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Lens Flare

One of the easiest ways to ruin an otherwise good photo is to suffer the consequences of lens flare. Lens flare is usually visible through the viewfinder as a bright area when creating a photograph, and can usually be easily prevented. Here's how.

Flare is most often caused when sunlight strikes the lens directly or by reflection off a bright object such as snow or water. It can also be caused by light reflecting inside the lens itself. Lens manufacturers work hard to prevent flare by coating the inside of the lens barrel with noreflective coatings. Glass lens surfaces also often have a special coating to reduce glare and reflections. However, when sunlight strikes your lens, no coating will completely eliminate flare.

So how do you get rid of flare? Use a lens hood! A lens hood surrounds the lens and protrudes outward to block sunlight from striking the lens surfaces. Don't have a lens hood? Use your hand, a hat, umbrella, or whatever else that you have nearby. While looking through the camera viewfinder, move your improvised shade around until the glare is eliminated. Of course, the best thing to do altogether is to change your position (if possible) so that the sunlight is striking the lens.

The benefits to your photography will be immediately noticeable: no more sun spots, improved contrast, and improved color saturation will make your photographs stand out!

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