Research – Scanography Project

Having used scanners of varying makes and models in publishing and web related work over a number of years I was not even aware that scanography was a recognised process at all until recently let alone be used as a legitimate form of presentation for publishing. Such was the case when I came across the work of Harold Feinstein whilst researching assignment 4. Feinstein initially used this process to produce a book called 100 Flowers, but has since gone on to produce more books of the genre. Nonetheless he was a photographer who managed to find a perfect recipe for photographing flowers using a scanner. Below is one of the many images he has produced in this large body of work:


The concept is of course not a new one as I remember the days of youthful or not so youthful antics of using a photocopier to produce reproductions of animate objects as much as anyone else. It was surprising that the use of this medium goes back much further. In fact the concept goes back much further to the late 60’s with the use of photocopier machines to produce works known as xerox art. One such example included the artist Sonia Landy Sheridan who work included artist in residence at 3M and Founding the Generative System program at the art institute of Chicago which enabled students to combine art with the technologies, early scanography being one of them. Her work in the industry enabled her to give here students the most up to date exposure to the visual communications of that time.

So what is a scanner? well it is a device made up of two main components, a CCD (charge coupled device) which collects the photons of light picked up by the internal light source that passes along the bed of the scanner. The difference in quality can measured in a number of ways, the first major element has to be the devices optical resolution. Needless to say the higher the resolution the better the quality of the output or finished scan. Some lower end models use interpolation as a means of increasing image quality by producing extra pixels in an image. This can also adversely affect image quality such as banding. An example of which you can find below. Aside from resolution it is also important to remove unwanted light sources from the scanning and this can be achieved by using a deep box of the scanner bed with the object(s) encased or in other case the use of a large black blanket to blot out other light sources. It is important to note as with lenses that your glass on the scanner should be clean and free from dust and other particles as the will show up in an annoying way on your final image. Another factor to consider is the software as some bundled software and third party options do allow for manipulation of the devices core setting prior to scanning, much like a camera dedicated software can produce marked improvements on an image as opposed to post processing.

I have attached a few images taken from the integrated scanner on my printer, the quality is nothing to write home about, but I do find the end result interesting in terms of the output, namely the balance of shadow on the image giving an impression of depth. This is something I would like to experiment more with as and when a more suitable scanner becomes available.

Face off
Light Bulb Moment
Artificial Thingamabob


Wikipedia, Scanography. [online]. Available at: [Accessed 14/08/2020]

Scanography, Scanography. [online]. Available at: [Accessed 14/08/2020]

Scannography, Materials[online]. Available at: [Accessed 14/08/2020]


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