Month: November 2009

HOT STUFF v6 Scanography

HOT STUFF, v.6, originally uploaded by N. Nur.



Title: “HOT STUFF, v.6”
Creation Date: 26 Nov 2009
Location: Penang, Malaysia.
Genre: Scanography.
Equipment: UMAX ASTRA 5600
PPI: 1200.


Scanography is the opposite of photography. The same rules hardly apply to the other. Being a photographer for so long, it is tough to think in the opposite – and that is an odd feeling.

  • Subject Placement & Lighting

In Photography, you shoot with the subject facing you (usually), and your goal as a Photographer is to apply lighting to the surfaces of the subject from whatever direction you think will get you the best results. Often times, this is from the front, overhead, the sides, and maybe in addition, from behind the subject.

In Scanography, the side of the subject you want to capture is placed FACE DOWN (on the glass) toward the optical lens of the scanner. The main light, and most of the time the only light, is coming from the scanner. For special effects, you can attempt to use additional lighting on the opposite side of the flatbed surface, but the way a scanner captures an image is WAY DIFFERENT FROM A CAMERA.

  • How the Subject is Captured

The camera captures what is seen through the camera lens. The scanner captures the image as the optical lens slides along, underneath the flatbed scanner glass.  The scanner slides (captures the scene as it slides) and lights in progression as it moves across the subject.  Thus, the same lighting rules do NOT apply for photography and scanography.

Scanographic images also work best, in my opinion, with the lid down over the subject to reflect as much light back onto the subject.  Although, for creativity’s sake, other materials and colors can be placed over the subject to create a background other than white.

  • Scanography as an Addition to Your Creative Tools

Scanography can be used as an additional tool in your creative tool kit.  Scanography is a rewarding art form to use to create art pieces that are different from those created with photography.  Scanographs definitely resemble photographs, but as you can see from my “HOT STUFF, v.6” scanograph, the results are different.  For example, notice in the scanograph of the chillies and silver fork the location of the water:  The liquid settles on top of the chillies, as if to defy gravity (settles in the foreground). This experience is the exact opposite of what happens with a photograph setup, where you will see the moisture settle down on to the background material.

In this way, scanographs can create a bit of an optical illusion that makes the viewer’s brain wonder, “What is it that is different in the scene?”  You know something is different but it may take a couple of moments to figure it out.

You can kind of get the same visual results (as a scanograph) with photography if you placed the subject on clear glass and photographed from the bottom upward, but it would still appear different, maybe in subtle ways, but different all the same.

  • File Size and File Dimension Differences between a 1200 ppi Scanograph and a ‘typical’ Digital Photograph from a Digital Camera

Another marked difference between Scanography and Photography is that scanographs, at 1200ppi create HUGE digital files with BIG dimensions. This image ended up (in the original before cropping) at around 6000 pixels wide by 8000 pixels high, and the TIFF file size was around 150MB!  You won’t see that much information captured in one shot with the majority of modern digital cameras.  Of course, the optics of fine photographic equipment is superior to scanner optical lenses, but it is a different tool used to create a different type of visual.

Another interesting item about scanography is that the Scanographist (not sure, but maybe that is a made-up word) has a wide range of settings to play with when creating a scanograph:

  • You can set your desired ppi – I like starting with 1200ppi.
  • You can set your desired file type – I like TIFF output.
  • You can set your desired file dimension – I like A4.
  • Scanography as a way to be Creative when You Feel ‘BLAH’ about Photography

For myself, Scanography is a kind of refuge, especially when I’m feeling distressed with the sameness and the madness of digital photography, where the ‘industry‘ comes up with the next best digital cameras that you MUST purchase or dare you be obsolete, and this seems to happen every six or nine months.

When these feelings of, well, for the lack of a better term, “BLAH“, happen, then I swerve off the road of what Brooks Jensen says is ‘the hamster wheel of digital progress.’  For me, I like to know that I can switch things up a little, and work on some scanographic imaging, so I can be creative in a different way.

Flashlight on Purple, v.6

Flashlight on Purple, v.6, originally uploaded by N. Nur.

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.” ~ by Brazilian novelist and spiritual teacher Paulo Coelho ~

Abstract, No-5, 2009

Abstract, No-5, 2009, originally uploaded by N. Nur.

I don’t have very much to say today.

At times, I think a lot of words are wasted on saying nothing of importance, really.

However, I heard something very insightful the other day from Jay Maisel (from an interview on the Internet), he said something to the effect of, ‘you don’t capture pictures, they capture you.’

This makes a lot of sense to me. If I’m not captured by a subject, then it is probably not a subject that I would want to photograph. If that photo is not formed in my minds eye first, then for me, there is no photograph there.

That’s just a short thought for the day.

Metal Sad Face, v.1-03

Metal Sad Face, v.1-03, originally uploaded by N. Nur.

“No one can rescue your faded ideas!” ~ Warrel Dane – From the Song “Messenger”. ~

That can, indeed, cause “Metal Sad Face.”

Live in the now, and learn from mistakes, and educate yourself about things you hear.

Don’t be duped by others because of ignorance.

And be patient.

A few words to avoid “Metal Sad Face”.


This is NOT a photography post. But, I thought I would give the URL for the fix to a Cell Phone Issue, one that “tortured me” for the better part of an evening until I located the solution, online.

I was getting a “SERVICE NOT ALLOWED” error when attempting to call on my cell phone. There was no error message located in the user manual to match this.

I was able to receive calls. I was
able to send SMS. But, I could NOT call out.

Every single menu on the phone was scrutinized by me (twice). To no avail, no calling – SERVICE NOT ALLOWED each and every time.

So what was the problem?

Not hardware.
Not software.

It was user settings error and a phone user’s manual that did not include all possible troubleshooting error messages.

I had set the option on the phone to BLOCK MY PHONE NUMBER from showing up on other phones I’m calling – the Hidden Number feature (on my Samsung phone).

I TURNED THAT FEATURE OFF, and presto! I could make calls!

Mystery solved.

Update: 20 April 2011.

I’ve been in the hospital for a few days, and got a comment about not understanding the process.  The previous link that explained this process of “SERVICE NOT ALLOWED” is now gone.  Argh!  So now, I am having to figure this out again.

Let me try something first and then I will give the step-by-step instructions:

OK, I figured it out (again):

Steps to Fix this Issue:

1) Press Menu.

2) Press Settings.

3) Press Application Settings.

4) Press Call.

5) Press All Calls.

6) Press Show My Number.

7) Press By Network.

That should fix the “SERVICE NOT ALLOWED” ISSUE.  Hope it works for you.

Fifty Thousand Plus

50,004 Visits to my Photography Journal

I Reached the 50,000 viewers mark today.

I guess this is a landmark for me and my photography journal: I reached the 50,000 views mark.

One thing I am quite surprised about is that my more visited blog-pages are those dealing with Iritis. Because I have this eye condition (off and on), and I provide information about it, people flock to my blog seeking help with this painful eye condition.

That being the case, I will continue to add new information about Iritis, and also, of course, Photography.

Thanks for your views!

Nawfal Nur

Photographing Rain


Shooting Rain, v.3, originally uploaded by N. Nur.

“What to photograph in the rain?”

Sometimes I get that question asked; or, sometimes readers search for an answer to that question.

The answer to that question is easy: Anything! Anything you want to photograph when it’s sunny, can essentially be photographed when it’s raining, it will just look different.

However, beware:

You will get your camera wet. That is, unless you use some waterproof housing for your camera. I do not use a housing, but I do use an umbrella and a dry cloth to wipe off any droplets from the camera, if necessary.

Three things, no, there are more like seven (7) things/techniques/settings that I like to use, set, or implement, to capture actual rain-streaks falling, and these include:

1) Wide Angle Lens Setting.

2) Shoot downward (from a standing position).

3) Rain streaks are whitish, so try to shoot rain against a darker background, like you see in the dark green (flooded) grass.

4) Use flash: I just use the internal flash of my camera most of the time.

5) Use a fast shutter speed, perhaps in the range from 1/250 second to 1/500 second, in Manual Exposure Mode.

6) Experiment with your camera settings until you find a setting that works for you.

7) Move around and try various locations, subjects and backgrounds.

With some practice, and CAREFUL HANDLING of your camera, you can get some interesting rain photographs.  If you use these Seven ‘tips’, you may find yourself trying something new, or different from what you have done before.  And, that’s a good thing, right!

I would say, that if you are doing this alone, and you have to hang on to an umbrella in one hand, and a camera in the other, then use a compact camera that is easy to handle with one hand.

Good luck with your rain photography; however, remember that you can dry off, but your camera equipment may drown.