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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Flower Scanning




I've been so intrigued by the scanned flowers printed on fabric that Allison makes that I had to try it myself. This is going to take a lot of experimentation to learn how, and how not, to do it. I went out this morning and picked an Iris a panicle of Bleeding Heart flowers and leaves and a handfull of tiny violets. I arranged them on the scanner glass, covered them with a crocheted doily and fabric and scanned. The iris was so fat that it cast funny shadows and the crocheted doily was too coarse to get the effect I wanted so I switched to a vintage (and very fragile) lace doily and covered it with an orange fabric to set off the purplish blues in the bouquet.




The second scan was more pleasing than the first but I ended up with some little particles of pollen on the glass. How in the world can I keep that from happening the next time? I've decided it looks like one of the antique floral postcards we have from Joe's Gramma May's collection.

I'm going to have to collect some flatter flowers to try again see how that works.

I've been so frustrated today, trying to print photos on fabric, for a current project, with the minimal photo software that came on our Dell computer (Adobe Photoshop Starter Edition) and the software that came with our new HP Photosmart C6180 all-in-one. I wanted to print multiple photos, in sizes of my choosing, on one prepared fabric sheet. These programs want me to do it their way. To print small photos I have to print a whole page of one photo (what a waste!); or to do many different photos on one sheet I could print a contact sheet, which made each photo exactly the same tiny size and shape, and cropped the photos to fit, which removed half of what I wanted to print.

Finally, this evening I did what I've been threatening to do for over a year; I ordered and downloaded the Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0. Now I'm still frustrated, as well as completely confused. Now I need to learn to speak a whole new language in order to get this program to do what I think it can, if I only knew how to command it. Have you noticed that computer geeks, who design these software programs, are not like us?! They have no conception of how to translate their postgraduate info into our kindergarten minds. Oh, to be 10 again! It isn't enough to use it or lose it; we have to keep relearning it at a higher level. Windows Vista?!!! How I long for my old original Windows 3.0.

Who knew that learning to make quilts was going to require me to learn not only photography, but digital photo manipulation? Nowadays, we oldsters don't get to retire and rock in our rocking chairs; we have to, as Alice said, " run as fast as we can, just to stay where we are. If we want to get anywhere, we have to run faster!"

With all this going on I haven't gotten the scanned flowers printed onto fabric yet. I wish I could get the iridescent effect of silk organza without so much transparency.

12 comments:

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

I love the second scan. So old-fashioned looking.

Allison Ann Aller said...

Fran, try arranging the flowers on fabric and photographing that. Then you don't need flat flowers...

Allison Ann Aller said...

Oh...something else...my son is a computer geek getting his degree in software engineering and believe me I can barely understand a word he says. Keep trying, though, with the program..I might have to get it myself.

Barbara C said...

The second scan is very pretty with that fine lace.

I think you need a manual for photoshop, as it's not self-explanatory at all. I've fiddled with it a bit, but to keep track of how to perform different functions work, you need a "how to" book.

paula, the quilter said...

First word of advice: only work on a copy of your file, not your original file. Just keep putzing around and you will figure it out. I use an old (Ver. 6.0) of the full blown Photoshop. There are websites that have tutorials; if you are interested email me and I'll dig them out for you.

Kay said...

I have just been messing with Photoshop before I read your blog so I can relate. We have the full scale Photoshop, who knows why, since know one can use it, but it was on the computer when it was handed down from my husband. I have just been playing with some of the effects, but don't know what I'm doing. You do need a book, but even that's hard.

I don't know how to beat the printing problem, even on photoshop. But you can cut off the top of the sheet and feed it in again. You waste less that way.

Kay said...

By the way, I like your scans. And bleeding heart is one of my favorite things. One day I want to make something using it.

diva of quilts said...

Gorgeous flowers! They don't look as vibrant as they did in your earlier garden photos. Maybe as Allison said, photographing the composition would do the trick.

Keep going with the Photoshop Elements, you'll get it. Set aside some time each day and call it "play" so you'll take some of the stress out of it.

Beth said...

I love the pics!

But I have Hunnybunny to help me with computer woes. And yes, he speaks an entirely different lingo.

Rian said...

I have heard that the Adobe Photoshop has a huge learning curve. But if you keep at it, you'll get it.

Debra said...

Fran, I sure to admire your persistence with New technology. I find it diggcult. Love your scan of the flowers and doilies. Deb

Jane Ann said...

Ah, yes, Fran--this is right up your alley. I too wondered why you were scanning rather just photographing, because I thought that was what Allison was doing.

I downloaded the trial version of Photoshop also (thank goodness I tried before buying). I found it absolutely impossible--not one bit intuitive. I couldn't wait until the blasted trial period was over and I could get it all off my computer. I'm tenacious about technostuff, but that program drove me nuts. (If my ranting makes you feel any better....) For what it's worth, I found Picasa (the online photo service) had a lot of versatile features. The blurry edges of my New Year's photo came from Picasa, and it was a lot easier to use than Photoshop.