Dust spots

Dust Bunnies in the Sky

It seemed to come together just fine for me. I had gone through my photos from the past three years and set aside 45 candidates to enter in the latest round of the Peachtree Corners Photography Club Gallery event. After winnowing these down and reprocessing sixteen of them I seemed to have a nice collection. I uploaded the set to the club and checked the photos in the online OneDrive folder.

Our judges are tough. Photos must be technically flawless before they are judged on a long list of other criteria. Previously the judges had rejected some of my photos that I was most proud of.

Just to make sure, I zoomed in on the first photo. Then the shock came.

Cue up that old Burl Ives cowboy song …

Yippie aye eh – yippie aye oh – dust bunnies in the sky!

Yes, spots, dust spots, in the sky area. About half a dozen of them. I had processed the photo carefully to make sure it was just the way I wanted it. I had no reason to manipulate smaller areas and never noticed the problem.

So, quickly I deleted the photo from the upload folder. Took the image into Photo Gallery and used the Retouch tool to excise the dust bunnies. Uploaded the image again. Once more I zoomed in. No! There were more of them. Faint, but more. One more round and I think I got them all.

The photo was taken early in the morning. I wanted to show the rocks in the river, the reflection of the moon as well as the the sky turning color in the coming sunrise. The aperture was at f/16. I went back to check other photos from that shoot. A photo taken a few minutes after the one here showed a perfectly clean sky. But for that the aperture was f/5.6. That’s how dust spots act. They are most noticeable at small aperture settings.

Dust on the sensor of an interchangeable lens camera is almost unavoidable. I have my sensor cleaned professionally about once a year. But let me assure you, if you change lenses in the field, like I do, dust will get in.

Ludwig Keck – Moonset on the Chattahoochee

.:. © 2020 Ludwig Keck

About Ludwig

Lending a helping hand where I can. . . My motto: If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
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2 Responses to Dust spots

  1. Beatrice says:

    Drat, Ludwig, I thought that those dust bunnies were only confined to the floor areas and furniture missed during cleaning especially now that our home is a former mill apt (but even before). Yes, I was aware of the issue you mentioned with interchangeable lenses especially. In years past when I did use 35mm SLRs and later digital models, I never had the sensors cleaned and was unaware of such services at the time. Now, my two digital camera have only a fixed lens but dust is still unavoidable I’m sure. Good luck on your dust removing processes, and also in the competition which sounds like a very tough one.

    • Ludwig says:

      Haha, Beatrice, have to admit that I have some dust bunnies on the floor and under furniture too. Fixed lens cameras do have the advantage that any dust can only settle on the outside, at least the inside remains clean. I have submitted my group of photos and may never admit what percentage got in (if any!). It isn’t even a contest, “just” a gallery, but with “Gallery quality” photographs.

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