Scanography or Scanner Photography is the process of capturing images using a flatbed scanner with a CCD (charge-coupled device) array capturing device. Although technically considered to be a subgroup of traditional photography, Scanography differs greatly in process and appearance. There are essentially two types of scanners commonly found on the market: document scanners and photographic scanners. For Scanography, a photographic "flatbed" scanner is required. Fine art Scanography differs greatly from traditional document scanning. The subject (which can be 2D or 3D) is laid upon the glass platen and an image is made from that item or items. I scan objects (usually altered natural objects) to create my works. In this approach, the lid remains open, although light can be blocked using cloth or simply by darkening a room. Scanography also differs from standard photography, due to the nature of the scanner's operation. Instead of a single lens, the entire mechanism (mirrors, lens, filter and CCD array) make up the scan head. The process records extremely fine detail with a rather shallow depth of field and produces a high, optical resolution, digital file (or "digital negative") for printmaking.
Fine art Scanography requires a much broader skill-set than just basic scanner operation. To create works of art one must often use devices to secure subjects into place. I use a variety of these devices including but not limited to scientific clip stands, weights, tape, suspended string, wire.....I think you get the idea. Composition is tricky because you have to imagine that you are actually laying beneath the glass platen looking up at your subject. It requires a certain ability to imagine the subject from that angle and create the vision by building it from front to back in layers. It takes a great deal of patience and ingenuity at times. Subjects are limited by the size of the scanner platen and the actual cumulative weight of the objects. Knowledge of image resolution is an absolute must in order to produce pin sharp images that are able to be reproduced at the desired size. It is also necessary to be able to use image editing software with precision. I use Adobe Photoshop as a digital darkroom to edit and manipulate my images. Sometimes my images are formed from a single scan but often the images reflect a composite of several scans. This is particularly true when I juxtapose items that differ greatly in scale.
The art of Scanography is relatively new. Some early artists in the field worked with photocopiers in the late 60s to capture and print in a single step, resulting in the field of Xerox art which is considered to have proceeded Scanography. Early artists include Harold Feinstein, Joseph Scheer, Darryl Curran, Ruth Adams, Stephen Althouse, Christa Kreeger Bowden, Valerie
Mendoza, J. Seeley, Rhona Shand and Maggie Taylor.