This hidden Lightroom trick lets you systematically search for sensor dust in your photos

Dec 30, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

This hidden Lightroom trick lets you systematically search for sensor dust in your photos

Dec 30, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Join the Discussion

Share on:

YouTube video

Sensor dust can be an absolute pain sometimes. No matter how clean we try to keep our cameras, it just seems to creep in there when we least expect it – and often when it has the most impact on our shots.  There are tools in Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw to let us clean it up, but we often have to zoom in and drag the image around, hoping that we find them all.

This neat trick from photographer Anthony Morganti makes this an easy systematic task with one simple keypress. I’ve been zooming and manually dragging images around in Adobe Camera Raw for years, and never knew I could do this. Now it’ll make cleaning up images a breeze.

The simple keypress is just the “Page Down” key. On a Mac where you might not have a page down key, Anthony suggests that the Function + Down arrow key does the same job. Essentially, after you zoom in to the top left corner of your image, it moves down your image one zoomed-in square at a time. Once it gets to the bottom of the image, it repeats from the top from the next zoomed-in portion across.

And, yes, hitting page up has the reverse effect, going back to the previous zoomed-in area, or allowing you to start from the bottom right instead of the top left.

In the video, Anthony shows the feature off using Lightroom, but I just tested with the latest Adobe Camera Raw as well as the final version of ACR for CS6 (ACR v9.1.1) and it works in those, too, so Adobe’s had this easy shortcut key available for a while. I wish I’d known about it sooner.

I really need to start pressing random buttons more often in software to see if it does something unexpected.

Did you know about this feature?

Filed Under:

Tagged With:

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

15 responses to “This hidden Lightroom trick lets you systematically search for sensor dust in your photos”

  1. Tom Robson Avatar
    Tom Robson

    It’s a function of Lightroom. Not a hidden trick.

  2. James Thomas Avatar
    James Thomas

    Cool, knowing this will allow me to be even more paranoid about the dust I and no one else will ever notice.

  3. meyerweb Avatar
    meyerweb

    To make it even easier, take a photo of an empty sky (then convert it to B&Wl or white wall (exposed so the wall is white, not 18‰ gray) then amp up the contrast in LR. Dark spots of sensor dust will show up much better against the white background.

  4. Phillip Ferreira Avatar
    Phillip Ferreira

    well, after all still not an automated process; just an easier way to scan image and ensure non portion is skip. ok, so do this once, and then use the sync function only for spot removal to all pics taken that day ….. might not work well if auto sensor clean is activated along

  5. deniisrodmon Avatar
    deniisrodmon

    do you know what ‘systematic’ means? horrible post.

  6. Clay Swatzell Avatar
    Clay Swatzell

    I didn’t know it was “hidden” but actually a fully documented feature. ?

  7. Peter Foote Avatar
    Peter Foote

    Hidden in plain sight.

  8. GTM Avatar
    GTM

    Equalize function in Photoshop is better than the visualize spots in LR I think, but then again this is a video about LR.

  9. Arthur_P_Dent Avatar
    Arthur_P_Dent

    Clickbait.

  10. Rense Haveman Avatar
    Rense Haveman

    Yep, knew that one for as long as I know Lightroom….

  11. Doug Sundseth Avatar
    Doug Sundseth

    I’ve been using that for years. Works even better if, while you’re using the spot removal tool, you also check “Visualize Spots”. (Note: You will probably want to zoom in before selecting the tool.)

  12. Aiden Franklin Avatar
    Aiden Franklin

    ?

  13. Maximilian Yuen Avatar
    Maximilian Yuen

    wow. a page down scrolling suddenly become “hidden” and “systematic”.

  14. Marco Ugolini Avatar
    Marco Ugolini

    Gosh, guys, I knew this one decades ago.