Scanning Light

Yale University // Mixed Media // Digital Art


"Scanning Light" was a digital imaging project that examined flatbed scanning as a process for capturing high fidelity images.

Scanning differs from photography in that it receives input linearly rather than all at once. I devised a setup to generate a matrix of images compositing variables that can change during a scan [ light / dark, static / moving, opaque / transparent ]. To produce each image, I laid two fluorescent bulbs over a flatbed scanner and turned them on / off while arranging and moving layers of colored film gel sheets as the scan took place.

The final images also demonstrate the loss of depth cues in scanning that causes objects to appear flattened.


  • Two static gel sheets.
  • Single moving sheet, consistent lighting.
  • Moving colored gel over a static sheet.
  • Initial testing: incandescent bulb turned on and off.
  • Higher frequency of switching the bulb on and off.