Episode 23 Show Notes: Scanography ft. Susan Germyn-Francis

Peggy Farren 2017-02-12

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Here are the show notes for episode 23 of The Understand Photography Show:

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Show Notes for Episode 23: Scanography ft. Susan Germyn-Francis

"Scanography is essentially taking a photograph with your scanner."
- Susan Germyn-Francis

Your scanner is really a giant digital camera. A traditional flatbed scanner, even the one connected to your printer, is a large-format camera with incredible resolution. The scanner has its own light, so you don't need any additional lighting. The drop-off and shallow depth-of-field are what make the image so beautiful.

The lid of the scanner is reflective, so it reflects the light back around the subject. You can close the lid and have a white background.

For a solid black background, you leave the lid open and turn the lights off in the room. The choice really affects the outcome of the image and you can make the decision based on the subject. It's best to contrast the subject with the background. The downfall of closing the lid it is that you will crush your subject. To avoid that, you can place a piece of fabric or paper over the subject, but the background won't be solid, and you'll have to edit it in post-processing.

Remember that you're working backwards/upside down, so you have to work with that in mind. Most scanning software has a preview feature, which is a great and important feature because you can adjust before you get the picture how you want it.

Digital scanners are so high definition that they will pick up the slightest bit of pollen, dust, hair, etc. and they can show up in your shot. You can correct/remove it in Photoshop. However, sometimes it can be a cool effect.

Her initial inspiration for scanography was when she had come across bodhi (fig) leaves and really wanted to take a picture of them. Because of their see-through nature, she was trying to figure out how to photograph them and landed on the scanner!

There are photographers across the internet who practice scanography, and they can be found on Facebook pages and groups, Flickr, and scanography.org.

Live flowers are the best, specifically flowers that look good sideways, or that you can open it up. It depends on the look you're trying to achieve. Dead flowers are good, too; some flowers really saturate when they're dying, such as tulips. If you leave dying flowers in the water, they are still pretty flexible and so you can still pose them. The insides can still be succulent and soft.

Don't scratch glass. Don't put too heavy of subjects because you dont want to crack the glass. Some people put an extra layer of glass on the scanner to protect the original glass.

Some people paint watercolor right on the glass. Be careful to not let the water seep through the edges!

Marty Klein has kaleidoscope scanography images called Scandela, like a mandela - repetitive and serene.

You can control the dpi; Susan recommends 600. The original files are really large, so make sure your computer is up to date and has enough memory, the files are huge.

When scanning photos with a black background, be careful the room is really dark; try to move the scanner away from your computer so the light doesn't affect the image. You can even get creative and build a black box to put around the scanner to achieve the black background.

When scanning photos with a white background, on some scannners you can add little spacers to avoid crushing the subject. You may still need to edit the background in post-processing to get it really white.

Flashes of Hope

"We don't make mistakes, just happy little accidents."
- Bob Ross

Be sure to go see Susan if you are in Orlando on Monday!
For more informtaion: orlandocameraclub.com
Monday, February 13 at 5:30 pm - 6:25 pm
Fine Art Group: Susan Germyn-Francis Presents Scanography
99 E Marks Street
Orlando, FL 32803

Contact Susan Germyn-Francis:
Catchlight Studios
Harmon School of Photography

See you next week for episode 24!

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