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05-16-2012, 08:36 PM   #1
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Camera? What camera? We don't need no stinking CAMERA!!

So tonight I'm leafing through an old issue (May 2007) of SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE and there's an article with the most splendid photos! [What Camera? | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian Magazine] Superb highly-detailed photos... shot with an unmodified flatbed scanner.

Like photography itself, scanning can be done by almost any novice, but Creamer has achieved a level of mastery with it. Through trial and error, he has adapted studio photographic techniques to the process. By training spotlights on objects at various angles, he says he's able to "paint with light." To avoid crushing delicate plants, he has removed the scanner's lid and rigged up a suspension system so that his subjects barely touch the surface of the machine.

Creamer uses a black cloth tented over the scanner to create deep black backgrounds. The technique heightens the detail produced by the scanner, which generally renders sharper images than his camera does. Before burning an image to a CD, he previews it on his laptop and makes any adjustments he feels necessary. When satisfied, he loads it onto a Macintosh computer, does a bit of fine-tuning in Photoshop—a digital darkroom for photographers—and prints it. The results can be dazzling. The viewer's eye is drawn to an intricate network of leaf veins or, perhaps, a moonscape pattern of lotus seedpods or clumps of pollen clinging to a stamen. With large prints, the smallest details can be 20 or 30 times bigger than they actually are.
Be sure to look at all the images. On the largest screen possible. Or visit a public library, see if they have a copy, and turn to page 80.

05-16-2012, 09:45 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Nebraska
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Thank you for sharing this. Fun images. My favorite was the dancing thistle. I was taking pictures of wild roses in the ditch today. The thistle will be showing off its purple flowers soon, I may have to see if I can make it 'dance' too? Fun to imagine designing your shot by suspending your subject.
05-17-2012, 04:48 AM   #3

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Charleston & Pittsburgh
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Digital camera are basically just variations of mobile scanners (scanners with batteries) without the lens'.

Somewhat related... I used to do darkroom photographs without a camera (also without any negative) as well.

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