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I'm trying to take pictures of Morgan's

It's a real bugger because of the refelction.
This is what I'm getting with a regular light bulb.
Any tips?.

How does pcgs take images like this?

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    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like that image better than the ones the other day.

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

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    SaamSaam Posts: 462 ✭✭✭

    Try axial illumination. There are many articles and videos online about it.

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    morgandollar1878morgandollar1878 Posts: 4,006 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The image looks pretty decent, however your white balance (color correction) looks to be off for starters. The camera however is just capturing an image of what it is seeing. Daylight hue light bulbs may help, looks like you are using soft white lighting which is "warmer" lighting.

    Instagram: nomad_numismatics
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    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,425 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 12, 2023 5:19PM

    Appears to be a 21 D VAM 1B1. could be a 1B2 but without reverse pics I don't know. Both are Hot 50. @Watchtower

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

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    @gumby1234
    Imaging is a learning process for me. Thank you for your compliment. I have several coins with the same VAM just like it. 1921 is a Hot series for VAMs. I am writing VAM numbers on the capsules for when it's time to sell them which will be soon. I thought they were scratches at first. They are easy to see with the naked eye. I have several purchases I want to make and I need the money to buy them. I'm going to hold back some and sell off the rest. I've got one PL already graded I want to sell.

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    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Can we get the rev pic?

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

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    Here you go as per your request. I just got done spending two hours wrestling with trying to image Morgan's. I burnt out but I didn't want to ignore your request.

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    Getting better?

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    FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,845 ✭✭✭✭✭

    First image with some adjustments to color/white balance:

    Young Numismatist, Coin Photographer.

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    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    OK the 21D is the 1B1.

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

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    Here's another then I'm done for the night. I'll be reading and learning but it's time to relax. This 1904O has a mirrored reverse. No matter how much I try to convince myself the obverse does not look like the reverse. Man this coin is a beauty, at least to me it is, sure makes it fun.

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,492 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 12, 2023 6:52PM

    You are making good progress; it is a learning process for everyone. No one instantly knows how to do it well. I've been practicing for 6 months and there are still some coins that I struggle with. The main thing is make sure the coin and camera lens are equal, I literally use a small level on the lens. The next big thing is trying the lights at different angles until you find what you like. I find that often with Morgan's I go straight down, but off center works for most, like 4 o clock and 7 o clock or something similar. Sometimes I have to angle the light more to light up more of the field.

    Keep experimenting. You will et there, but this is a great start!

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,492 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Looking again at the 21D, you might be over exposing with too much light in that case. If you can back the light off just a bit I think it would help that particular shot.

    It's a tough balancing act between lighting up the coin and over exposing it.

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    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Coin photography is tough. I take really crap photos most of the time.

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

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    cheezhedcheezhed Posts: 5,686 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Light placement is crucial. There is no one specific spot to put them. Height and angle experimentation is key.

    Many happy BST transactions
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    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    See even @DeplorableDan agrees that I take bad photos.

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

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    DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,533 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @gumby1234 said:
    See even @DeplorableDan agrees that I take bad photos.

    I have to say, these modern cell phones have incredible cameras. My iPhone takes gorgeous photos but I have yet to figure out the lighting part, I always have a glare reflecting off the slab. I’m sure if I invested some time and money into it I would figure it out, but it’s been an uphill battle for me as well.

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    slider23slider23 Posts: 638 ✭✭✭✭

    Morgan's with MS luster are difficult to photograph and it changes a little from coin to coin. The below photo is a MS65 PL taken with a single LED Day Light desk top lamp, and a white background. If I added a second lamp and moved the lamps further away it would create the double lamp look of the PCGS photo. I am not giving you any recommendation. I am just telling you how I took the photo.

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,492 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @slider23 said:
    Morgan's with MS luster are difficult to photograph and it changes a little from coin to coin. The below photo is a MS65 PL taken with a single LED Day Light desk top lamp, and a white background. If I added a second lamp and moved the lamps further away it would create the double lamp look of the PCGS photo. I am not giving you any recommendation. I am just telling you how I took the photo.

    Pretty much this. Two lights at angles is how you get the 'x' look. I often use a third for mor overall lighting too.

    Per @cheezhed, experiment angles and distances with the lighting. It will take time!

    This is after experimenting for the last 6 months:

    In short don't expect to get it 'right' right away. Just keep practicing and experimenting until you find what works for you, and keep asking questions!

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    @slider23 that's a perfect picture and a nice coin. I'll start out fresh tomorrow and see if I can get it done
    @gumby1234
    Does that VAM add a premium?
    It's a BU coin and I have few of them. You should see the other 21 I have with a huge die break going down the right wing and breaks all over the words. It looks like the die was ready to explode.

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    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Watchtower I don't know much about the pricing on that VAM, but it is a HOT 50 VAM so i would think there has to be some value. Some of the TOP 100 VAMs are pricey, the HOT50 are behind the TOP 100. Think of it kinda like 101 to 150 for VAM

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Watchtower... Your pictures are really good.... Now, that is not a professional opinion, since I am an amateur. I am sure, with the help of the other great coin photographers here, you will improve even more. Meanwhile, I think you are doing very well. Cheers, RickO

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    hfjacintohfjacinto Posts: 766 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You don't even need lights, I used subdued lighting from my windows.


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    JJMJJM Posts: 7,982 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 13, 2023 10:12AM


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    jacrispiesjacrispies Posts: 714 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I experimented with lighting a few days ago. Using two lamps (different warmth but is what I had available) and my iPhone SE, I took these photos that vary in background color and coin toning and PL surfaces. Two lamps really popped the luster for a BU coin, while a circulated coin looks good with light from one lamp. I agree with the others that say lighting is key. Slabs are tough, I haven't tried those yet.



    "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 6:23. Young fellow suffering from Bust Half fever.

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