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Scan-It-Yourself – Figthing against Dust

Dust is your enemy. When you’re used to manually scan your film, you surely had experience about dust and I bet that you hate that marks that dust leave on your scanning. And it’s annoying when you have to re-scan a negative frame because of a dust particle…

Cotton Gloves Can Help You
You can easily find them in internet shops like eBay or other sites of photography equipment. These gloves are made usually in white cotton, because:

  • Colored cotton has some chemical color that can react with film.
  • Cotton is a good tissue to not ruin film (wool would scratch the film) and can be used to remove big parts of dust.

Compressed Air
In every single good information and technology shop you can find a spray can of compressed air. IT technicians or pro experts usually use that to clean electrical components, or to simply clean periodically the inner part of computers, between one silica card and the other (but also to remove dust from the fans of the processor and graphic card.

Armed with you cotton gloves, you can use compressed air to remove all the minimum spots of dust from your films.
Believe me, it’s magical!

Try to Be Romantic
I have to confess that sometimes some dust particle looks good. In particular with XR Redscale film, I love to have some “old school dusty spot”, just to have a vintage look in the picture.
It’s only a matter of romanticism: as analog photographers, we love imperfections, we love errors and we love that little dust particle in the picture…
Art is made also with this kind of approach… Enjoy and experiment with your scanner.

Read also the other old articles about scanning with the Epson V500 scanner…

Alessandro Panelli (aka yo.panic or .panic) is a Medicine and Surgery student, a photographer and a writer from Padova (Italy, near Venice).
Read more about Alessandro’s work and life in his tumblr or add him on Facebook or Google+.

written by yopanic

1 comment

  1. mafiosa


    Thanks for sharing. Even with these tools, I find dust is still a huge problem. I think I am going to start covering my scanner between uses to help prevent dust from gathering on it.

    over 1 year ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Spanish & Deutsch.