A Clever Way to Catch Those Pesky Sensor Spots

6-1-2014 12-43-34 PM

Oh, those pesky sensor spots!  I’ve had my share of sensor spot issues lately with my Canon 1DX – primarily because of my constant use of the Canon 100-400mm telephoto lens with this camera body.  This particular lens has a stupid push-pull zoom ; WTF was Canon thinking ?  If you own one of these, put your fingers near the rear of the lens and feel the rush of air as you pull out, then push back the zoom mechanism – air carries dust particles which attach themselves to your camera’s mirror and ultimately the sensor – bleah.  I hear, though, a rumor that a new version of this lens *may* be coming out and it *won’t* have that push-pull thing…..of course, it will be more expensive, what else is new?

Anyway, I digressed.  Sorry.  Back to the sensor spot problem.

I was reading a past issue of the NPP (National Photoshop Professionals) magazine and one of my favorite sections in that publication consists of photo editing tips and tricks in which regular people/photographers like you and me send in helpful hints for various editing processes.  The one tip that stood out in this edition was how to easily spot hard-to-find sensor spots for cloning out of the picture if you are working with Photoshop.


That’s it.  That’s all there is to it.

Ctrl-I makes your image into what looks like a negative or x-ray.  It can emphasize those sensor spots that are very faded, but still present within the photo – sensor spots you may not be able to distinguish by looking at the photo in its original view.

Ctrl I

If you are not working with layers at all, simply Ctrl-I and then utilize your “band-aid” tool of choice to clone out the sensor spots.


If you *are* working with layers (which is what I do), then you must first create a new layer (Ctrl-Alt-Shift-E) and rename that layer to something recognizable (like “sensor spots”).


Now, this isn’t to say that you will see every single sensor spot in this mode.  It’s just a help to spy any spots you may have missed looking at the original photo.  I always switch back and forth.

Sensor Spots

It’s a nice little technique for helping you make your own photo look as fantastic as possible.

Morning In The Park

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