On Cleaning Your Lens (and then some)


OK, I’m thinking that some of you reading this are photographers at one stage or another. I’m at that other stage…wtfai? But I’ve cleaned enough dust spots off images so that I felt like my life was cleaning dust spots off images.

So…I should know better.

“Shame on you, Biff,” said the fox.

“Shame,” said J. As if one tormentor wasn’t enough.

“Biff,” said the fox, “what is the first rule for getting nice shots of…anything?”

“You do know the answer to that, don’t you, Biff,” said J. “And I’ll be checking the formatting of your answer,” said J, the fucking editor.

“OK,” I said. “You’ve got me. “I should have cleaned my lens before every…every single…shot.”

“Why’s that, Biff?” said the fox.

“Why, Biff, why?” said the insidious editor as he enjoyed every second of my discomfort.

“Because,” I said, “because…because…it was windy. It was windy and the wind was blowing all kinds of shit onto my lens. Shit like…dust spots!”

I shrieked. I wept. I wrapped myself into a fetal position and cried for hours. I experienced the first time I had sex and didn’t realize until the next day that I ejaculated pre-maturely and couldn’t think of a single apology that might sound like it was coming from a sane person.

I saw the day that JFK was assassinated. I was at school in Winnipeg. I was in English class. Everybody had already heard about it. There were students in the halls, crying. Students hugging each other. Everyone…feeling a deep sense of loss.

Our teacher stood at the front of the class. I forget her name now, but she was kind of…prissy. That was the word we would have used at the time. But she was a good person and made the burden of having to have an English class part of the curriculum into something that wasn’t as painful as it should have been. She could teach. And she loved to teach. She could make an adverbial sound sexy.

But, maybe she underestimated her students’ intelligence.

She stood before us and she said, “Has everyone heard the sensational news?

We balked. Sensational? Sensational news? JFK is dead and this is SENSATIONAL?

The PA came on with instructions for everyone to go home while she tried to explain what she meant. Students packed books and pens away, not listening to her. And she seemed so helpless as she stood there trying to get people who had already judged to understand. She was just as distraught as everyone else.

“You should have told her that, Biff,” said the fox.

“I thought I knew you, Biff,” said J, “But I think I’m going to have to turn the torment levels up a bit.”

“One of those moments, guys,” I said, “that you decide…you’re never going to do that again.”

Strange to think back all those years and remember that the US had a president who was  loved and respected around the world because he had a vision that included the whole world. And when he died, there were tears around the world.

And so…when you’re taking pics outdoors and there’s any kind of wind…I mean, even a puff…get that micro cloth or that lens pen out, and keep those lenses clean.

About the photograph…yeah…I could have spent a while removing the dust spots…but there are some areas that wouldn’t be easy. Cleaning the lens would have been much easier. And it takes just a few seconds.









Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s