On occasion I like to imagine a film scanner built now, when the tech world has basically exploded with endless possibilities. CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE HOW EPIC THAT WOULD BE IF THE TECH WORLD WOULD JUST GET ON IT?? *sigh* Maybe some day. But for right now, it’s helpful to remember that even the best scanners money can buy were still built in the nineties. So they’re…quirky.

Never fear though, I’m about to give you a killer tip (with more coming in the future) to help your lab get you the scans you’re looking for so they can become more endearing quirky, and less tear your hair out quirky. Ready?

Let’s talk color.

Have you ever shot something (maybe even taken an iphone shot in the process) and then received your scans and the color looks completely different? This can happen when the scanner gets confused and tries to white balance it incorrectly. Now normally, we as scanning techs will catch these oddities and correct them, BUT if the color doesn’t look terribly off we may just not know it was supposed to be different.

Exhibit A


The frame on the left is how it came up in scanner, and it doesn’t look totally weird, pink is a normal color and you’d imagine that neon could be that yellowish green color - but I know from memory that the frame on the right is what it actually looked like. Incredible right? Such a difference.

Exhibit B


This one really had me stumped. I did NOT remember it being that gray blue color, but again, it doesn’t look terrible. Luckily I happened to take a quick iphone shot while I was there, and I was blown away when I realized it was BRIGHT BLUE. Tricky, tricky.

How does this apply to you and your work?

The scanners can get fooled, this we now know, yes? So here’s what you need to do the next time a certain shade or color is imperative to you in the final product. SEND AN IPHONE SHOT OF THE ACTUAL SCENE.

This applies mostly to dresses, cakes, tuxes, flowers, backdrops, walls etc. Basically, if you’re shooting mega bright overall colors (like the shots above) take a quick shot of it on your phone and email it to your lab. It’s the easiest hack in the world.

The scanning techs will thank you & you’ll thank yourself.

Happy Shooting!