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Photography: Fixing Dirty Glass

November 20th, 2007

Cherry Orig with Dirty GlassPreviously, I posted this picture of a cherry shrimp in my 75G tank. I’m sure many of you noticed that the picture itself wasn’t necessarily the top-quality image. In particular, there are quite a few very distracting spots or blemishes throughout the picture, especially noticeable in the darker areas.

Well, these spots are often caused by dirty glass, either watermarks on the outside of the tank, or algae on the inside. If you really want to take some nice pictures of your tank, always be sure to clean the glass a few hours before shooting. If you do it right before shooting, you’re likely to stir of particles in the water column, which can also result in similar blemishes throughout your picture.

Finally, after you’ve thoroughly cleaned your glass, don’t forget to make sure the most expensive glass, the lens on your camera is also free of dust particles and finger prints.

Now, we all know that even if you clean everything, you may still end up with a spot here or there that you missed. So, how do you get rid of these spots? Photoshop!

Photoshop has a fantastic tool called the “Clone Stamp Tool” that makes this task easy. Simply select the tool from the sidebar, adjust the brush size so that it is just barely larger than the spot itself, and zoom in so you can more easily target the spot. Now, fully encompass the spot with the tool’s circle, and left click. The spot should now be gone. If what it automatically replaced the spot with looks good, you’re done. If not, you can undo it. Then, locate an area near the spot that looks good, and ALT-click on that clean area. Now, left-click back on the spot. It should hopefully look perfect this time.

If you repeat this process over and over again until all the spots are missing, you’ll end up with a much nicer looking picture.

Cherry Shrimp

A few more tips. While you’re looking for more spots to exterminate, it’s sometimes helpful to scroll the picture up/down/left/right to more easily see the spots moving around. Also, be sure to try looking over your photo at various zoom levels so you don’t miss any really big or really small spots.

6 Responses to “Photography: Fixing Dirty Glass”

  1. » Photography: Fixing Dirty Glass Says:

    […] You can read the rest of this blog post by going to the original source, here […]

  2. Me Says:

    Oooo, doctoring photos…. I’m calling the NY Times!

  3. Dan Says:

    Great tips! I often have odd looking spots in my pictures that I assume is some sort of item in the water colum. Go PHOTOSHOP.

    Here is a picture of one of my cherry shrimp

  4. Cherry Shrimp Says:

    Sorry, I guess I can not post pictures there!

  5. guitarfish Says:

    Thanks for the comments! Dan, your shrimp site looks quite informative. I’m looking forward to looking through it some more when I have a chance.

  6. 54G - Fish pictures!-- Guitarfish Says:

    […] really wish I had followed my own advice and cleaned the glass before this shoot, as there’s a lot of particular matter on the glass […]

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