Friday, November 24, 2006


Autumn is full swing here now, although up to now temperatures have still been fairly mild - it's about 10° today, and that's more or less the lowest daytime temperature we've had. But it's been quite windy some days and the leaves are falling fast - I've been collecting them for scanner photos.

I wished I'd had my camera yesterday as I went down a road lined with gingko trees. Gingkos are used quite a lot in Milan as roadside trees and in the autumn are just a mass of yellow leaves. I was on the bus unfortunately, so couldn't steal one for the scanner. I'll have to find time to go back ...

For those of you who asked, I've still not been able to make the Chrysanthemum photo from a couple of posts ago clickable. I don't know why. These ones aren't either, so it must be something to do with them coming from the scanner and not the camera.

I'm still swamped with work and have hardly put my nose out on the balcony this week. I must find the time this weekend as there are bulbs still to be planted and things need moving into their winter positions. I suspect that when the temperature does drop it will do so with a vengeance.

The change in the birds that are around is a sure sign of winter coming. The starlings that a couple of weeks ago were massed in hundreds of thousands over the city are now long gone, and this morning I saw a robin in the garden. The one we had last year (the same, or this one's Dad?) had clearly established the horse chestnut tree outside my bedroom window as the centre of his territory. All through the winter I was woken up at 2 am by his singing. I'd wake up and lie snug in bed listening to this beautiful liquid song. I hope he comes back this year ...


Sue Beesley said...

I'm really impressed with your scanner photos. The black background seems to enhance all the colours. I particularly like the one of the white chrysanthemum. How exactly do you do it?

Sue Swift said...

Yes, the white chrysanth is my favourite too.

It's very easy - my scanner is an Epson, and I've never used any other but I imagine they're much the same. If you do it in Beginner mode, first of all make sure the scanner glass is really clean, then put the flower or whatever in position - face down, obviously- and set the scanner to Photo mode and colour. At that point you can click on Preview to make sure it's OK and then on Acquire. (Incidentally, my scanner speaks to me in Italian so I'm translating the commands back into English. They may be slightly different in reality.)

If you want to you can also use professional mode, which allows you to play around with colour etc. I've used the following for the photos published :
- I increased the contrast very slightly so as to get a blacker background. If I could only make one change it would definitely be this.
- in a couple of cases I increaed or decreased luminosity, again very slightly. With the leaves, it helped the veins stand out.
- in one case (the brown leaf) I changed the colour settings slightly as the photo didn't come out exactly the same colour as the real leaf. It looked much duller, so I tried to get it back to the true colour.

But often it's enough just to use the settings that the scanner chooses automatically.

Happy scanning.

Sue Swift said...

PS. Forgot to say the most important thing - you leave the scanner top open while you do it!

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