My Dad says he told a group of his friends that he just bought a $25,000 computer. Understand that these friends were a bunch of computer scientists. Everyone thought my father had bought some really macho heavy digital iron. Completing the punch line, my dear father said, describing his Toyota Prius, “and it even came with a steering wheel and four tires.”
Similarly, a digital camera like a dSLR is a special-purpose computer. It happens to come with a lens (most of time) and a scanner (the sensor).
If digital photography is to live up to its full potential as a brave new medium, and not remain stuck as the bastard child of silver-halide photography, then we need to look at capturing differently. Why not start with a scan using a flatbed rather than a scan from a camera?
I created these Iris images (above and below) using an inexpensive desktop scanner.
Related story: Myths, Metaphors, and Digital Photography.