My initial reaction was that the darker background caused my camera to increase the aperture size too much, making the coin appear too light and washed out. I suppose I could compensate for this using a manual setting, but I'm not an experienced photographer, so I don't think it would be worth the time investment for average-grade coins to set everything from scratch for each individual coin, especially when I am trying to photograph 10 or 15 coins in an afternoon. I know I'm not going to get perfect photographs, but if a small change can yield a noticeable improvement I'm all for it. So my question for the group is, do you have a preference for one photo over the other? Here's the black background: and he's my usual background: Let me know what you think.