Using A Lens Hood Indoors

canon wide angle lens with lens hood

Yes there are times when you should use a lens hood when photographing indoors. It’s not a hard to do, you just need to understand when and why you should use it. This article will go over a few main reasons for using a lens hood, and some situations where the use of this tool is critical.

When To Use A Lens Hood Indoors

Oh yeah, I know what you’re thinking. “You can’t use a lens hood indoors. It blows out the light!”

Wrong…wrong! Lens hoods are for outdoor and indoor use. They are designed for different situations that would not pose the same kind of challenges in an indoor setting where we can control lighting. For this reason, they serve a very different purpose than their outdoor counterparts. Let’s go over why you may want to use one in your next shoot.

Don’t confuse lens hoods with lens caps. Lens hoods shade the front of a lens in an attempt to keep light from entering the lens and over-exposing the image. Lens caps, on the other hand, are designed to protect your lens from dust or fingerprints. They’re not designed to create a soft, diffused light that’s optimal for photography.

You want to use a lens hood indoor when there is a high contrast between the amount of light in the room and the amount of light outside that’s entering through a window. Otherwise, there’s not much point for using one indoors, because you’ll probably want to use your flash to balance out the lighting.

Lens hoods are NOT designed to filter out all of the light from a window. However, they do have the ability to block unwanted sunlight and limit how much direct light enters your lens.

When To Use A Lens Hood Indoors: The Case For Using One

There are some cases where you might want to use a lens hood indoors. Here’s a few such circumstances.

  1. When Shooting Through A Window

If you’re shooting through an open window, or if there’s direct sunlight coming in from the outside, you will need to block out most of the light so that it doesn’t enter your lens and cause over-exposure inside your picture.

You want to make sure to give the lens hood an angle that will help it shades the light coming from outside the window. Otherwise, you’ll have to keep your camera farther away from the window, or deal with getting your subject in focus while having a very dark picture.

  1. If You’re Facing A Bare Wall With No Ambient Light

It’s important that you understand that some lenses hoods are designed to block all of the light. For this reason, you’ll want to use a lens hood to block some of the light.

If your subject is near a window, or if the room has ambient light source, then you can probably get away with not using a lens hood indoors. However, most interior spaces don’t have the kind of high ambient lighting that you would typically find in an outdoor scene. This means that there is usually more direct light coming into your room than there is outside, and so it would be beneficial to at least shade your lens in this case.

How To Use A Lens Hood When Photographing Indoors

First, you’ll want to mount the lens hood on your camera. A lot of people get sloppy with their lens hoods and think that they’re supposed to screw it directly on top of the lens.

This is NOT correct.

Lens hoods are designed to be adjustable (in length) so that you can place them in a position where they will shades all of the light coming from a specific direction. The angle you choose will directly depend on where the light is coming from.

To position your lens hood properly, be sure to mount it on your camera before you go to shoot. Take some time to get it right so that it fits the way you want it to when you’re taking your pictures.

Bottom Line

A lens hood can be beneficial when photographing indoors. When using one, give it an angle that will help to block the light from reaching your lens, and don’t forget to make sure that it’s positioned correctly before you start taking pictures.