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  #1  
Old 10-08-2011, 06:47 PM
nohope587 nohope587 is offline
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Default Macro Photography tips anyone?

OK So I am in the process of changing all my house bulbs for LEDs (Save electricity usage) I found a really neat 900 lumen replacement for one of my photo lamps. I use the walmart type desk lights.

I started with just the LED at 12 o'clock
then I placed 2x 100 watt equivalent compact fluorescent lights at 5 and 7

I'm very happy with the acid buffalo but the others are lacking in luster. The nickel is like a mirror in hand.

Buffalo single led at 12 O'clock
No enhancement just crop and re-size



2 Cent Single LED at 12 O'clock
Shot through Slab
Sharpen 20%
Brightness + 20%
Crop and re-size



Jefferson
Single LED at 12 O'clock
Sharpen 20%
Brightness + 20%
Crop and re-size



Jefferson
Single LED at 12 O'clock
CFL 100watt @ 5 and 7
Just crop and resize

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  #2  
Old 10-10-2011, 12:21 AM
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All of those pictures look really nice.

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  #3  
Old 10-10-2011, 06:06 AM
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Sorry dude, those are probably the best coin shots I've ever seen...can't help ya.

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  #4  
Old 10-10-2011, 06:39 AM
Coin_Master Coin_Master is offline
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Originally Posted by stewart73 View post
Sorry dude, those are probably the best coin shots I've ever seen...can't help ya.
Agreed!

OK So I am in the process of changing all my house bulbs for LEDs (Save electricity usage)
I would go with CFLs. They are a lot less expensive. A 13 watt cfl puts out as much light as a 7 watt led. 13 watts its not very much considering a electric clothes dryer uses about 4200 watts.

Last edited by Coin_Master; 10-10-2011 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:44 AM
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Detecto those look great. Just discovered that my camera does indeed do macro and hope mine come out that good.

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  #6  
Old 10-11-2011, 08:25 PM
nohope587 nohope587 is offline
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Originally Posted by Detecto View post
Agreed!



I would go with CFLs. They are a lot less expensive. A 13 watt cfl puts out as much light as a 7 watt led. 13 watts its not very much considering a electric clothes dryer uses about 4200 watts.
During the summer I have a 1-2 hundred Kwh deficit on my solar system so saving a few watts here and there can make the difference between a small electricity bill and me getting a check from the power company..
Clothes dryer is gas The AC is the biggest hog but that will change next year when we get a split system that will allow us to seal off the 2nd floor when we are not using it..
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:52 PM
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Sorry guys, couldn't resist.

Those look great.

It really depends on what you're using the pictures for, whether to read a date, see detail, etc...

You've got the right idea by placing light across the coin. One thing about your lamp is that although bright, it's a very small point of light as opposed to a larger light source. This is soft vs. harsh light, and good for detail.

Small light source = harsh light, which is good for identifying dates and seeing detail.

Larger light sources = soft light. Soft light wraps and is often more flattering than harsh lighting, especially on metallic surfaces. The same applies to facial wrinkles

Soft light can be tricky to create, and even harder to control. One way is to position a thin piece of parachute cloth, or a similar material in front of the light source. To further complicate things, this will make your light dimmer, so the camera may need to be mounted in a stationary position if the light source is not bright enough for the desired exposure.

Below is from Bonesquat's album, and although directional, the lighting is quite soft. However it was done, the source appears to be from 12:00, although it may have been shot through a loop, which would diffuse the light in such a way. Maybe he'll chime in to let us know.

You can also bounce some light back if you want less shadow. Here's a diagram I posted in another thread using a window as the light source. When using soft light, the trick is to keep it directional, which can be a challenge.
Attached Images
  

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  #8  
Old 10-13-2011, 04:13 PM
nohope587 nohope587 is offline
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I kept the camera angle the same but adjusted the angle of the light.

I see some improvement. Now if only the camera would not keep insisting on highlighting the small imperfections in the coin I would be really happy.


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  #9  
Old 10-13-2011, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by PhotoRob06 View post
Sorry guys, couldn't resist.

Those look great.

It really depends on what you're using the pictures for, whether to read a date, see detail, etc...

You've got the right idea by placing light across the coin. One thing about your lamp is that although bright, it's a very small point of light as opposed to a larger light source. This is soft vs. harsh light, and good for detail.

Small light source = harsh light, which is good for identifying dates and seeing detail.

Larger light sources = soft light. Soft light wraps and is often more flattering than harsh lighting, especially on metallic surfaces. The same applies to facial wrinkles

Soft light can be tricky to create, and even harder to control. One way is to position a thin piece of parachute cloth, or a similar material in front of the light source. To further complicate things, this will make your light dimmer, so the camera may need to be mounted in a stationary position if the light source is not bright enough for the desired exposure.

Below is from Bonesquat's album, and although directional, the lighting is quite soft. However it was done, the source appears to be from 12:00, although it may have been shot through a loop, which would diffuse the light in such a way. Maybe he'll chime in to let us know.

You can also bounce some light back if you want less shadow. Here's a diagram I posted in another thread using a window as the light source. When using soft light, the trick is to keep it directional, which can be a challenge.
Not sure about your fancy setup you illustrated but I'm flattered you used my image as a reference. I used a dinky LED flashlight, at a 25 or 30 degree angle. It's a small weak LED, so had to compensate with the sharper angle. At higher degrees it washed out the image too much. Took about 10 shots to get that. I just placed the half on a black CD case thing and set the macro function on my camcorder. Got up super close and snap.

And yes it was shot from 12:00 position on the coin. Seemed that the light diffused over the coin best at 12:00.

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  #10  
Old 10-13-2011, 04:56 PM
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I think diffused sunlight as your key light source
and bounce for a fill light is the way
if you don't have a studio.
And some filters. You could rent some lenses
for your slr.
mole richardson in hollywood has some
flags you could buy.
Lights ,camera, coin.
I'm just an amatuer photographer .
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  #11  
Old 10-18-2011, 08:17 PM
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Although I'm far from an expert, I have taken quite a few photography courses and have a decent camera. I too have lighting problems when trying to photograph my finds, mostly because by the time I am done hunting and excited about getting my finds on the forums the sun has set and I have lost my best lightsource. I'm in the process of building a small table to place in front of my window to better show my finds to everyone and will just have to get in the habit of not posting until the following day. Your best bet for macro photography lighting of course is natural sunlight. Try this, take some cardboard or index cards and cover them with tin foil, try to keep it as flat as possible for maximum reflective surface area. Build a 3 walled room out of your walls to place your item in and adjust the angles of your walls to give you the best lighting. However, getting rid of all the imperfections in the coins is only going to be able to be done throught photoshop. The tiny imperfections is kinda the point in macro photography is it not, not sure why you would want to get rid of them? I am just amazed when I look at a coin with my eye and it looks flat and shiny but through the camera's lens I can see all the crater sized scratches and gouges in the metal. Hope this helps.

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