Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Out, damn'd spot! out, I say!

That is what Lady MacBeth said and now I'm saying, Out, damn'd spot! out, I say!

I'm scanning film and preparing files to print for a group show and no matter how carefully I clean the film and the glass on the scanner, I have dust spots. This film from the Holga is so much worse than the film that I developed in my darkroom because the lab doesn't seem to have any dust control measures in place and we live in a dusty environment especially this time of the year. And besides developing the film in the lab without any dust control, they just roll up the film and put it in a plastic bag that is usually left open so more dust gets on the film before I pick it up and clean it as well as possible and put it away in PrintFile archival sleeves.

There is no comparison to the film that was developed in Houston in my darkroom. That film is clean to start with so maybe I'll have a few spots to clean up that managed to attach itself during the handling of the film to get it in the scanner holders. But the film developed here has dust on it from every step in the process.

What all this means is that every speck, every single speck of dust, shows up on the digital scan. My scanner has a dust removal feature that has helped with other film but when I try to use it with this film from the Holga that also has chromatic aberrations strange lines sometimes appear in the transitions from one color to another. So I can't use that feature on the scanner.

It is taking me more than an hour to clean up all those dust specks before I can even start to work on processing the image to print.

Out, damn'd spot! out, I say!


Nancy said...

When I saw the title of your post I thought it would be about laundry!!!

I guess that shows you where my mind is - I think I need to find a new lavanderia - our clothes come back with more spots than they left with!

Good luck with your kind of spots, though!

pitchertaker said...

When you go to bed tonight, don't forget to ask God to bless Adobe and CS3....imagine having to use Spotone to rid yourself of those spots.....sigh.


Anonymous said...

Writing about spots - it recently has come to my attention that the cheaper flash cards will drop bits and thus cause a spot on an exposure - quite maddening as I got a great deal on a 4 GB flash card that exhibits the problem ;-(

As pitchertaker suggests thank goodness for post production remedies.


Colin [] said...

Even better than the CS3 versus Spotone improvement - use one of those brushes that are designed to get dust off digital sensors (which you charge with static electricity). My dusty scan problem diminished enormously when I worked out that particular digital crossover.

I'm using one of the Visible Dust Arctic Butterfly models - but there are similar ones from elsewhere.

Billie said...

Colin, what a great idea. I'll give it a try.