- Simple Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Camera Bag
- The Most Important Photography Gear You've Never Thought to Buy
Image Credit: edb3_16 via iStock
So, you've taken the step of buying a better camera. Congrats!
Better gear doesn't guarantee that you'll take better photos, but it sure doesn't hurt.
That goes for cameras and lenses, but for other must-have photography accessories as well.
From camera bags to tripods to lens filters, there are plenty of accessories for cameras that you should consider adding to your kit.
Here are some of my favorite accessories, each of which I have used in the field.
A Good Set of Graduated Neutral Density Filters
Image Credit: stock_colors via iStock
If you're a landscape photographer like me, one of the most frustrating occurrences when you're out shooting is trying to overcome the difference in brightness between the sky and the landscape.
Short of bracketing exposures, shooting in HDR, or doing a lot of post-processing, you either have to expose your images for the bright sky or the dark landscape.
That is, unless you use a graduated neutral density filter.
I've used Formatt-Hitech filters for years now, and they've never let me down.
I especially like the 100mm Graduated Neutral Density Filter Kit because it gives me plenty of options for getting an even exposure throughout my images.
The soft transition from the filtered and non-filtered area of the filters is perfect for landscapes that might not have a perfectly flat horizon.
The kit comes with three of the most common densities of soft edge grads - 0.3, 0.6, and 0.9, so you have good flexibility in terms of working with the lighting conditions that are present.
And because these filters are precision-made, they offer excellent light transmission, beautiful contrast, and color fidelity.
What's more, the high-grade optical resin is strong and durable, so they'll last you for years and years to come.
Best of all, these filters can be used with virtually any 100mm holder system on lenses from Canon, Nikon, Sony, Sigma, Panasonic, and other major brands.
A Solid Tripod
When I started out in photography, I made the mistake of buying the cheapest tripod I could find.
It was a mistake because it was hard to use, flimsy, and ended up breaking after a few months. That didn't exactly help me take better photos...
Then I invested in a good little tripod from Sirui, the T-1205X, and it's still going strong today.
What I like about this tripod is that it's so small (just 13.8-inches long when collapsed) yet can extend to more than 44 inches.
Additionally, since this tripod is constructed using 8-layer carbon fiber, it's both lightweight and incredibly strong.
That strength is a must-have when shooting with a tripod, because you want it to be ultra-sturdy to give your camera the stability it needs to capture sharp images.
The big rubber feet and leg-lock mechanisms on this tripod further its ability to provide your camera with rock-solid support.
But when you shoot landscapes, you also want a tripod that you can set up quickly when time is of the essence.
As I've found with this tripod, it's easy to set up primarily because of its quick twist-lock leg locks.
It's literally a twist here and a twist there, and the legs are locked in position and you're ready to go!
A Durable Camera Bag
A final must-have accessory for cameras is a camera bag to carry it (and all its accessories, too!).
Along the same lines as my tripod experience, I first bought a cheap camera bag thinking that they're all the same.
But just like my first tripod, my first camera bag fell apart, so I learned another hard lesson in actually investing in solid gear rather than finding the cheapest thing out there.
Since that time, I've been a big fan of Holdfast because their bags are a great combination of comfort, versatility, and functionality as well.
When I'm heading out for a quick shoot, I put my gear in my Holdfast Explorer Fundy Streetwise Bag.
Not only is this bag weatherproof thanks to the waxed canvas and leather exterior, but it's also incredibly durable, again, thanks to the materials used to craft the bag.
When you look at the bag up close, you can see something else that helps in the durability department - the attention to detail.
I mean, this thing is impressive from top to bottom, inside and out, with everything from the stitching to the buckles showing some amazing handiwork.
The inside of the bag is lined with sheepskin to protect your gear and prevent scratches, and with a customizable gear insert, you can adjust how you use the space inside to meet your specific needs.
Perhaps best of all, the Fundy Streetwise bag is part of a larger modular system that allows you to add additional pouches for lenses or a phone, as well as carry the bag on Holdfast's incredible MoneyMaker Dual Camera Strap.
As I said in the introduction, having better gear doesn't necessarily mean that you'll take better photos, but having better gear will certainly make your quest for the ultimate shot easier and more productive!
Don't buy cheap stuff. Instead, learn from my mistakes and make an investment into photography gear that'll last you for years and years.