I needed to find a scanner that could get all the details in my watercolor painting including the faint/subtle tones. I learned that not all printing companies have scanners large enough to scan a 14” x 18” image. Second, I learned that even if they have oversize scanners that the scanners don’t always have settings to control the brightness, contrast or saturation. This came as a surprise to me because I thought that having those settings would be the most important thing for high quality printing of the scanned images. Third, many scanners would miss the faint blue tones in the sky of my painting, making it white instead.
After several experiments and many phone calls, I was able to find a decent scanner at a FedEx Office. It is called OC’E 450. We were able to tinker with the settings in a low 300dpi until we got all the faint tones in the blue sky then scan it at 600 for the final scan.
Before this I did came across a great scanner called KIP that got all the variations in the painting. Unfortunately there were problems with the glass because the scans had these black streaks in them. The attendant tried to clean it but it didn’t help. It was an old machine and I was told that they would try to get it repaired so I may give it a second try on my next paintings.
After talking to several printers and getting an idea of how most of them think I came up with a streamlined sentence to use when I called around for a scanner.
“Hello, I’m looking for an oversized scanner that has settings to adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation but do this on the scanner not on the computer.”
This helped reduce any confusion that I first created because I was using language they were not used to and they were assuming that all adjustments could be done on the computer after the scan. It was important that the scanner have the settings because in most test the faint blue came out white which can’t be fixed in Photoshop.
Here is the painting that created quite a interesting quest.