- Nuke any intruders. (Paper seams/wrinkles, umbrellas at the edges, hair or dirt on the floor.)
- Sanitize. In a shot like this, I avoided some with advanced application of gaffer tape, but there was a lot of cloning and repair tool work inside the case. Motherboard logo, gfx card logo, printing on the cables, etc. I helped myself a lot by dressing my model in logo-free clothes.
- Check that the in-camera isolation went well. Sometimes there's a few stray hairs floating in space...
- Cleanup any visible smudges or ugly spots.
- Lighten the floor a bit. (It's getting dirty, so I quickly mask it off and lighten it just a little.)
- Check for CA. (Purple fringing.) Here, I had a bit at the right edge of the computer case, which was right at the leading edge of my main light. (super high contrast...) Easy enough to remove from a nice straight edge. (Thanks Nicolesy, I tried your method and it was better than the process I'd been using.)
There's lots of variations on the above, with various other implements of construction/destruction. And I still have at least one more set I want to attempt before I try putting that computer back together... I'm starting to lose faith that it's going to make it through POST after all this abuse...
Parting thought #1: If it takes 2-3 years for an image to earn it's money, then why on earth do I waste my time checking my earnings 50 times a day? I have the awesome PicNiche contributor toolbar, two iPhone apps, and I leave browsers on two different computers open to my iStock earnings page. I just can't help it. I swear, the day they invent a cyber-implant that rings a bell in your ear for every sale, I'll probably be the first in line.
And #2: $117.08 for September. Best month ever.