Dust is the Answer!

Most of the time when you say the word dust to a photographer they get that angry annoyed look on their face having had to deal with dust at some point in the past either on their sensor or covering the body. Most of the time it is our nemesis as it represents the natural elements that we can’t control as a photographer and we like being able to control those things. Well dust can actually play a very important role photographically when it comes to the concept of light.


Light is the essence of our photos and it is constantly changing. What a lot of people don’t know is that dust particles can actually increase the effect light can have in a landscape image because the light is actually refracting off of those particles. It can create a layer that almost looks like steam or fog because of all the little particles. For instance when I got out to the fishing whole last Saturday I saw this one spot through the canyon where the light was coming through and a car had just passed by. I grabbed the D4 and 24-70 AF-S and made a few quick shots. The dust from the dirt road that the car kicked up was enough to create this effect of intense light. Those little particles that we hate so much on our camera gear can be so beneficial when used correctly.

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