We always raise an eyebrow or shiver in disbelief whenever we hear the words “manipulated” or “enhanced”, especially if it’s done differently from the ways of analogue photography. But we must admit these digital advancements became indispensable, and on the contrary, can do no harm for us as our Tipster says so!
Scanning tip – Extend your scan area by stouf
Discover how changing the scan area in your scanner’s software could change your life.
After reading chuo104’s weblog, where he was sharing with us his perplexity about scanning x-pros, I decided to share with you this scanning secret. The theme was already approached by breakphreak in one of his tipsters. A quite debatable question as it is about our sad dependence on a digital device, the scanner.
I am sure many Lomographers know this fact, but I still wanted to write this tipster in case some didn’t. We all agree that we should not digitally enhance our shots by post-processing them in Photoshop, or playing with the scanner’s software options, such as pushing the contrasts at the maximum… And we all also agree that the best and most enjoyable shots are the one that come out just perfect and don’t need any re-touch.
But, even if you disable all post-processing options in your scanner’s software, two automatic corrections are still taking place (I think): the automatic white balance and the automatic backlight intensity.
The problem with cross-processed shots is that the colors that are on the film have been shifted by the incorrect chemistries used, and that’s the point of cross-processing, right? But it gives problems to the scanner’s software because it cannot see anymore a true black or a true white to set its white balance.
So the idea is to show to your scanner a true black or a true white. How?
By extending your scan area further away than the frame of the shot. Yes, just draw a scan area (you know, this rectangle that you draw to tell your scanner what you want to scan) bigger than your shot and let some true black or white (depending on if your scanning slides or negatives) enter in the area. Sometimes, it won’t make a great difference, but some other times you’ll see your shots bursting in crazy x-pro colors! And this is not a digital enhancement; it is a way to correct the mistakes of your scanner, by showing it the truth (the real white balance).
This method also applies for over- or under-exposed shots. If for example you have an over-exposed shot, add some white in your scan area, the scanner is going to think “wow there’s a lot of white in this shot, I should reduce my backlight”. Furthermore, these points also affect results for black and white shots scanned as negative color shots.
Well… I’m not sure this is all very clear… So the best to do is to try it yourself, so go ahead and play with your scan areas!