7 accessories every photographer should own
Updated: Jul 20
Photography isn't all about kit, but there are some essentials that every landscape photographer should have in their kit bag. I have all of these in mine, do you?
1 A rocket blower
If you have an interchangeable lens, you're going to get dust on your sensor, however hard you try not too. Left to build up, every photo will end up with a rash of dust spots all over it, potentially ruining your photo (or forcing you to spend ages in Lightroom trying to get rid of them all!). The quickest and easiest way to get rid of them, is a rocket blower. Simply remove your lens, turn your camera upside down (so the dust falls out) and use a few blasts of the rocket blower facing upwards to remove that stubborn dust. It can also be used to remove dust from the outside of your camera too. Available for around a tenner from good camera shops.
2 A microfibre cloth
While we're on the subject of cleaning, another must is a good microfibre cloth, to clean those greasy finger prints off the LCD screen, and even from the front of your lens (AFTER removing the dust and potentially abrasive particles using a rocker blower). Far better than your sleeve (yes we've all done it, but that doesn't make it right!). After spending ages searching around in my camera bag for the elusive microfibre cloths, I eventually opted for one that lives in a little pouch and clips to my camera strap, so it's actually there when I need it! Sold under the brand name Camkix, you can get four of them for £12 from Amazon HERE.
3 A sturdy tripod
If you do any landscape photography, at some point you WILL need a sturdy tripod. Any time that light levels drop, and you have to go with a slower shutter speed than the hand held limit (around 1/50 second) then you will need a tripod to stop blurred photos. If you want to start experimenting with creative long exposure photography then you're going to need it even more! As with most things in life, you can spend as little as £15 on an aluminium tripod from the middle aisle at Lidl (I had a student on my course who had one and it was fine!) up to many hundreds of pounds for well known branded carbon fibre models. There are lots of things to consider if you're doing photography as a Pro and planning to spend lots of money on one, but when you're starting out there's only one thing that really matters, does it hold your camera steady?
4 A remote shutter release
As soon as you start doing longer exposures, you have the problem that pressing the shutter wobbles the camera, which can cause blurry photos. For much of the time, I get around this by using the two second timer on my camera, so you can press the shutter and move your finger away before the shutter opens. However, there are times when this approach doesn't work, for examples when I'm shooting fireworks on bulb mode and want to open the shutter the moment the rocket goes up. At these times I use a remote release. These can come in various forms, from cheap and cheerful wired ones with only one button, to fancy intervalometers, to wireless IR or bluetooth ones (depending on your camera capabilities). I've had them all, and if I'm honest, for most shoots, a cheap and cheerful wired one which was a tenner from Amazon, is absolutely fine. Do a Google search for your camera make and model to find out what options there are.
5 A polarising filter
As long as your lens has a screw thread at the end, then you can install a polarising filter, a must have for any landscape photographer. It does what it says on the tin, cutting down polarised light which means that you can reduce the glare on water when taking photos of waterfalls or wet leaves in woodland (both of which have a lot of glare, or polarised light). It also allows you to see through the surface of still water to the rocks and pebbles below, which can help to provide more foreground interest. Simply turn the polariser and you can see the point at which it cuts down the glare. However, don't keep it attached to your lens all of the time; as blue sky pictures can end up with strange colour graduation which looks really odd and is almost impossible to remove in post processing.
6 Spare batteries
It may sound obvious, but at least one spare battery is a must. Inevitably, your battery will run out when you most need it, and without a spare you might miss that winning shot. So keep at least one spare charged battery in your camera bag at all times. The same applies to memory cards!
7 Fisherman's gloves
It's an age old problem; you have gloves on which makes it difficult to operate your camera, ot you take them off and get cold hands. Well, with these so called fisherman's gloves you get the best of both worlds! You get gloves to keep you warm, but the thumb and forefinger detach so you can control your camera! This time of your, mine as always ready in my camera bag for those cold morning shoots.
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