OK, I collect coins so shooting coins seemed like a good target for teaching myself macro. This isn't anything fancy; it's just a 2 Euro coin (the German design) that I had in my suitcase from my recent trip to Dresden.
I like how the background turned out. It is almost entirely black, but there's a slight gradient from left to right. Not distracting. To be fair, I think black backgrounds are probably easier to pull off than the retched pink one I had in my last test shot... but even if this weren't black it still wouldn't have the post shadow—I used an elevated pane of glass to separate the post from the felt.
My lighting goal here was to accentuate both the wing feather lines as well as the horizontal lines in the outer annulus. To do this, I put the key light on the left side and used a reflector on the top. At first I tried the opposite but it left the horizontal lines over-accentuated. They're a minor design element, so while I wanted them to be visible, I wanted it to be subtle. If anything, I think I overdid the key light. I should have backed it off a bit or used a better diffuser (this shot employs the Mark II Paper Towel Diffuser).
40D, 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens, Benbo 1 tripod, 150W diffused lightbulb as keylight (left) with white reflector (top). ISO 100, f/5, 0.2s. Subject is elevated ~4cm above a pane of glass, which is elevated another 10cm above black felt.