A Quick Guide To Photographing Your Finds

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figgis
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Getting good images of your find is vital when asking for an ID though can seem difficult to achieve sometimes. By following the simple steps below you could vastly improve your images and wonder what the fuss was all about.

How to get your images sharp
Focus is key, and the best way to achieve sharp images is good lighting and a stable camera. You can use a fancy camera mounted on a stand but this guide is for those of us using a phone camera.

A well-lit window or a lamp can provide the lighting and a coffee mug/pint glass the stability - it's that simple. Rest your phone on the mug/glass and snap away. Here's an example set-up:
setup.jpg
Alternatively, you can make a cheap but effective lightbox by cutting a hole for the camera lens in the base of a clear plastic container (such as an ice cream tub) and shine lighting into it.

Cropping
After sharpness, size is the next important thing and a closely-cropped version of the image as opposed to an uncropped one can make all the difference. Cut out all unwanted/useless areas and you go from this...
uncropped.jpg
...to this...
cropped.jpg
Same image, vastly different result, and it makes identification so much easier. Mint and moneyer are now clearly visible.
(Image taken using the setup in pic1, by the way)

Tips
Use a neutral background - a busy one detracts from your subject
Have your lighting source at a slight angle to highlight any detail

If you still experience difficulty then always ask. We're here to help.
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Charles Abbeyville
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I would like to get hold of one of those lamps and give it a try. What make/model is it so I can see who sells em please?
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Easylife
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Charles Abbeyville wrote: Sat Oct 30, 2021 7:11 pm I would like to get hold of one of those lamps and give it a try. What make/model is it so I can see who sells em please?
I think they are generally known as make-up lights, Google will show several.
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figgis
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The one in the image is this one.

They work well as a desk/table light, too :thumbsup:
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Charles Abbeyville
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Thanx for that my friend, I will give it a go. :thumbsup:
Pete E
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Really good tips!

Something to highlight about this set up is that by using a clear glass rather than say a mug or a can is that you don't inadvertently cast a shadow on the item you are taking a picture of. It's not so important when using this lamp but it can be if using natural light....
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Steve_JT
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A quick and easy way of taking pictures with a phone, this prevents camera shake and gives a good quality image for a quick image for posting until you can get the proper camera and stand out, or may be just good enough they are OK

Get yourself a grape container (transparent obviously) from any supermarket, cut a hole in the base for the phone camera lens, place a white sheet of paper along with a measure, place your item next to the measure, place the fruit container over the object and place phone on top.

Daylight from a window or a light to give it brightness (the light is diffused through the container)

Adjust for closer image and focus, take the picture, crop it and do any image adjustment and you have not too bad a picture with luck

The pictures below show the idea…….the Bonus award…..you get to eat the grapes

These are my old pictures taken for photo tips on another site, the phone used was an old work phone so modern phones now should produce a better picture, all its cost is the price of a pack of grapes (unless you may have a container already) you've repurposed something, probably saved a polar bear in the process

Image

Image

Image

Regards Steve
A foolish faith in authority, is the worst enemy of truth." Albert Einstein
mattjb
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Thanks for the tips , I’ve ordered a lamp , will be be useful for taking pics what with the dark evenings that are now here!
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figgis
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Great tips, Steve :thumbsup:
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shaggybfc
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I've been looking for the downloadable BM PAS photography scale - like the one uses by Steve_JTon his photos - any idea where this is downloadable from? I want to up my finds photography game :thumbsup:
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figgis
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Maybe have a word with your FLO, Shaggy. Mine sent me a whole batch of files with scales to various sizes.
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Steve_JT
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shaggybfc wrote: Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:41 pm I've been looking for the downloadable BM PAS photography scale - like the one uses by Steve_JTon his photos - any idea where this is downloadable from? I want to up my finds photography game :thumbsup:
at the bottom is the guide for the PAS recording items, it has a photo guide further down the info, at the very bottom there is a scale but not like the new ones, so may not be to your liking

Its a handy guide for reference when doing the images, I’m on Roman coin training tomorrow, I will enquire where the scales can be found, or ask if the can be uploaded to PAS for download

In the short term, this is how I got my scale, go onto the PAS site, find a fairly large recorded item, download the image and edit out the item in the scale and save as a template

Not sure if one, or a couple could be added to this site for general download

https://finds.org.uk/documents/guide.pdf
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Steve_JT
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:Thinking: :D :thumbsup:
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shaggybfc
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Steve_JT wrote: Tue Nov 02, 2021 3:13 pm :Thinking: :D :thumbsup:
Cheers Steve :thumbsup:
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Steve_JT
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I have asked Sam Moorhead about the new photo scales, their going to see what they can do, probably email them out to the FLO's in time, and to be available on the PAS guides.

So anyone interested in getting them they will be available soon, when time allows

Regards Steve
A foolish faith in authority, is the worst enemy of truth." Albert Einstein
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