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Dust Anyone?

Today was going to be a good day, no it was going to be a great day. Did all my jobs early, sorted out the mess I called a photo filing system and as a reward I was going to make an accessory for my camera. It wasn’t much, I just wanted to make a pin hole lens for my Canon EOS. In under 5 minutes the lens was made and I went outside to shoot a statue to see how it worked. Happy with the result I had I went inside, loaded up the image into Photoshop and saw on the image not just a few dust spots but what amounted to a dust storm.

Never having had a major dust problem before I grabbed my sensor cleaning kit, still mostly unused except for a practice run or two. Before I attacked the sensor I took a photo of a blank wall, using a wide lens set to f22. I overexposed the image slightly. This is to make the background lighter. The exposure was around 8 seconds. But wait wouldn’t I need a tripod? No. Here’s why.

The dust and sensor move as one, so the time the shutter is open for is not relevant other than to give you an exposure to render a light grey background. Doing this makes the dust appear as a shadow against a light greyish background. With the exposure done as a reference frame, I set about cleaning the sensor as per the instruction included in the kit.

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Solving Some Soft Focus Problems

I get asked questions everyday regarding photography related topics. I was asked today by someone whether they should change thier camera  and/or brand and would this help improve the sharpness of their images. While this would seem to be a drastic measure to solve a problem and one I would not advise to do unless EVERY other possible solution had been explored, sometimes there is no other choice. This question got me to thinking about what problems people have with focusing.

I’m not one to use the term “Back When….” but in this case, back when we had manual focus ONLY, you rarely heard people talk about the lens being “soft”. Back focus or front focus was just bad technique, blurry images was a result of bad choice of film speed, shutter speed, aperture or it was from camera or subject movement. So what’s changed?

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Where Does Editing Begin?

Where does image editing and image manipulation get in the way? Is editing your image Cheating?

In a recent round of the Blue Gecko Images Photo Competition that I host every 2 weeks on Facebook, the winner wrote a short back story on what was involved in producing the photograph. (Image shown on left) (Link to Article). In this short article Ray (the Photographer & Editor) started off by telling everyone what equipment he used and the settings, he also went on to talk about the editing he performed to recreate the image he saw on the day. While I saw nothing wrong with the process that Ray went through to produce the photograph you see here, there were a few who went on about image editing. Some wanted me to include a separate category for unedited images in the photo competition. This got me thinking about the editing process. Where does it begin?

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