"Scanography" - A New Photography Niche

Here's an introduction of a new photography niche that is so new that not many of us have heard of it. Fortunately, guest writer, Mary C. Miller shares this secretive new niche with us. And she does a very good job of it, in my opinion.

Scanography - A ‘New’ Photography Niche

An article by Guest Writer, Mary C. Miller

One of the great inventors of our time, Ray Kurzweil has been described as “the restless genius” by the Wall Street Journal, and "the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes.  When he created the flatbed scanner in 1975, I doubt he thought of it as a new way to enhance the old art of photography. 

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This new photography niche is known as scanography.  (Also called scanner photography, scan art and no-camera photography.)  The idea is simple.  Use your flatbed scanner as a camera.  Truthfully, it is not unlike the old office clown trick of sitting on the Xerox machine.  

The scanner top stays up, the room is darkened to get rich black backgrounds and if you can scan anything, you can create scanography.  Although the basics are easy, if you have an artist’s eye it helps.  It also takes time to perfect these compositions. 

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Without realizing it, I saw my first scanography many years ago at an art show.  Impressed with her photography display, I asked the artist how she managed to get such hyper-real creations.  She answered, “I just work hard at it”. 

Like many people I purchased my photo scanner to save old photographs in computer files.  Then I read an article in Smithsonian magazine by MarianSmith Holmes titled ‘What Camera’.  There it was … a secret no more.  I’ve been scanningever since.

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There are numerous professional artists creating and marketing photography with their scanners.  They have displayed and sold their work at art exhibits, online and even in museums.  In addition to art, there are some not

so serious applications.  Puzzles, kids’ crafts, greeting cards and scout projects are just a few.

In the beginning, there were arguments about it not being “real photography” and it was often called “cheating”.   As professional photographer Vincent de Groot said "... it is time to stop with the argumentations. After all who cares,how to call the technique ... it is fun, creative and results can be stunning if the right technique is applied."

As in any art form, we all see things differently.  Scanography is no exception.   Experiment, study, research and create!  There is plenty of room in the photography world for a scanography niche.

Article and Scan Art by Mary C. Miller

To find out more about this interesting photography niche, make sure that you visit Mary's informative website - and make sure that you tell others about your newly discovered 'secret!' You'll find some interesting responses from veteran photographers about this new photography niche. Of course, these are some of the same photographers that said that digital photography is a 'gimmick' that will fade away. Clearly, they aren't the most accurate. But, we can't really blame them for feeling 'threatened' by all of the recent advances in photography technology. Many think that the 'art' is gone. But, as you can see, this new photography niche also requires skills, know-how and practice.

Keep shooting!

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