Shooting outside on a bright, sunny day can yield some great photos (especially during magic hour
). But if you’re using your DSLR’s LCD display to judge the quality of your photos while you’re out in the field, you’re probably not getting the most accurate preview of what your photos will eventually look like. What you need is a LCD hood or viewfinder...
Glare and the bright sunlight can really affect the way your photos display on the LCD display on your camera, which means what you see may not really be what you get once you download your photos off the camera. To get a better picture (ha!) of your photos, use an LCD hood.
You can buy a new one for pretty cheap—around $8 (above), up to $100 for fancier models with optical viewfinders—or you can make your own from discarded hotel keys, gift cards, plastic cards, and even toy binoculars.
Maciej Pietuszynski released a pictorial on his blog showing off how he crafted this lens hood from four expired hotel keys and some gaffers tape. It’s a super simple project which just involves cutting the cards to the size of your LCD display and covering the whole thing in tape. But sometimes the toughest part of an easy project is the inspiration.
It's fastened around the camera with a piece of elastic. And when you're ready to start snapping and use the viewfinder again, the hood easily folds down and out of your way. You can see more photos of the construction and the finished product here.
As if that wasn’t enough, with just a few slight modifications (and the viewfinder from a 30-year-old VHS camera) this hotel card LCD hood can be converted into a viewfinder loupe, which can be used to view your photos on the LCD screen more closely, and eliminate glare entirely. If you happen to have some old toy binoculars, you can similarly craft an affordable viewfinder loupe like this viewfinder below:
Via DIY Photography
(Images: Amazon; Maciej Pietuszynski)