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If you’ve got a DSLR you’ve probably had the experience of uploading your photos onto your computer after a long day of photography – only to find that there are dark ‘spots’ and ‘blotches’ on your pictures.
These spots and blotches appear on all your shots in exactly the same position. They might be less noticeable on backgrounds with lots of detail (and more noticeable on plain backgrounds (like blue skies – especially when you have a small aperture) – but they’re there in all your shots (the picture to the left is one of the worst examples I’ve seen – and was the result of poor image sensor cleaning technique).
The reason for these marks is that you’ve almost certainly got dust on your camera’s image sensor.
Cameras are being developed that combat this problem (for example the Canon EOS 400D/Revel Xti and others) but until we all go out and upgrade our DSLR we’re all susceptible to it.
Most DSLR owners do eventually get some on your sensor (unless you never change your lens) but here are some tips for decreasing the likelihood of it:
To test if your image sensor is dirty photograph a white wall with a small aperture (large number) and you should see it in the images that result if you have any.
See some of the techniques for cleaning dirty and dusty image sensors below:
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