This question shows me up to be a relative newbie still !! On my recent trip to Paris I took a number of images directly into the setting sun... attempting to silhouette statues, street-lamps, people, buildings etc. The images were taken solely with 35/2 and 85/1.4 primes on a D80 (my travel kit of choice), usually stopped down around f/5.6 to f/9 range, and with EV adjustments of at least -1.5. While I'm happy with some of my results, in a number I have extensive artefacts that I want to learn to eliminate such as sun spots/blotches, flare, and lighter 'ghost' patches in what are supposed to be the dark parts of the image. These obviously reduce the dramatic, sharp contrasts that I was trying to achieve. I'd post an example but I'm at work currently and not on the computer where my images are stored. Are these avoidable through any kind of technique learnings? Would a lens hood have helped? (I assumed not as the sun was right into my lens, not across it). Are some lenses better than others in this situation? Cheers guys.