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Weekly Photography Tips - Clean Your Gear

Sorry I missed last weeks tip but the flu ran through our household and I had a very very full weekend on the Outer Banks fishing and shooting the Wallops Island rocket launch. Spending a great deal of time in the wind on the beach brought up an issue I felt like I needed to address.

Once you move from cellphones and point and shoots to mirrorless and DSLRs you begin to have an issue not only with dust on the lens but dust inside the camera on the sensor. I captured an image of sunrise on Silver Lake, the harbor on Ocracoke Island Monday morning and when it came time to process it was obvious that I had done several lens swaps on the beach. The top, most lit portions of the image were filled with small spots from bits of dust and even a water drop or 2 on the sensor.

I was careful and tried to swap in the back of the truck but in the harsh environment of the Outer Banks there was no getting away from it. It's important to keep some lens wipes handy for the outside and if you notice dust in your images find a protected area open up that body, turn it upside down and use a rocket blower and gravity to get some of that dust out.

Once you are home or at least in a hotel room I highly recommend using some cleaning solution and a sensor wipe to clean the surface of your sensor. This is a delicate maneuver and requires you to actually wipe sometime across your very expensive sensor so I can't advise doing it out in the field.

Here is a link to a great video by Nigel Danson on how to check and clean your mirrorless sensor. The same applies to your DSLR you just need to lock the mirror up first.

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