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V16 2013 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 16, Number 15, April 14, 2013, Article 28

THE FUNDAMENTAL UNITS: BIG PHOTOS OF LITTLE COINS

Thanks to CoinUpdate for the link to this article about an art project involving extremely high-resolution photographs of ordinary coins. -Editor

coin photo exhibition Did you know that it costs the US Mint 2 cents to produce every 1 cent coin due to the cost of materials and production? Countries such as Canada have already done away with their lowest denomination coins due to their costs and lack of usefulness.

As these “worthless” coins cause debates in their governments about whether or not they should be abolished, photographer Martin John Callanan is on a mission to save them… not as a currency, but rather in photographs.

Callanan is working on a photo project titled The Fundamental Units, which is a series of extremely large prints showing the lowest value coins of countries around the world. The goal is to photograph the fundamental coins of 166 different countries.

coin photo exhibition penny He’s not just using any ol’ camera to shoot the images. Instead, he has teamed up with the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, UK, which runs what Callanan says is “Europe’s best microscope” (it’s an infinite focus 3D microscope).

Each coin is photographed with 4,000 individual (and tiny) exposures, and it takes three days of processing to turn those individual photos into a single composite photograph weighing 400 megapixels. Printed out, each photo measures 1.2×1.2 meters (~3.9 square feet).

The resulting photographs are meant to shown the “materiality of the coins and all the wear, tear, damage and corrosion.”

To read the complete article, see: Coins of the World Photographed Using Europe’s Best Microscope (petapixel.com/2013/04/09/coins-of-the-world-photographed-using-europes-best-microscope/)

To learn more about The Fundamental Units, see: units.greyisgood.eu

Wayne Homren, Editor

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To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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