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Is Manipulating an image bad?

6 posts in this topic

Ok If you manipulate an Image to make it look more like the coin really should...


Ok I got this 1926 Oregon .. I have shown before... Well here was the Original Image (Scratch across the legs/shaw is on the holder)




And here was the touched up one which is more acurate but still not the way I wanted it.. but closer...





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Manipulation of a coins image is neither good or bad if only for the context of trying your best to show the coin to others on the forum as close to in-hand as you can get it. Now if you're talking about altering an image to enhance it to sell (making it better then in-hand)...that's a different matter.


If, for whatever reason, a person cannot capture a true representation of the coin with either a scanner or a camera, then software to do so is always acceptable.


And a very nice commem there!



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I do not alter my images, with the exception of cropping and resizing. Granted, I usually have to shoot each side of a coin several times to find images that pair up. Of course, I think my camera automatically makes adjustments for white-balance and contract, etc, but the only software I use is microsoft Paint for combining obverse and reverse images.


I don't think it's wrong to alter images if it makes it closer to the real thing, but hiding scratches or erasing spots would be unethical.


The only other "manipulation" I've experimented with was adding a textured background to some images, but obviously that doesn't affect the appearance of the coin!



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What James said.


A good digital camera will usually do better at capturing the true color, etc., of a coin than a scanner. Scans can have the color balance and saturation WAY off initially. Since I use a scanner I struggle at times with getting those correct. And what my scanner fails at is showing the luster of a coin. No amount of saturation or color balance changes will fix that.


I use CompuPic as a very simple solution to these problems. I compare the image with the coin many times in order to show the correct color and saturation. It's important to get it right. If I can't get the picture right (not usually the case), I simply make that clear in my description of a coin. And as James said, it would be unethical to hide blemishes. Scanners usually emphasize blemishes to an extreme anyway.


Also with CompuPic I can rotate images and crop them. Then they can be easily placed side-by-side with Paint.



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If you are selling a coin you just don't want to misrepresent it. Any flaws should be described even if your untouched photo doesn't show it.


Actually, scanners ARE better at getting color on a coin...or I should say easier. Dig cams, after you manipulate the lighting and the camera at small angles will get you a better picture for color. When it comes to luster scanners don't really work at all because the florecent lighting of a scanner won't capture the luster.


Then there is the NGC slab problem. Often you see NGC coins look darker (just take a look at Heritage's photos). This is due to the white slab. The shutter speed will go up and the iris of the lense to close because of the excess light reflected off the slab. Most dealers on Ebay won't take the time to fix the problem, especially if they have a lot of coins to photo...


As to software: You can find an old version of Photoshop on Ebay. It is the best software and you can get it cheap. I've been using version 5 for some time now and I got it for a song. yay.gif



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