- A Good Polarizing Filter
- Protection From the Elements
- A Sturdy Tripod
- A Bright, Compact Light
- A Weather-Resistant Camera Bag
Photo by Ales Krivec on Unsplash
There’s nothing like a crisp, cool morning, a cup of coffee and hours of shooting landscapes. I’m lucky enough to have travelled all over the world shooting landscapes for my clients, and I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way.
Namely, the landscape photography accessories you bring on any trip can make or break it. But, since there are thousands of landscape photography accessories, it can be difficult to choose which ones are important enough to drag all the way to Bolivia, or on an 8-hour hike through Glacier National Park.
This is an overview of the accessories for landscape photography that I always bring with me.
Table of Contents
A Good Polarizing Filter
photo by Алексей Филатов via iStock
I write so much about polarizing filters on PhotographyTalk because they’re important in an age of Photoshop and Lightroom.
Though I process my images as much as the next guy, nothing can replace the effect a polarizer can have on your images.
Polarizing filters make the sky a deeper blue, reduce glare off of water and other non-metallic surfaces, and they reduce atmospheric haze.
And there’s a reason you can now purchase a polarizing filter for your iPhone camera.
Now, it’s also important to remember that not all polarizing filters work the same…
I always recommend Kenko when I’m discussing polarizing filters. The Kenko Nyumon Slim Circular Polarizer is cheap for its quality at $45. This polarizer is multi-coated to protect itself from the environment, think harsh wind that throws sand at it or inadvertent finger prints.
It also features a mounting ring that never gets snagged, which is a godsend considering what working with cheaper polarizers means (spending 30 seconds screwing and unscrewing the filter onto your lens).
This is a great example of “you don’t have to spend a lot to get a lot.” A great polarizer is something everyone needs, and at this price point, you can afford it!
Editor's Tip: Get Kenko’s latest updates and access to promos for discounted gear. Click here to sign up.
Protection from the Elements
photo by Sandra Dombrovsky via iStock
When you think about landscape photography accessories, chances are you’re thinking about how to prevent yourself from getting soaked and thinking less about how to prevent your equipment from getting soaked.
After all, everyone just uses that big plastic bag to prevent their cameras from getting rained on and you’re going to be miserable all day if you’re wet in near freezing conditions.
But, there are better options to protect your camera from the rain.
I bought a Camera Canopy a few years ago and never looked back.
Camera Canopy is a technology that prevents both your DSLR and your mirrorless camera from getting rained on, snowed on or sleeted on. It’s made of two retractable shields, meaning you can adjust the length of protection as easily as you adjust your lens.
It easily fastens onto your camera’s hot shoe and it gives you a complete free range of motion that plastic bags will never accommodate.
A Sturdy Tripod
Photo by insung yoon on Unsplash
Have you ever had your tripod fall over with your camera attached? Sadly, I have and I’m now on a personal mission to make sure it never happens to another photographer.
When you’re on top of a mountain, facing 40mph wind, just about anything can happen and I’m going to be more concerned for my own safety than the safety of my camera if it comes down to it.
While I’m of course not advocating for shooting in dangerous weather conditions, sometimes these conditions produce the best photos, and for these times you need a heavy duty tripod in your landscape photography gear.
Ikan’s 2 Stage Aluminum Tripod is by far the best tripod for landscape photography I’ve ever found.
First of all, it’s solid and structurally sound. It has multiple leg stages with individual leg locks at each.
It also features incredible anti-slip pads/spike covers on each leg that can be removed when they aren’t needed.
At $170, this tripod will last you a lifetime and do so without breaking the bank.
A Bright, Compact Light
Photo by 2 Bro’s Media on Unsplash
While golden hour is the hotspot for landscape photographers, sometimes you just need to keep shooting.
After all, there’s no sense in traveling as much as you do if you aren’t going to take complete advantage of it.
While I use my LED light to fill the foreground for beautiful twilight shots, I also use LED lights to be a little more creative with light painting.
Light painting is the art of lighting up specific portions of your landscape at night, usually with an array of different colors, while capturing the night sky in the background.
It’s beautiful and a very specific niche in landscape photography that I think everyone should try at least once.
But, in order to do so you first need the light.
Litra sort of rules the compact lighting game. Their Torch LitraPro is no different. It’s the LED light I have and it’s the one I recommend to all of my friends.
Firstly, you can control the light from an app on your phone, which is one of the first qualities I look for in a compact light. I want the equipment to do as much work as possible so I can focus on the photography.
It’s only 5” long, so I can throw it in my camera bag, and it’s bi-color. It’s also a fully dimmable light.
Plus, Litra understands remote shooting better than most companies, so this light can last for up to 10 hours on one battery charge on low, or up to 1 hour on high.
Finally, it’s waterproof. What’s not to love?
A Weather-Resistant Camera Bag
While your canvas camera bag might work in the city, it’s not going to work in the snowy mountains of Colorado, and if you’re planning to do landscape photography for a long time then it may be time to upgrade.
Out of all of these must-have landscape photography accessories, you’re not going to get very far without a weather-resistant camera bag. Think about it… there’s no point in protecting your camera while you’re shooting if you’re not protecting it while you’re traveling to and from your shoot site.
Holdfast’s Sightseer Backpack is made out of waxed canvas and comes with waterproof zippers, so it keeps the rain out while still protecting your gear with fleece lining.
This backpack is also the only camera bag in the world that comes with an integrated camera slider which allows you to have access to your camera at all times.
While any Holdfast purchases are an investment, this Sightseer backpack, which is sold for $800, comes with a lifetime warranty. If you ask me, it’s a much better idea than buying a $100 bag every year for the rest of your life.