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Photo Tips From A Pro - Oh Snaps!

Shooting Straight: Photo Tips From A Pro Sensor Cleaning

May 1, 2009
Photographers: James Evins, Leonard A. Loya, Hector Moran, Joel Montecalvo

As digital SLR camera sales increase, so do the number of bells and whistles. Today, "shaker" systems are all the rage. Such cameras allow photographers to simply "shake" dust from their sensors rather than manually clean them. While more conventional air bulbs can also be used to blow dust from the sensor chamber, much of the debris is simply too stubborn to be blown away despite the shaking or blowing. Oftentimes, sensor contact is required. Besides, many newer SLRs are assembled with large amounts of chamber lubricant that actually help the dust cling to the sensor's face anyways. And if you think you've been swapping lenses fast enough to avoid taking in any dust, think again. Each time you zoom, your lens pulls in tiny bits of dust. High-end lenses like Canon's L-series offer improved O-rings and tighter tolerances, but even those act as vacuums during the zooming process. You can always send your camera back to the manufacturer for a good cleaning or stop by your neighborhood camera shop for servicing, but that means downtime...and a bill. Take charge. Save money. Clean your own sensor. Such cleanings should be performed regularly but, once you get past the initial fear of open-heart camera surgery, you'll find it's not too difficult. There are a number of cleaning kits out there, most of which include some type of cleaning device, non-scratch wipes, and a cleaning solution. I rely on for its cleaning kits. They're affordable, easy to use, and the company's website even has easy-to-follow video tutorials. The process gets easier every time. Pricing starts at $25, but that's a small price to pay for photographers who're serious about their equipment.

* Store equipment in a dust-free environment
* Save time and money by cleaning your own sensor
* Perform regular sensor cleanings to avoid spots and clung-on dust

* Blow into the chamber to free dust and debris
* Leave your camera body exposed without a lens cap
* Use cotton swaps or tissue to clean your sensor

Work For It...Sort Of
THE GREAT HONDA TUNING PHOTOG SEARCHThink you've got what it takes to shoot a feature for Honda Tuning magazine?All it takes is that winning submission to Honda Tuning's official Oh Snaps! photo contest and you could be on your way to a life of automotive fortune and fame...or at least have the chance to shoot a Civic and get paid for it. Read on for contest rules and details.

E-mail submissions to:

All Honda Tuning magazine Oh Snaps! submissions must be Honda or Acura-related. Only high-resolution, non-watermarked images will be eligible for prizes. Honda Tuning magazine reserves the right to crop, resize, enhance, and remove watermarks from all submissions. All submissions must be accompanied by complete contact information including the photographer's name, phone number, shipping address, e-mail address, and website address (if applicable). Only submissions with complete contact information will be eligible for prizes. Eligible Oh Snaps! winners' photography will be selected by the Honda Tuning staff and printed in subsequent issues at the discretion of the editorial staff. Photographer credit will be displayed with all published images. Honda Tuning magazine reserves the right to publish Oh Snaps! submissions at its discretion for any and all Oh Snaps! photo contest purposes. Reimbursement is neither expressed nor implied for any Oh Snaps! photo submissions. Coinciding with each 2009 Honda Tuning issue, one winner will receive a Mothers car care package and automatically be entered into the Grand Prize drawing. Honda Tuning Oh Snaps! Photog Search Grand Prize drawing winners will be named in the July and Winter issues and will be eligible for paid freelance photography opportunities with Honda Tuning magazine. Honda Tuning On Snaps! Grand Prize winners will be subjected to the standard terms and conditions outlined in Source Interlink Media's standard Freelance Photographer Agreement. Good luck!

By Rodrez
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