Friday, December 4, 2009

Ancient Coins: Photographing The "Ugly"

Ugly is actually a very poor word choice. Character is a more applicable word but ugly garners more attention. Those of you who follow my photography and coin cleaning articles know that I do search out what I consider to be beautiful. However, I think there is much to learn when photographing coins with character. Please take a look at the coins above and see if there is anything to be learned.

I chose one highly reflective coin, which is always a problem for the naive or new coin photographer. The other coins were chosen arbitrarily from one of my boxes of less than excellent coins. I did look for imperfections, a variety of textures and color anomalies. Each element possesses a potential learning experience for the coin photographer. Collectively there are many things to be learned from such an exercise.

When I was still in my college classroom it was not unusual for me to assign students the task of developing fifty drawings or a dozen designs of particular subject matter over a weekend.
I have been photographing coins most of the day and I suspect I have shot and looked at 40-50 coins by now. I may continue to explore this exercise for days and ultimately shoot and look at a couple hundred coin shots. I have done 200 drawings during many drawing sessions. Of course I would have to qualify what I was doing and I will not bore you with the details.

I highly recommend you jump aboard and perform such a photography exercise. Be sure to look for lighting adjustments and color balance as you work. You will encounter many elements and principles with which to deal and after shooting and studying one coin you will be a better coin photographer. After you do the same with 200 coins you will begin to master your craft.. thank you and God Bless.. Jerry.. PS: Feedback is nice..

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