What’s that spot? – DSLR Cleaning

DSLR Cleaning

DSLR Cleaning

I just had an email from a student of mine who has started to notice some blurs and spots on her images.  She’s cleaned her camera lens and her filters – where can this dirt be?

Well the fact of the matter is that there are tiny specs of dust inside her camera on the actual camera sensor.  A DSLR’s sensor or CCD is an electromagnetic device and because of this, dust particulars are easily attracted to it.  It’s a bit like the way dust attracts itself to your TV screen like a magnet – same concept.

Does my DSLR need Cleaning?

If you want to see if your camera has sensor dust try the following:

Set your camera’s aperture to f22 in the Aperture Priority mode.

Then take a few shots of a plain white piece of paper or if you have Photoshop or Photoshop Elements take a picture of a blank white canvas on your computer screen.

The result will look something like this:

DSLR Cleaning Sensor Dust

DSLR Cleaning Sensor Dust

Ugh! Black spots! that’s one dirty sensor!

The can be removed in Photoshop but it really is a pain to do lots of shots like this.

What you need is a little sensor cleaning!

DSLR Cleaning Tips

The problem is that cleaning this sensor can be a tricky job one and having been in the business, I never recommend doing it yourself.   In my opinion, unless you are very confident and know precisely what it is you are attempting, leave this job to the professionals.  Find your local camera service centre and ask for a service quotation which should include sensor cleaning.  Then shop around till you find the best deal.

The best thing you can do is try to avoid this problem in the first place.

  • Keep your camera body attached to a lens at all time.  There is no need to separate the lens from the body unless your are changing lenses.
  • When you are changing lenses do it as swiftly as possible and try not to do it in very dusty/sandy windy environments
  • Store your camera in a specific camera kit bag link
  • Vacuum out the inside of the bag on a regular basis
  • If you do have to get your camera senor cleaned try and go to a local service centre where possible so that you can have a faster turn around time than mailing off your camera body back to the manufacturer.

If you are interested in cleaning your sensor yourself this is a really great website which goes through the procedure step by step.

Be warned though this is not my recommendation and if you mess up your sensor – bye bye warranty and sometimes byebye camera….

Best idea – keep it clean people!

Happy snapping

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Image thanks to  petar_c http://www.flickr.com/photos/ceklic_petar/1208075186/

My interview with LadyT

Lady T and Ingrid

Last Wednesday was March 17th which as everyone knows is St. Patrick’s Day, our Irish national holiday (and also one of my favorite days of the year!)  As my regular readers already know I’m Irish through and through – no  really -  I was actually born there and lived the majority of my life there so it really is a special day for me!

Anyways, I just thought I’d let you know that I spent this glorious St Paddy’s day morning being interviewed on Blog Talk Radio on “For Powerful Women Only” about Adapting and Changing (to my life here in the US) and entrepreneurship and all sorts of other chit chat.  The interview was such fun and was with Lady T “The Business Coach for Moms.”   She an awesome coach!  Even through the course of the interview, she was able to pull out of me some really interesting and thought provoking insights.  Being a work from home/homeschooling/ mom of 5, she knows a thing or two about all the trials and tribulations that moms have while endeavoring to run a business.  I am, as ever, a huge fan of hers and recommend her highly.

So, if you are interested in finding out a little about me and my background you might want to give the interview a listen here

And don’t forget to check out LadyT’s blog here for really awesome tips for women starting their own business.

Happy snapping

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Canon Powershot S90 Review

One of the coolest things about my job teaching people how to use their cameras, is  that I get to play around with all the latest camera gadgets and gear.   This week I had the pleasure of meeting a new student and she wanted to learn how to use her Canon Powershot S90.  I was so impressed with the camera that I wanted to share my thoughts on it with you guys.

Canon Powershot S90

Canon Powershot S90

Firstly, if you are looking for a camera that’s advanced enough to allow you to shoot in RAW, control your Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO, shoot in low light conditions but without the bulk of of a DSLR then the Canon Powershot S90 is the camera for you.

It has a super bright f2.0 lens and a high ISO rating of 3200 which essentially means you can shoot in really low light conditions without having to turn on that nasty flash or worry about motion blur and camera shake.  With such a wide aperture lens you’ll also benefit from a nice shallow depth of field (otherwise known as a blurry background!) in your pictures which is great for stunning portrait shots.

The Canon Powershot s90 is so small and compact it will easily fit into a purse, diaper bag or pocket.   I think that this is a great camera for women as it really does just fit nicely in my hand.  I found it really easy to access all the functions but I could see this as being a problem with bigger man hands though, as the controls are set quite closely together.

It also features a brand new design feature namely the Control Ring on the front of the camera that can be set to control ISO, Focus, exposure or White Balance.  This is something unique to this camera and kinda gives it an old school feel for me.  I like it!

Canon Powershot S90

Canon Powershot S90

One more thing that you can do with the Canon Powershot s90 and that is go diving with it. That’s right  -   the addition of an special underwater casing turns the Powershot S90 into one of the best waterproof digital cameras around allowing you to shoot fantastic shots as you scuba, snorkel or just when your messing about in boats. Because of that bright f2.0 lens it’s a fantastic underwater camera.  That’s one of the main reasons why my student bought it and I can’t wait to see her pictures from her diving trip.

S90 Underwater Casing

S90 Underwater Casing

Overall I was really impressed by the level of features and flexibility packed into the Powershot s90′s compact body.  I would definitely say that this camera is an excellent choice if you want to begin to move out of Auto Mode, without having to make the jump up to a DSLR.  Or if you already have a DSLR and you’re looking for a handy point and shoot camera, you’ll find that the Canon Powershot S90 will not disappoint on features or picture quality.  It’s no wonder that this is the compact camera of choice for many professionals out there.

If you’re on the look out for a new camera you can check out the Canon Powershot S90 here from my friends over at B and H Photo and get free shipping if you are here in the US.  I’m thinking this will be my next buy…


Happy snapping

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P.S. If you already own the Powershot S90 or end up buying it, please comment below and let me know what you think of it.