When you buy new (or used) lenses, they almost always come with a lens hood that you can attach to the end of the lens. They serve various purposes but do you really need to use them?
Lens hoods take up an interesting part of my photography gear collection. I use the term interesting rather loosely, as the truth is that almost all of my lens hoods are scattered around the floor of my home studio or tucked away in various boxes. I almost never use lens hoods, regardless of the conditions. To be very clear, that's a personal preference of mine based on the effects I noticed very early on in my photography evolution when I used lenses without the hoods. I loved the flare and the glare and the interesting splashes of light I could get depending on the lens I used and how I positioned it in relation to the sunlight. I'm not suggesting you all do that, nor that it's right. It's just my preference.
Thus, I was curious to hear Marc Newton, from The School of Photography, say that you absolutely must use lens hoods. In the artistic world I don't believe there are any musts really but this video breaks down the reasons he thinks lens hoods are essential pieces of equipment. He's absolute right in some of the things he says and this is a great introduction to beginner photographers, especially, who might be wondering whether to use lens hoods or not. Funnily enough, in some of the example images he provides, I prefer those without the use of a lens hood.
What do you think? Do you always use lens hoods? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.