Troubleshooting Moment Dust and Scratches

Scratched, dusty prints can create giant headaches when you scan them. Cleaning your scanner's glass helps, but lots of photos come with plenty of dust marks already in the print. A similar problem is caused by artifacts, blobbish areas of color caused by JPEG compression. For instance, if you take a close look at the sky in a JPEG photo, you may see lots of little distinct clumps of each shade of blue.

The Healing brushes are usually your best first line of defense for fixing these problems, but if the specks are very widespread, Elements offers a couple of other options you may want to try.

The first is the JPEG artifacts option in the Reduce Noise filter (Filter —> Noise —* Reduce Noise).

Hopefully, that should take care of things.

If it doesn't, other possible solutions include the Despeckle filter (Filter —* Noise —* Despeckle), which is sometimes effective for JPEG artifacts. If that doesn't get everything, you can undo it and try the Dust and Scratches filter (Filter —£ Noise —> Dust and Scratches), or the Median Filter (Filter —> Noise —* Median). The Radius setting for these last two filters tells Elements how far to search for dissimilar pixels for its calculations. Keep that number as low as possible. The downside to the filters in this group is that they smooth things out in a way that can make your image look blurred. Generally, Despeckle is the filter that's least destructive to your image's focus.

So you may need to calibrate your monitor, which is a way of adjusting its settings. Before you fine-tune the colors in your photos, it pays to make sure what you see onscreen accurately reflects the colors in your final print. A properly calibrated monitor makes all the difference in the world for getting great-looking results.

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