Using your scanner as a camera

As well as a device that can convert prints into digital photographs your scanner can be used as a giant camera that can capture small objects with amazing clarity. You can extend the use of your scanner by employing its imaging skills as a way to photograph small stationary objects.

Simply place the object carefully on the glass pattern, closing the lid so that you don't crush or move the subject, and scan away. More adventurous readers may even want to construct a small white foam box to place over the top of their subjects so that the scanner's light will be reflected from behind as from the front. You subject matter is only limited by your imagination (and what you can safely place on the scanning surface).

Step 1: Protect the scanner

Keep in mind when selecting suitable subjects for this task that scratches and marks on the scanning area will ensure problems when capturing print later, so pick objects that won't damage the surface. If in doubt place a clear piece of plastic over the scanner's glass before proceeding.

Step 2: Position the objects

With the scanner lid open position the object on the scanner's glass platen. Use a small piece of fishing line secured to the foam box to suspend any parts of the object that you don't want flat on the glass surface. Carefully lower the light box over the subject.

Step 3: Make the scan

Turn the scanner on and then the computer. Start the scanner software program. If you want the image to appear in the editing software then start the twain driver from inside the editing program. For instance with Photoshop Elements, select the scanner from the list under the File>Import menu.

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