Scanography: Memories on Display
Scanography: Clothing and Garments
Have you ever decided to rummage through your closet, or perhaps your attic and found a dress, a handkerchief or a bonnet that had a special memory attached to it? Maybe you found the scarf you wore when you had that romantic weekend in Italy! How about your wedding attire? Is it in the plastic wrap, collecting dust in your attic, or crumpled in the back of your closet?
So many memories, trapped in a box. All those little trinkets of nostalgia that are collecting dust. You can't get rid of it, but you're not going to wear it. So you decide to keep it. Unfortunately you put it back exactly where you found it, out of sight, out of mind. If only you could display those memories with others, instead of going down memory lane once or twice a year. What good are memories , if not to share them?
I will be the first to tell you that I have clothes that I can't part with due to sentiment. Special dresses that one of my daughters wore, a shirt from a concert that's been worn out, and that's just to name a couple. Just like you, I'm not going to set up hangers in my home to display every piece of clothing that is special to me! But that does not mean that you can't display the most meaningful souvenirs of your past;
Photo used under Creative Commons License. Photographer:Gonzalez-alba
Scan your garments!
Photo used under Creative Commons. Photographer:chrishayesphotography/a>
We all love to share our memories, and our experiences. That's why people have tons of albums in their home and on their computer. I'm sure that prom dress has a good a story behind it, how about sharing that with your friends and family? Capture that garment through the art of scanography!
You mean take pictures?
Yes! That is exactly it! But we are are not going to go get our digital cameras out, what I need you to do is, go dust off your scanner. Yes, your scanner. They are not only for documents and one dimensional pictures.
I want you to step out side of the box, for a second, and explore the possibility of making wonderful art using that wonderful scanner. Scanning objects gives the subject so much depth and dimension. Working with a three dimensional object is a new and fresh take on digital photography and digital art. Explore it today!
The results will be very satisfying, and the wonderful thing about it is that this is a project where you can involve the rest of your family. In this page, I am going to give you a few pointers on scanning garments.
Scanography is a fairly new concept, explore & make up your own rules. Scan that sock. Love that doily? Let's scan it!
Here are a few pointers you might want to go over if you have never worked with garment scanography, or scanography in general, With plenty of experimentation and creativity, you are sure to find your own style, and have tons of fun with it.
If you decide that you want to scan a special garment, or piece of fabric, for the first time, there are a few things you may want to keep in mind:
You'll need a scanner - (of course)
This model is just like the one I've been using lately, I have found it to be very accommodating to my scanning needs. The bed size is not very big (Legal sized) but I usually don't need much more than that.
The best thing about this scanner (besides the price! Under $60) is that it's an eco-friendly all in one printer!
Before you scan
Clean your scanner bed. Unless you want a cloudy capture, this is very important, scanners produce very sharp images and any dust will most likely appear. Unless that is the desired effect, cleaning it thoroughly is good practice.
DPI Your scanner's DPI is important when it comes to the type of print you are planning on producing. 300 DPI is usually good, unless your looking to enlarge it over 5"x7", Just remember, higher DPI means a longer wait for the image to be scanned. Test your scanner settings, and see what is best for you.
Take into consideration the fabric you will be using.
For example a red satin top will be a lot more reflective than a black cotton t-shirt. If you are going to scan a garment that is lace -like, or opaque, make sure that you have a contrasting backdrop. Velvet or other dark fabrics may may need to be brushed off with a lint brush. You can also take off particles or debris with a couple of pieces of tape, just lay the tape out, press against the fabric, and strip! Like a painless wax job!
Photogenic Fabrics - They are "dyeing' to be featured
Here are some fabrics that are always fun to work with when scanning. Lace, Taffeta, Tulle, Satin, you can use these over and over!
Ready, Set, Scan!
Enough with the pressure!
When you scan a garment for artwork, it may not always be desirable to completely press the clothing against the scanner.
This scan was made with my daughters tutu, and a pair of her favorite ballerina slippers. When I first started to experiment with this, I had a hard time getting the skirt to look nice, I put it on its side. I spread it out. Until finally I just gathered it and scanned it at the bottom. See how the scanner captured the ruffles and the softness of the skirt?
You may want a flat scan if your looking to create a one dimensional copy of a t-shirt design, or something similar. However if you a 2D image, you'll want to leave pockets for lighting, and shadows. This is what ultimately makes your image two dimensional.While you might not want to completely flatten your image, a little weight is desirable,whatever is pressed closest to the glass gets more definition, this is a good experimentation opportunity. If you want to apply even pressure on your images, use a light pillow, or bath towel, if you want I will put a little weight on a certain area, then use a smaller, perhaps heavier object. Try different methods, and see what you come up with!
Remember that you want your subjects to show, and to stand out. Pick a contrasting, backdrop, or something that compliments your pallet. Once you have chosen your backdrop, cover the whole thing with a darker garment, that way light does not escape from the scanner, and unwanted light does not go in. (unless you find a cool technique with letting light in/out)
So you've scanned your first masterpiece. Don't be afraid to edit. Now customize, customize, customize! The beauty of creating your own artwork is just that. You can put a date on the corner of the picture, or if you are more experienced with photo editing, you can adjust the contrast, colorize, anything your little heart desires. Even though the scanner picks color up brilliantly, and provide crisp sharp edges, this may just be a platform for something greater! Cut, splice, art media, erase, this is your canvas, so create!
In order to edit your pictures, you'll need photo editing software. If you are a beginner with editing tools, and don't want to spend money at this point try your hand at a free online editig tool
Once you feel you are ready for a program for your system,I recommend the following:
From the Scanner to the Wall
I then used Paint Shop Pro to enhance the contrast.Using the art media tools, (Pallet knife & Oil brush) I created this portrait to look more like a painting. My one year old's favorite clothing will now always be a part of the household decor.
Chances are, you won't be able to scan the entire wedding dress, but even the smallest detail from the garment can be your area of focus. This is much more than just taking a picture, your putting together a story. Pick out what is unique about the garment, what part of it brings you back? For example a flower on a dress, a tear in a pocket, or a stain of red wine on a glove. See what I mean? You are the narrator, manipulate the story you want to tell.
Be diverse, and have fun with variety, don't limit yourself to just scanning one thing.. make a collage, get creative. Props are all around you! Express yourself, this is all you, and what you want to share! Think, digital scrap booking.
Actually, when I did this piece every element was scanned individually and pieced together with Photoshop, however , this is the collage point I want to make..
Every artist's mind is a world of it's own
What do you have to bring to the table. Tell your story. Why did you keep that scrunchy? What makes that hankerchief so special. This is your chance! Don't let your memories collect dust in the closet, because a picture in fact is worth a thousand words.
Is there a special garment that you would like to try this type of art on?