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Photographing Scrip

Many of you will have your own system which will work as well or better than mine. Here's how I do it, but to be clear, using a phone camera and a steady hand will do fine in most cases.


I use a cheap plastic light box ($30 on eBay) when I photograph tokens. The model with two light bars works better than the one with one bar. I use a stack of books inside to raise the token closer to the camera.


I use small levels, one beside the token and the other on the camera. This ensures that the token is parallel to the lens and helps to get the token in focus.


Any camera stand or tripod might work to hold the camera steady.


You can use a bluetooth shutter release to avoid shaking the camera, but it's not essential. The one on a selfie stick will work.

For best results remove the token from its sleeve or holder. It's hard to get a good photograph through a plastic cover. Make sure the camera is in focus and close to the token. 

Shooting extreme close-ups with a lot of light bouncing around helps bring out faded letters and subtle colors. Fill the screen with the token, leaving a little margin so the image can be rotated if necessary.

This token from Green Silvers Coal Corporation in Malcomson, Kentucky is about the size of a dime and the lettering is almost illegible. 

Screen Shot 2021-10-13 at 10.14. 38PM.jpeg

Ordinary photograph


High contrast close-up

If you label your photographs please use the Edkins notation. 

For example, this token from Green Silvers Coal Corporation would read "1755 E1".

Thanks to all of you who have contributed photographs.

––Charlie Thomas


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