Thursday, August 28, 2008

We’re Talking Big Money Here

To Coin A Phase

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


Using a macro lens is always a great experience, because it opens up a whole new viewpoint. I have to say, the lens that is on my camera for ninety per cent of the time is the multi-purpose 18-125mm Sigma lens, but I enjoy using my 70-300mm lens. These photos were shot with the SMC Pentax-DA 1:2.8mm macro.

It looks as if I’ve shot these images in a carnival, where they have large-scale models of everyday objects. But that’s not the case. These might look as if they’re the same size as pizzas, but they’re standard Australian fifty-cent coins.

As you can see, they have 12 sides, which makes them dodecagonal and are the only Aussie coins that are not round.

Back in 1966, round fifty-cent coins were issued briefly and they are now collectors’ items. They do surface sometimes and I know of at least one recent case where a friend of mine thought a very rare fifty-cent coin was actually a contemporary twenty-cent coin instead.

To misquote the Lone Ranger, hi, ho, silver.

20 comments:

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

thanks for reminding me David lve been told my camera should have a 'macro facility'??? and it will be good for close ups...so l'll go now and check the manual...LOL

Kathryn said...

Those are fabulous closeups. Wow!

Annie said...

Wow..thanks for those fifty cent piece shots, David..great! I love looking at them, and saving them..if I see a different one I can't bear to use it! You do have a great eye for ideas!

Many thanks also for putting my Skywatch Week in New York on your list! I never imagined I would be there! But I have had a great time in NY with my family there and never want to leave to come home. It is an amzing city, and I so love sharing the photos around, esp of the amazing architecture.

But here I am in Oz again (complete with the jetlag)..and the sky greeted me yesterday as I stepped off the plane with the most glorious sunrise reflection on the clouds. Had to take my camera out immediately before I even got to go thru customs!

Many thanks once again, Annie

Retiredandcrazy said...

Oh to have your great eye for detail and your talent!

Craver Vii said...

Dodecagonal. How many times does a regular Joe get to use THAT word?!

Ryanne said...

I love using the macro setting on my camera. I think that it takes the ordinary and changes your view! I have never seen any Austrailan coins, maybe someday!

Lee said...

These are really cool shots. They do look like arcade coins or something. We used to have a Susan B Anthony dollar that had round sides but 11 beveled edges. It stayed in circulation for 20 years. when it first came out people complained a lot because it was too close to the size of a quarter and people kept mistaking it when paying for things or giving change.

Guess a macro or doubler will be the next lens I buy.

Cheers!

CrazyCath said...

Fascinating perspective on the "everyday" - although I have never seen Australian coinage, so it is unusual to me too. I also have never seen 12 sided coins - our 20 and 50 pences are 7 sided.

Guess what I have resurrected? An old chinon slr with not only a standard lens, but an 80-200mm zoom, with macro on it at 1:6mm! Guess who is going to (re)learn how to use it now... :0)

lime said...

wow, those are such cool looking coins and i love how the macro captured them.

ok, short story about my own experience with aussie coins...
a very dear friend of mine always felt the need to ask permission to use the loo when she came to visit. to point out how silly it was of her to ask i'd just wink and tell her, "leave your quarter (25 cents) on the tank." a couple years later she took off on a month tour of australia and when she came back afterwards and visited me she made a point of once again asking, "do you mind if i use the bathroom?" i rolled my eyes and gave the standard response. sometime after she left i went to the bathroom and found a note and an aussie 5 cent and 20 cent piece on the tank. "michelle, i had to go all the way to australia to get them for you but here's the 25 cent fee for usage of the facilities."

loved it!

Carol said...

Have you always looked at things this way? Those first shots are so beautiful that it makes me think of those old pirate stories hunting for treasure chests filled with gold dubloons!

RiverPoet said...

Brother, can you spare a dime? ;-)

Peace - D

diXymiss said...

Great macro shot and very interesting details about the Aussie coins. Cool!

Kim from Hiraeth said...

I've never seen an Aussie coin before; it never ever occurred to me to wonder what they look like.

I think Americans (myself included) are very US-centric. We never even stop to consider that everyone isn't carrying around a pocket full of dimes and quarters.

I liked seeing your 50cent piece and being reminded that the rest of the world isn't American.

fishing guy said...

David: A very interesting view of your coins, love the macro shot.

Deb said...

These look like they are ancient coins ~ and if I found one I wouldn't be tempted to just toss it aside - as many in the US do with their 'loose change'. I love the color, the shape and design of these coins. Creative picture taking.

Tiffany Norris said...

That's really interesting!

Charles Gramlich said...

I really like metal coins. They just feel cool.

Jennifer H said...

These are gorgeous. I love your macro shots. The coins are quite beautiful, too, but I suppose I might not have noticed that without your views of them. You've done it again! :-)

cheshire wife said...

Imagine carrying those pizza size coins around. They make plastic very attractive.

dr. filomena said...

David, these are truly excellent photos. You're obviously a man of many talents!