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ARRRRGH! Imaging Coins can be Really Frustrating



Have you ever held a coin in your hand and just admired the intricate details and the spectacular kaleidoscope of colors? Then you try to image your coin just to find that the image looks nothing like the coin. Well I just bought this beautiful Conder Token for my seated images set and for the life of me I could not get the color in the picture to look like the token in my hand.

I tried different lighting and angles to no avail. I tried different edits in my raw format editor, nothing doing. My last hope was that I could figure out something in Photoshop Elements, but first I had to try to identify the problem by analyzing the token. The surface underneath the toning is proof-like in nature and by tilting the token at the right angle I can make out small glimpses of the tokens original mirror-like surface. Next there are splashes of pink toning on this token. Interestingly, my pictures regardless of the settings, picked this feature up well. However, the reddish hue of the token always turned up as a sickly pale orange. Now there are elements of orange in the color of this token, but certainly not this pale, and not over the entire token's surface. The reverse is more brown and I had no trouble reproducing the color of the reverse.

In photoshop elements I tried all the auto-fix features and the auto color tool made the token look horrid. On NGC holders the insert is white, so I often use the remove colorcast tool against the holder to set my white balance. On PCGS holders this can be usful to remove the blue tint that often accompanies that holder. The remove colorcast improved the tokens appearance somewhat and I went on to check other tools in photoshop.

After removing the color cast I went on to the brightness-contrast tool and the lighten-darken tool, but still couldnt get rid of that pale orange coloring. In the enhance colors tool I tried adjusting the hue and saturation levels, but the change in color would not match that of the token. Finally, I tried the correct skin tones tool and met with the success I am posting right now. Now I could do a stare and compare with assurance that the token in my hand closely resembles the picture on my computer monitor.

In the end there is no substitute for the human eye as all man-made, reproduced images fall short of the coin in your hand. We can only do our best and this one is my best. I often marvel at Gods wonderful creation when I think of the human eyes ability to capture color, details, and the panorama and color of a spectacular sunset! There is no picture that does a beautiful sunset justice.



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