Scanning backgrounds for digital photos

Using a photo scanner and painting canvas or another “real-world” material, you can create stunning backgrounds for digital photos.

Here’s the workflow for a canvas background — it’s the same for other materials, of course:

    1. Get yourself a piece of canvas at least the size of your scanner
    2. Using SilverFast 8 scan the canvas at a minimum resolution of 600ppi with a maximum resolution of 1200ppi
    3. Use SilverFast’s colour tools to correct for hues that you don’t want
    4. Use SilverFast’s histogram tool to get an optimum structure
    5. Import the scanned image into Photoshop
    6. Load an image in a Layer below the scanned image
    7. Set the Blend mode to Add or Soft Light
    8. Scale the background image (top layer) to your liking
    9. Adjust transparency to your liking

You can do this with canvas, but also with other materials such as a wooden panel, a plexiglass frame, or even well-creased brown packing paper. By scaling the image, you can easily create subtle effects, which is why you should definitely scan at a high enough resolution.

Take a look at the Vimeo version.

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