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Picking A Background Color For Coin Pics

 
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 Posted 07/19/2019  8:39 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi. For sure this topic has been discussed before, including here:

http://goccf.com/t/297247&SearchTer...ground,color

I recognize that different folks have different preferences, but perhaps that varies with the color (i.e. metal alloy and toning) of the subject coin?

I'm planning to post side-by side comparisons of silver and gold coins too, but thought I'd start with copper. Anyone prefer one over the other? If so, please also let me know why.







Also, before anyone asks, my photographic setup is pretty basic: I have a cheapo Celestron digital microscope with free Microspin capture software. I have covered the harsh LEDs with some diffusing plastic, but augment that light with a handheld flashlight. For post-processing, I use the free Office 2010 software that came with my computer. Other than resizing the pics to get the pixel count low enough to post of CCF, the only post-processing I did was hit auto-brightness.

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 Posted 07/19/2019  10:14 pm  Show Profile   Check GrapeCollects's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GrapeCollects to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I would say blue background. It gives more contrast and looks less "bright" and "harsh"
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 Posted 07/19/2019  10:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add BadDog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Anyone prefer one over the other? If so, please also let me know why.

Difficult to say when you don't use the same coin photograph for the different backgrounds
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 Posted 07/19/2019  11:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add pepactonius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I used to photograph coins on an 18% gray background (when possible), but a couple of years ago switched to dark.

For slabbed coins, the background is the slab itself. For unslabbed coins, I elevate the coin on a pedestal, so the dark background is out of focus. For stuff going into the Numista catalog, the dark backgound is replaced with white in photoshop.
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 Posted 07/19/2019  11:48 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It's always best to shoot on as dark a background as you can. If you want to present the coin on a colored background, do a circle crop and paste it into whatever color you like.
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 Posted 07/20/2019  01:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add yellow88 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
After 1000's of hours of experimentation, wasted money, and endless frustration the color you want to shoot coins against is black.

Depending upon the coin only the physical position of the coin varies.

The use of a pedestal (a godsend) works for 80% of positions.

I highly recommend a solid black colored traditional style mouse pad. Larger size, thick soft surface, and a gel or foam filled "wrist rest". The use of this allows for me to quickly and effecitiently photograph a coin in a huge variety of positions and/or angles if the pedestal isn't ideal. I also put pedestal on mouse pad due to the fact coin will not be damaged if slides off pedestal or is dropped by other means.
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 Posted 07/20/2019  05:41 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ok thanks to all for the replies. I am getting the message loud and clear that the black cloth side is better.

@BD, I can assure you that this is the same coin. The dramatic difference in how the coin looks is why I am asking this question. To me, the white background is much closer to how the coin looks in hand, but is perhaps a bit redder. The black background seems to have the coin wash out a bit and become lighter than it is in hand. I haven't incorporated a pedestal into my admittedly cheapo photography setup, but will try something like that today and post the results.
"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
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 Posted 07/20/2019  06:34 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add BadDog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
@BD, I can assure you that this is the same coin.

My mistake. from the post's title, I thought you were asking about selecting the background for the coin in post processing, not when you actually took the photograph.

In my experience, such a dramatic difference in overall appearance of the coin is usually due to white balance and lighting effects. How did you adjust white balance for the two different photographs? Was the lighting exactly the same between the two shots?

Personally, I use an 18% gray card background for coin photography because the post processing software can easily adjust white balance with that background.
Edited by BadDog
07/20/2019 07:29 am
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 Posted 07/20/2019  07:43 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ok yep noprob. I wasn't super clear and then went to bed while everyone was commenting. The lighting was virtually the same in the two pics--to the extent that a hand-held flashlight can be considered repeatable.
"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
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 Posted 07/20/2019  07:55 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TJLang to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I use to use a clean piece of copy paper but now just shoot on the wooden table top.
Sometimes there is a red table cloth. LOL

I will now use a gray sheet of paper.
Thanks guys
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 Posted 07/20/2019  08:05 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@tj--glad this thread is helping you learn something too!

Here is my first attempt at shooting this coin on a pedestal with the black background. It is a bit harder to get the whole coin in focus and it still is a bit brighter than in hand.




"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
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 Posted 07/20/2019  09:02 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add pepactonius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Maybe you could experiment with manually varying the exposure? The latest picture looks overexposed.
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 Posted 07/20/2019  09:11 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kanga to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I highly recommend a non-reflective black or dark gray for a background.
Colored backgrounds will influence the overall color of the coin as seen by the camera.
You want the colors the camera collects to be totally from the coin.
That also means the lighting should be or imitate sunlight (generally called white light).

Then when you get the true color of the coin you can later crop out the black/gray background and insert your own choice of color.
Describe it as if there were no picture.
Picture it as if there were no description.
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 Posted 07/20/2019  10:13 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ok yes thanks @kanga, I've got the message for using a black background super clear!

@pepactonius, I'm not sure how to manually vary the exposure with the simple setup that I have. Perhaps I need to experiment more with my light sources. More to come...


Added: Here is the same elevated set-up, but with no extra light from the flashlight. The color is even further off from the copper that I see with the coin in hand.




"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
Edited by Spence
07/20/2019 10:17 am
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 Posted 07/20/2019  12:03 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add BadDog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What are you using to take these photos? Cell phone? Point and Shoot camera? DSLR?

IMHO you're getting a purple/pink colored coin, instead of a copper colored coin, because of lighting and white balance, not because of the background or elevating the coin.

What are you using for lighting? and if you're using more than one source of light, then are the lights the same, i.e., same light bulb. Non-uniform lighting can cause weird color effects because the camera can't correct for color temperature accurately.
Edited by BadDog
07/20/2019 12:04 pm
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 Posted 07/20/2019  3:40 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Also, before anyone asks, my photographic setup is pretty basic: I have a cheapo Celestron digital microscope with free Microspin capture software. I have covered the harsh LEDs with some diffusing plastic, but augment that light with a handheld flashlight. For post-processing, I use the free Office 2010 software that came with my computer. Other than resizing the pics to get the pixel count low enough to post of CCF, the only post-processing I did was hit auto-brightness.

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
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