Rocket Blower, I Love You

Seems that photography is a topic the moves me to write at the ‘geek. So let me get in a quick post about a simple little device that has blown me away, pun intended.

I’ve been shooting, developing and scanning my own black and white film for about two years now. And one of the biggest problems with the DIY method is dust on my negatives. I’ve tried all sorts of methods to keep it at bay. The one that worked the best was canned air, but it’s not particularly environmentally friendly.

Then I heard that a number of DIY photographers swear by Giotto’s Rocket Blower, which is a completely analog solution, if you will. Really, it’s just a big hand-operated bulb blower shaped like a rocket so you can easily set it down.

I’ve had this roll of film that I did a horrible job of developing and drying. I was in a rush and wasn’t careful and just botched it badly. When I first went to scan it the negative was so dirty and messed up that I got too frustrated only got about half-way through. Finally, today I decided to give the rest of the roll another shot wiping it down with an anti-static cloth and blowing off dust with the Rocket Blower.

Holy crap! This neg turned out as clean as anything I’ve ever scanned myself. I had to clone out only a few specs of dust in Photoshop. Pre-Rocket Blower I would have to spend several minutes hunting down specs and tiny hair-like dust particles.

La Patisserie P

It’s also great for cleaning keyboards or anything where you need to blow some dust out easily, but careful. In that way it’s better than canned air because you have much more control and are less likely to blow dust into something delicate when cleaning electronics. It’s nice to discover that sometimes the simple things work best.

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