Thursday, January 28, 2010

Coin Photography: New Lighting Technique

I shot the attached coin photograph using a new lighting technique I have been experimenting with for a few weeks. I am sharing the photograph in hopes of getting some feedback. It is not unusual for an artist to ask for objective feedback and that is what I am seeking.

I see a well done photograph but I may be overlooking something in the process. If you have an opinion, please share. If you see an area of weakness, please share. I do this with my art. I seek out the opinion of other artists and I get good feedback that really helps me.

I am thick skinned so whatever you say will not offend me in the least. An artist must learn to trust not only his/her opinions but the opinions of others. Thank you for looking and thank you for reading.. God Bless.. Jerry..

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

This Is Not A Roman Dime

I have created a new technique for photographing coins and I am very excited. I think the most naive photographer will be able to have success with my new "Coin Photo Box".. I am still tweaking but the greatest thing about the unit is my ability to focus light right where I want it and the results are quick and right on the money.

I have now shot dozens and dozens of photographs and the problem one normally encounters with reflective surfaces is all but eliminated. Take a look at the accompanying photograph. This photograph is typical of the results I am getting with enormous consistency. Let me know what you think of the photograph you see posted. Would you be satisfied with these results?

One of my friends will be putting the "Box" through its paces soon and I look forward to his feedback. He is excited as I am and I am eager to see his results. He has seen the results I am getting. Thanks for reading and if you have questions, please ask. I will not be sharing a lot about this unit until I have it pretty much perfected.

I have been using the Box for some time now and there are no outstanding issues. If I am correct, this unit will be put Easy Coin Photography within the reach of all newbies and the Box will greatly enhance the abilities of those who have been shooting coins for an extended period of time.. Thank you for reading and God bless.. Jerry..

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Rare Roman Coin: All In The Hunt

It is a great feeling for a Zapper to find a nice Rare coin like the one posted with this article. I cleaned a group of crusty coins and found some pretty nice coins but this one was the most rare of the group. There is something very exciting about finding a very nice coin beneath the layers of crust. I think of it as a treasure hunt.

Many members share the same with me and tell me they love the hunt. They too get a real rush from finding a special coin or even a simple and nice common Roman. If you are not into Zapping don’t get started because you will be hooked! I have Zapped thousands of coins in the past few years and I still get as excited as I did years ago.

The premium crusty Romans are a bit more difficult to find than in years past but I have a small hoard of premium Romans I pull out now and then. As with other things the coins have escalated in price and still kick myself for not investing in more crusties. I hope you enjoy taking a look at this coin and if interested in knowing what I know I will be happy to share. Thank you for reading and God Bless.. Jerry..

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Crusty Roman And Greek Coins: Simple Approach To Cleaning

I am often asked if I only use electrolysis to clean my crusty ancient Roman and Greek coins. My answer is “no” and I will share my approach. First of all I find that most of the coins I purchase need a good scrubbing with soap and water to clean up well. If the soap and water fails then I resort to the following.

I soak my crusty coins in water for several hours to determine if the coins are going to relinquish their hold on the coin’s surfaces without a struggle. If the coin or coins resist then I pull out my trusty tool kit. I have several toothbrushes I trust and then I have my “Industrial Nylon Bristle Brush” I purchased from Wal-Mart. My “Big Brush” as I call it is actually a “grout brush” and as indicated can be purchased from Wal-Mart.

The grout brush has very stiff nylon or plastic bristles and is about twice the size of a toothbrush. I also use a very mild dish detergent whenever I scrub the coins. In addition, I use my trusty Bamboo Skewer tools I created a few years ago. I think the Bamboo tools are about the handiest tools a cleaner of Roman ancients can have in his/her toolbox. I use the Bamboo to push the crust about. Please look through my blog and you will find an article I created to instruct others in creating cleaning tools from the bamboo skewers.

OK, back to cleaning. Remember not all crusty coins will drop their crust at the same time. If you clean a dozen coins there will be at least one coin that will insist on retaining its crust until one is prepared to attack the surface with a ball peen hammer! As you soak the coins and scrub and the highly forgiving coins drop their crust simply rinse those well, pat dry and place on a nice dry towel.

Back to the troublemakers! Please don’t fight with the coins. If the coin or coins want to soak longer then let them soak Allow them to soak for a week.. a month. Six months? Don’t forget to pull the coins periodically and check for those coins that are ready to pull. At a particular point I will lose patience and resort to my Zapping. I am sure my readers know about CoinZappers. If not, I will be happy to share my URL. The URL is as follows: We will be happy to have you join our Yahoo group and we will share the collective wisdom of years of working with our Zappers.

I hope there is something in my ramblings that will help you and please remember that after cleaning thousands of coins using electrolysis I still feel that Zapping is the kindest method for cleaning coins. For those who are a bit fearful of Zapping I now have a schematic and information for building what I call a “Trickle Zapper”.. we clean using only 150 mA. While at it I want to thank all those who write me and tell me they like my blog. This is very encouraging to me and causes me to want to share even more.

Boy, one thing. I have discovered a new method for photographing my coins and am I excited! I have been working on the setup night and day for a couple of weeks. I will be prepared to share in a couple weeks I think. Great results thus far!

On a personal note I will share that this Old Man will turn “seven oh” as in 70 on the 6th of February. Perhaps I have earned the right to share the following in my new old age. Remember, if you are angry and upset you are the problem. Don’t allow others to hold you hostage to their anger and hostility. We only have this moment so lets enjoy it. Yesterday and tomorrow are only illusions.. Thank you for reading and I love you all.. God Bless.. Jerry..