Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Scanning flowers

Thanks to Kathy Purdy of Cold Climate Gardening and her post on Katinka Matson's scans, I decided to try my hand at scanning flowers. Here are the results. Magnolias, daffodils, Camellia and I think apple which I picked on the dog walk.

The scanner is a really cheap one I bought for $10 brand new. It was one of those come on, loss leader sales on Black Friday at Best Buy. It's about 10 years old, a Microtek Scanmaker V310. It's so old I had to hook it up to my old computer with Win98SE OS because they don't have newer drivers for it.

I first did a quick scan of pens and pencils which worked ok but I noticed a lot of dust on the glass and black cover material. After dusting the glass I did another scan of M&M peanuts but noticed more dust and smudges on the glass. I had to take apart the top to get at the inside face of the glass, cleaned both surfaces and dusted the glass again but there are still specks of dust visible. I guess you can Photoshop it out if you were to print it for framing. I did the scans with the cover off.

I was surprised it worked quite well and I'm pleased with the results. This was an easy project requiring only a bit of time to set it all up. I love how the lighting gives the flowers an ethereal quality.

As always, click on the photos to enlarge.


Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Kathy's were tempting, and now you're making such lovely vignettes, Ki. Ethereal is a good word for how the flowers look.

If I try to scan a few flowers, will that also give me permission to buy M&M's first, and eat a few of the recommended test subjects?

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

10:59 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

You've got to test the scanner with M&Ms Annie...uh, to test the color capabilities. And it's best to get a big bag so you can cover the whole surface area of the scanner - you never know, you may have an area that's not scanning well.

Then you can't just throw them out, can you? Waste not, want not.

I actually did more scans using a combination of the flowers which turned out even better imo. I thought I'd show the simple scans first.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Entangled said...

Those scans are just beautiful. I'm going out right now to cut some flowers and give it a try.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Pam/Digging said...

I absolutely love the magnolia picture. Maybe I'll have to give this a try too.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Entangled and Pam. The scans look like old Dutch paintings to me. I guess the limited amount of scanning light gives it the North window diffuse lighting artists like so much. That and the completely black background isolates the subject, emphasizing their form and color. The colors are not overblown either making the flowers look very elegant as they are.

It's easy to do but be careful of dust and pollen. I found that you have to be meticulously clean something anathema to me. :)

5:16 PM  
Blogger OldRoses said...

My first thought was your last comment: they look like Old Master paintings! Very beautiful. Just another reason for me to trade in my ancient all-in-one printer and get one with a flat-bed scanner. I already have M&M's.

6:54 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I just came from Entangled blog where I saw her scanned photos. Your scanned blooms are elegant and ethereal. Hmmmm... if M&Ms are involved, I think I could get really enthusiastic about scanning. Yum!

8:02 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Old Roses, I seem to have hit a vein with M&Ms. I'm considering whether the scans are too cold and analytical or more like they're too other worldly? For some reason the word funereal comes up when I look at them. It could be that the light source from my cheap scanner is too weak giving ghostly images from more distant objects than the usual flat sheet of paper. I'll mess around more with this scanner but may think about getting a better one later although choosing a brand would be a problem not knowing which would produce the best flower scans. I'll create a spread sheet and try to find out what type of scanner people are using. That way we'll have some means to evaluate how the various brands of scanners perform.

Hi Kate,As I mentioned to Annie, what better way to test the scanner than with M&Ms? Colorful with dimension to test the depth capability and quantity so you can cover a good bit of the scan surface. This will be an interesting year as the flowers appear. I can't wait to scan the cherries, poppies, crab, dogwood, tulips, zinnias and on and on.

4:01 AM  
Anonymous Sandy said...

Well, I have to go try this, too. Yours came out great.

1:27 PM  
Blogger lisa said...

Time to trade in my old scanner and try this, too...I'm not a chocolate fan though (gasps and shrieks from the crowd), so I think a colorful assortment of hard candy and gumballs will work...we'll see. Yours came out great!

3:09 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Thanks, Sandy and Lisa. Trouble with scanning is that I can't wait for more things to come into bloom. I may have to resort to scanning more M&Ms. I also may end up with nothing flowering in the yard having cut all the flowers for the scans! It's a fun thing to do and I'm already trying to set up better lighting for the scans.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Well! This turned out great! I really, really want a scanner but it's not in the budget right now. I would love a few new lenses for my camera too.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Sandy,
Whew! there are too many Sandys. I'll have to try to keep the three I know separated by clicking on the name to link to the blog so I know which one I'm writing to.

I can feel your pain. I just had to shell out beaucoup bucks to the IRS. Would like to get one more lens for my camera but luckily I already have a scanner so I don't have to buy one now! Maybe you can pick up a cheap good used one on Ebay or Craigslist? But don't get a Canoscan by Canon. It uses leds for the light source and has zero depth of field. It was only made for surface scanning.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Gotta Garden said...

Boo...hiss...we had to pay the IRS, too...but on to more pleasant subjects! Your flowers are just gorgeous! This scanning stuff is amazing! I will wait to learn more with your tests and benefit from your knowledge...however, I can...ahem...go ahead and get my supply of M&Ms...just to be ready.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Gotta..., well at least you were able to use the govs money for a little while before you had to pay up. Anyway that's my delusional thinking.

You Gotta scan some flowers or at least M&Ms. Once you scan something 3 dimensional, you're hooked. Thanks for stopping by.

4:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you can use scanmaker v310 with xp, if you download and install the driver for windows 2000.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Kylee said...

I finally tried this, but I'm not getting great results. Wonder what I'm doing wrong? I did read on one website it makes a difference what kind of light source your scanner uses. It affects the depth of field. Maybe mine's not the right type.

Yours are GORGEOUS!!!!

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Term papers said...

I was surprised Your worked quite well and I'm pleased with the results. This was an easy project requiring only a bit of time to set it all up. I also love how the lighting gives the flowers an ethereal quality.

9:07 PM  

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