Jump to content

"Triptych" Photography for Ancient Coins


Curtis JJ
 Share

Recommended Posts

I was impressed by the recent thread on digital photography creations, and it reminded me of the ways I've played around with adding the "third side" of the coin. I'm not that great at photography (why I often use vendor photos when they have a policy of granting permissions). But this is a technique I enjoy using and find can add value. It takes some practice, though. So, in case it's of interest to anyone else, or anyone has tried similar experiments in perspective, etc....

Sometimes it's to show the thickness/edge and the high relief/profile portrait:

image.png.9ededc6a30eb78053a8b98bd7fcfc80d.png

 

image.jpeg.92949f331211946638caf68fe086d5d2.jpeg

As you can see, getting the focus right can be difficult...

image.jpeg.c625145609cd5af921382e517fcbc694.jpeg

Before cropping out the background (these are thumbnails but they should expand to full size if you click them). In the Alexander photo I let my fingers get in the way a bit so editing them out was hard without clipping part of the coin's edge too:

image.jpeg.0d791c4f2acb27a19b41a1b17a3ad7cd.jpeg  image.jpeg.72147a7740e7128f008620b73f338c20.jpeg

Sometimes the design itself is meant to be seen from multiple angles and so the coin may actually have "two obverses":

475982857_CONSERVATORI-IstrosARDrachm1DRAFT2.png.a87e4273e429ce8055b0ec320a93f125.png607606731_CONSERVATORI-IstrosARDrachm2Triptyc.png.7a69222390b83829696288cf602126df.png

 

It's my opinion that the following Celtic AE (an imitation of Thrace, Odessos) has "two faces" on the obverse (the primary/left one faces right, the second face left and only appears when rotated 120-degrees counterclockwise; it also has a central floral image). The top triptych below includes my rather inept attempts to show "how to see" the faces by tracing them in yellow (and horse w rider on reverse):

image.png.76568e13886c0875bce65d23807afa4b.png

 

Triptychs are also valuable for highlighting various mint errors, such as the following (sold) clashed die on a Julia Domna denarius (this particular die-clash is well known, there's one on Doug Smith's website, and I've seen other examples from the dies). Notice the faint incuse of Julia Domna's head in the far right photo (i.e., upside-down reverse):

image.jpeg.3ddda1f9758560207d62f4643506d210.jpeg

 

 

The final example, Julia Domna, was one of the earliest of these I did (at least 8-12 years ago?). It turned out okay in that instance, but here's an important piece of advice that I learned later:

Don't just flip one of the photos. Actually rotate the coin and take a second photograph of the same side. (Otherwise the lighting and shadows are off and it becomes visually confusing.)

Edited by Curtis JJ
  • Like 20
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Curtis JJ said:

I was impressed by the recent thread on digital photography creations, and it reminded me of the ways I've played around with adding the "third side" of the coin. I'm not that great at photography (why I often use vendor photos when they have a policy of granting permissions). But this is a technique I enjoy using and find can add value. It takes some practice, though. So, in case it's of interest to anyone else, or anyone has tried similar experiments in perspective, etc....

Sometimes it's to show the thickness/edge and the high relief/profile portrait:

image.png.9ededc6a30eb78053a8b98bd7fcfc80d.png

 

image.jpeg.92949f331211946638caf68fe086d5d2.jpeg

As you can see, getting the focus right can be difficult...

image.jpeg.c625145609cd5af921382e517fcbc694.jpeg

Before cropping out the background (these are thumbnails but they should expand to full size if you click them). In the Alexander photo I let my fingers get in the way a bit so editing them out was hard without clipping part of the coin's edge too:

image.jpeg.0d791c4f2acb27a19b41a1b17a3ad7cd.jpeg  image.jpeg.72147a7740e7128f008620b73f338c20.jpeg

Sometimes the design itself is meant to be seen from multiple angles and so the coin may actually have "two obverses":

475982857_CONSERVATORI-IstrosARDrachm1DRAFT2.png.a87e4273e429ce8055b0ec320a93f125.png607606731_CONSERVATORI-IstrosARDrachm2Triptyc.png.7a69222390b83829696288cf602126df.png

 

It's my opinion that the following Celtic AE (an imitation of Thrace, Odessos) has "two faces" on the obverse (the primary/left one faces right, the second face left and only appears when rotated 120-degrees counterclockwise; it also has a central floral image). The top triptych below includes my rather inept attempts to show "how to see" the faces by tracing them in yellow (and horse w rider on reverse):

image.png.76568e13886c0875bce65d23807afa4b.png

 

Triptychs are also valuable for highlighting various mint errors, such as the following (sold) clashed die on a Julia Domna denarius (this particular die-clash is well known, there's one on Doug Smith's website, and I've seen other examples from the dies). Notice the faint incuse of Julia Domna's head in the far right photo (i.e., upside-down reverse):

image.jpeg.3ddda1f9758560207d62f4643506d210.jpeg

 

 

The final example, Julia Domna, was one of the earliest of these I did (at least 8-12 years ago?). It turned out okay in that instance, but here's an important piece of advice that I learned later:

Don't just flip one of the photos. Actually rotate the coin and take a second photograph of the same side. (Otherwise the lighting and shadows are off and it becomes visually confusing.)

Excellent idea 😊.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...