Dirty dust spots almost ruin beautiful carnation photograph

Today I though I would take you behind the scenes and share one of my top tips for editing photographs and removing unwanted dust spots. 

Picture the scene

So you’ve got yourself a beautiful subject to photograph – such as a blood red carnation flower. You set it up in a light tent, the lighting is working brilliantly to create some wonderful textures. Snapping away and get some lovely shots. You come away from the shoot thinking – fantastic! This image looks great and will not require much editing work in Photoshop. 

editing a carnation flower - finding the dust spots

editing a carnation flower – finding the dust spots

It is not until you apply a solar curve to the image that the problems make themselves known! As you can see from the image below – the curve has highlighted numerous blemishes – ahh!

Solar curve highlights dust spots on photograph

Solar curve highlights dust spots on photograph


How to removed dust spots 

Once these are more obvious it becomes much easier to remove these blemishes with the spot healing brush tool in Photoshop. 

There is a brilliant article on solar curves which also provides a free downloadable Photoshop plugin. I’d recommend taking a look at this if you want to understand the process in more detail. 

As for my carnation – well I was much happier with the results after I gave it some TLC. And the very important lesson I learned here was to keep my lenses clean!

Final edit of the Red Carnation

Final edit of the Red Carnation

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Portrait of Sara Sadler- Photographer


I am a nature and wildlife photographer based in the South of England. I enjoy sharing my photographic adventures and photography hints and tips.

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