Today I carried on photographing and loading nineteenth century Spanish coins. They aren’t mu favourite things and some, the ones with the portraits of Alfonso XIII as a baby, are decidedly creepy.
A problem, became apparent, apart from the demonic aspects of the portraits, the colours had gone haywire. As I progressed with the loading the colour of the coins, which had ben vaguely silver or bluish, started turning brown. This happens with dirty silver coins, It’s not just me, it happens to other people if you look at eBay. There’s a mismatch between the phone (or camera) and the light. Silver things become yellow or brown, gold things become silver and everyone becomes confused. This is particularly true of customers who, as we have seen again recently, never bother to read the details in the listing.
I altered the white balance, I altered the lighting setting, I tried landscape (to enhance the greens and blues), I even tried introducing filters. The only thing that worked was taking photos in the front of the shop, which has some natural daylight, but the lighting was weak and it was quite tricky taking hand held photos.
Who would have thought that photographing a coin could be so difficult? Well, 27 coins, with three views of each actually. All done twice. Tonight I will drift off to sleep thinking of coins.
Have a look at some of the pictures to see what I mean. I dream of a small space with proper lighting and equipment. What I get is a small space with poor lighting and no equipment. Considering the poor facilities it’s amazing what we do, particularly as the shop camera, though a better camera for rendering colour, is in all other ways even worse than mine.
It is interesting how different the camera can see color compared to our own eyes. I imagine a good photo can take a bit of time.
Fortunately most of the photography is undemanding. Just point, hold tight and press the button. 🙂
Your colour balancing efforts are productive. Is this a task you could manage working at home?
I’m with Clare. Wouldn’t want that baby in my house.
🙂 There must be something primeval in our distrust of disembodied babies . . .
I think so!
I agree with you about the creepy baby on the coin. I have trouble getting my flower photos to look the correct colour – the camera has its own ideas about what it’s seen. What a lot of work is involved in loading coins!
It’s generally not as intense as this. The first time I ran into colour trouble was when I tried to use a phone camera to take a magnificent sunset, which was 90% filtered out by the camera. Mainly my camera is good on nature, less good on coins and stuff.