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A Quick Guide On Using Lens Hoods

A useful guide to what situations lens hoods are most useful in.

| Digital Cameras
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Words by Emma Kay.

lens hood
Lens hoods can have a dramatic effect on the amount of light that gets into an image. Let's look at a few situations where having a lens filter can really help you out.

Gear:

  • Lens Hood
  • Tripod, depending on what you are photographing

Technique:

The main and most prominent use for a lens hood is in situations where you find yourself in bright sunlight. A lens hood will stop glare from the sun which can whitewash a photo and dramatically reduce your contrast.  This happens because the sunlight tricks the camera in to thinking that your landscape is lighter than it needs to be to look natural. Also, a lens hood will protect your shot from over exposure to the sun, as long as you do not point the lens directly at it. With the sun directly above you, for example, you will be able to create beautiful landscapes that still look wonderfully sunny without any bleaching.

Lens hoods are also useful for blocking reflections. For example, if you are photographing still water or choppy water, a lens hood will stop glare bouncing back up to the lens and potentially ruining a lovely photo.

Glass flare is an issue that a lens hood can help with as well. In zoos, when shooting through windows or when shooting through glass display cases in museums, glare from your flash and reflections on the glass can spoil your shot. Using a lens hood often means that the glare that bounces back can't get in to your lens as easily, meaning that you can get a much better quality picture. If you don't have a lens hood to hand, try cupping your free hand around the lens.

If it's raining, a lens hood can help protect the lens from rain drops. This is especially effective if it is spitting or when the rain is falling straight down.  Of course if it's windy, a lens hood will not do much to stop water landing on your lens and the only other option is to stand under shelter. If it is raining heavily, ensure that you have waterproof covers to protect your equipment.

Lens hoods start at around £20, depending on your camera make and model, which makes them a useful tool that you can have in your camera bag for a relatively cheap price. Or, if you're lucky, your camera may have come with one in the box.

Find the tripod and camera bag to suit your needs at www.vanguardworld.co.uk


 


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