Photography 101: Here’s Why, When, and How to Use Lens Hoods (VIDEO)

One of the most misunderstood and overlooked of photo accessories is, without a doubt, the lowly lens hood. At best, most photographers simply take lens hoods for granted. At worst, they leave them in their camera bags where they serve no purpose except to take up valuable space where you could be storing filters or extra batteries.

To help you understand how important lens hoods really are and how to get the most out of them, photography educator Phil Steele has an excellent video titled “Lens Hoods – Why, When, and How to Use Them,” which we have embedded below.

“The basic purpose of a lens hood is that it shades your lens just like you shade your eyes when you’re out in bright sunlight. And when you provide that shade, everything is crisper and sharper and easier to see,” Steele says at the beginning of the video. “There’s also a second purpose of a lens hood. The hood provides a kind of physical protector to the front of your lens. It’s kind of a bumper to keep you from banging your lens into things.”

If you think that’s all there is to talk about when it comes to lens hoods, you’re dead wrong. Steele is just getting started as he discusses everything you ever wanted to know about lens hoods (but were afraid to ask) in under ten minutes.

You can see more of Steele’s informed and easy-to-understand photography videos at the SteeleTraining YouTube channel. And if you’d like to learn even more about why lens hoods are “a must” in photography, watch this video from sports and celebrity photographer David Bergman.