Getting Creative with Scan Art and Creative Composite

With new technology and advances in Adobe Photoshop, photography is limitless. I tested the waters with a technique I’d never tried before, which is scan art and a creative composite. Scan art is essentially using a scanner as the camera. You can create anything from mysterious to stunning photography with scan art . Check out some tips and stunning examples of scan art here. Creative composite is a compilation of multiple photos that uses quite a bit of editing in photoshop.

Scan Art

My Process

To capture a sharp scan art image, it’s important to set your scanner on High-Resolution. You can do this by getting into the settings of your scanner and adjusting the resolution through the computer. I set the resolution to 300 before scanning the image.

Before implementing the scanned image I came up with a plan of how I wanted it to look like. I took some plastic wrap with me to lay over the scanner. This gave it the look of someone trapped. The plastic wrap was gently pressed into the scanner as well. I had my husband lay face down on the scanner and laid a black apron over him to minimize the amount of light that was being let in.

Lauren Crook setup for scan art







By clicking on the “Overview” feature, I’m able to preview what the scan will look like before saving it. After several attempts and adjustments of the head and eyes, I was able to get the final image.

Lauren Crook original scan art

In post, I adjusted the coloring of the hands in some places where they were pressed too much on the scanner. I used the clone stamp tool to match the skin tone as much as possible. I also edited the eyes. I wanted them to pop a little more so  as well as highlighting the eyes. I used the eyedropper tool to get the exact color in parts of the iris and used the brush tool to draw several half circles. I then put all 3 brush layers in an overlay and used Gaussian blur. Lastly, I adjusted the curves until the eyes were at the brightness I wanted.

Lauren Crook scan art

Creative Composite

My Process

I wanted to tell a story or take an image that shows a message. I saw this idea to show a message for photographers. We, as photographers, are creators and through the means of a camera we are able to brings things to life and capture breathtaking images. To make this happen I took 2 separate pictures to get the entire background. I used 2 speed lights as well to highlight the model’s face and the wall behind him.

Lauren Crook background image for creative compositeLauren Crook hand image for creative composite






In post, I masked both images and adjusted the levels. I also used the Dodge tool to brighten up certain areas of the image. I also added a few images the model has taken and created a vector staple to put on the images to make it seem like the pictures were stapled to the fence.

Lauren Crook creative composite