“E Pluribus Unum” is Latin for “From many, one,” which no doubt has many meanings, especially in the context of American democracy. But in this photo, the meaning is a little more literal: there is only one coin oriented and focused in such a way that it has complete meaning.
So is this photo art? Or is it a mere document? It is probably more the latter than the former, though I worked hard to get the look I present here. The focus is very specific. And the lighting was the result of considerable experimentation. Here’s my set-up
I am using a medium soft box on the left with a honeycomb grid. And to provide fill, I am using a Canon Speedlite and a snoot. A snoot is a nose-like attachment that focuses the light very precisely and in this photo helps accentuate the three dimensional properties of the coin, including the ridges and the feathers on the eagle’s wings.
The narrow depth of field allows for very interesting bokeh, both in the background and in the foreground. And for those who crave true wisdom and insight, here’s a bit of a look into the lighting:
The coins, incidentally, are Kennedy Half Dollars, vintage 1965 to 1970. That means that these coins are 40% silver and are worth much more than their 50 cent face value.
Canon 5DIII 1/200s f/3.5 ISO100 100mm