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Thread: Your solutions to dust?

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    84

    Re: Your solutions to dust?

    Thanks for all the excellent suggestions. I seem to have to become friends with the vacuum cleaner again.

    Adrian

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    2,089

    Re: Your solutions to dust?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Pybus View Post
    Yes, in CS 5 there is content aware operations (both for things like the healing brush and for delete) where ps looks at what is behind what you are removing. It doesn't always work but it has cut down my de-dusting by half.

    I got the first CS and dutifully upgraded each time but the only upgrade that was really worth it was to CS5.

    Adrian
    I use CS 5, am usually cranky at the changes they made in the curves dialog over CS 3 (grrrr). However, I will add that you should move to CS3, at least. CS 2 adjustment layers caused a lot of image bloat. They copied too much of the original layer somehow and every time you add a layer you almost double the size of the file. This was fixed in CS 3...

    Lenny
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    8,247

    Re: Your solutions to dust?

    I have a mini shop-vac with attachements dedicated to film holders and cameras. It works for me!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Location
    Oregon and Austria
    Posts
    1,917

    Re: Your solutions to dust?

    I vacuum the holders just before loading, paying attention to the light traps. I use a dedicated upholstery attachment with a turn of gaffers' tape around the bristles to get a bit more suction (it's only used for cleaning holders). Make sure your vacuum has a hepa-filter so it isn't launching lots of dust into your darkroom.

    Wash your hands well before loading film, roll up your sleeves or wear a short-sleeved shirt to keep lint from dropping onto the workplace. I also don one of those cheapie shower caps hotels provide and try to keep head and body away from the loading area.

    I keep the stack of film I'm loading emulsion-side down, turning each sheet of film emulsion-side up just before loading it into the holder. Total exposure of the emulsion side to air before the darkslide is closed is just a few seconds, thus keeping most airborne dust from settling on it.

    After loading, the holders go into new ziploc-type bags (re-used ones invariably have dust in them. I use them for sandwiches).

    Clean the bellows on the inside of your camera at home regularly. Extend them fully and blow them out then vacuum. In the field, blow them out occasionally. I carry a blower-bulb in the field. I especially do this if I have racked out the bellows a long way or used extreme movements, which can dislodge dust that has been hiding in the camera bellows. I take off the camera back, blow, wait for the dust to settle, put the camera back on, wait, then load the holder.

    Before loading a holder into the camera, I take it out of it's bag and brush off the dust that has collected on the darkslide and seating surfaces. It's always there, no matter how careful I am loading. I keep a lipstick brush in my vest pocket just for this purpose.

    Important images with lots of featureless sky get two shots.

    Once the film is exposed, dust is less of a problem until after the film is developed. However, drying is a dangerous time. Keeping the darkroom clean is a must, but don't clean just before developing film or you'll fill the air with dust. Better to leave things settled. I try to humidify the room by running hot water for a while before developing. The final rinse for the film is in filtered distilled water with PhotoFlo. The film goes from there to the drying hangers. If I can, I leave the room. If I am developing another batch, I try to keep my movements to a minimum to keep from launching any dust. As soon as the film is dry, it goes into poly sleeves to keep dust off the negs.

    When enlarging, I've found that spending lots of time cleaning the neg (blower and a new, freshly-washed microfiber cloth for stubborn particles) more than compensates for time saved spotting later. I have an ion filter that I keep running in a corner of the darkroom when I'm not in it, but turn it off when working to let the particles settle. If you scan, then you have the glass to worry about too. I quit using glass carriers because I found they did not help sharpness and just added more surfaces to clean and more dust-catching potential.

    Finally, I got good at etching small black spots from my prints. A 10x loupe and a small surgical scalpel used to just scrape off enough of the emulsion to eliminate the spot. The spot is then retouched with Spottone mixed with gum Arabic to match the print gloss. I don't do digital.

    This has minimized my dust problems tremendously. Hope it helps,

    Doremus Scudder

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    84

    Re: Your solutions to dust?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
    I vacuum the holders just before loading, paying attention to the light traps. I use a dedicated upholstery attachment with a turn of gaffers' tape around the bristles to get a bit more suction (it's only used for cleaning holders). Make sure your vacuum has a hepa-filter so it isn't launching lots of dust into your darkroom.

    Wash your hands well before loading film, roll up your sleeves or wear a short-sleeved shirt to keep lint from dropping onto the workplace. I also don one of those cheapie shower caps hotels provide and try to keep head and body away from the loading area.

    I keep the stack of film I'm loading emulsion-side down, turning each sheet of film emulsion-side up just before loading it into the holder. Total exposure of the emulsion side to air before the darkslide is closed is just a few seconds, thus keeping most airborne dust from settling on it.

    After loading, the holders go into new ziploc-type bags (re-used ones invariably have dust in them. I use them for sandwiches).

    Clean the bellows on the inside of your camera at home regularly. Extend them fully and blow them out then vacuum. In the field, blow them out occasionally. I carry a blower-bulb in the field. I especially do this if I have racked out the bellows a long way or used extreme movements, which can dislodge dust that has been hiding in the camera bellows. I take off the camera back, blow, wait for the dust to settle, put the camera back on, wait, then load the holder.

    Before loading a holder into the camera, I take it out of it's bag and brush off the dust that has collected on the darkslide and seating surfaces. It's always there, no matter how careful I am loading. I keep a lipstick brush in my vest pocket just for this purpose.

    Important images with lots of featureless sky get two shots.

    Once the film is exposed, dust is less of a problem until after the film is developed. However, drying is a dangerous time. Keeping the darkroom clean is a must, but don't clean just before developing film or you'll fill the air with dust. Better to leave things settled. I try to humidify the room by running hot water for a while before developing. The final rinse for the film is in filtered distilled water with PhotoFlo. The film goes from there to the drying hangers. If I can, I leave the room. If I am developing another batch, I try to keep my movements to a minimum to keep from launching any dust. As soon as the film is dry, it goes into poly sleeves to keep dust off the negs.

    When enlarging, I've found that spending lots of time cleaning the neg (blower and a new, freshly-washed microfiber cloth for stubborn particles) more than compensates for time saved spotting later. I have an ion filter that I keep running in a corner of the darkroom when I'm not in it, but turn it off when working to let the particles settle. If you scan, then you have the glass to worry about too. I quit using glass carriers because I found they did not help sharpness and just added more surfaces to clean and more dust-catching potential.

    Finally, I got good at etching small black spots from my prints. A 10x loupe and a small surgical scalpel used to just scrape off enough of the emulsion to eliminate the spot. The spot is then retouched with Spottone mixed with gum Arabic to match the print gloss. I don't do digital.

    This has minimized my dust problems tremendously. Hope it helps,

    Doremus Scudder
    Thanks again. The zip-locks seem like a good idea [and rubber band to keep the darkslides from sliding(my darkslides slide a bit too easily nowadays)] and the emulsion down before inserting was a good tip. Just need to get used to it.

    Adrian

  6. #16

    Re: Your solutions to dust?

    BTW,
    For you folks who actually pay for photoshop...Adobe has made a policy change. When CS6 comes out [in the next 6 months] the only upgrade path will be from CS5.
    So if you are on CS2/CS3 or CS4 and want to upgrade you should do it now - @20% saving in December to CS5.5 - You also get a free upgrade to CS6. I bit the bullet because I did not want to pay full price down the road.

    I will keep a CS2 installed because a number of expensive plug inns would not work on CS4/CS5.

    The content aware healing brush is much better than the one in CS2.

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