Thrifty Thursdays feature photographs taken with equipment costing less than $500.
[HP deskjet F4280 printer/scanner - $150]
This week's inexpensive photo project makes use of a desktop scanner to translate a living plant into a digital specimen. Creating virtual natural history collections is an activity well-suited for elementary school science classrooms, for children old enough to use computers, or as a novel way to create nature art to hang on your walls.
Here is my recipe for the image of a small grass plant:
- Carefully dig up a plant, with roots intact, small enough to fit on a scanner.
- Wash the plant thoroughly in running water to separate soil from the roots.
- Dip roots generously in a glass of water to spread them out, then insert a paper towel to hold roots in spread position while slowly removing the plant from water.
- Set plant to dry until all visible water droplets have evaporated.
- Arrange plant on scanner, and scan at desired resolution. I recommend resolutions higher than 300 dpi.
- Clean up any stray dirt, adjust levels, and add text in a photo-editing program.