Dust is a killer to the digital camera’s sensors! The sensor acts like a magnet and sucks that dust right in.
When working in dusty conditions, and let’s for the sake of things include windy beach conditions as well, keep your camera in a sealed bag when not in use. Consider using a cover for your bag to decrease the amount of dust/sand that can rest on it and then fall into it during opening.
If you can, DON’T change lenses in dusty/sandy conditions. If you have to, try to get into a closed space such as a vehicle to do this. Before changing your lens, turn your camera off and clean around the lens on the camera with a fine brush and cloth. Point the camera to the ground, not upwards – it’s the old law of gravity here working to help us keep dust out.
Try and predict which lens you may use the most for that shoot and have it already on. This is where all purpose lenses are handy in the kit.
Have a UV filter on every lens you own.
Keep wiping your hands. Dust and sand will settle on your hands and if you then go and change a lens could fall into your camera. Dust particles can be minute and unable to be seen by the human eye.
Keep a clean cloth for wiping your lens – DO NOT clean your lens with scratchy material such as a shirt. Use the special clothes to gently remove the build up of dust/sand from your lens.
Don’t clean your own camera’s sensor. I know there are people out there with all sorts of gimmicky equipment to allow you to do it yourself. Our advice is don’t do it!
Keep your camera bag clean. Vacuum it out and shake it upside down. Don’t forget the pockets too.
This image was shot during the dust storm sweeping acorss south-east Queensland today.
Image by Danielle Lancaster