Turn A Scanner Into A Camera

If you have an old flatbed scanner laying around or you've decided your scanner is a useless gadget, repurpose it weekend. The industrious tinkers at Make magazine have put up a tutorial on turning your scanner into a primitive camera. The results have a distinctly spooky appearance, almost reminiscent of vintage daguerreotype photographs. The project doesn't require taking apart the scanner or permanently altering it in anyway, so you can experiment freely without actually sacrificing your scanner to the tinkering gods. You'll need some inexpensive parts like black foamcore board, a magnifying glass and razor. For an overview of the process and a list of necessary parts check out the video below:

For other potential uses for your scanner check out how to use your scanner to "photograph" small objects and turning a broken scanner into a super bright lamp. If you cobble together a spook-tacular picture taking scanner-turned-camera make sure to share the results in the comments below!


    Much is written here about doing something in Photoshop in less or more time. Much is written here about using a scanner as a camera. But most go only as far as placing their face on it. Few even suspect that a cheap flatbed exceeds the specifications of most high school microscops. Try scanning a bee or another insect. The inherent limitation of Photoshop is that in spite of the fact that one remembers the existence of three dimensions only when one has to flatten a layered file the limitiation is that, two dimensions. In the picture here of Canadian baritone Brett Poligato in the roll of Don Giovanni I used film, burned it with a match and then scanned it.
    Alex Waterhouse-Hayward


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