Welcome to (The Occasional) Photo Tip of the Day! Please also visit my main site jeffwignall.com. Text and photographs Copyright 2016 Jeff Wignall.

“The best way out is always through.”

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Turn Your Scanner Into a Camera

If you have a flatbed scanner attached to your computer then you might not know it but you have one of the world's best digital cameras sitting on your desktop. Your scanner is not only great at copying old photos and documents, but it can take a scan (i.e. a photograph) of anything that you can fit on the platen: an arrangement of seashells, your antique button collection, or even some flower blossoms fresh from the garden. I laid this eggplant blossom on my inexpensive Epson scanner moments after I picked it, turned off the room lights (to get a black background) and scanned it. The great thing about scanners is that, while they can only "see" one surface of your subject, they have incredible depth of field (near-to-far sharpness) so almost everything the scanner sees will be sharp. Wild, isn't it?

Here are some quick tips for success:
  • Scan at a high (300 dpi) resolution so that you can make really nice prints.
  • Keep the glass clean.
  • Turn off the room lights or use a sheet of black paper over your subject to keep the background black.
If you want to see some of the best scanner photos ever made, visit Ellen Hoverkamp's site and you'll see some remarkable and beautiful scanner photos of flowers, veggies and other interesting subjects.

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