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Everything posted by fox-and-the-hound

  1. Someone asked "what if I want just some shadows, but not a lot?" I've run into this and found an easy fix. Use a small flashlight directly against the side of the jug from the direction you want to project the shadows. ie: Want shadows down and to the right... shine from the top left. The additional light will add a bit of shading contrast that will be picked up by the camera without losing your nice overall lighting. Too strong? Move away from the jug a bit. Need more? Wait until a little bit later in the day to take the shot when you have less overall light penetration. Forgot to mention, best overall lighting is on a cloudy day rather than a sunny day. The clouds do the same thing the jug does by delivering a more even lighting rather than strong direct rays with hard shadows.
  2. That's how I did it in the beginning! I just didn't like the shadows, but it works wonders for translucents (particularly the dark ones!).
  3. A short while back someone had asked how to photograph coins and the various techniques were both enlightening and sometimes frustrating for the amateur photographer. I had tried for a while to hunt down the old method that I showed people how to use, but have recently moved up to an even simpler method that I had the pleasure to demonstrate at geocoinfest. (Snoogans, I haven't forgotten, I'll get the pictures for you!) People have been very generous in their appreciation for the photos I've taken, but I feel a bit guilty about how silly simple it is to take a great picture so it's time to share with you the method. Now, admittedly a 3d coin shows up better with all it's beautiful shading and if it's an antique finish it's even easier. However, when we get into shiny finishes (particularly silver) it's gets really tough really quick. Typically you end up with an almost black reflection as the coin pics up the reflection of the camera shooting the photo and it's very frustrating. With a quick bit of work we'll get you set up to take great pictures cheap, easy quick! First thing you'll need is equipment. Don't be scared, it consists of a cheap point-and-shoot camera or even better a cellphone. Yes, I know that sounds counter intuitive, but what we're looking for is a small lens diameter. I use a 8 year old olympus point and shoot, a samsung rugby phone or my brand new Canon T3i, but it's easiest to use the one of the first two. Other than your picture taking instrument (even a tablet with camera works!), you'll need a piece of white paper about 1 inch by 1 inch (I just use the back of the little printed card in the coin flip usually) and a 2quart milk jug that's heading into the recycle bin. Take that jug and clean it good (no one wants to smell sour milk while shooting coins pics!) and chop off the bottom with a steak knife or razor blade. Use a pair of scissors to smooth up your hacking off the bottom and try to get as uniformly trim as you can so when you sit it on the counter with the top up it's sits pretty square and even. Go near an outside window or even better go outside and try to aim for about 1-3pm for best results. Light changes color during the day and just after lunch to early afternoon is your best light time. Notice it's not very light, bright or even moderately even lighting on my window sill at the office. Don't worry, your magic redneck-lightbox-jug will fix that for you! Set the jug over your coin and focus your camera through the neck of the jug to zoom in and take your photo. I'm shooting on a piece of white paper here which works really great, but if you're shooting on a colored surface, put your little white paper chip about an inch to 2 inches away from the coin. This will give your camera a reference for white balance and keep your colors looking their best. Tips for better shots: 1) If your camera has a macro setting (that little flower picture in the options) then use that. 2) If you're having a hard time getting your camera to focus, try focusing on the edge of the little paper chip. A sharp defined edge helps your autofocus get better results. 3) If you're seeing a dark spot reflecting on the coin, try tilting the jug just a little bit and you'll see the dark spot move off of the coin. 4) To keep your camera steady, lean it right on the top of the jug to stop the shaking. 5) If your camera has a lens that moves in and out (and it's larger than the jug opening), just hold it very lightly against the jug top as it's focusing to avoid damaging the lens motor. With about 5 minutes or less practice you should be able to get results likes these... I hope this simple trick helps you take and post great pics of your beautiful collection! - Hound
  4. Wow, the two-tone is really beautifully done! It looks simple at a glance, but the longer I look, the more I like!
  5. It was simply awesome to see this event and ring in person! Congratulations to the happy couple on this new adventure!!!
  6. Shipping has definitely gone way, WAY up in the last couple years. Something else started happening with an alarming rise in frequency. People started claiming to not get the coins that were supposed to be delivered. So now shippers are often adding insurance and tracking at additional cost as well. I thought that would fix things for good, but was surprised when more than once I had to remind a person who claimed "they never arrived" that I had purchased tracking and confirmation and could tell them within the minute when the coin arrived. Oddly, never heard from those people again. International shipping seems to have skyrocketed in the last 18 months, too. I used to trade a coin to Germany for abour $4 or so. I sent one not to long ago for $9.60 and that was the cheapest available rate.
  7. I'm familiar with the WoT books characters, but I've never seen a pic of the Perrin & Faile geocoin. Do you have a pic?
  8. There's a lot of advice out there on shooting coins, but the simplest by far method to get great results is to tear a tiny hole in a plain old sheet of paper and hold it in front of your camera (shoot your picture through the hole). The white paper gives you shade from direct light (reduces heavy shadows) and reflects a nice soft, even white light onto the coin you're photographing. Cell phones work surprisingly well at this because their optic lens is so tiny it eliminates almost all the dark lens reflection. I posted a how-to awhile back, but don't recall where. I'll see if I can find it.
  9. No, you're not crazy and it's not your monitor... these coins are shiny copper on the fall colors side and shiny gold on the summer green colors side
  10. Whoot!!!! Had a mystery package when I stopped home for lunch and couldn't wait to get back and photograph it. Thank you so much Green Man for sharing this incredible gift with us!
  11. The coin icon is being uploaded (if it hasn't already gone active). It was just an oversight on my part to get to TPTB earlier. Sent the event icons and forgot to send the coins icons!
  12. I think that there is a market, but it is much smaller as well. Multi-part coins are one of those variables. The cost to make extra molds as you know can add tremendously to the production cost of a short-run coin so it can be very difficult to find a design that utilizes the need significantly, but when the perfect opportunity arises it can be worth the risk.
  13. Thanks Doc for sharing this weekend! I know it's a lot of work to bring out even part of the collection, but it is soooooooo appreciated!
  14. Welcome back to the fun! Hope to see you here more, a lot of excitement as been rebuilding over the last couple years and some great new designs from all over have been popping up!
  15. Thank you Eartha for the updated title. Just got mine this weekend and I'm pretty stoked! Thanks for all the wonderful compliments and feedback from the folks at ASPGB Mega
  16. I agree on taking your time and keeping an eye out here. There have been a few collection sales where entire lots have been sold off and real bargains. Just letting people know you're looking here is a great start!
  17. That's very amusing, but not what I was requesting. There are a number of subjects that have been shutdown from discussion when it comes to design here in these forums such as commercial caching products that do not pay tracking codes fees, are usable on more than the gc format, are considered taboo because possible commercial competition, etc. If this is to be an open discussion of design for all aspects of caching then that's great. If this is another forum where we can only discuss items pre-picked based on their commercial advantage to Groundspeak then I'll have to pass. I'm not a big fan of censoring art and design.
  18. Okay, I'm intrigued, but I'd like to know what the rules for this forum are. The coin forums I so loved were decimated by over-ambitious policing and crushing of ideas before they hatched that I would rather not invest time in another design forum without at least having an idea of what the rules are up front. Not being a downer, just a realist.
  19. Sorry for the delay folks, my computer underwent "critical hard drive failure" so I've spent the last couple days building a new workstation, restoring all my files and playing catchup. Life goes on though as this coin reminds me and waits on no man or computer for that matter. Is that irony or coincidence?... hmmm... will have to think on that! This coin will be available in four finishes: And my personal favorite... a nearly-naked version that really shows every bit of fine detail... And of course it comes with a copy of the original mint art in a full color brochure telling details behind the making of a collaboration between Texas, China, Pennsylvania and Russia to make this coin a possibility! An excerpt from the brochure: "Time is precious. We've all heard it, but how many really listen to or are even willing to acknowledge the stark reality of the message? How many seize on every precious moment to live life to the fullest? Cachers are a breed apart and constantly in search of new surprises, adventures, friendships and memories. They often exemplify the best in living a full life, but even among cachers there are those few who do more, go further and leave behind stories that will be told and retold for generations. In the end pale death waits for us, but while he can take our bodies, he can't take the very best of us... the memories, stories and examples of the best in humanity that set us apart. How will you live your life? Will you sit idly counting the passage of time waiting for judgement or will you seize every precious minute of the life you've been given? This coin commemorates those few who face life head on, laugh equally at overcome challenges or bitter defeats and still love every minute left. Tackle the unknown and record your deeds with this caching traveler to be shared with the world forever!" GxProxy will has these coins through both their regular storefront in the USA (http://shop.gxproxy.com/Geocoins-NEW_c16.htm) and now their European storefront (http://www.gxproxy.eu/index.php?route=product/category&path=74) in a few days as well! Thank you everyone for your encouragement and patience through the struggle to get this one to life
  20. It's been way too long in coming, but it looks like we'll be able to show everyone the reveal hopefully in just a few hours. Stay tuned and thanks for your patience!
  21. Love the theme MGM, it's a great time to celebrate!
  22. Are you definitely going to ASP? I can bring you something interesting to sweeten the pot
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