Scanned snowdrops

– Posted in: Flowers on the Brain

Snowdrops scanned in on April 10, 2007
Many people who commented on the Katinka Matson post encouraged me to try the technique of obtaining images of flowers by scanning them with a flatbed scanner (an HP Scanjet 2400) myself. So I did.

Even though it remains cold and we get some flurries every day, the snowdrops are slowly going over. Many of them look like they are drying out from the constant wind. I picked the freshest looking ones to bring in the house, and decided to toss them on the scanner first. Unfortunately, the only black cloth I could find was a piece of black felt left over from someone’s project, which had collected a lot of light-colored lint in the interim. But the technique definitely has a lot of potential, even if one only uses the images for such things as homemade greeting cards and other humble creations.

If you try it yourself, please leave a link in the comments. Or if you have presentable flowers, try scanning them in for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It’s a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it’s time to reflect on what’s come before.

~Mitchell Burgess in Northern Exposure

Comments on this entry are closed.

Mary Ann April 14, 2007, 1:43 pm

Wow! Love those scanned snowdrops with the black backdrop. Very artsy and thanks for walking us through the process.

lisa April 13, 2007, 2:47 pm

Great idea!

Annie in Austin April 12, 2007, 11:26 pm

This kind of print on fabric would make some striking skirts or shirts, wouldn’t it?

My husband saw the article and told me about the technique – but I didn’t try it… you seem to have the knack already, Kathy!

Kathy Purdy April 12, 2007, 11:42 am

I actually scanned these a few days ago. We are getting alternate snow and rain here, too. Fortunately it’s not sticking to the road. Every time you comment on the weather, I can’t help but think how different this is from your native Australia.

Kathy Purdy April 12, 2007, 11:40 am

I amended my post to include the make and model of the scanner. As I recall, I bought it at OfficeMax on one of those day-after-Thanksgiving super deals.

You can surely grow snowdrops in Wisconsin. Some species like it moist, others like it a bit drier. See Don’s blog (the commenter after you) for pictures and more information. And as I mentioned in this post, digging them up and dividing them right after bloom certainly helps things along.

Don April 12, 2007, 11:21 am

Foof! Do you think I can scan a picture of a big blob of snow? That’s all I can see in my garden.

Colleen April 12, 2007, 8:48 am

Wow! Your scan really turned out great 🙂 I’ll have to give it a try.

Ted B April 12, 2007, 8:29 am

Despite planting snowdrops many times, I don’t have any where close to enough to do this. I’m jealous!

kerri April 12, 2007, 7:02 am

I’ve been meaning to try this. Your scan came out beautifully. The snowdrops stand out well against the black background. My snowdrops are looking very sad indeed. A few of them dared to stand up yesterday, but this morning I suppose they’re drooping again because we have more snow on the ground. It’s raining as I type this! Not very springy! But I did get some clean-up and weeding done yesterday. It felt good to get out in the fresh air.

Ki April 12, 2007, 6:56 am

Great scan, Kathy! Makes me want to dig out that old scanner of mine and do some experimentation. What brand of scanner are you using? It’s amazing that black felt isn’t so black. I wonder if using something like velvet wouldn’t be better but you still have to deal with the lint. Or maybe just leaving the cover off and turning out the lights in a dark room. Or I guess you could use Photoshop and just make the background totally black. Great experiment, hope to see more, especially when the flowering season really is in full force.

Kathy Purdy April 12, 2007, 6:30 am

Hi, Pam–
Thanks for stopping by. There are some Alaskan garden bloggers out there. Have you found any of them yet?

Carol and Pam–
I neglected to mention in my post that I increased the default resolution of the scanner to 600 dpi. My scanner can go even higher and if I wanted to make something beautiful enough to frame or give as a gift perhaps I would go even higher. (But then, I reduced the resolution of the original to post it on the internet. Otherwise it would take forever to show up in your browser.)

Carol April 12, 2007, 4:50 am

Oh! Good idea for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day! Walking around a bit yesterday, and seeing what the cold snap has done, I’m going to have to augment my post somehow. This may be just ‘the ticket’. (Though, when I actually start looking closer for bloom day, I’m optomistic I’ll find more flowers than I think I will).

And I think your snowdrop scan is pretty good.

Pam April 12, 2007, 4:36 am

Wow! The scan is amazing! Such clarity…
I’m thinking you can use different colored backgrounds with different colored blooms and foliage. I was drawn to this site because of the title “Cold Climate Gardening”. I live in Alaska and can certainly relate.
Wish I had a scanner to try this out.
Keep posting your scans.
A Northern gardening friend,