Adam Stevens Photography

January 4, 2010

“What’s that spot on the wall?”

Or that’s what I said the first time I noticed a dust spot on my sensor. I am the first to admit I am not a pixel peeper (someone who looks the the pixel level detail in a digital photo), although I can get caught up in it. I tend to worry more about exposure then anything else, it’s the hardest to fix in post production. Color balance is not something that typically occurs to me as I am shooting because it’s so easy to fix in post (unless you are blending flash or different light sources then it gets wonky) and because I grew up shooting Tri-X. Black and white film doesn’t really care what temperature the light is…

I first spotted the dust spot when I was reviewing the photos on my computer. It looked like a spot on my computer screen, but cleaning that didn’t help (ha ha got ya!). I though it might be a spot on the wall, but when I compared two or three frames of the same wall, the spot moved. That can’t be good. What brings this all up? An v-mail from a friend over the holiday. Here’s my response…. For what it’s worth.

” I just got your voice mail this morning. I am guessing you thought of me because I have shot for so long with an older DSLR. As far as my sensors go, I have never done anything but clean them off with a blower (not a blower brush). One of the air only ones (without the brush) and big so it pushes a lot of air. I have heard to not use the canned air, as it’s to strong, and can have chemicals that can damage things…
Scott Borne uses the lens pens, after cleaning off the graphite, to clean his sensors, but says himself that he’s a bit of a rogue to use it. I had my D50 cleaned at Camera Techs about a year and a half ago,and they did a fairly good job. I have one smudge on my sensor that they were able to minimize but not completely remove, but it was only like $25 and they did it while I waited. If it’s your backup body, you could try it yourself, or you could convert it to an Infrared camera! That’d be wicked cool! LifePixel.com has kits and I think you can send it to them to have it done…”

Let me know if you have had any experience with that last one.  I used to think it was kind of gimmicky, but really like what it does to sky’s and skin tones.

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