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When you think about it, photography is an expensive activity, regardless if you’re doing it as a professional or if it’s a hobby. Cameras are expensive, although DSLRs are way more affordable than they used to be ten years ago, but quality lenses have always cost a pretty penny. Lighting is not cheap either, and editing software will take its toll from your budget as well. But in this world of expensive toys that, let’s face it, make us happy and we enjoy using, there are some great gadgets that are bargains compared to what they can offer us. Here is a list of 14 items I personally think every photographer should own.
I would imagine they have people working in shifts to build this thing, as it has become quite famous. Yes, it is a knock off Canon Speedlite that also works on Nikon, but damn it’s good for the money! It’s a very powerful, manual flash and dare I say a great alternative to the original models that cost more than twice as much. Together with a set of wireless triggers, a few of these cheap flashes can make a great lighting setup for studio and outdoors photo sessions. See HERE.
Experienced outdoor photographers know that some of the most spectacular photos are taken when the working conditions are the least desirable. While beginners may flee to safety in heavy rainfall, serious photographers will take whatever nature throws at them, cover their gear using one of these, and keep shooting. See HERE.
They are colored, transparent pieces of plastic that change the tone of the light coming from your flash, and if you own a flash and don’t have gels, you don’t know what you’re missing. They are very useful in many situations where you have to match the ambient light with your flash and they can also create very interesting effects.
If spending $600 on the full version of the software is too much for you, there is a much more affordable option, Photoshop elements. It is designed to be an entry level version, but if you’re not into high end manipulation, design and composites, you can do pretty much everything you would do with the “mother version”. So yeah, money well spent! See HERE.
Reflectors are accessories no photographer should be missing. They are used to shape natural light and avoid hard shadows. They are essential for outdoor portraits. There are also x in one versions, like the one featured here, that offer different types of surfaces, for greater contrasts or warmer tones. See HERE.
It is an attachable flash diffuser that also directs the light from your Speedlight. There are many available on the market, but most are overpriced marketing ploys that don’t really work very well. This one however, actually comes close to a small softbox and for that, I highly recommend it. See HERE.
A quality monopod can make your life easier many more times than you would expect. Whenever a tripod would come in handy, but would be too much to carry, a monopod would be the right choice for stability. You can use it for quite a few things, ranging from visits to the zoo to your son’s pee wee football game. This Manfrotto is one of the best recommendations. See HERE.
It is an ideal tool for professional looking product photography. Many online sellers use one without having an actual interest in photography, because it makes products look good. It can also be very useful in food photography and macro shooting. See HERE.
Ideal for backing up your photos (don’t even think about skipping this step). Portable hard drives are good because they don’t tie you to a single computer and you can use them to share work besides storing it. See HERE.
Using a tablet instead of a mouse when you retouch can make a significant difference. It allows for more control, especially when working with brushes. You can’t beat it at pressure work either. Wacom does have some very cool elite models as well, but in this price range, this is a very good option. See HERE.
No matter what you do, or how careful you are, your camera and lenses will eventually get dirty. Lenspens are great cleaning tools. They use special carbon tips that can get rid of nasty fingerprint stains and they also have brush tips for removing dust from places harder to get to. See HERE.
How many times have you looked for that extra memory card and had to turn your bag inside out with all the guts hanging? I know it happened to me on several occasions. To tell you the truth, I’m really bad at keeping track of where I put small things and that’s why things like this card wallet help me organize better. See HERE.
These things are amazing! You can literally hang your camera from almost anything. You can tie it around trees, bars, or leave it hanging from any metal surface because it’s magnetic to. It is wonderful for stability and a great tool for getting crazy angles. Highly recommended! See HERE.
An ideal tool for shooting video with your DSLR. It doesn’t take heavy weight, so don’t expect it to handle anything heavier than an entry level DSLR, but if you do own a camera like that, it works great for stabilizing motion capture. See HERE.
Also See: Top 10 best cameras of all time
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