Sunday, July 7, 2013

Flatbed Scan of a Summer Flower

Begonia blossom scan - 2013, DS
(click to enlarge)

As an artist, despite all the scientifically-documented neurological, psychological & pathologlogical excuses for my existence, isn't the need for beauty the real bottom line?

And, in the event that every living organism has consciousness and sentience to some degree, isn't it possible that the expression of beauty - and the appreciation thereof - is as innate, inherent and essential to life, as any scientifically-accepted, well-documented mechanism to survive?

I scanned this begonia into the computer today, because I wanted to record it exactly as it was. I suppose that's what my scanning exercises amount to lately... along with a sort of subliminal attempt to understand transdimensionalism, albeit in reverse... that is, translating higher (3) dimensions into lower (2).

But, that's not the reason I posted it.

I posted it because it's beautiful.

Enjoy your summer.


Tech Note: Concerning flatbed scans of 3-D objects (also referred to, on this blog, as "live scans"). There's a plethora of info on the web describing the ways and means to perfect this type of image document, if you're interested. The most important factor in taking a good scan is having a scanner capable of copying 3-D objects... not all of them can. The ones which can, generally indicate this on the box description. Also, they often have a fluorescent light bar, which captures a greater depth of field than LEDs. And, by "scanner" I'm not referring to expensive equipment or anything having to do with the new 3-D printing technology. A dedicated scanner is imperative, however - forget "all-in-one's"!

Tech Note 2: To avoid a "pressed flower" look to a scanned flower image, leave a stem on your flower, and then try constructing a truncated cone around the flower head that will separate the flatbed glass from the flower petals. I used black paper for this - black is generally the best ground - with some degree of success. But, the contours of the cone are key, as well as the depth. The flower has to fit exactly and its petals should just brush the glass. Best bet? A fairly flat, rigid flower.

Tech Note 3: Except in the instance of a very flat object (like a house key, for example), you will either be leaving the scanner cover open, or taking it off altogether. Back-lighting may be an interesting effect on occasion, but I find it helpful to have a several boxes - lined in black - of various depths on hand to cover the scanner bed while shooting. Another possibility is a blanket of fabric, normally cut to the dimensions of the scanner bed, unless the "draped fabric" effect is a desirable background. Fabric, incidentally, scans fabulously!

Begonia blossom - 2016, 2013, DS


  1. And it is a beautiful flower -- love the vividness of the color and the shape.

    The image reminds me of a Victorian flower pressing -- only infinitely more alive.

    1. I guess it was kind of my homage to Georgia O'Keefe... but, the "pressed flower" look was just exactly what I was trying to avoid!

      I think I'll add a "tech note" to the post...

  2. Tsk..did I say Pressed? I of an infinite varied and impossible vividness!!!

    1. "IMPOSSIBLE VIVIDNESS"???!!! Are you saying the color is not authentic? Why, I oughtta...


      Actually, the color of the begonia was even more vibrant... impossible to capture on a frickin' HP scanner.

      I really miss my old Agfa.