2015 March of Dimes Dollar

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by SuperDave, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. SuperDave

    SuperDave Free the Cartwheels!

    Testing a new lighting arrangement. Do these shots say "Proof" in an aesthetically-appropriate way? I'm trying to get something other than the usual the "black & white" look. Forgive the fuzz; I discovered I'm out of acetone and won't touch a Proof with anything else.

    dwhiz and Paddy54 like this.
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  3. jwitten

    jwitten Well-Known Member

    In general, I am not a fan of proofs, as they are just not attractive to me. I prefer to see the luster of a metal instead of a mirror. With that said, I like the blacked out shots better. Still very nice pictures though!
  4. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Yes, I'm blunt! Get over your "feeeeelings".


    I like the aesthetic you're working with here, but I fear the arrangement of light vs. dark patches on the fields will be very dependent on a particular coin's design.
    Paul M. likes this.
  5. Paul M.

    Paul M. Well-Known Member

    I agree 100% with this. Also, they're pretty pictures, but I'd really prefer the normal "black and white" pictures if I'm evaluating the coin.
  6. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Yes, I'm blunt! Get over your "feeeeelings".

    Back in the days of film, I used to shoot proofs with a translucent cylinder around the coin, the position directly above the coin as purely black as possible, and 4 flood lamps lighting the translucent cylinder. I got jet black fields, and whitish devices and legends.
  7. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    If you're not trying to take evaluation shots, and are just looking to take really nice looking shots, then you've definitely hit the nail on the head here. I like it!
    Paul M. likes this.
  8. Paddy54

    Paddy54 Hey brother can you spare a half dime?

    Nice images Dave As far what all the others have noted I agree 100%. A far as the images in general the shots look great. As far as effect everyone has a different eye appeal if these were shots on ebay as an image to sell the specimen they would tell me everything I would need to know .
  9. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    Are you lighting the coin with a lamp at each side? I does not appear so. I like the photos but wish they were all like the right side of the obv/rev.
  10. green18

    green18 Unknown member Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    I'm old school, but I do like yours, Dave......

  11. green18

    green18 Unknown member Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    You've captured the 'mirrors' very nicely.
  12. SuperDave

    SuperDave Free the Cartwheels!

    That's basically it; Proof issues with large areas of "white space" just don't do it for me aesthetically.


    For the record, this is my lighting for the above shots:

    $20 (Amazon) cordless LED ring lamp, just a little offset from centered on the coin. The hole in the top is *just* large enough for one of my duplicating lenses to peek through. :)
    Paddy54, Dave Waterstraat and green18 like this.
  13. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    The all black style is way too cliche. Makes everything look the same.

    I have an idea. How about a colored light? :D
    Insider likes this.
  14. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    IMO, your OP photo really shows what a mirror surface looks like - but only on the side that is not dark. You have demonstrated that you are one of the photography experts around here by your tips and photos; but... (you knew it was coming)... each of the three professional coin photography set-ups I have seen use more than one light source. Have you ever tried that?
  15. jtlee321

    jtlee321 Well-Known Member

    I personally like the look. It really shows off the mirrored surface. I think it's use would be limited to as you said, coins with a lot of open fields, it gives the image impact and interest as opposed to the stark black emptiness.
    Paddy54 likes this.
  16. Paul M.

    Paul M. Well-Known Member

    One specific thing I really like is the contrast on the glasses and tie on the obverse.
  17. SuperDave

    SuperDave Free the Cartwheels!

    Oddly enough, the best way to get the "black and white" look uses the same style of lighting; it's the offset from center which creates the brightness in the fields in the images above. I've used a Circline fluorescent to do my best "B/W" Proof work:


    If you're good, you can tell where the bulb connector was from that image. I left a hint. :)

    The shorter working distances I'm using these days doesn't lend itself to this method, though (that shot was with a Canon 100mm Macro at 12"+ and an FC9 bulb). You just can't get fluorescents in a diameter small enough; I'm gonna have to build a bazillion-LED ringlight with careful diffusion to match the effect appropriately.
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