October 31, 2002

Tigers Take First Step Toward Playoffs With Win Over Raiders

The Scotland County Tigers took the first step in extending the football season into the state playoffs with a 34-0 victory over North Shelby Friday night in front of the home Memphis crowd.

Cold and rainy conditions couldn't slow the Tigers down as they ran all over the Raiders. The SCR-I defense limited the Raiders to less than 150 yards of total offense. Constant pressure teamed with some hard hitting saw the North Shelby squad go through three different quarterbacks on the evening.

The bad news for the Tigers was the loss of their own quarterback, Curtis Cochran, who injured his knee on a long running play. The senior returned to the game after a couple plays on the sidelines but sat out much of the second half to rest the injury.

Injuries and a trio of Tigers turnovers were the lone negatives in what was an impressive team performance. SCR-I offset its miscues by intercepting three North Shelby passes on the evening.

North Shelby looked good opening the game behind a strong running game from tailback Trey Million. The Raiders ate up much of the first period before the Tigers defense made its stand. On fourth down and long Joel Myers and Michael Lodewegen sacked Raiders quarterback Scott Ratliff to end the drive.

The Tigers took over and marched down the field with Myers and Eric Long eating up the yards on the ground. SCR-I went to the air to pick up a big first down when Cochran found Chase Moore for a good gain. The Tigers kept the drive alive with a fake punt as Cochran took the snap and ran for 11 yards. But the next pass from Cochran was picked off at the one-yard line to end the Tigers 62-yard drive.

Scotland County did the job on defense keeping North Shelby pinned deep and forcing a Raiders punt to open the second period.

The Tigers took advantage of the good field position and mounted another impressive drive. Kiel Fogle moved the chains with a nice run. Long and Myers continued to pound away with the ground attack. The passing game contributed when Cochran hit Danny Roach with a pass across the middle. The junior receiver made a nice run after the catch to pick up some extra yardage.

With 5:47 left in the second period Myers capped off the long march with a four yard TD run. After an SCR-I penalty, Cochran hit Aaron Dale with an eight-yard pass for the two-point conversion to make the score 8-0.

The Tigers kept the pressure on as two plays later safety Clint Cottrell picked off the Ratliff pass a returned it 35 yards all the way to the nine. In his first game back after a knee injury, the junior was rewarded for his defensive efforts when he got the call on offense. Cottrell made a diving catch on the next play to haul in the nine-yard TD pass from Cochran. The two-point attempt failed. Scotland County led 14-0 with 4:43 left in the first period.



Clint Cottrell returns one of two interceptions he had helping the Tigers to victory in the opening round of district play October 25 against North Shelby.

North Shelby was able to move the ball past midfield on the next possession before turning the ball over on downs with 1:28 left on the clock.

The Tigers looked content to run out the clock before Myers broke a run up the middle. The powerful runner smashed through two would-be tacklers and rumbled down field for 59 yards before finally being drug down from behind.

That proved crucial as North Shelby then came up with its second interception of the game. Freshman linebacker Justin Smoot stepped in to snatch a pass across the middle and he scampered down the sidelines before Cochran wrestled him out of bounds 55-yards later.

But the Tigers defense made a huge stand, stopping four attempts by the Raiders to score from inside the 10-yard line as time ran out on the first half.

Scotland County started the second half with the ball. The SCR-I ground game continued its strong performance as Myers and Long moved the chains down the field. The big play came by accident when Cochran fumbled the snap. The senior scooped up the loose ball and ran up the gut. He turned on the speed and broke through the defense and angled towards the sideline on his way to the endzone before being forced out of bounds at the one-yard line. Cochran was injured on the play and had to leave the game.

Roach took over at quarterback and he gave the ball to Long who scored his first rushing touchdown of the year on a one-yard run. The two-point conversion failed. SCR-I led 20-0 with 9:41 to play in the third period.



Eric Long looks for some running room behind the blocks of Brett Masden and Aaron Dale. Long scored a TD and was the Tigers second leading rusher in the team's victory over North Shelby October 25.

The Tigers defense made back-to-back stands on the next series. Travis Onken had a big game for the Tigers, recording his second sack of the contest forcing a North Shelby punt. The kick was fumbled by Scotland County and the Raiders took over in good field position, keeping the SCR-I defense on the field.

Cottrell took care of that problem when he came up with his second interception of the game, returning it to the 32-yard line.

Cochran reentered the game to lead the Tigers down field once again. Faced with a fourth down and long yardage, Cochran rolled out to the left side and hit Aaron Dale with a pass to pick up the necessary yardage.

Myers and Long pounded the ball at the Raiders defense before Cochran scored on a one-yard touchdown run. Dale made the extra point kick to expand the lead to 27-0 with 3:01 remaining in the third period.

A pounding performance by the SCR-I defense saw North Shelby turn to its second and then third string quarterbacks for much of the second half. The defensive pressure did not let up as the Raiders turned the ball over on downs as time ran out in the third quarter.

Roach took over the reigns to open the final period. The team marched down field as Jared Shelley took over at tailback and started racking up the yards. A couple of penalties looked to stall the drive but Roach connected with Shelley on a big pass play to pick up the first down before the drive ultimately ran out of gas.

North Shelby took over on downs but didn't keep the ball long as Moore came up with the third interception for the SCR-I defense.

Less than a minute later SCR-I cashed in on the turnover. Roach hit Jason Findling on a quick out pattern. The junior receiver broke through a tackle and then sprinted for the endzone for the 35-yard touchdown. Dale made the PAT kick to increase the margin to 34-0 with 4:52 left in the game.

The two teams turned the rest of the game over to the junior varsity squads to run out the clock on the big win for SCR-I.

Myers continued his strong running performances of late with his second straight 100-yard game. He took the ball 18 times for 138 yards and a TD. Long had 42 yards and a score on nine attempts. Shelley carried the ball eight times for 49 yards.

Cochran completed five of 13 passes for 60 yards and a TD and was intercepted twice. He ran the ball three times for 59 yards and a touchdown. Roach was 2-3 passing for 43 yards and a score.

Dale caught two passes for 29 yards while Shelley, Roach, and Moore each had receptions. Findling and Cottrell both caught TD passes in the game.

Onken led another big team defensive performance. He had 11 tackles. Shelley finished with nine tackles while Dale finished with eight stops. Cottrell had two picks and Moore added the third INT for the Tigers.

The Raiders amassed just 118 yards of total offense. The rushing attack managed just 75 yards on the ground while the air attack was even less effective with only 43 yards.

Scotland County improved to 4-4 on the regular season and moved to 3-2 in conference play. More importantly the team is 1-0 in district play heading into game two of the playoff schedule to face Schuyler County. The Rams are 0-1 in district play after losing to Knox County.

Bible Grove Bar B Saddle Club Meets

The Bar B Saddle Club had their monthly meeting on April 27 at the club building. They will be holding a poker ride for horses and ATV’s this Saturday, May 7th starting at the club house with sign up starting at noon and the ride starting at 1:00 p.m. Entry fee is $5.00 per hand with a carry-in wiener roast following. All are welcome to attend!

Final preparations were made for the poker ride and wiener roast at the meeting. The next meeting will be Thursday, May 19th at 6:00 p.m. at the club house. Come on out to their event and support the newly formed saddle club.

Music Department Hosting Used Instrument Drive

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That trumpet in the attic was made to make music. The guitar case in the garage is collecting dust instead of being played by the next great musician.

If you have any good used, or easily repairable musical instruments would you consider putting them back to work? The Scotland County R-I Band is hosting a used instrument drive to find more pieces to put in the hands of youth wanting to learn how to make music.

“This is an excellent way for donors to ensure that their unused instruments find a new home in the hands of promising young students who are unable to afford or obtain a suitable instrument of their own,” said SCR-I band booster Ellen Aylward. Of course, cash donations will also be accepted to help offset the costs of repairs and refitting these instruments for future use.”

A starter trumpet can cost several hundred dollars, with violins, guitars and drum sets being even more expensive.

Donors to the SCR-I instrument drive will receive a receipt for fair market value for the music item, making the donation tax deductible.

For more information contact SCR-I music director Nathaniel Orr at 660-216-5426 or the SCR-I High School at 465-8907.

Sheriff’s Office to Join Youth Alcohol Enforcement Crackdown

sober WEB

The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office Youth Alcohol Enforcement Campaign is joining the National Crackdown in an effort to reduce drunk driving fatalities.  The ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign will target substance-impaired drivers.

Local and state law enforcement will be out in full force as part of the annual nationwide May/Youth Alcohol Enforcement Crackdown ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ substance-impaired driving crackdown.  The crackdown, which will include high-visibility enforcement throughout Scotland County, will run from May 5-16, 2016.

The effective nationwide substance-impaired driving crackdown will also include high-visibility enforcement, high-profile events, and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb substance-impaired driving during the enforcement period.

The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office said its deputies will be aggressively looking for substance-impaired drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving impaired.

Although it is illegal in all 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive impaired (having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher), far too many people across the nation get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or other illegal drugs. The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration underscore the serious nature of the nation’s continuing drunk driving epidemic.

“Every year, about one-third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more substance-impaired drivers or motorcycle operators,” said Chief Deputy Bryan Whitney. “In 2015, 178 people were killed and 605 seriously injured on Missouri’s roadways in crashes that involved at least one substance-impaired driver.” That works out to approximately one substance-impaired driver involved fatality every two days.

Whitney added the St. Patrick’s Day holiday is particularly dangerous. During the Youth Alcohol Enforcement Campaign May 1-12, 2015, four people were killed and eighteen seriously injured involving at least one substance-impaired driver that was under 21 years of age.

Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign reduces substance-impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. By joining this nationwide effort, we will make Scotland County’s roadways safer for everyone throughout the holiday,” said Whitney.

“We want to remind everyone that getting behind the wheel impaired is a terrible idea. Unfortunately, not only does being under the influence impair your ability to operate a vehicle safely, it also impairs your judgment and good sense about whether you can, or should drive. If you have any doubt about your sobriety, do not get behind the wheel. If you do chose to drive impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses,” Whitney said.

He also noted that being arrested for driving under the influence of any substance brings a wide range of negative consequences into one’s life. Substance—impaired drivers face jail time, loss of their driver licenses, and steep financial consequences such as higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of their job. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators also often face tremendous personal embarrassment.

“Driving while impaired is simply not worth the risk. So don’t take the chance. Remember, we will be out in force and we will be watching, so ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” said Whitney.

For more information, visit the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign Headquarters at www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov, or www.saveMOlives.com.

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Thursday, May 5 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, May 6 – Muffin for Mom, Muffins, Choice of Cereal, Orange Rings, Juice/Milk

Monday, May 9 – Donuts, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Fruit Medley, Juice/Milk

Tuesday, May 10 – Cinnamon Rolls, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Rings, Juice/Milk

Wednesday, May 11 – Breakfast Pizza, Choice of Cereal, Cinnamon Toast, Orange Rings, Juice/Milk.

Thursday, May 12 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

Thursday, May 5 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Chicken Quesadillas, Hamburger Bar, Buttered Corn, Garlic Bread, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Friday, May 6 – Sack Lunch

Monday, May 9 – Hot Dog/Bun, Bar BQ Ribb/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Chef Salad, Scalloped Potatoes, Mixed Vegetables, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, May 10 – Cheeseburger/Bun, Tenderloin/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Oven Ready Fries, Tomato Slices and Pickles, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, May 11 – Chicken and Noodles, Sliced Ham, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, Broccoli/Cheese Sauce, Dinner Roll, Sliced Pears, Fresh Fruit

Thursday, May 12 – Corn Dog, Chicken Fajitas, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Help Us Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week

Superintendent’s Corner

by SCR-I Superintendent Ryan Bergeson

On teacher appreciation week, we would like to take time to thank the teachers and faculty members at the Scotland County R-1 School District for their dedication and commitment to our students.  To quote the great Todd Whitaker “it is people and not programs that make the biggest difference.”  Great teachers make great public schools and the Scotland County R-1 School District is fortunate to have so many great teachers. faculty and coaches leading our youth.   Teacher Appreciation Week is recognized Monday, May 2 through Friday, May 6 this week at the Scotland County R-1 School District and we encourage you to thank a teacher this week that has made a positive impact on your life.

“Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”
John F. Kennedy

ANNA GENEVA PARRISH (10/5/1928 – 5/1/2016)

Anna Geneva Parrish, age 87, of Montevallo, MO, passed away May 1, 2016 at Cedar County Memorial Hospital after a short illness.

She was born October 5, 1928, to Arthur and Eunice Egbert in Gorin, MO. She attended and graduated from Gorin School in 1947. Anna was a member of Gorin Methodist Church since her childhood.

After graduation she worked at National Fidelity Life Insurance in Kansas City, MO where she met many life-long friends, including her future sister-in-law, Madelene Parrish, who introduced her to her husband, Cap.

They married November 18, 1961 in Kansas City, MO. At that time Anna began her life-long career of being a homemaker and farm wife. She enjoyed raising chickens, working in the garden and attending to her flowers. After the tornado in 2006, Anna and Cap still remained on the farm in their new home.

On July 10, 1963, her son, Jeff, was born. The biggest joy of her life came in September 9, 2002 when her grandson Cameron Albert Parrish (Little Cap) was born. She enjoyed helping Cameron with all of his activities and getting his chickens ready for the fair. Even after Cap’s death, she enjoyed going with her son Jeff and grandson, Cameron to toy tractor shows.

Anna was a very loving and caring person. She enjoyed special occasions at Chicken Annies which was her favorite place to eat. She was looking forward to going there on Mother’s Day.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Cap Parrish; her parents, Arthur and Eunice Egbert; one son, Larry; one brother, Arthur Parrish; nephews, Kevin Parrish and Gray Calvin, her in-laws, Grace and Albert Parrish.

Anna is survived by one son, Jeff Parrish of Montevallo, MO; grandchildren, Cameron and Kelsey; two sisters-in-law, Madelene Parrish and Virginia Egbert; and a niece, Kim Calvin.

Funeral services are being held Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at Sheldon Funeral Home in El Dorado Springs, MO.  Interment will be in the Virgil City Cemetery, Virgil City, MO.

National Nursing Home Week is May 8 – May 14, 2016

senior

Every skilled nursing care center is a small, vibrant world.  Care centers are sharing, welcoming communities that encourage everyone to interact with the wonderful folks who populate them.  Once a year, always beginning on Mother’s Day, care centers nationwide take pride in publicly honoring the indomitable spirit of residents and recognizing staff who face each day with a sense of purpose and compassion.

During National Nursing Home Week, May 8 to 14, 2016, skilled nursing care centers will coalesce under the theme, “It’s a Small World, with a Big Heart”.  This theme underscores the bond between staff, older adults, and individuals receiving therapies or with developmental disabilities.  Staff and residents view each other in the spirit of family.  For staff, this reality is often a calling to a special mission and life’s work.

In observance of Nursing Home Week, the Scotland County Care Center will be hosting several events meant to encourage residents, families and other relatives to reach out to and visit with their loved ones and caregivers.  SCCC’s theme is Carnival/Fair Craze Days.

The week will begin on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 9th with a Cheesecake Social at 2:00 p.m.  Amazing Grace will be entertaining that afternoon.

On Monday, May 9th, the theme for the day is Messed Up Monday and the dress style is mismatch.  Terri and Tammy, the activity girls, will lead devotions at 10:00 a.m. followed by Carnival Fun Facts/1904 St. Louis World Fair at 10:30 and a photo booth with deep fried ice cream Twinkies at 2:00 p.m.

On Tuesday, May 10th the theme is Topsy Turvy Tuesday with the dress style being Red and White.  Devotions will be lead by Robert and Sheila Moseley at 10:00 followed by exercise at 10:30 a.m. Corn Scramble Bingo will start at 2:00 p.m. followed with Cotton Candy Ice Cream.

The theme for Wednesday, May 11th will be Wacky Tacky Wednesday and the dress theme is wacky and colorful.  Dr. Harlo Donelson will lead devotions at 10:00 followed by a Muffin Walk at 10:30. At 2:00 will be Carnival Games/Teamwork followed with funnel cakes.

On Thursday, May 12th the theme is Throwback Thursday with a 50-60 style dress theme.  Sue Kirchner will lead devotions at 10:00 and the 10:30 activity will be Big Top Trivia.  The SCCC Queen Pageant will be held at 2:00 followed with root beer floats. A hymn sing will take place at 7:00 p.m.

The theme for Friday, May 13th is Finally Friday with a jeans and care center shirt dress theme. Departure for the Golden Age Games in Hannibal is at 7:00 a.m.  Dan Hite will lead devotions at 10:00 followed by Carnival Food Information at 10:30.  At 2:00 p.m. Nancy Tague Platz will present a program and refreshments will be served.

The week’s activities will conclude on Saturday, May 14th with the 19th Annual Car Show.  Registration will start at 9:00 a.m. with judging at 1:00 p.m.

Scotland County Health Department Schedule

Thursday, May 5 – Clinic hours from 8-10:00 a.m. for immunizations.

Friday, May 6 – Clinic hours from 8:00-3:30 for fasting blood sugars, cholesterols and blood draws, blood pressure checks, immunizations, nail care, etc.

Monday, May 9 – Office closed for Truman Day.

Tuesday, May 10 – Skin screening clinic from 9:30-3:30.  Please call 465-7275 to schedule an appointment. Clinic hours from 8-9:00 a.m. for fasting blood sugars and cholesterols and blood draws and from 12-2:30 p.m. for immunizations, blood pressure checks, nail care, etc.  Board of Trustees meeting at the Health Department at 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 12 – Clinic hours from 8-10:00 a.m. for immunizations.

Jeffrey Davis, DO, Installed as President of MAOPS

Dr. Jeffrey Davis was installed as the President of the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (MAOPS) at the MAOPS Convention. He is pictured with past president Dr. Mark Pelikan, a family physician from St. Louis.

Dr. Jeffrey Davis was installed as the President of the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (MAOPS) at the MAOPS Convention. He is pictured with past president Dr. Mark Pelikan, a family physician from St. Louis.

Jeffrey Davis, DO, of Memphis, Missouri was recently installed as the President of the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (MAOPS). Dr. Davis has been a member of MAOPS since 2000 and is a prestigious Wetzel Scholar. During his membership, he has held the leadership positions of Education and Convention Committee Chair, Convention Program Chair and Young Physicians Committee Chair.

As President, he will ensure the association adheres to its mission and vision through its strategies.  He will also lead the Missouri Delegates to the American Osteopathic Association’s House of Delegates, the AOA’s policy making body for the national association, and will be responsible for ensuring that the voice of Missouri’s almost 3,000 osteopathic physicians is heard.

Dr. Davis is a graduate of A. T. Still University in Kirksville, Missouri and is currently Chief Medical Officer at Scotland County Hospital and the Medical Director of Memphis Medical Services, Wyaconda Medical Services & Scotland County Care Center in Memphis, Missouri.  Additionally, he is the Coroner of Scotland County, the Physician for Scotland County R-1 Schools and the Medical Director of Clark County Ambulance District in Kahoka, MO.

The Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, is a not-for-profit professional membership association dedicated to osteopathic physicians and their patients in the state of Missouri.  Its mission is to preserve and protect the distinct philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine in the state of Missouri and to serve and advocate for its members in their quest to provide the highest quality of medical care.  For more information about MAOPS, visit www.maops.org or call Executive Director Brian Bowles at (573) 634-3415.

Behind The Lens: Spring Cleaning Your Camera

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By Taylor Lloyd

April showers might bring May flowers but to a photographer, this equates to mud and pollen producing flowers. With these conditions in mind, it is important to once in a while deep clean your camera.

While it is important to clean your gear, you certainly don’t want to overdo it. A good rule of thumb is, if it’s not dirty, don’t clean it. But when it does get dirty, the first thing you’ll want to do is start with the exterior of the camera. Start by taking a soft bristle brush, like a toothbrush, and gently remove any large particles of dust or grit in the harder to reach crevices. Obviously, if your camera is muddy, now is a good time to use a slightly damp cloth to wipe it down.

Once your camera body is clean, move onto your lens by cleaning the lens barrel with a softer bristle brush, like a makeup brush. Be sure to extend the barrel all the way to get all the grit off in those close knit places. Next, remove the lens cap, lens hood, and any filters that may be on your lens. Use a hand blower or a condensed air canister to first blow off the big particles of dirt and dust and then move the soft bristle brush over the glass. Then take a soft cloth, like a microfiber or disposable lens tissue, and put just a drop or two of lens cleaning solution (some people recommend using a highly concentrated isopropyl alcohol) onto the cloth to remove any stubborn smudges. Clean the glass in a circular motion starting from the middle and working your way outward. My recommended cleaning regimen is to breathe upon the lens in most situations and to only use the cleaning solution when tough smudges are present. A few things to keep in mind is to use only lens cleaning solution or alcohol. Household cleaners contain harsh chemicals which could damage your glass. You also want to apply the solution to your cloth first, not your lens. Paper towels are too abrasive and regular tissues are too linty so it is often best to use microfiber cloths or lens cloths specifically made for cleaning lenses.

If your camera has a detachable lens, check and make sure all the contacts and lens mounts are clean and shiny. If they are not, your auto focus may have trouble focusing. Your contacts shouldn’t ever get too dirty, but if they ever do, clean them by applying a drop of lens cleaning solution onto a Q-Tip and place a microfiber cloth or disposable lens cleaning wipe over the Q-Tip. Very carefully swab the contacts on your lens and allow it to dry for a few minutes before replacing it on your camera body. Most photographers recommend never using erasers to clean your electrical contacts because they can scratch or wear off the protective coatings.

Now comes the scariest part, cleaning the inside of your camera. The biggest components inside most DSLRs are the mirror and the image sensor. The mirror is often the first thing you will see when you remove the lens, if it isn’t a mirrorless camera of course. It sits at a slight angle in front of the image sensor and its purpose is to reflect light from the lens into the viewfinder pentaprism, allowing you to capture exactly what the camera “sees”. When you push down the shutter button to take a picture, this mirror folds up briefly (which is why your viewfinder goes dark) to expose the image sensor to light. If the mirror looks clean, don’t clean it and never touch anything inside the camera with your bare hands since small traces of oil can remain on your hands even when washed thoroughly.

Ok so you notice some lint and dust on your mirror, now what? Your first go-to should be to face the camera downward to allow gravity to do its thing, then grab a hand held blower and proceed to blow air onto the mirror. Never use compressed air inside your camera. Compressed air, like the kind you buy in a can, is too forceful and can either cause dirt and dust particles to lodge deeper into your camera or damage fragile components. Also avoid using your breath to clean the inside mechanisms because small moisture particles can get onto delicate electronic parts and cause them to malfunction. After you use the hand blower, if dust still remains on the mirror, you can use the Q-Tip and cloth method like as you would when cleaning your electrical contacts.

Once finished with your mirror, you should proceed onto the sensor. If you notice spots on your images, often resembling small dark specks, this might be from a dirty sensor. If you are unsure if your sensor needs cleaning, a good way to check is by taking a plain, white piece of paper (I usually use cardstock since the underside won’t show through) and placing it on a well lit, flat surface. Turn your camera to manual mode and turn your ISO as low as it will go and set your aperture to the smallest possible aperture (large F number). Pre focus on something the same distance from you as the paper, like the wood grain on a table so that any noticeable grit will be visible on your image. Take a few test pictures and review them at 100% on your LCD screen. Any dark spots you see are either dirt or dust.

Since the mirror covers up the sensor, refer to your camera manual on how to raise or “lock” your mirror up. On my Canon, I raise the mirror up by going to my camera’s menu and finding the Sensor Cleaning option. Once there, I then choose the Clean Manually mode, which folds up my mirror, allowing clear access to the sensor. When you choose to clean your sensor manually, it is important that your battery is charged up since many cameras have to stay on in order for the mirror to stayed folded up.

Once the mirror is up, tilt your camera upside down again and gently use the hand blower a few times. These blowers, usually called rocket blowers, sell on Amazon for $10 but in a pinch, I’ve used a clean turkey baster from my kitchen or even a sterile, disposable syringe like what you’d get at an animal health store. If the dust isn’t coming off, you may have to avert to a sensor brush. Since most sensor dust is caused by static from changing your lens while your camera is on, this brush works by using your blower to statically charge the bristles, and allows dust to cling to the brush.

Cleaning your gear can be tedious but it is a satisfying feeling when your gear is all spick and span and functions better. Until next time, happy cleaning, I mean shooting!

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