Unleashing the Art of Scanography: Mastering the Craft (2023)


Embark on a visual journey with scanography, a captivating technique that transforms your scanner into a unique camera. Originating in the early 2000s, scanography has evolved into a distinctive method for creating mesmerizing images without the need for extensive equipment. In this exploration, we delve into the intricacies of scanography, uncovering its magic and unveiling the keys to mastery.

The Essential Toolkit for Scanography

To embark on a scanography project, assemble the following essentials:

  • A flatbed scanner
  • A computer
  • Objects for scanning (preferably flat)
  • Cloth and glass cleaner

Scanography vs Traditional Photography

Scanography presents distinct advantages over traditional photography:

  • Objects appear suspended, creating a surreal effect.
  • Depth of field is limited, allowing for unique focus points.
  • Utilize the transparent glass surface creatively for added depth.

Choosing the Right Scanner: CCD vs CIS

Selecting the right scanner is crucial. Understand the differences between CCD and CIS scanners:

  • CCD scanners offer superior depth of field and better sharpness.
  • Consider cost, adaptability, and your specific needs when choosing between CCD and CIS.

Mastering Resolution in Scanography

Harness the power of high resolution in scanography:

  • Scanners outshine digital SLRs in resolution.
  • Optimal DPI settings result in larger files and enhanced enlargement capabilities.

Illuminating Your Scanography

Explore the nuances of lighting in scanography:

  • Scanner bar light offers a unique quality, wrapping around objects.
  • Balance additional lights for depth, texture, and color enhancement.

Backgrounds for Scanography

Choosing the right background adds depth to your scanography:

  • Experiment with solid black backgrounds for contrast.
  • Handmade paper, tiles, leaves, and reflective surfaces offer diverse options.

Scanning 3D Objects for Unique Results

Unlock the potential of scanography by scanning 3D objects:

  • Use the scanner software's preview option for placement.
  • Handle fragile objects with care, and experiment with composition.

Scanography with Flowers

Floral scanography tips for captivating images:

  • Handle flowers delicately to avoid creasing.
  • Experiment with different flowers and props for varied effects.

Live Insects in Scanography

Break into new photographic territory with live insects:

  • Slow down insects in the fridge before scanning.
  • Experiment with different DPI settings for capturing movement.

Using Ice in Scanography

Create captivating frozen compositions with ice:

  • Freeze flowers into ice for unique effects.
  • Light the ice from below for a transparent look.

More Creative Scanography Ideas

Expand your scanography horizons:

  • Experiment with non-natural subjects, such as bicycle parts.
  • Explore unconventional elements like live critters and ice for innovative results.

Editing Your Scanography

Fine-tune your scanography with post-processing:

  • Use Photoshop tools like Curves, Hue/Saturation, and Dodge/Burn.
  • Aim for tonal balance and depth in your final image.


Dive into the world of scanography, a realm where your scanner transforms into a canvas for artistic expression. Armed with the knowledge of essential techniques and creative ideas, unleash your imagination and capture the extraordinary through the lens of your flatbed scanner. Elevate your scanography skills and open doors to new creative possibilities.


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