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Oh dear.

 

I've just finished the edit of my trips to South America & Spain/Portugal. I did a very quick one when I returned from those places some five years ago, but only got a fraction done. 

 

Now I sit on 501 Photoshop files that need dust-spotting/QC for Alamy and I just want to scream. 

 

If I manage 1 picture a day, I'll finish some time in 2017.

If I manage 10 a day, I'll finish by the end of February. 

Or could I possibly manage more?

 

Any kind and uplifting words from you will be much appreciated. I'll start today, 8 January.

 

So I've been thinking. Whoever picks the date closest to when I finish the lot, will win an A4 size print of one of my pics.

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Are your dust spots consistent across a number of photographs? I only use prime lenses so lens spots don't move. Sensor spots shouldn't move for any lens/zoom [for a given sensor]...

 

When I use LR or ACR I copy my spot removal across pictures taken close together (with the same orientation) - I still have to recheck afterwards but tends to be pretty good for a first pass.

 

Sorry if teaching grandmother to suck eggs.

 

Mike

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Problem is, most of the pics have lots of really nice blue skies in them. As the trip to South America lasted nearly four months, proper cleans weren't possible during the trip, just the odd dusting now and then. So it's more and more spots the longer the trip lasted. And most shots were taken at F8, so they really show up big time. And then I also used my old 1DS in Rio.

 

I kind of know where the spots are, but there are many. I have developed my own system for cleaning them which involves creating an adjustment layer. This really works well, but it just takes a long time. And I'm really anal about finding every single one.

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It's raining here, has been for what seems forever, no new photos left to process, wish I was in your position!

 

Shooting with a Sony NEX, sensor dirt is not a major issue, it's not immune, but way better than what I was used to. I recently reworked some Canon 5D files and that reminded me of the bad old days.

 

Could be worse however, spotting scanned negatives, the thought makes me shudder.

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Other than selling the files to a "Spot the Difference" competition! May I suggest that if you process 50 files per day, (long days!!). Get extremely agitated so that at the end of the day you delete those files. After ten days you would have one file left to print for me on......ummmmm 18 January!!!!! :blink:

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Given your return per image you might decide to do a really fierce edit, again, although 500 for 4 months sounds pretty ruthless already.

(The first time I noted sensor dust I tried to blow it off with a bicycle pump. Might as well have used a spraycan.)

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Problem is, most of the pics have lots of really nice blue skies in them. So it's more and more spots the longer the trip lasted. And most shots were taken at F8, so they really show up big time.

I kind of know where the spots are, but there are many.

If the sky is even, without lots of white fluffy clouds, try the following in Photoshop:

  • add a second identical layer
  • in the bottom layer, add a little bit of Gaussian blur till the spots in the sky disappear
  • add a tiny bit of noise (select "uniform" / "amount" between 1,5 and 2,0 according to the amount of ISO grain in the original picture)
  • make a layer mask of the top layer
  • paint with black over the spots in the even blue sky
  • take care around the horizon so that that area doesn't turn out to be slightly blurred as well
  • et voilà (works also to get rid of banding in the sky  ;))

Adding a bit of noise is needed to prevent a "plastic" look.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

Thanks, Philippe. I'll give it a try. 

 

Here's how I do it with an adjustment layer.

 

1 - Process RAW file and open in Photoshop

2 - Add an adjustment layer - I tend to use "Levels"

3 - Move sliders to increase contrast until you see dust spots appear in the sky

4 - Go to background layer and use patch tool to get rid off the dust spots at 100%

5 - Delete adjustment layer

Edited by vpics

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When I have a big batch of images to process from a trip I start by cherry picking the most likely to sell or earn large sums and then work through to the less likely to earn money. So first commercially safe for agency X, then subject b for agency x, then subject c which gets spread around a number of agencies, interspersed with video for agency z, and doing some new work.

To me it alleviates some of the drudgery. By doing batches of subject matter I can also batch process the keywording in LR.

 

I was editing quite a bit whilst I was still travelling. I tend to work the way you suggested and I imagined that I'd done this, but it turns out I didn't. My memory is not as good as it used to be. 

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Can you import them into Lightroom>Press Q to select the clone/heal tool>tick the 'visualize spots' box>easy to see what needs spotting out>just a few seconds per image>job done

 

km

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I think that the Polaroid dust and scratch filter can be useful in some cases (good with sky, bad with areas of fine detail that can be mistaken for dust spots).

 

I copy the image and filter it, paste the original over the filtered copy and erase through.

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My workflow for this problem would probably be a Photoshop workflow. The downside is that you must manually open and save each image. But otherwise it is pretty fast.

  1. Open image in Photoshop
  2. Apply the Dust/Scratch filter to the image. Only apply enough of the filter to get rid of the dust. (Make sure that you are viewing the image at 100%) You will notice that the dust disappears but the overall images gets soft. Don't worry.
  3. Take a snapshot of the state of the image in the blurred state.
  4. Undo the Dust/Scratch filter (CMD-Z). There, your image is sharp again.
  5. Select the History Brush and activate the snapshot by clicking next to it.
  6. Paint the dust spots with the History Brush.

Voila! Be sure to save the edits. This process can be pretty fast if you use a Wacom tablet and may only require 2-3 minutes per image. You can also use keyboard shortcuts to speed the process. After you have applied the Dust/Scratch filter to the first image you do not need to go back to the Filters menu for subsequent images. Hit CMD-F to apply the last filter used. That will save you a few key strokes. Multiply that by 501 and that is a lot of key strokes.

 

Best of luck,

 

TC

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Can you import them into Lightroom>Press Q to select the clone/heal tool>tick the 'visualize spots' box>easy to see what needs spotting out>just a few seconds per image>job done

 

km

With LR, as I'm sure most know, you can zoom to 100%/1:1, hit the "Home" key then PgDn through the image. It automatically takes you from column to column (still at 100%) and guarantees that you don't miss anything.  

Edited by TokyoM1ke
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I do as Redsnapper suggests - target date - 4 weeks from now all done - allows a bit of flex to work on other images when you need a change of scenery

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It's raining here, has been for what seems forever, no new photos left to process, wish I was in your position!

 

Shooting with a Sony NEX, sensor dirt is not a major issue, it's not immune, but way better than what I was used to. I recently reworked some Canon 5D files and that reminded me of the bad old days.

 

Could be worse however, spotting scanned negatives, the thought makes me shudder.

 

I find the same thing. Dust problems are basically a thing of the past with my NEX cameras, even when I change lenses frequently. I was photographing in a very dusty area of Mexico a couple of years ago and came home virtually dust-free. Vultures riding the thermals high in the sky were a bigger problem. They looked a lot like dust spots.

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Something else that may be worth trying is to use a grad filter in Lightroom over the sky and apply negative clarity and/or negative sharpness. It certainly makes a lot of spots invisible in certain images. You may be able to use the visualise spots feature to see what is happening. It might also be possible to batch process in Lightroom by synchronising which is a lot quicker than the Photoshop method. It won't get rid of everything but it certainly significantly reduces the number of spots. It may be more workable than using the Spot Removal tool in Lightroom and synchronising as TokyoMike suggests because of the increase in the number of spots over time.

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Definitely what RedSnapper and Foreign Export said:

 

Lightroom > Spot Removal > tick the Visualize Spots box at lower left > then I like to crank up the Visualize Spots slider most of the way.

 

What's the difference?  I used to go blind going over images at 100%. Now I never inspect the whole image at 100% for dust spots. I see all the spots on the whole image, then only zoom in to correct them.

 

Another tip if you use this method:  within Spot Removal, when zoomed in, you can use all the usual navigation tools by also holding down the space bar.

 

I can't tell you how much time and vision the Visualize Spots function has saved me. 

Edited by Bill Kuta
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