Featured Photoing my collection - Dark Side

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Kasia, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Kasia

    Kasia Got my learning hat on

    This year I am not focusing on collecting, but intent on photographing my coins as best I can. I have a very small dark side collection, and no real goals for a specific set. Rather I am eclectic in this and will eventually maybe find my way to a particular grouping.

    Although I have photo'd some of my coins already and shared them, my goal is to systematically go through and re-photograph as best I can, and then update and create an album. In the end, I may re-do some if I feel I can represent them better as to what they actually look like as far as color, depth, etc.

    Any I post with info you thing is not quite right, let me know. I really do want to also know my coins and find out what I should be learning about them to really appreciate these.

    My first one for 2019 photographing on Ancients in this endeavor:

    Philip IRic 52 Sear 8974 Cohen 239.jpg

    Philip I (Feb 244- Aug or Sep 249 AD)

    Ref Philip I AR Antoninianus, RIC 52, RSC 239, SEAR 8974
    Philip I AR Antoninianus (Philip the Arab).
    Obv: IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate draped bust right Rev:
    VIRTVS AVG, Virtus (or Minerva) standing left, foot on helmet holding olive branch & spear. RIC 52; Cohen 239; Sear 8974.

    Philip succeeded Gordian III, and was in his short time sympathetic to the Christian faith. He was born in the Roman provice of Arabia, in what is now Shahba, Syria, which is about 56 miles outside of Damascus, and was the son of Julius Marinus, a citizen there. He had a brother, Gaius Julius Priscus who was a member of the Praetorian Guard under Gordian II, and Philip's wife was Marcia Otacilia Severa. He was killed in Beroea, in Macedonia at the battle of Verona, possibly in what is now Bulgaria but which territory was part of the Macedon rule but was not the Kindom but was part of the dependent Territory. Some places are putting Berea/Verea/Virea, etc., (Beroea) as being at Aleppo, Syria, and others as in Northern Greece (which was evidenty in the Kindom of Macedon then) or in Verona, in Italy, and it is confusing when looking at info on-line. I am thinking it actually was in Macedonia, just to the west of the Black Sea rather than away from that area and in Syria, Italy or Greece. At this time simply don't know which current place that battle actually took place. (Look for updates from me in this thread when I get the info)

    Philip married Marcia Otacila Severa. They had two sons and one daughter, a son named Marcus Julius Philippus Severus (Philippus II and co-ruler, as ordained by Philip I in 247), born in 238, a daughter called Julia Severa or Severina who is known from numismatic evidence but is never mentioned by the ancient Roman sources and a son named Quintus Philippus Severus, born in 247. Philippus II, was killed also in 249 by the Praetorian guard, shortly after his father was killed, and the boy was 11 or 12 years old. This so Philip I could be succeeded by Gaius Messius Quintus Decius (Decius), also known as Trajan Decius, who was the man who bested Philip I in the battle of Verona. No mention is found to say that the rest of the family died then, too or if his heirs lived longer than the year 249. What is said is that Philippus II died in his mother's arms.

    The goddess Minerva (Virtus --- 'courage') was a Roman deity who was goddess of the world; she was the embodiment of the imperial ideal of the city as ruler of the world, so on this coin, she personifies the city of Rome.
    TJC, Nummuserrare, dlhill132 and 31 others like this.
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  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Lovely! Here's my favorite Phillip I antoninianus:

    Philip I AETERNITAS AVGG elephant antoninianus.jpg
    Philip I, AD 244-249.
    Roman AR Antoninianus, 3.73 g, 22.4 mm, 7 h.
    Rome, AD 247.
    Obv: IMP PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate and draped bust, right.
    Rev: AETERNITAS AVGG, elephant guided by mahout with goad and wand, walking left.
    Refs: RIC 58; Cohen 17; RCV 8921; Hunter 31.
    TJC, dlhill132, galba68 and 14 others like this.
  4. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    On my computer display, your Philip is a bit lighter than I prefer. This could be a matter of calibration or preference. I have mentioned ten thousand times (possibly a slight exaggeration but 'many') my aversion to lighting the back of the head on portraits leaving the face in a shadow. Again, that is a preference I have. I prefer a light angle more like the one used by Roman Collector above or on my sampling of Philips below.

    another Eastern but later period coin with darker tone

    Like yours, this is Virtus but this is the issue with officina letter (A=1) in the reverse field.

    From that same issue officina E=5 used the Virtus legend with the two emperors on horseback.

    Finally, I felt lucky to pull this scarce VICTORIA CARPICA out of a pick out bag of common antoniniani. In general, I assign extra 'points' to any reverse type that names a specific enemy.
    TJC, Nummuserrare, dlhill132 and 15 others like this.
  5. Kasia

    Kasia Got my learning hat on

    @dougsmit Thank you for the tips, I will try to review these and see if I can apply it to the newer photos I start taking. Appreciate it.
    TJC and 7Calbrey like this.
  6. Kasia

    Kasia Got my learning hat on

    P.S., I did not even notice his face was in shadow. I was so intent on getting a pic that put everything (or nearly so) in focus and as sharp as I could get it. Also, my pics are not great because I really am bad with getting the colors right. Maybe in the future I will get better. It is not preference, but lack of skill in this.
  7. Kasia

    Kasia Got my learning hat on

    My second one I am posting. This is one of the folles I got this past year, that I posted in https://www.cointalk.com/threads/vote-up-my-newps.319551/ but with a picture taken today.

    Urbs Roma Heracles 1900.jpg

    This one is coin 7. I wrote a bit that I learned about it, and for this one (new pics) I started looking at the Sear number (Sear 16517) that was on the 2X2. Although it closely looks similar to the one referenced by that number on WildWinds, in that the helmeted Roma has two braids or tassels (still not sure how to refer to those), the neckline and details are all wrong. And on the obverse, the she-wolf is perilously skinny with less teats than mine and the stars above are closer to the she-wolf and and to each other than the one given, as well as the SMH in exergue having no dot in the one given:


    This one is also listed as RIC 114.

    On the site department.monm.edu (which is for Monmouth College, in Monmouth, Illinois) it lists this similarly looking coin:

    At least this one has a better neckline to match mine somewhat and the wolf doesn't look totally emaciated, it is also minted at SMH Epsilon, but it has no dot before the mint mark, the teats are different number and although the two stars are not as close to the she-wolf as mine are, they are looking kind of similarly made.

    Does anyone know what the real Sear number would be for this as well as the RIC number?

    I think that I will be looking for more of these City Commemoratives, particularly very striking ones. The variety of the ones I see are amazing.
  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I would prefer the Urbs a bit darker also. I have two but both are old photos and not at all good. I believe they are RIC 119 top and 129 below with the three dots above the wolf. Both are on page 558 of RIC volume VII.
    rw5470b02432.jpg rw5480b02433.jpg

    PMONNEY Flaminivs

    The only critic about your pictures is that they are too light (pale). I take all my coin pictures with clear outdoors light and then correct them with
    M y only critic about your pictures is that I find them too"pale".for instance, I take my pictures with natural daylight and, when needed, I correct them (for silver denarii) to become a little bit darker with "picture modify" ( microsoft),

    My only critic about your pictures is that, in my opinion, they are a bit too "pale". For silver denarii, i use daylight exposure and, if needed, correct the result to be somewhat darker ( microsoft photografic correction). With too little light, the silver looks blue.
    .Bronze coins are much more difficult to handle in order to obtain good color results (often disappointing !)
  10. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    I, too, prefer to photograph my coins outdoors with natural light. I try to get the sunlight to strike the coin surface at a low angle, approaching the face side of the coin as if at a 45 degree angle of declination above the subject. You can see what I mean in these photos if you notice the direction of the shadows:
    Constantius I

    Crispus is facing the other direction on this coin, so I had the sunlight come from the other direction:

    One exception to my general rule is my avatar coin. I photographed it both ways, but it just seemed better backlit than from the front.

    I agree. They can be notoriously difficult, particularly if worn or corroded. Any flaws always get exaggerated in the photos. One trick I use is to reduce the saturation. This helps to reduce the difference in hues between the regular surface and any corrosion or verdigris.

    Notice all the little pale green dots on the coin above. They are virtually invisible on the coin itself, but appear to cover the surface in the photo. This is after I reduced the saturation by around 30%. It was much more pronounced in the original photo.
  11. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Light makes a huge difference. This one was taken with bright, diffuse light. While it shows the inscriptions and devices quite well ...


    ... it obscures the fact that its patina is much darker and pleasing in hand. Here's another photo, taken in sunlight, which is much more true to its color in hand, but the glare from the glossy patina obscures some of the details:


    Which is better? It depends on the purpose of the image.
    TIF likes this.
  12. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Cogito Ergo Sum

    I only use natural light in my photographs. My pictures from 2017 were not good, but I have experimented with different techniques and lighting angles, my focus is to get a realistic portrayal of the coins just as they appear in hand, hence, better than dealers' typical photos. My weakness still is the editing process, as I use Google photos to crop and resize the images, but am unable to put them side by side in one photo, that's why I have separate photos of the obverse and reverse. But, it is a work in progress.
  13. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    I don't know if this will work with the software you use, but in Photoshop I open a new file that is more than twice the size of the cropped photos and then copy and paste the photos into the new file side by side.
    ancient coin hunter likes this.
  14. Kasia

    Kasia Got my learning hat on

    I have been using PhotoScape as my software. I don't play around with it too much as far as adjusting a lot usually, as sometimes the effects are really strange with coins.
  15. 49erJosh

    49erJosh New Member

    Wonder how many people have created fake coins using the same software..
  16. Kasia

    Kasia Got my learning hat on

    Probably none have created real coins. Since PhotoScape does not do that.
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