Lesson 19: Keep It Clean

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If you’re expecting a lesson on how to keep your photos G-rated, that’s not what this lesson is about.  🙂  Rather, it’s about some basic maintenance that will help keep your images looking sharp.  Because we tend to use the iPhone for many things besides photography and we have it on us at all times, it tends to get dirty, including the little camera lens on both front and back.

If you find you can’t get a sharp image or there’s a constant hazy area in multiple photos, it’s probably a good time to get out the cleaning cloth and iPhone cleaner.

My personal preference is iKlear, which offers a lovely kit of Apple Polish cleaning fluid and clothes that are sized for just about every device you could own.  I use it to clean all of my monitors, laptops, iPad, iPhones, glasses, and even my glass-top desks.

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Speaking of glasses, if you wear them, clean them first, then clean the iPhone.  It will make spotting dirt (and dog hair) much easier.

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A small spritz of Apple Polish on an iKlear cleaning cloth removes the sunscreen, makeup, oil, and dirt from your phone.  (I don’t recommend spraying directly on the phone, just to be safe.)  Just don’t forget to clean the lenses while you’re at it.  In case you’re not sure where the lenses are, this slide shows you where they are (click to enlarge):

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The other thing to think about is if you have your iPhone in a case.  I personally use the LifeProof case most of the time because it’s water proof and I like to take my iPhone rowing.  Rowing a single-person sculling boat (especially at my limited skill level) leads to a high probability of flipping.  I also use the LifeProof Life Jacket when I row so that my iPhone will float.  I’m happy to report that the one time I did flip the boat, my iPhone floated and was kept completely dry.

That said, when you put your phone into a case that covers the lenses such as the LifeProof case, you want to make sure that you’ve thoroughly cleaned the inside of the case as well as the lenses on the iPhone before you put your phone into the case.  If you leave your phone in the case all the time, you can then just clean the outside of the case over the lenses to keep them clean.

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Your Assignment:  Take a few photos in different lighting.  See if there is a consistent pattern of fuzziness or haze.  If so, get out your favorite cleaning kit that’s safe for optical glass and clean away.

As a side note, I do not use iKlear on my lenses for my DSLR.

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