Spotting

Sometimes, otherwise perfect enlargements show one or more tiny white dust spots. The simplest approach is to spot these in with black watercolor applied almost dry on the tip of a size 0 sable brush. You can also buy spotting dye in gray and sienna, as well as neutral black.

Alternatively, use a retouching pen that has a brush tip and contains its own dye (pens come in different shades of gray). Checking through a magnifier, stipple tiny gray specks into the white area until it disappears. Gray is successful for tiny spots on color prints too, but multicolor sets of pens are also made for this purpose.

Digital photographs should never be printed until the whole image is checked carefully on screen (magnified to at least 100 per cent) for dust and scratch marks. Any such problems should be removed from the file using either the Dust and Scratches filter or the Clone Stamp tool. The same approach can be used when spotting a marked print or slide. Start by scanning the original into a computer system and then use retouching software to correct the fault. You can then print out the mark-free result through any high-resolution digital printer. See Part 7 for more details on digital retouching techniques.

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