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Thread: How Deep Do You Dustbust 2021

  1. #1

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    How Deep Do You Dustbust 2021

    I found this earlier thread and wondered if anyone has any new tips/suggestions to add after 13 years:

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...ht=dustbusting

    The consensus in 2008 seemed to be:
    1. use the spot healing brush
    2. dustbust at 100%
    3. for big prints from 8x10 film, e.g., print size of around 96" on the long side, dustbusting may take days rather than minutes or hours
    4. to minimize time spent dustbusting, make sure you are not busting dust too small to see on the final print (maybe easier said than done when monitor resolution is much less than print resolution)

    I am currently dustbusting 8x10 scans for mural sized prints (96" or so) and having the same issues discussed in this thread from 2008.

    I tried the Filters>Noise>Dust&Scratches filter, but it will not work for me b/c it immediately lowers the sharpness of everything in the image. So, I am using the Spot Healing Brush.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to speed up dustbusting w/o sacrificing sharpness (other than #4, above)?

    Thanks!
    Michael

  2. #2

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    Re: How Deep Do You Dustbust 2021

    I generally haven't been doing huge mural sized prints. I never thought about what zoom level I was using to remove dust, I just zoom in close enough to see it well; if it's a very big piece, this is sometimes less than 100%. If it is a very delicate area - say some emulsion flaw in a part of the image with alot of details I don't want to lose - I may be zoomed larger than 100% while working it. Usually it's spot healing, but sometimes it's a careful use (ie; very soft, not 100% opacity) of the Clone Stamp. Alot of this has to do with the quality of the grain structure, and I approach it all very pragmatically. I dusted a 4x5 scan a few days ago, and was pretty messy, but at it all cleaned up in maybe a half hour working really fast. I'm very nimble with this, having done it alot. End goal is always to have at least 98% of the flaws gone, regardless of image size, with minimal agitation of the grain structure. If the grain isn't sharp to begin with, then that means it was a poor scan and should be re-done completely if it's a "serious" piece.

    I always do my dusting on a new empty raster layer that sits above the image layer. This makes it very easy to erase spots to try and do over if it doesn't look right. Also makes it very easy to do before/after comparison by switching it on and off. Nondestructive editing should be the default choice in this day and age.

  3. #3
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: How Deep Do You Dustbust 2021

    I clean up dust on scans of prints by adding a curves layer with an s-shaped curve. This makes the dust very apparent and I use the healing brush to clean up the original layer. As a precaution, I duplicate the original and later delete both that layer and the curves layer before saving.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4

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    Re: How Deep Do You Dustbust 2021

    Quote Originally Posted by Pieter View Post
    As a precaution, I duplicate the original and later delete both that layer and the curves layer before saving.
    You don't need to do this, though. Just make an empty raster layer and set the healing brush to "Sample Layer Below". This will potentially save alot of memory space; duplicating the original layer makes the file at least twice the size. This can make a difference when you're working on a huge scan and your RAM starts getting eaten up.

  5. #5
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: How Deep Do You Dustbust 2021

    Most useful thing is to prevent dust.. I run a air cleaner in the darkroom (keeps things clean when loading/unloading/developing) and keep film holders in antistatic ziplock bags when not in the camera.
    Most dust I see is probably from the scanner.

  6. #6

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    Re: How Deep Do You Dustbust 2021

    If I can't see the spot at arms length w/o magnifiers, etc, I don't bother with it. There was a time when I wore +10 magnifiers to spot , but decided that was ridiculous.

  7. #7
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: How Deep Do You Dustbust 2021

    Gotta agree

    Perfection is inauthentic

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    If I can't see the spot at arms length w/o magnifiers, etc, I don't bother with it. There was a time when I wore +10 magnifiers to spot , but decided that was ridiculous.
    image

  8. #8
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: How Deep Do You Dustbust 2021

    I prefer to do initial dust busting at an average size, so generally it is below 100% .... Once its determined final print size I will then do final dusting at that size. I use the healing and clone brush, I use dust and scratches for out of focus areas but never for areas that are sharp in the image.
    As said above always on a layer .


    I am inclined to think that there is no simple fix and therefore we spend time when required taking out the dust.

  9. #9

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    Re: How Deep Do You Dustbust 2021

    Quote Originally Posted by martiansea View Post
    If the grain isn't sharp to begin with, then that means it was a poor scan and should be re-done completely if it's a "serious" piece.
    Not here to fuck spiders

    https://youtu.be/wpAS3IHkzPc (at 3:05)

  10. #10

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    Re: How Deep Do You Dustbust 2021

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions!

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