My light box is set up on my ironing board on an early afternoon with natural light streaming in from the left side. On the right side of the light box, I have a work light. I am using the custom white balance feature on the interior of the box before I place my object. Then I place the object and continue shooting in the “P” mode on my Cannon Power Shot camera (someday I'll venture into Tv and Av, and maybe fully Manual). The flash is off.
Your eyes are not playing tricks on you. This picture is completely distorted. The way I propped this object up using bean bags under a white cloth is not working with the angle I have my camera positioned on its tripod.
|Exposure: 1/8, aperture: f/3.5, focal length: 11.5 mm, ISO 80|
|Exposure: 1/13, aperture: f/3.5, focal length: 16.1 mm, ISO 80|
By switching the orientation of the piece, I have a much better picture. In this case, I eliminated the prop, and placed the piece flat on the light box bottom. I lowered the ironing board until it was at the right height for the camera (on it's tripod) to look directly down on the object. The medallion is actually towards the outer edge of the box, and not fully inside the box. I custom set the white balance and snapped a few pictures.
I hoped to get a clear reading on the letters, until I realized that the medal does not have crisp letters. It might have been painted in some fashion that isn't crisp like an etched medallion would be. Something to investigate if the artifact you want to photograph isn't coming in as clear as you hoped. Reexamine your piece and see if it's the piece and not the camera.