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Scan-It-Yourself Tips: The Lo-Fi Way

Who says the scans have to be as close to the negative as possible? I have found a way to scan negatives the scratchy low fidelity way, which makes them look old.

In my quest for do-it-yourself film scanning, I thought I could improve on my usual technique which is to hang the negative in the window and take a photo of it and then invert the colors in GIMP. This has the negative side effect (no pun intended) that the film isn’t flat, so I tried putting it between two glass plates to make it flat, and then put a mirror underneath at an angle to divert sun light to shine from below the film to work as a back light, and then take a picture of it with my digital camera, and invert the colors in GIMP.

The result comes out scratchy and lacking in color depth for some reason unknown to me. I can only stipulate that for some reason the double glass blocked out a part of the spectrum (other than the ultra violet part). Now this can actually be a good thing, provided you are going for that old haggard look.

Also, a word on inverting the colors, it is not as easy as just pressing “invert” Ctrl+I, since all the colors are blue shifted in most emulsions, so one has to shift the RGB-channels separately. Or if you own an Iphone or Android, and want to scan 35 mm film you can buy Lomography Smartphone Scanner

written by impaktor


  1. badbokeh

    Very interesting. It looks a little like solarization.
    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  2. 110isnotdead


    Really cool idea, I gotta try this ;)

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  3. taranoia


    Where there's a will, there's a way! How clever and resourceful

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  4. mafiosa


    Very cool results and creative idea!

    over 1 year ago · report as spam

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