Big Bertha's Adventures

Silver Dollar!

The assignment for class was to bring a table top item to photograph.

Despite the unusual collections of objects in my home I was at a loss to find something interesting to photograph.  I was certain I had NOTHING.  I packed a few standard boring items then at the last minute remembered this silver dollar—a gift from two friends—Dan & Donna.  Perfect!

Our instructor brought a variety of background materials including plexiglass—which we all agreed was the material of choice because of the reflection it creates.

When it was my turn, I placed the silver dollar on the plexiglass and took a photo.  I stood perplexed, my classmate had just finished using the plexiglass with her jewelry.  How did her photos turn out while mine didn’t?  Take a look at the photo below.  The white you see in the photo is the reflection of the light box from overhead.

Big Bertha's Adventures

I shifted the silver dollar forward, out of the way of the light box.  Meh.  Kind of boring.

Big Bertha's Adventures

By the look on my face my instructor knew something wasn’t right.  His solution:  shift the light!

Of course!

Then he suggested I stand the silver dollar on it’s side using a blob of Aleene’s Acid-Free Craft Tack™.  If you haven’t used the Craft Tack, it’s the perfect solution to keeping objects in place while you photograph them.  It has a similar consistency to chewing gum.  😉


The silver dollar is being set up to stand on its side.

Big Bertha's Adventures

The photo below was the initial test shot after the light was shifted and the coin was carefully positioned.  The white object on the left side of the photo is paper.  We’re on the right track!

Big Bertha's Adventures

Here’s another shot.  I thought the coin was a little dark.

Big Bertha's Adventures

Below is another shot using a reflector to add light to the coin.  The reflector was just a piece of shiny metallic poster board available at craft stores.

Ideally, I could have benefited from a macro lens for a nice close-up.  I was using my 50 mm and 200 mm lenses.  Both good lenses – but not a macro!  Nevertheless, I am happy with the photo.

Big Bertha's Adventures

The final shot below is my favorite.  I carry model railroad figures in my purse – you never know when they’ll come in handy!  We positioned the bigger figures first – using the Craft Tack to hold them in place.  Then, while holding my breath, I carefully placed the very tiny man on the edge of the silver dollar.  My classmates and I gave a sigh of relief and snapped our photos!

Big Bertha's Adventures

What a fun photography experience with a few simple items:  plexiglass, a silver dollar and some miniature figures!

Camera used:  Big Bertha (Canon EOS 5D Mark II)
Lenses:  200 mm, 50 mm
Date:  May 2014
Hand model:  My instructor, Jorge Martinez
Props:  Thank you Dan & Donna for the silver dollar!



2 thoughts on “Silver Dollar!

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