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Coin Photography Outtakes USA Gold $10 Eagle - Example Monarch's (!) Head Rotation

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Coin Photography Outtakes USA Gold $10 Eagle - Example Monarch's (!) Head Rotation

A well known dealer near me, who takes some of the world's best coin photos, has two new(ish) trainee / assistant photographers.

Even with some of the best equipment, lighting, techniques, and tuition, there are always things which could go better.

Actually, our two newbies are OK, but we have high standards, and there is a lot to remember and get right, and also a lot to go wrong:


For many coins, the date is horizontal at the bottom of the coin, but not always.

I am sure that any artist or engraver would try to depict a head as though the subject was standing or sitting, and their head would need to look balanced over their body.

While the "correct" rotation of a portrait and obverse can be slightly subjective, here it jumps out at me that Liberty's head look like it is about to fall off backwards. Imaging sitting with your head in that position for any length of time, and you would get neck ache, back ache, and more.

Fortunately, Doug, our wundersnapper spotted this before I did, and our trainee had another go, to correct it:


Doesn't that look a lot better, and more natural?

Sure, the date looks as though it has been placed at a jaunty angle, almost as an afterthought, but this is much more aesthetically pleasing than the first attempt.

It did take our first photographer quite a while to get rotation right most of the time, and even then had some lapses.

I could never understand why anyone who aspires to any level of artistic merit or appreciation, could fail to notice or care about whether a portrait looks right or not.

Sometimes I think photography degrees are rather like curry-making. Both can be useful and valuable, but both sometimes undertaken as an easy option before having to get a proper job.

Doug is mainly self-taught, practical, pragmatic, but with natural talent and great natural pride in doing whatever he does as well as possible.

I almost forgot to say, I saw this on our Teams messages:

"Monarch amended"

... and I responded...

"I learnt something new today, that I never knew before, that the USA had monarchs!"

Doug added...

"I chuckled also"


Edited by LawrenceChard


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Dunno, maybe it's just me but I see two seperate stories going on here..

First image features a Liberty that shows up to the party, strutting around and sneering at those she considers inferior.  You just know she will make some insufferable comment about the quality of the hors d'oeuvre and will act like she has someplace more important to be.

Liberty #2 has been been through it all and more.  As a single mother with four kids, she doesn't have time to deal with your nonsense and she will gladly let you know that upfront.  By day she hunches over her computer in her cubicle watching the seconds tick by and by night she is a bartender.

With that all said, I would probably have to choose Liberty #1 image because her story better represents what that $10 piece stands for.

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