Thursday, January 27, 2011

Scan Instead of Photograph

I recently posted some new items in my Etsy shop and when I photographed the items the images were just coming out with colors to match actual items. I used my good camera - the one that never fails - and put the images through Photoshop to correct the color as best that I could - and still the colors were not correct. There were color casts and tones that just would not go away no matter what I tried.

I was about to give up when I thought of my scanner. Now, my new items are flat and could easily go onto the scanner bed, but I have done this in the past with fully three-dimensional items and it has worked well.

First chose a good background - a piece of color (or white) paper or cardstock. Place the object on the glass bed of the scanner. Cover the object with the background. Close the scanner cover gently on top of the item. Most scanners are made to scan open books so there will be some flex in the cover hinges to get the cover closed flat. If you find that the cover sticks up too far and too much light gets to the bed, cover the top of the scanner with a dark cloth to block the light (this is rarely necessary). Go to your computer and scan. You will get a perfect image that you can place into your software and resize, crop, or manipulate as you choose.

This won't work for everything but it works for many items - especially if they are small and relatively flat.

Recently, new technology is being introduced to scanners that work with digital camera technology rather than a light bar that scans as a photocopier does. These new scanners are actually shooting high megapixel photographs of whatever is on the bed of the scanner. One that I heard about from Lexmark is selling for about $400. I am sure more will come along and the prices will drop considerably.

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