Lift & Stamp the Retouch Adjustment to Clear Sensor Dust
Sensor dust is one of those things that have plagued us all. One of my worst examples of it was when I was shooting the Pokot tribe in Kenya for two weeks, out in the bush, surrounded by dust, dust, and more dust. No matter how careful you are, that crud will make its way to your sensor, and show up on every photo you take (especially if shooting at a wide depth of field).
Fortunately, Aperture makes it dead easy to fix once, and apply to many, using Lift & Stamp. But what you may not realize is that even if the photo has been cropped or rotated, stamping the retouching will still work just fine, because like all Aperture adjustments, it's applied to the source, not to the adjusted image.
Sample dusty files
Here's a couple of photos shot at the same time, but clearly different composition. You can see the big dust spots and that they line up from one shot to the next (red circles), and you can see that these are not the same file as the exposure and even composition is totally different (blue box).
By the way, that's just four of the spots you're seeing above. If you have four spots to fix, then I'm sure it's no big deal to do it individually to images. These photos, however, were in pretty bad shape…
Yeah… 45+55=100 spots. (I'm not exactly sure why I did some as Retouch and some as Spot & Patch. This image dates back to 2006, so it's likely I revisited it at some point after the Retouch tool was introduced, and did more work the photo). OK, so once retouched, all you have to do to lift and stamp (i.e. copy and paste) these adjustments to another image or series of images. That means with the retouched image selected, you click the Lift button, copying all the adjustments (and rating, IPTC data, etc.) to the Lift & Stamp “clipboard”.
Then just select the image(s) you want to stamp them too, and click the stamp icon.
It's also worth noting that if you want to not include everything in the stamp, not only can you disable entire categories, but you can delete specific items from a category by just selecting them and tapping the delete key on your keyboard.
And it works on cropped and rotated images, too
This is quite possibly the coolest part about this. If you have an image that's cropped, rotated, even shot at portrait instead of landscape, this still works!
Here I've cropped the image on the left dramatically, yet as you can see in the before and after, the spots (circled in red) have been removed.
One thing to watch out for…
In the sample above, with so many spots retouched, or really any time you Lift & Stamp retouching, you will want to take a close look at the stamped files to be sure you haven't stamped out something important. If a sensor spot landed in the sky on one photo, but right on the corner of the subject's eye on another, the retouching may be undesirable. So do pay attention to the result, just in case!
How do you use Lift & Stamp?
Lift & Stamp can be a powerful ally in the war against sensor spots, as well as giving any batch of images the same look you've worked so hard on for one photo.
How do you use the tool?