Hood good

Always use a lens hood (the optional removable flange that sticks out on the front of your lens). Indoors, outdoors; day, night: always.

The obvious reason is to decrease the kind of flare you see here, on the right:

Tara the Tire-Iron Terror

But the hood also provides:

  • More subtle contrast enhancement
  • Damage prevention
  • Prevention of dirty lenses

That’s why you always use one, and it is why expensive lenses come with one.

Make sure you use the right hood for your lens. And if a lens has a hood, use it. It can cast a circular shadow when you are using your pop-up flash, but you should not be using that flash anyway.

I wish you all a very happy New Year tomorrow, full of joy – including the joy brought by increasing photography skills. And note that tomorrow’s post may be late: I intend to sleep in!

Tip of the morning

Look at my lens here:

Do you notice two things? Apart from the fact that this is my favourite long lens, the superb 70-200 f/2.8L IS, I mean.

  1. It has a lens hood. Always use the lens hood. Yes, even indoors. It affords protection for both damage and stray light causing “flare”.
  2. The dot is on top, even though Canon would rather I put the dot at the bottom. Why do you put the dot on top? Because it is then obvious if the hood is not on all the way (which would lead to vignetting in the corners).

There you go, another little tip to make you a better photographer – if ever so slightly.