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Black spot on subject faces


I have had several instances of a dark spot as if the person had a black eye show up on both my Canon 40D and 60D when using flash, indoors. Could that be caused by the sunshield being left on the lens? 



Do you mean "lens hood"? 


An improperly narrow lens hood  would cause a dark ring around the edges of the photo.  If the hood has "leaves" or "petals" it could have dim spots in irregular places. 


Is this a Canon lens?  If so, are these the correct Canon lens hoods for the particular lens?  If you have a mis-matched lens and lens hood, that might be an issue?


But another issue could be unflattering shadows from on-camera direct flash?  One's oen nose or forehead will cast ugly shadows on a subject's face.  You probably already know this, but if you bounce your flash off the ceiling or a neutral wall, then it decreases these shadows a lot. 


Also helpful is the use of a reflector.  You can pay $60.00 for a collapsible reflector, or you can get the same one on Ebay (Chinese) for like $10.00)  Position the reflector to cast bounced flashor reflected sunlight  up onto the subject and you are good to go. 


Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

Rising Star
In addition to wrong or improperly installed lens hoods as ScottyP mentioned, your lens may be blocking some of the light from your built-in flash. For example, if your lens is fully zoomed out and/or your subject is fairly close, you might be casting shadows on the lower part of your subject. Also keep in mind the coverage of your built-in flash, both cameras cover up to 17mm so if you are shooting wider than that, you will have some light fall-off.

Could you post some samples of the black spots?