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Ghetto Scan - Paper Tweak

Using the spring sunshine, a window, a camera and a piece of paper to scan some negatives.

I read this Tipster about Ghetto Scanning and thought I would give it a try, as I don’t have a scanner of my own.

I tried it first as falsedigital explained, by taping the negatives to a window and using a digital camera to photograph them, but found that I could see the scenery outside through my negatives. It was a very cool effect but not exactly what I wanted at the time. Anyway, I taped a piece of plain paper between the window and the negatives and, problem solved. The negative photos came out well and the paper gave the image a strange grainy texture.

Then you just INVERT!

The results are hardly perfect, and quite varied due to the multitude of factors like the digital camera focus, paper grains and even the movement of the sun and clouds. Regardless, for a beginner with no special software it is a very satisfying experiment.

I drained the saturation on these because the colours went a little crazy, maybe someone more tech savvy could explain how to avoid that. Aside from that I didn’t edit a thing.

A special thank you to the original tipster for the great idea.
Why not try it out, see what happens!

written by spiltink


  1. lomosexual_manboy


    I like the texture created from the paper backing. It makes these shots look extremely vintage and worn.

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  2. vicuna


    yeah, love the vintage texture of the shots :)

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  3. stouf


    Yeah ! Very cool results ! Love N°5 !!!

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  4. tifcompton


    lol it is ghetto and yes I've tried it before with 120 processed film... the problem that i ran into was i got the reflection of my digital camera off the glossy negative. it seemed like a good idea...
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  5. paramir


    great! the paper texture is working really nice! nice images

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  6. tifcompton


    a variation of this is to crank up the brightness on your computer monitor, set your background to a nice spicy blue color to shine through and cancel out the browny tone of your negative, and then when you invert, the colors aren't so wacky. unless you like that sort of effect.
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  7. cinzinc


    well done~ new flavor to the pictures =)

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  8. shoujoai


    for some reasons I really need a digital camera *sight*

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  9. jaalvarez


    Great tipster !!!!
    Yesterday I develope a B&W film.
    Today, 18:00 PM, I see this tipster ...
    Today, 18:30 I have this results !!!!

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  10. panelomo


    coolio tipster!

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  11. To properly invert color negatives, first use the eyedropper tool to get the base color of the film stock. Create a new layer, and fill it with that color. Invert that layer and set it to overlay(?) mode. Merge layers. Invert. Works in the gimp or Photosohop, or similar. If I've remembered correctly that is. Also, if you put some distance between the negative and the paper, the effect of the paper texture will be diminished.
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  12. Here's some step-by-step instructions to invert color negative scans in the gimp: http://www.freecolormanagement.com/sane/gimp_negative_scanning.html
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  13. spiltink


    Thanks for all the comments and votes.

    @scherbi Thanks for the tips, I don't have any editing software at all though. I probably should get some, and a scanner.

    Glad people enjoyed.

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