How to Spot Dust on Camera Sensor in 5 Steps?

How to spot dust on your camera sensor? How to keep DSLR clean to capture food photography? How did I spot dark spots on my camera sensor, mirror, and lens?

How to spot dust on DSLR in 5 steps by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling. @healthylauracom HealthyLaura Food photographer & foodblogger tips to keep your camera clean and save time on editing in Lightroom. Spot dark spots on images & test if your camera is full of dust with white wall, blue sky and lightroom #foodphotographytips #foodstylingtips #photogaphytricks #foodphotography #foodstyling #foodblogging

Dark spots: Cleaning Madness

I think you agree with me that small dark spots on your food images are frustrating. How did I understand that I need to clean my DSLR sensor from dust?

Dark spot on food images? Spot dust in 5 steps by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling. @healthylauracom HealthyLaura Food photographer & foodblogger tips to keep your camera clean and save time on editing in Lightroom. Spot dark spots on images & test if your camera is full of dust with white wall, blue sky and lightroom #foodphotographytips #foodstylingtips #photogaphytricks #foodphotography #foodstyling #foodblogging
It was almost perfect … Not really?!

But first, a quick backstory. I managed to capture a soup image that I was quite happy with. I spent a long time cooking and styling the soup, and I was sure it’s almost perfect. Unfortunately, I ended up having dark specks and smudges all over the place because of the dust. I spent forever cleaning up in Lightroom. In the end, I would have saved time with a clean lens and camera sensor. 

Camera sensor dust & 5 steps to spot how dirty is your gear by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling. @healthylauracom HealthyLaura Food photographer & foodblogger tips to keep your camera clean and save time on editing in Lightroom. Spot dark spots on images & test if your camera is full of dust with white wall, blue sky and lightroom #foodphotographytips #foodstylingtips #photogaphytricks #foodphotography #foodstyling #foodblogging
Camera Sensor + Mirror + Lens: Yes, Dust + Dust

Still, it’s not always lens dust that you can clean with a cloth. In this case, I had dust on my sensor inside the camera. That’s why went to a professional who cleaned my camera sensor. In addition, I had dust or dirt on the camera mirror or lens exterior elements. 

How to spot dust on DSLR in 5 steps by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling. @healthylauracom HealthyLaura Food photographer & foodblogger tips to keep your camera clean and save time on editing in Lightroom. Spot dark spots on images & test if your camera is full of dust with white wall, blue sky and lightroom #foodphotographytips #foodstylingtips #photogaphytricks #foodphotography #foodstyling #foodblogging
White wall + Adobe Lightroom = spot camera sensor dust
How to Spot Dust on Camera Sensor Step-by-Step?
  1. Set your camera on manual mode or aperture priority mode (A vs Av). 
  2. Turn off the autofocus and set your lens on manual focus. Set your setting on ISO 100 and f/16.
  3. Take a blank image from a white wall or a clear blue sky.
  4. Go to Adobe Lightroom spot removal tool & visualize the spot removal tool. Look if the dust appears in the same spots. You don’t see the sensor dust through the viewfinder and you can see the spots on the image. Some spots might only be visible in 100 % zoom. 
Spot dust on camera in 5 steps by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling. @healthylauracom HealthyLaura Food photographer & foodblogger tips to keep your camera clean and save time on editing in Lightroom. Spot dark spots on images & test if your camera is full of dust with white wall, blue sky and lightroom #foodphotographytips #foodstylingtips #photogaphytricks #foodphotography #foodstyling #foodblogging
Adobe Lightroom spot removal tool

5. If you can see some spots, then let a professional in your local photography shop clean the camera sensor. Well, you can always do it yourself. Still, I highly recommend you to let a professional do the work. It’s a very delicate job and requires special tools that need to be used with extreme care.  

The only thing I use is this lens cleaning air dust blower for my camera. I don’t like to risk to clean the sensor by myself. Yes, I’m clumsy.

Spot dust on DSLR in 5 steps by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling. @healthylauracom HealthyLaura Food photographer & foodblogger tips to keep your camera clean and save time on editing in Lightroom. Spot dark spots on images & test if your camera is full of dust with white wall, blue sky and lightroom #foodphotographytips #foodstylingtips #photogaphytricks #foodphotography #foodstyling #foodblogging
My solution?

I always try to carry a camera cleaning cloth and dust blower and let a professional clean my camera sensor when needed. In addition, I try to create a routine and clean my lens with a cloth before every shoot. 

Also …

“Education never ends, Watson. It is a series of lessons, with the greatest for the last.”

And so it is with this blog post.

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