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Rain, spray and gunk

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Rain, spray and gunk
Shooting outside in all sorts of weather and conditions isn’t just a matter of keeping yourself warm and dry. There’s also the constant battle of keeping filters, lenses and even the sensor clean.
Now, you’ve probably heard loads of horror stories about dust and dirt on the sensor of the Nikon D600, and yes it can suffer from its fair share of gunk and dust spots. But it’s a similar story with every full-frame camera that I’ve used - change the lenses outdoors, use small apertures and you’ll soon notice dust spots, particularly in the sky, in many shots.
So, what do I do about it? Well, I’ve become used to cleaning the sensors pretty regularly, either with a Visible Dust brush or wet cleaning pads if it’s really bad. But if I haven’t had a chance to clean the sensor, then I get busy with the healing brush in Lightroom or Photoshop!
So, sensor dust is a bit annoying, but it’s nothing compared to the amount of time I spend trying to keep my filters and lenses free of water spray! Okay, I do have a bit of a thing about shooting near water and in stormy weather (so much so that it’s close to an addiction) but this means that I seem to be constantly checking the front element or filter for water drops.
I’ve tried all sorts of ways to prevent this happening, from lens hoods and umbrellas, to rain covers (both bought and home-made), but nothing seems to work. The reason is pretty obvious really, especially when it’s spray from waterfalls or breaking waves being blown around by a strong wind. Unlike rain, where you can simply cover the lens and wait for it to stop, spray is often both unpredictable, and also travelling almost horizontally! So there’s no escape, I just try to keep the time that the front of the camera is exposed to the spray to a minimum, and keep a cleaning cloth close at hand. But it’s inevitable that it will end up on my pictures, so I’ve become very, very familiar with the clone stamp and healing brush!


Sensor dirt and spray, cropped image
Sensor dirt and spray, cropped image


Sensor dirt and spray cleaned, cropped image
Sensor dirt and spray cleaned, cropped image


Cleaned image
Cleaned image
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