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Should I SCAN or PHOTOGRAPH a coaster?

Beercoast.com regularly receives new submissions that are not completely flat coasters.

Scanning is nearly always preferable to a photograph. Scanners can provide you with an image that is in perfect focus and with true colors, not dependent on whatever lighting is available when the photo is taken.
This all works if the coaster can lay completely flat on the platen glass of your scanner, it will scan just fine. But if the surface of the coaster is raised in any way, even a fraction of an inch, the scanner may pick up a blurry image because it's designed to focus on the platen glass, and not a 16th of an inch above.

So how do you decide? Well, take a look at the coaster and if it has any kind of raised surface, it's probably best to photograph instead of scanning.

Here's an example of a 3-dimensional coaster that was probably scanned, but should probably be photographed:



You can see that it's a HAMM's logo, but barely.

Now, here's an example of a plastic Coors coaster that was photographed:



You can clearly see a Coors logo in nice focus.

In any case, after you have scanned or photographed your coaster, take a look at the resulting image.
  • Does it show the coaster detail in clear focus?
  • Color Correct?
  • Does white look white?
We have images on file that show the tiniest details whenever possible. For many collectors this is critical to coaster identification. It could be something as small as a single digit in a copyright date - 2013 versus 2014. So clear focus becomes especially important.

Bottom Line? Look at the image after you capture it.,
Hold the coaster up, look at the photo and the coaster. If it's not in focus, with true colors, do it again.
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