black backgrounds can be very difficult to convert to white because there are often black or near black shadows on the edges of the coin, in cracks etc. that are still part of the coin.  When you convert black to white these parts go from being a dark part of the coin to background - in other words you lose small bites out of the edges of the coins.  As very few coins (maybe some photos of AR coins) have white parts along the edges the phenomenon does not exist when you convert a white background to black or any other color.

I spent a great deal of time doing this for my book.  A not insignificant number of the images that various firms kindly let me use had backgrounds the required editing.

SC
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(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)

Offline Ron C2

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Re: Coin backgrounds - black, white, or? What do you prefer and why?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2021, 10:58:02 am »
Great point Sean! Though I will say that for my setup, I shoot on a physically white background and it rarely is pure white when the coin itself is properly exposed.

In those cases, I Photoshop the background pure white.  In fact I usually always do this, just in case, for consistency. Sometimes I can't use magic wand tools on silver coins as cleaned coins often have areas that PS can't distinguish from the background. In those classes, I have to manually lassoo.

I would have the same issue with a black background

After editing though, the white is more versatile as you point out, for future editing. 
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Offline PeterD

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Re: Coin backgrounds - black, white, or? What do you prefer and why?
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2021, 01:23:06 pm »
Ron, Why don't you shoot your pictures on a blue or green background. That way you can key just the coloured part with the magic wand without worrying about whether the rim of the coin might be eaten into. You can then easily turn the background into black or white or purple polka dots of you want.
Peter, London

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Offline Blayne W

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Re: Coin backgrounds - black, white, or? What do you prefer and why?
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2021, 01:32:50 pm »
Peter  that is a good point.  I may have to try that.  I seem to have a lot of trouble shooting with a white background.  It always seems my white turns creamy in my photos and then cleaning up the background inevitably ends up in me trimming the edges of coins.  With my poor photography skills and temperament shooting with a black background has been my goto.  I really need to take some photography courses....

Offline Ron C2

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Re: Coin backgrounds - black, white, or? What do you prefer and why?
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2021, 02:01:09 pm »
Ron, Why don't you shoot your pictures on a blue or green background.

That's not a bad idea. I had not thought of that.

Or I could bite the bullet and suspend the coin on glass and light the background separately. But my current setup is a lot easier to set up with less fuss. I prop the coin above an index card using a blob of rodico to give coin edges more definition.

Will advise how a colored background works on my next shoot :)
My Ancient Coin Gallery: Click here

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Offline Virgil H

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Re: Coin backgrounds - black, white, or? What do you prefer and why?
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2021, 06:50:03 pm »
It is funny, I do not like any of the black background photos in this thread compared to the white. LOL. Not that they are bad photos, but the black totally distracts me and pulls my eye away from the coin. Regarding Shawn's book, I am reading it now (full review to come for a super good book) and the photos are outstanding. I cannot imagine black backgrounds surrounded by white pages and black text doing justice to these images. I date myself, but when I see black backgrounds I fully expect to see red letters, in my opinion the worst combination the Internet ever came up with.

Virgil

Offline *Alex

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Re: Coin backgrounds - black, white, or? What do you prefer and why?
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2021, 11:47:32 am »
Personally I like black backgrounds.  With silver the edges can be washed out by over exposure on white.  Similarly, with black the edges can be lost due to under exposure.  But I just like the look of black.  It pops.

I'm with Jay. All my gallery photos used to be on white backgrounds and I like them much better since changing the backgrounds to black. But really its a case of each to their own.

Alex

Offline Arados

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Re: Coin backgrounds - black, white, or? What do you prefer and why?
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2021, 05:48:02 am »
I use a white background for the original edited image of the obverse and reverse, but i also save an image with grey background for my website and Flickr and a black background for my Forvm gallery. I just think that the grey background works better with my website.

If i had to choose a favorite background it would be black.

https://phoeniciancoins.wordpress.com/#jp-carousel-8266
https://www.flickr.com/photos/118481253@N02/51673064359/
https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=172980

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