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Though a camera and lens is all you really need to start taking photos, it's nice to have a few accessories to make your photography ventures easier and more efficient. Accessories can save you from small hassles that could otherwise distract you from the scene at hand, and a small distraction could make a big difference. So take a look at this list to see what little things you need to keep your photography routine running smoothly.
Fast Memory Card
Of course you need a memory card to take photos, but you may want to think twice before buying a cheap, off brand card. DSLRs are high performance devices, and a cheap card will slow down the speed that your camera can write image information. There's no shortage of fast reliable memory cards out there so finding one shouldn't be a problem. Sandisk and Kingston are two very good brands. Several companies have also been making ultra high-speed cards and cards with greater storage capacity. The best part is that the prices on these are dropping every year.
There are a slew of photographers who will tell you that you need to invest in a nice sturdy tripod, and this is certainly the case if you want to do any kind of landscape, low-light, or studio portrait photography. If you're more of a street photographer, you may not need one on a regular basis, but it's always nice to have one just in case.
Always invest in at least one extra battery. Your camera is useless without it, and there's nothing more frustrating than bringing it somewhere and having the battery die on you. Then you're just stuck lugging around a five pound block of glass, metal, and plastic. Don't let this happen to you. Buy an extra battery, and bring your charger.
If you're going to be carrying your camera around a lot, (which you should) you'll want a comfortable strap, preferably a padded one. Without one, you'll find yourself switching shoulders back and forth as you try and balance out the discomfort of a thin strap.
Lens Cap Holder
Leaving your lens lying around without a lens cap on is just begging for dust and accidental scratches to mess up your beautiful glass. Since caps are so easy to lose, it's always a good idea to invest in something that will ensure you won't forget it somewhere. There are a variety of accessories to help with this. Some are as simple as a small string that tethers your cap to your lens. Other lens cap holders are even built into the camera strap.
Shutter remotes are great in several instances. If you're shooting on a tripod, it's best to use a remote instead of the button on the camera so that you avoid camera shake, which is the whole point of using the tripod in the first place. It's also great for doing group shots when you want to join in on the photo or if you want to trigger you camera from a distance unnoticed.
Software is not necessarily an accessory, but it is something you'll want to invest in if you're doing digital photography. Many pros use programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. These are very robust editing programs, but they also cost a pretty penny. If you have the cash, by all means invest in one of these, but if you're looking for something more affordable, try a freeware program such as Gimp or Picasa.
Image credit: botahoratiu / 123RF Stock Photo
Written by Spencer Seastrom