Pan and scan, baby


If your digital camera has just packed it in, or you just feel like shaking things up a little bit, why not consider alternative photography? After all, using a camera isn’t the only way to get stuff into your computer for processing… Instead of scanning your prints, why not skip the camera altogether and scan the objects you’re photographing?  


It ain’t nothin’ new – at the dawn of the internet, there was a site where people put their kittens on a scanner, and saw what came out – normally, little blurry bunches of fur that were confused by the sound and moving light – but good fun nonetheless.

Of course, you can go beyond the nefarious business of scanning your pets – Use your imagination, and you can use your scanner to scan 3D objects: Cigars, apples, bugs – all you need is a bit of imagination.


Using a scanner for capturing your images has many advantages:

1. You will get a great exposure of the object

2. You can do macro photography using your scanner

3. You can scan anything you can place on the scanner


A couple of tips:

1. Clean your scanner properly first, because if you don’t, you’ll find yourself spending hours in Photoshop cleaning it all off.

2. You can remove the top lid of your scanner and turn the lights off to get a black background.

3. You can use any kind of material above the object you want to scan to get a different background. Want blue? Try a sheet of paper or a t-shirt!

4. Macro photos? No problem! Scan in high resolution, and crop in on what you want to cover.

6. Most scanners will allow you to scan in very high resolution

7. Scan scan scan and experiment with any kind of objects.

Give it a shot – dust off the ‘ole flatbed scanner, you’ll never see it in the same way again! Happy scanning!

Have you tried it? Post a link to your Flickr gallery in the comments!

(This article is based on ‘Scan your Imagination‘ by Raymundo Panduro. All photos © Raymundo.)

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