I have a Canon 5D full frame that I bought in 2007 and still use, but it doesn’t have a dust cleaner built in and it seems to suck in dust with every stretch of a zoom lens, so its photos often show dust spots such as those below. The dust is most apparent on light coloured areas, particularly in the sly, but they are simple to remove. I use Photoshop CS4 which is an older version and doesn’t have the latest software dust removers, but it works using a combination of the cloning tool and the spot healing brush.
Lens flare is a different beast altogether, which I usually capture deliberately for an effect, or just delete any affected photos. However, for the purposes of this exercise I used a snap of the Natural History Museum at night and attacked the flare in the left side of the frame with a combination of clone stamp modes. That wouldn’t stand up to closer examination, so I achieved a better result by cropping the flare out completely. That isn’t the required solution here but I tend not to capture flare accidentally.
Q. How justifiable do you think this exercise was?
A. Dust and flare are imperfections within the camera and not what you might see in the scene so why would there be any objections to removing them? There may be times when you want to use the dust to illustrate how dusty the scene was, although you’d need your viewer to be au fait with camera imperfections, and you may want to use to use flare as an effect. One may still buy filters that cause a starburst effect similar to flare so it must be a popular effect for some people.