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..


Anonymous said...

I really like the way the detail has been shown, if the metal is quite porous (which it looks as if it is), I would like to see a comparison with something with less definition but with smooth, shiny surfaces. Well done, its a nice photo

Doug Smith said...

I'm not a fan of this look in lighting. While it works well with some coins, I suspect it will be much less plaeasing with others. I have two issues with it: The light is very directional coming directly from the right of the coin. This leaves a heavy shadow on the left and looks unnatural to my eyes which prefer things lighted from above. Rotating the coin in the light so the source were at 1 o'clock rather than 3 might solve that problem but it might make the heavy shadow fall somewher more destructive. Second, the low angle will pick up surface textures and not set off legends as well as would something a bit higher. I use low angle for very low relief and well worn coins but need to raise it more for most - at least most of the coins I shoot.

A test like this needs to be done using several different coins of distinctly different relief, surface color and surface texture characteristics. High relief, bright silver are very hard to shoot and textured billon offers a completely different set of problems from worn Kushan bronze. I still am seeking the one light that will do everything even though I sincerely believe that it does not exist.

2 Clicks Coins said...


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ras said...

hi jerry, this photo is pretty good but (and you knew with me there'd be buts) it probably has to do with the fact that it's a high relief coin. using this same setup how well does it work out for a worn coin?

shining a light from the 3 o'clock will look odd. nothing technically wrong with it it's just that we've all be habituated to seeing coins lit from the top down.

the rest of the image works well. you've got the right exposure, color balance & sharpness.


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