Overcoming Dust — My War on Dust Spots!

I hate dust spots on photographs! When I am reviewing images the first thing that will assault my senses and make me want to scream out in pain is the dust particle. It is my mission to save you from these pesky ugly dark spots on your images that take precious time and patience in post processing to eliminate them. Recently, I came back from a day of shooting and found that dust had infiltrated my sensor and begun spreading like wildfire. At that moment it became my personal mission to kill the dust. I am hoping that my pain will help you avoid a similar fate.

Help I have dust on my sensor!  This video will show you how to quickly remove them.

Now lets talk prevention….Your camera sensor is most vulnerable to dust when you are changing the lens so the obvious solution is just never change your lens. Done. Problem solved.  Wait?! The likelihood of that happening are slim to none so how do you change the lens and minimize introducing dust to the sensor?


  1. Start with a clean sensor. Clean it after each session, especially if you were out and about in dusty, sandy, dirty locations. A thorough cleaning, while scary, can be done and if you are not comfortable cleaning your sensor find someone through your local camera store who is able to do the job for you.
  2. Get out of the wind. If possible, try to change the lens away from blowing wind and preferably in an area with as little dust as possible. If I am out on location, and its relatively close I use the vehicle as a staging area to change lenses. If that is just not an option, change the lens inside the bag.
  3. Start with a clean lens. Be sure that the camera end of your lens is clean and free of dust. Get in the habit of cleaning your gear after each shoot and then you will always be ready to go on your next adventure.
  4. Power the camera off. When digital cameras are powered on, the sensor maintains a small static charge and turns the sensor into a dust magnate.
  5. Make it quick. Try to keep to a minimum the time that your camera body doesn’t have a lens on it. The longer it’s exposed, the more chance there is for dust to enter.
  6. Tilt the camera body down when changing the lens. This seems simple but if the sensor is facing downward gravity will help you keep the dust off the lens. It is not a natural movement to change the lens “upside down”  but once you get use to it you will think its normal.

Good luck in the battle against dust…I

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