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Friday, July 06, 2007


I promised I'd share some of my digital experiments--my new digital montages/collages aren't done, but I want to show you what a scanner can do!

Flatbed scanners come in two types. If you have a scanner with a CCD photo cell, then you can use your scanner as a camera to take very detailed, well-lit pictures of three dimensional object up to an inch or two in depth! If you're like me and you don't have your scanner instruction booklet handy, you can just experiment like I did. One of my two scanners works, one doesn't.

I laid a bunch of seashells down on the scanner glass, left the lid open, and scanned at 600 dpi. All the scans came out with a nice black background since the scanner light didn't shine all the way to my ceiling. There's no need to put the scanner lid down.

The smaller of the two pictures is the original scan, reduced quite a bit detail so that I could post it here. The one with the blue background is my cleaned up, masked version. I also down-sized this one--the original is incredibly high quality!

What will I use these for? I'll use them in a photomontage, someday, probably. I've been scanning all the 3d objects I can think of, including some ceramic Easter bunnies, some small carved wooden animals, vegetables, dolls, and rusty nails/washers/etc. I found one site where they catch dragonflies, refrigerate them so they don't move, scan them, and then let them go after they've warmed to room temperature!

Some galleries:

and some articles:
Carl McMillan
X-bit Labs


tammy vitale said...

i'm jealous. i have no right to be since i never worked through my photoshop book (4 pages - I've done 4 pages in more than 4 months - geesh). These are wonderful!

seejanemom said...


I am stuck in the Blue Ridge Mountains fighting GD Dial up...anyhoo...I am on hiatus from the blog until I get back to civilization, but i am SO HONORED to be on your blogroll girl!!! And I Check in today to see if my blog is dead and I find your place all in my stats>>>SO THANKS>>>but more to the point>> I AM THRILLED with this post about your scanner. I am worling on an illustration technique that will require my scanner to give me the photo realism you describe...when I am back in the land ogf the living, I wish to pick your brain some more!!! AND AND AND, I am trapped here with my craptop BUTBUTBUT I have my Photoshop and Dreamweaver files>>>so my creative jiuces are flowing.

AND NOT WRITING TALKING POINTS FOR THE BIG HOUSE HAS ITS BENEFITS>>>>SHAZAAAAAAAAAAM>>>My creativity is surfacing again. POLITICS PAYS WELL, but the "spiritual" part of me is dying. YOUR SITE, and ROSIE's SITE FILL ME UP>>>of all the five minutes I have been online ion the last weeks have been here and there>>>BE BACK TO CHAT FOR REAL WHEN I STOP LIVING WITH MA AND PA INGALLS....GEEEEEEjus.

bluerose9062 said...

Really informative! Thanks!

Elizabeth said...

Wow this is amazing! I can I reiterate just how clever I think you are, please.

I have saved all the scanning links and as soon as I get this damn house straight again (don't ask: more leaks, broken radiators, no hot water etc etc etc) I shall try out scanning anything and everything. It may kick start my creativity again (withered and dying at the moment).

Thanks Karen. You are a star.