Take Close-Up Pictures without a Camera?

by Mary
(Miami, FL)

Yes, you can take pictures without a camera! And you may already have the tools to do it.

Scanography - art with your flatbed scanner


The flatbed photo scanner you use to scan and save our old photos and documents into our computer is the answer. Anyone with this type scanner can also create great close-up photography!

The process is called 'scanner photography', 'scanner art' and 'scanography.

If you can 'scan and save' a document, you and the kids can learn 'scanography'.

When I first learned about this process, I wondered if my cheap Epson scanner would work. I placed a branch, from a small tree in the yard, on the glass bed and hit 'SCAN and SAVE'. It was amazing!

Scanography - art with your flatbed scanner
Photo Credit: VirtualVillage


Scanner art is educational: technology, art and thinking all rolled into one! Teach the basics of computer technology; demonstrate art with the positioning of items on the glass; and many of the projects require some thinking for design and uses.

It's easy to get started:
1. Select a three dimensional item (flower, toy, pasta etc.)
2. Place it on the scanner glass
3. Leave top UP
4. Darken the room
5. Scan and Save

You can use the fantastic results for computer websites, framed art, books reports, storybooks and more.

Julie says:
Mary, thanks for sharing this great hobby with us.

Guys, this would be great to try as a homeschooling art lesson, or a kids photography project.

Mary tells me that scanner art is great for close-ups, so why not start with something from your nature table.
Scanography - art with your flatbed scanner
Photo Credit: Klrenkes


Teenager Tips

This type of art has quite a following, and there are some amazing pictures online. It would be a way for our teenagers to really express themsleves in all kinds of creative ways.

Scanography - art with your flatbed scanner
Photo Credit: MartinaPhotography



It is also great for close up or macro photography as the scanner is great for capturing high-resolution images. Just be careful not to scratch the scanner glass.


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Comments for Take Close-Up Pictures without a Camera?

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Jun 18, 2014
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questionable content
by: camper1

I was going to use your website for my class but the picture of the marijuana would not be appropriate for my kids. Otherwise well done.

Jan 25, 2010
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Great for rock hounds!
by: Alicia

I design jewelry and sometimes will lay necklaces, bracelets or earrings right on the glass of my scanner rather than try to photograph it using my camera.

The scanner really brings the details of semi-precious gems into focus (great for studying rocks, gems and minerals), and saves me the trouble of having to deal with lighting and props. The background looks professional with no effort and sometimes you get the effect of the object floating in midair.

This is also a cool technique for creating extreme close-ups of every day things then have your kids try to guess what they're looking at from this different perspective.

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