Michael W. Graves
If it ain't broke....don't fix it!
The spot healing brush is a wonderful tool, used in concert with the stamp thing. If there's major spotting needed. there's a technique where you create a slightly blurred, spot free layer that's under a sharp layer and you can apply the history eraser to selected areas then in a much looser and quicker fashion than with the other 2 tools mentioned.
PS: when i am spotting, it depends on subject and needs.
I will check corners first, b/c thats where most of issues are , then move to main subject. Zoom will go from about 27% to 70% to 100% when retouching will be involved (24 inch monitor, 8x10 scan at 2400 dpi, or 4x5 at 3200.. Dont even want to do anything higher, as photoshop wont handle it - i use 16 bit gray DNG for all the scans (except for colour of course), and at about 2G ACR cant recognize it anymore.. 6400dpi of b&w produces 4.2G file btw, if anyone curious).
I keep hoping that infrared cleaning would help, but reality is harsh mistress..
"There are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something." - Thomas A. Edison
"Vocation to Solitude -- To deliver oneself up, to hand oneself over, entrust oneself completely to the silence of a wide landscape of woods and hills, or sea, or desert; to sit still while the sun comes up over the land and fills its silences with light." Thomas Merton
I doubt that for a reasonable size print, 20x30 or so that you would see the spots at larger than 50%. I usually spot at 66% for all my scan clients - this is a free part of the service. I am guilty of doing the 100% for my best images, or things that will go to 32x40 and larger.
Hope this helps,
Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing
For images I will print I do:
Duplicate the image
Filter - noise - dust and scratches
Open the history window - click the history brush icon next to dust & scratches and then click back on the original layer.
Now just go through using the history brush in either darken or lighten mode depending on if the spots are dark or light.
Here is a terrible example from small sand and dust that got in my holder. As you can see I am quite good at keeping my holders spotless.......
File (after editing):
@ 75% before:
Obviously not a quick method but very accurate and nearly flawless.
"There is little or no ‘reality’ in the blacks, grays and whites of either the informational or expressive black-and-white image" -Ansel Adams