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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

dust removal from photos

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Old 02-04-2005, 06:34 PM
Beth McNabb's Avatar
Beth McNabb Beth McNabb is offline
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dust removal from photos

How do I safely remove dust from photos before scanning or taking a picture of them? Peoples favorite photos tend to have quite a bit on them because they put them on their fridge etc. and then the quality is a bit compromised. I want to capture the image and then manipulate them. I would think dust removal before photoshop would be faster!

I have both very old black and white photos and newer ones that need cleaned up a bit.

Thanks for your help!

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Old 02-04-2005, 09:19 PM
cspringer cspringer is offline
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clean the picture and clean the scanner before each scan.
Download Polaroid Dust and Scratch does a great job.
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Old 02-04-2005, 09:20 PM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is online now
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Dust removal before Photoshop is faster, but Photoshop is much safer. Aside from a swipe with my cotton glove, I don't do much before scanning. Too much chance of an oops ruining the only remaining image of someone's grandma.
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Old 02-05-2005, 08:01 AM
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Beth McNabb Beth McNabb is offline
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I appreciate the info. I don't want to hurt the pictures but needed to swipe them with something! The dust shows up on the pictures a lot. Thought I'd save myself some correction time...

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Old 02-06-2005, 11:10 AM
CJ Max CJ Max is offline
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Dust removal

There is a product made by Visible Dust that works very well - not inexpensive by any means, but very effective for delicate surfaces. I bought a "kit" to clean my digital camera sensor and found that it works well on prints, etc. too.

You can catch them at:

I've got the Econo 1.6X Kit. It includes 2 brushes. I use the big one for my camera and the fan shaped one (smaller) for other sensitive items.

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Old 02-06-2005, 02:32 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Some more thoughts:

One can blow the dust off, but be very careful, blowing with your mouth can leave wet spots (nuff said), blowing with the cans of compressed air has too problems, the air carries a residue which will be left on the surface of the photo, and if you hold the can at an angle or something you can get the fluid to come out and it will freeze the surface with unknown (usually bad in my case) results.

I had a friend that had a small air compressor, with a very good filter system on the input, and she would blow the dust off with a very low pressure air flow.

The key is low pressure so as not to damage the orginal, and if it does not blow off, then just remove it in PS.

I second the cleaning of the scanner, etc before starting work....

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Old 02-06-2005, 06:25 PM
Beth McNabb's Avatar
Beth McNabb Beth McNabb is offline
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Thanks for your help!

It's nice to ask a question and get such helpful answers. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I've learned a lot from each of you on RetouchPro.

This is a nice community.

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Old 09-17-2005, 02:40 AM
clivet clivet is offline
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Hi Beth,

You might like to try my software for dust removal - its available for free download for evaluation.

See if it helps you and let me know

Clive Talbutt
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Old 09-17-2005, 07:18 AM
mdavis mdavis is offline
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Location: Missouri
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The commercial dust removal brushes are nice but would be WAY too expensive to use on a pile of old pictures.

I use an Epson 4870 Pro scanner with digital ICE which works nicely. I also purchased a top quality 2" brush with very soft bristle tips and use that for gently whisking surface dust from transparencies and photos before putting them into the scanner. If you are very careful, you can find good ones in the paint section of larger stores. Be sure to buy the more expensive brushes with split bristle (nylon) ends, and keep the brush away from dust and skin oils (in other words, don't touch the bristles).

The Polaroid filter mentioned above also works very well and is free. And the Spot Healing tool in Photoshop CS2 finishes the job.
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Old 09-17-2005, 09:32 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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myself i use either a lens brush or a china bristle brush, though the former is preferred. and, i dont know if these are still around, but you might try a make-up brush, the kind used for applying blush or pancake or whatever they were used for. they are very similar to a lens brush being very soft and fine bristled... and probably cheaper.

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