Why do my obsessions have to cost so much?
It seems that forever and a day I have been obsessing over coin photography. I absolutely must have high quality photographs of my coins to display in my registry sets. For years I have been trying to take just the right picture, but only with mixed results. To say that this has been an obsession with me is an understatement.
To add to my obsession is the realization that with each coin being different, there is no such thing as a cookie cutter approach to photographing coins. With differing metals, luster, and finishes coins can be a bear to photograph correctly.
Admittedly, much of my problem is with my setup. Thinking I needed a higher quality camera, I bought a new camera. While the pictures were better, they were not what I expected. Finally, I broke down and purchased a tripod. There was some improvement, but I was still not satisfied. Then I purchased Photoshop Elements 8 and fixed the problem of standardizing my background matting. However, when editing photos, even Photoshop needs good raw material to work with. While each of these steps had helped in my quest for just the right picture, I still was not entirely happy.
If location, location, and location are the most important considerations in real estate, lighting, lighting, and lighting is the most important in photography. Up until a week ago, I had been using a desk lamp without a shade and a 60-watt incandescent light bulb for my light source. This set up presented problems with white balance and shadows. Getting a good picture was possible, but often took trial and error with a large dose of determination. Finally, I broke down and thought that maybe I should invest in better lighting.
For the obsessed, better equipment often means spending much more money than necessary to get what is perceived to be the best. Perusing several websites, I purchased a kit that included two professional table lamps on adjustable stands, a lighting tent, and a camera stand.
It seems though that life is not without a sense of irony as I ordered this kit just before reading the journal posts of the past week by Moondoggy and Merlin8*. To pay 10 times more for a set-up than what is necessary is often the lot of the obsessed. If I could only manage a little self-control, maybe I might get somewhere. At any rate, the quality of my pictures will markedly improve albeit at a higher cost.
It is said though that the proof is in the pudding, and for the evidence of that, I offer a picture collage of my E-Bay Bucks purchase PCGS MS-65 1878-S Morgan Dollar. This coin with satin devices and semi proof like fields is absolutely stunning! Now if only I could get over my obsession with buying coins over budget and stick to my moratoriums?oh well, happy collecting!