coinsbygary's Blog

26 Apr 2020

My Series on Coin Photography is Bigger than I Thought

Coins | coinsbygary

…And as a result, I’m going to shift gears and attack it from a different angle. Preparing these posts for my series on coin photography is one of the biggest challenges to my writing that I have faced. After the last post on the importance of proper white balance, I realized that my writing was bordering on the technical and less on my personal writing style.

Technical writing can get pretty boring unless you are a techie. Now I’m not putting down persons who eat up technical writing for lunch but I am not one of them. My attention span will simply not tolerate a bunch of facts and figures, it’s just not the way I’m wired. For me to document everything I have learned in photography is a drudgery. What I do love is storytelling which is one of the reasons I love history and going down rabbit holes to find interesting facts I can talk about.

Therefore, I’ll briefly cover the technical stuff and editorialize why I like certain set-ups and not others using comparative pictures. From that standpoint, you can determine what you like based on your own tastes and what equipment to buy. I cannot tell you everything I have learned over the past 10 years taking pictures of coins. However, I can point you in a direction and let you do your own experimentation and learning. You’ll start seeing the new angle in my next post.

Some of the neatest coins out there can cost you next to nothing. I had some e-bay bucks to use up on my latest coin purchase that listed for just nine dollars! That coin is a 2nd Spanish Republic 1937 one peseta coin. In the years spanning the Spanish Civil War, this was one of many coins issued by the different Spanish provinces. I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a collection based on the Spanish Civil War, but I digress.

I have been looking to buy this peseta coin for some time now but have found it to be typically offered in very poor condition. That was until now! I’m posting the picture of my coin using a diffused lighting source (CFL white daylight lamps.) I have elevated the coin on the stand so as to more directly point the lamp at the coin without it getting in the way of the camera. (Notice the brown box underneath the coin). My lens setting was f4. The ISO setting was 200 and the shutter speed was 1/160th of a second. More on all this later! (I’ll tell you my settings but avoid spending a lot of time to explain them. For that you’ll have to Google it on your own). Gary

It is perhaps an irony that I can figure out how to take good pictures and haven't figured out how to have them appear in their proper orientation on this blog!



Level 5

Very interesting. You have quite the setup and skills. Thanks for sharing.


Level 6

Looking forward to your blogs.

Enjoy the sharing of your photography knowledge very much, and I have a question for you: I see you used a fluorescent bulb for photography. I have read that the best light to examine a coin under is a incandescent lighting, but is fluorescent lighting superior when it comes to photographing them? Thanks in advance for your time and answer.


Level 5

Excellent questions and I use both. Try not to focus as much on the type of lighting but the temperature of the lighting measured in degrees kelvin. Furthermore, I will talk about direct lighting and diffused lighting and the applications for each along with the tradeoffs. The lighting in this post is diffused. I will compare this exact coin in the next post. Hint, I like the LED direct incandescent lighting better on this coin.

It's Mokie

Level 6

Nice Gary and much more digestible to us IQ challenged. your box technique kind of mirrors mine, but I raise my Iphone by putting it on a repurposed Kagin's auction lot storage box, it is the perfect height for capturing individual coins and producing my semi-satisfying pictures. I had been using my placemant as a background but will now use a sheet of white cardboard as its less busy on the fringes of my picture. Looking forward to the next installment and loving your new Spanish beauty.


Level 7

Gary most of use our words in blogs mixed with the tecknaica!My word spell is a pain. Your blogs and historyand your great pictures are a pleasure to read just like this one. I have allot of yns and i try to make it simple. I dont know of anyone who doesn' t enjoy your blogs. And again i enjoyed this one. Its important for good pictures so we can see what were writting about.. You do all that and more. Thank you you wrote a great blog and i will read it again. Thanks . Mike


Level 6

This is going to be GREAT Gary. I already am enjoying this series and what you are about to do will make it better. On this one I noticed your lamp and was forming up a question as to what kind it is when I went to the next photo. Thanks.. Cool coin.


Level 5

Would love to have the equipment for coin photography and examining coins. Probably stick with magnifying glass and loupe. Not sure I need more. Like hearing from those that do have the equipment. I can learn, and very interesting. Thanks

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