Featured First coin macro shots. Advice from the experts???

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Eric Babula, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. Trish

    Trish Active Member

    I have the same Galaxy S8 but keeping it steady is my issue and I don't want to buy a flimsy tripod or spend the money for a good one. SO, I found a video online where someone used a coffee cup(what?). He laid the non-camera half of the phone on the cup extending over the coin (on a black background), took the pic, zooming in as needed and used the Samsung photo editor (pencil icon) to center it better. Inexpensive and easy set up. Money saved, now I can buy some coins. :)
    (sorry this doesn't address the OP any)
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  3. Dave M

    Dave M Francophiliac

    I'm not sure I saw a reply on one of your questions. The "macro" setting on your camera is typically just an automatic setting that prioritizes a narrow aperture when making its exposure adjustments. Likewise the "sports" setting will prioritize a higher shutter speed, etc. So your selecting aperture priority mode and setting your own aperture is fine, and doesn't somehow disable any of the lenses macro feature.
  4. Eric Babula

    Eric Babula Active Member

    Thanks for the input, though! In a pinch, that sounds like it would work pretty well for posting quick pics here. And, I'm all for that, as long as the pics are a decent size and in focus! But, I also want to showcase some of my favorites. And, I don't have True Views of my coins, as not all of mine are stabbed with that company. So, my goal is to learn to take as good of pics as I can - and hopefully get *somewhat* close to the True Views or professional pics, all while realizing my limitations: equipment, knowledge, time, skill etc. Time especially! Haven't taken one coin pic since the original post - work (oh, and the honey-do list) keeps getting in the way of my fun!!! And, I'm finding that, to me, coin photography is fun!!!
    Trish likes this.
  5. Eric Babula

    Eric Babula Active Member

    Thanks for the info. I thought as much, but just wasn't positive.
  6. Jaelus

    Jaelus The Hungarian Antiquarian Supporter

    Messydesk's observations are excellent.

    Realize that light is not just about illuminating the coin, it is also about composing the shot. Each light will illuminate certain areas of the coin and cast shadows on other areas of the coin. It will highlight or conceal different areas of the coin as you like. You can start your lights at 10 and 2, but it's usually going to give you a shot that's just okay.

    What I do to compose a shot is make sure the room is completely dark. Then I turn on one of the lights and adjust the angle and height to my liking. Perhaps there is an area of toning you want to highlight, or a way you'd like to frame a bust or other device. You get that from your first light. Then turn it off. Turn on your second light by itself, and adjust again to compose how you want the light from your second source to illuminate the face of the coin. Then turn both lights on and see if you like the shot. Adjust as necessary at this point - but now you are informed as to how each light is independently lighting the coin.

    For example, take a look at this shot I made of a Hungarian 2 korona. The lights are at asymmetrical angles and positions to create the composition I desired. My goals for this shot were to get the lighting in the face so that the shadows fell around the eyes and under the brow to create more contrast, and to minimize the appearance of the hit in the field in front of the face, to make it look more like it does in hand (minimal in appearance).


    In this shot of a Hungarian 4 krajczar, I composed the lighting to highlight the toning of the copper differently, to create a light vs dark effect between the angels.

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