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Bryan

Cleaning objects

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We've just bought a new radio and, out of the box, I decided to photograph it.

 

Big mistake, the resulting image showed loads of miscellaneous dirt on the surfaces. I then tried to clean the radio using a moistened paper towel and a cotton bud stick. This brought about an improvement, but the resulting image still required a whole lot of cloning to clean it up. It was reminiscent of having to spot a scan from an old negative. Part of the problem may have been due to the fact that the radio has a matt, almost rubbery, finish which seems to attract the dirt. Maybe I should have vacuumed the thing first.

 

Just wondered what other product shooters did to clean their subjects?

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1 hour ago, Bryan said:

We've just bought a new radio and, out of the box, I decided to photograph it.

 

Big mistake, the resulting image showed loads of miscellaneous dirt on the surfaces. I then tried to clean the radio using a moistened paper towel and a cotton bud stick. This brought about an improvement, but the resulting image still required a whole lot of cloning to clean it up. It was reminiscent of having to spot a scan from an old negative. Part of the problem may have been due to the fact that the radio has a matt, almost rubbery, finish which seems to attract the dirt. Maybe I should have vacuumed the thing first.

 

Just wondered what other product shooters did to clean their subjects?

I sell vintage on another site and have run into the same problem... I occasionally get lazy and don`t clean, but just dust off the product before taking a series of photos... big mistake... now I gently clean with a drop of dish soap in a bowl of water using a soft cloth and a light touch, then rinse.... of course, it depends on whether the item can get wet or not.... for jewelry, I have a jewelry cleaner... btw, paper towels will leave lint.

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Posted (edited)

Glad not only me. Gave up on my smartphone once. 

 

Just think how much dirt these contain:

 

1 x 1 Lego bricks in different colours. The most molded Lego brick in 2013 . 3.15 billion of this brick was produced Stock Photo

 

I think somebody mentioned a washing machine once, but that will make scratches - and probably not good for smartphones and radios - especially if the photo was not the only purpose of the buy.

 

Edited by Niels Quist
wrong preposition

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A softer light source can do wonders- your biggest softbox as close as you can manage. About the only cleaner that doesn't leave a residue or attack plastic is isopropyl alcohol, but I'm cheating on that- OH is a research chemist and I have analytical grade isoprop.

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7 hours ago, Bryan said:

We've just bought a new radio and, out of the box, I decided to photograph it.

 

Big mistake, the resulting image showed loads of miscellaneous dirt on the surfaces. I then tried to clean the radio using a moistened paper towel and a cotton bud stick. This brought about an improvement, but the resulting image still required a whole lot of cloning to clean it up. It was reminiscent of having to spot a scan from an old negative. Part of the problem may have been due to the fact that the radio has a matt, almost rubbery, finish which seems to attract the dirt. Maybe I should have vacuumed the thing first.

 

Just wondered what other product shooters did to clean their subjects?

 

 

There's the start of your problems "moistened paper towel and a cotton bud stick."

 

Paper towels and cotton buds just leave fibres all over objects I would avoid them.

 

I use an air duster can and then a large make up/blusher brush or paint brush to dust off.

 

If the object has still got dust particles then a damp lint free cloth cleans off the worst.

 

Then spend 2 hours cloning :D

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For the radio problem then the cheap tape rollers that you can get for removing lint from clothes would work I think, or just fashion something up from ordinary sticky tape to dab off the particles.

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Posted (edited)

 

3 hours ago, spacecadet said:

A softer light source can do wonders- your biggest softbox as close as you can manage. About the only cleaner that doesn't leave a residue or attack plastic is isopropyl alcohol, but I'm cheating on that- OH is a research chemist and I have analytical grade isoprop.

 

Mark, is that the same alcohol that's in my Estrella? 

 

Diluting by 50% is suggested for computer screens, so it should be safe enough for most hard surfaces.  

 

 

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Hi Bryan, I use an anti static cloth to wipe down, as paper towels/ cotton buds will leave fibres.

 

Nigel

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

 

Mark, is that the same alcohol that's in my Estrella? 

 

Diluting by 50% is suggested for computer screens, so it should be safe enough for most hard surfaces.  

 

 

😀 nice try, Ed, but no, we drink ethyl alcohol (ethanol). You can't drink isoprop. The molecules are in the wrong order. 

The official name is isopropanol, to avoid confusion.

Although IME the only way to avoid confusion completely is not to drink it.

It's a great film cleaner- I've used it to get splicing tape residue off 16mm.- but hard on the hands. The analytical grade stuff is dried to get rid of the water so it doesn't actually wet the film at all.

I've occasional used high-proof vodka on a surface that can take water.

Edited by spacecadet

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44 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

 

Mark, is that the same alcohol that's in my Estrella? 

 

Diluting by 50% is suggested for computer screens, so it should be safe enough for most hard surfaces.  

 

 

 

Or you could just use propriety screen cleaning wipes.

 

Allan

 

 

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Posted (edited)

For computer screens I just use the household glass cleaner, the sort with a bit of vinegar in it.

And a fluffy rabbit screen wipe with a chamois tummy.

Edited by spacecadet

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Thanks for the responses folks, appreciated!  Need to acquire an anti static cloth apparently.

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It's more fun to drink the alcohol which also makes the dust and dirt go away. 😁 Temporarily.

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Blowers, brushes and old lens-cleaning cloths. The moist single-use tissues you can get for cleaning glasses are really good for a lot things too (including computer screens).

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