5 Simple Steps to Better Color PicturesWritten by Ken Henderson
5 Simple Steps to Better Color Pictures
Shield your lens from direct light One of biggest image degrading factors I have seen is lens flare. When direct light enters front of your lens, it bounces around in lens lowering contrast and destroying color saturation. You will mostly encounter lens flare when photographing a backlit subject. That is to say when sun is in front of you and behind object of photograph. There are several things you can do to eliminate this problem. One of which is to always use a lens hood. There are times when a lens hood will not be enough. When this is case, you can “flag” light by blocking it with your hand, a cap or a flag you cut out of cardboard. Just make sure “flag” is not in your image area. Get proper exposure Proper exposure is key to getting good color. One way to ensure a correct exposure is meter off of a gray card. You can pick one of these up at just about any camera store. All camera meters are calibrated to give you a middle toned picture. Therefore you need to meter a middle toned object. That is what a gray card is.
Another solution would be to use an incident meter. This in my opinion is most accurate way to do it. An Incident meter actually meters light falling on your subject not light reflected from your subject, so you get a more accurate reading of light. Once you have determined proper exposure you can help to ensure a good picture by bracketing your exposure. You do this by taking 3 shots, one at your determined exposure value, one slightly underexposed and one slightly overexposed. You can do this in 1/3 stop, 1/2 stop or full stop increments. The choice is up to you. Just use aperture priority, select your f-stop and vary your shutter speed. Some cameras have this function built in so read your camera’s manual.
Coin GradingWritten by Jon Gammon
The value of a particular coin, is determined by grade that it is in. Coins that are in common circulation deteriorate over time and start to loose their detail. Coin grading will help you get to coins current value, and a properly graded coin will determine more accurately what exact worth of coin. Coin collectors use a numbering system to give collectors an accurate measure of condition a coin is in. This numbering system ranges between 1 and 70. "1" being worst possible condition of a coin, and 70 meaning flawless. The numbers tell collectors many things, like how much wear is on coin and if there are any damaging marks on coin. There are very few coins out there with a 70 grade on them. It is very rare, and most coins minted have flaws, even if they are ever so slight. Grading coins is a science, and once you learn that science, putting a grade and a value on that coin will become much easier for you. Plus you will be able to accurately grade coins at auctions, coin dealers, and private collectors, so you will not get ripped off if someone is trying to sell you something at a higher price than it is worth. So coin grading is very important in hobby of coin collecting, and learning this practice will greatly enhance your skills in hobby and make you much more aware or current prices and rates that certain coins are going for.