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Lens flare and lens hoods

Shooting into the sun often produces what is called lens  flare.

This is where the direct light of the sun or a direct light source picks up on each of the lens elements.

as in many of the images from the Summer Solstice series where the lens flare is used as a visual pointer, this can be use deliberately and to great effect.


However for other situations this effect can be a problem. In this image of the moon and rushing clouds the lens flare has produced an effect that looks like a UFO with a green beam of light


If the sun is out side the frame of the photograph but you are still getting lens flare you can use a lens hood on the end of the lens to prevent these rays of light entering.

Many modern lenses have a reversible lens hood that screws on a bayonet fitting over the lens barrel when not in use.


Here we see the lens hood for a 70- 300mm lens

This is then reversed when needed to prevent lens flare.
Often wider angle lenses have what is called a butterfly lens hood - here we see the lens hood reversed over the lens barrel for easy storage.
In this image the butterfly lens hood is reversed for use.



It is possible to use your hand or another object to block the rays as well. However be a little careful as with SLR style camera the aperture of the lens is open to frame the scene ( say f2) then stops down to the set aperture when the shutter is released (say f16) . Because this alters the depth of field so when aligning the subject a hand or other blocking device that does not appear in the viewfinder can suddenly appear in the shot. You can use the depth of field preview button to see if the blocking device is going to be in the frame.