Silver Dollar Photography

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by maxalmon, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. maxalmon

    maxalmon TPF Noob!

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    I'm seriously into old coins. There are several areas of quality when it comes to collecting and it's incredibly difficult for me to capture these features in a photograph.

    "Frost" this is an area on the coin where you get a whiteish "frosting" looks powdery but will not rub off, usually you get it on the surface of the cheek. This coin has it, but doesn't show up in the image and for the life of me I can't seem to make any progress, I've played with this coin for several hours and just about every position and type of light.

    The other area is whats called "DMPL = Deep Mirror Proof Like" this is where the fields of the coin are almost perfectly mirror smooth and reflective, an incredible coin would be one where the entire field is pure mirror and all the raised areas would be frosted and whiteish, called a Black and White.

    This coin has some decent mirror to it, but all I get is white glare, anyone
    Here is the obverse, while holding it in my hand I can see all the frosting on the coin, but I can't capture the true image, any idea's?
    [​IMG]
     
  2. maxalmon

    maxalmon TPF Noob!

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    Here is a classic example of a proof coin with a black and white appearance. The head is frosted white and the fields appear black when reflected. This is making me crazy as I can capture this coin, but not the morgan...

    [​IMG]
     
  3. keybq

    keybq TPF Noob!

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    i think the second coin has never been circulated and the other one has so it has more damage to it and thats why you cant acheive the desired effect.
     
  4. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

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    You're not going to get a proof-like capture on a business-strike coin, despite it being DMPL. There are a few things to note:

    - You need to adjust your white balance to something cooler. There is a yellow cast on both of your images.

    - With DMPL Morgans, people usually use 3 lights.

    - Shooting through plastic is the bane of all coin photographers.

    - Many use multiple light sources when photographing coins in order to evenly illuminate the surface without getting noticeable glares.
     
  5. maxalmon

    maxalmon TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice! My studio lighting kit arrives this week and will give more options other than overhead... All my PCGS 65s and 66s are going to be a royal pain and the Morgan I used was rough to say the least.
     

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