Decided to re-shoot a few coin pics last night.
I chose coins where I definitely felt there was some room for improvement in the photography department. I take all of my own pictures, first with a lot of advice from Brandon (brg5658), and second with a few of my own learned tricks.
After editing the pics this morning, it was clear that the 5oz silver America the Beautiful specimen coin was the winner for "most improved". (you can view it full size and with the reverse in my custom set called "A King's Ransom")
The coin is very difficult to light because it's a full three inches in diameter (most of the coins I photograph are around 1? in diameter). And as you can see with the old pic, I had a difficult time getting enough light to the center of the larger coin.
The new image is not only more even, it's also more dramatic and true to life with its shadows. More like a sculpture and less like a coin, which I love (and which I'm always striving for with my coin photos).
I achieved the better lighting by introducing a forth large light (most of my coins are photographed using three small lights). After my three standard lights were set, I held the forth larger (and brighter) light at a greater distance with one hand - almost mimicking the sun shining down and hitting the front of his face - while triggering the shutter with my other hand.
I was so happy with the improvement I just had to share. (let's be honest the old pic was pretty bad, now I don't hate looking at this coin in the set)