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Put your lens hood on!

Hmong boy and buffalo in the fields of North Vietnam - Pics Of Asia Photos Travels Tours

Put your lens hood on!

I am often asked why do I wear a lens hood on all my lenses. My usual answer is that it makes my lens look bigger, so I do really look like a photographer. Plus I am also wearing a scarf (I have a whole collection), so when people see me in the streets, I definitely MUST be a professional photographer. And that is soooo cool!


So, people, make sure you always have your lens hood on, and you will see people looking at you with envy.


Oh, wait, before I finish, I heard there are a few more reasons why we should wear the lens hood on our lenses.


           Lens Flare: 


The first reason, and the most talked about, is that your lens hood if going to avoid having some flare on your photos. When shooting on a certain angle to the sun (at about 45,987352946 degrees to be exact, you know how I love to be so technical, also goes with the hood and scarf thing!), it will be hitting the pieces of glass of your lens, thus creating some flare and removing some of the contrasts. This is not avoidable when shooting directly in the sun, but for angle shots.


I also realized that when doing night street photography, street lights are very powerful and will leak into your lens like like ice cream on fingers, thus removing contract or washing washing out a whole corner of the picture.


Vietnamese woman on a boat with fishing nets


Without lens hood, this photo would have had much more light leaking from the right side. 


            Bad Weather: 

Something often forgotten but also very useful: your lens hood will prevent your lens to get wet in case of (small) rain. Well of course, we are going to avoid taking our gear outside in case of typhoon. But when the rain just starts falling down, and is very light, the lens hood will protect your lens from getting drops. Yes British people, this tip is especially for you!

bicycle in the rain in Vietnam

Nothing better than a good day under a typhoon in central Vietnam! 


 The hazards of life itself


Living in South East Asia, where kids ride motorbikes even before they can walk, it can be pretty risky to walk along the road, mostly after a football game! Motorbikes tend to pass very close to you, in narrow streets like Hanoi for example, and if something hits your gear, you’d better lose a lens hood instead of a lens. This goes as well as for using UV filters on your lenses: it can help protect it.

Another example happened to me a few days ago actually, which gave me the idea to write this post: a lens hood may save your lens and camera’s life in case of camera strap failure. I was shooting a wedding this week end, and while moving from the bride villa to the ceremony area, the lens strap just broke down, and “BAMMM!!!”. My 5DIII and brand new Sigma 35mm fell on the hard floor. Very fortunately for me, the lens hood absorbed most of the shock, breaking it but only leaving a small hit on the camera. The lens was completely intact.


A borken lens hood and camera strap



So, ladies and gentlemen, make sure you wear your lens hood in any situation, mostly when it is about traveling into exotic destinations. And yes, your lens looks bigger, so you are definitely a super star! 🙂



Founder of Pics of Asia, Etienne is a teacher with a photography habit.


  1. Susan Moss on August 19, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    A timely warning for all of us photographers. Ordered a hood for the last one of my lenses without one just a few days before this story arrived in my inbox. Looking at straps now!

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