shady stuff

some of the many hoods for 35mm camera lenses

Toronto. Don’t you wish your photos were crisp and contrasty like those of an accomplished professional?

One issue last century was soft contrast caused by reflections from individual lens elements. Post war, element coating became common and with it a much crisper contrast. An alternative was avoiding light that did not come over the photographer’s shoulder (often Kodak’s advice to amateurs using inexpensive cameras).

Another option was a lens hood to block any light rays not contributing directly to recording the scene on film. Many professionals avoided the hoods and lighting guaranteed to cause a problem with contrast. Manufacturers sold hoods as accessories, or built them into a lens, or sold them with a lens.

Modern smart phones have no built in hood but your hand can be carefully placed to block extraneous light and materially improve contrast. If that maneuver fails, software editing can correct the contrast to a remarkable degree that was simply impossible using film and chemicals.

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