Is Your Camera’s Sensor Clean?

Is your sensor home to dust bunnies?

Lots of them??

Do you enjoy wasting time in front of your computer

Cleaning up the mess?

Is the healing brush your favorite tool??

😉 Sinner, repent & change your ways 😉


Click for Full Screen

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Bar Harbor, Maine

Step 2.5 would have made a good stopping point


If you’re guilty of this “sin”

There are two things of which to be aware

1. Sensor cleaning isn’t hard

My previous post “Out Damned Spot, Out I Say” discusses it

2. If your sensor is dirty at the time of image capture

Spots in the image file may or may not be readily apparent

Depends on both the image and your capture settings


Finding & Fixing spots in your image file

It’s better to find & fix spots

Before spending time & money on printing

And subsequent reprinting

Unfortunately, the spots  are often easier to see

On a print than on your monitor – it depends

Finding spots in post processing –

Below is an example of a barely visible spot

Top center of image

But there actually are four spots (3 not readily visible)

Roll your mouse over the image

I’ve circled all four in red

In this case the spots were found

Using LR5’s “Visualize Spots” feature

As shown in the rollover

8-1-2013 1-35-28 PM8-1-2013 1-35-12 PM
There are lots of ways to do this other than in LR5
The basic idea is to really crank up the image contrast
Below is a version done in Color Efex Pro
There are a gazillion way this can be done in CEP
(or in Silver Efex Pro)
Once you get one that does the job, save it as a recipe (CEP)
or a Preset (SEP)
And you’ve got a one click solution
The LR5 advantage is being to find the spots
And them remove them while your “find” is still on the screen
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2 thoughts on “Is Your Camera’s Sensor Clean?

  1. Good idea! Immediately created a preset… Also, consider reading your camera’s manual; it may have a dust removal function — via image processing and/or electromechanical.

    • You’re right; it’s available on Nikon DSLRs.

      I don’t use it, nor the methods discussed in the post, because my images are almost 100% dust-free. If I notice a spot before or after a shoot, I clean the sensor right away. If it’s after, I’ll remove it in post via healing-brush like tools if it’s in a visible area (and if the file is a keeper; not every file). That’s easier for me than continually shooting dust reference images – and they’re no good unless you’ve saved & carefully documented them so you know which applies when you happen to be working on an image from long ago.

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