5+1: Scanner Art with Film Photographs by Marlena Volk

Lomographer Marlena Volk a.k.a. 35mm_marlena is always on the lookout for new and unique physical manipulation and printing techniques with her film negatives and photographs – she has come a long way from printing on textiles, using mixed media on negatives and printed photos, to distressing them. The added post-process makes the tangibility of her photographs extra special and artful, and you can too as Marlena shares her own take of the scanner art technique.

About six months ago I came across an article online, having to do with scanograms/scanography – except it was a tad different to what I had seen before with that medium. This article had artists and they were scanning their prints (and negatives) with things overlaying them with different colored tape, some were etched, scratched with colored gel, and even painted developer on gelatin silver paper in their darkroom then scanned. It was so cool! I believe that the article called it, “Scanner Manipulation” rather than scanograms or scanography. I just had to try it out!

How to Create Scanner Art

Materials to Use: prints or negatives, a printer, transparency sheets or acetate, printer, scissors, tape

  1. Manipulate or distress the negative or print – you can burn, scratch, paint, tint, etc. the negative or print.
  2. Scan the negative or print.
  3. Print out the image on acetate/transparent sheets on an inkjet printer (note: sheets are available for laser printers too)
  4. Position them on the scanner, then take some (or one) of my prints & put them on top of the transparency sheet, shut the scanner lid, then scan them to my device.

And viola! I sometimes use colored cellophane overlaying the prints as well. You can also use those transparent colorful dividers for binders from dollar stores too.


I was pleasantly surprised! I wasn’t expecting my experiment to go so well I guess, it became quite addicting at first haha, then I reminded myself my scanner needs a break! I’m happy this experiment worked out, and I really hope to see other artists do this process! Just dive right in!! All you really need is your creativity! Your results will look different every time pretty much- even if you use the same transparency sheet :) You’d be surprised with where your creativity will take you when experimenting with this process:)

I’ve been trying out this little experiment having to do with double exposures...However with an inkjet printer. I’ll take an already printed-out photo, load it into the printer, then pick a random image of mine and print that on top of the already printed photo...It’s not of course as random of a result compared to the real way to double exposures, but it’s still been interesting so far!

Marlena’s journey to master alternative photography continues! Visit her LomoHome

written by cielsan on 2021-04-27 #people #tutorials #diy-photography #scanner-art #post-process

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