I think I speak for all of us when I say I'm always looking for new things to learn and new gadgets to acquire that help me take more impactful images.
It's a pursuit of perfection, I suppose, even though I know there's no such thing as a perfect photograph. That shouldn't stop me (or you!) from taking the time to at least give perfection a try, though.
When working on taking better photos, there's a lot at play. For me, that involved diving deep into learning advanced camera settings all those years ago. It also involved getting a better grasp on composition tricks I can use to make a more impactful image.
Those things take years to master, and even though I've been at this awhile, I'm certainly still learning.
But there's always some new, fancy camera gadget that catches my eye and makes me think, "Now THAT'S a good idea!" Here are three of my top suggestions for photography gadgets that will help you take your photos from basic to boss.
A Camera Remote, Evolved
For the longest time, when I heard the phrase "camera remote" I thought of those cheap, one-button remotes you can pick up for $10 that do nothing but fire the shutter.
At one point in time, that was a pretty fancy gadget. Not now!
I've been using Pulse by Alpine Labs for awhile now, and it's just about the coolest gadget I've got in my bag.
I didn't think it was possible, but Alpine Labs has managed to make Spark even better!
You can use it three different ways - as a traditional wired trigger, as an infrared remote, or as a smartphone-controlled remote.
That gives you the flexibility you need to tackle any project, from still images to long exposures to time-lapse videos like the one above.
It's really the best of all worlds because as a wired remote, you get unparalleled reliability (and a backup plan if your batteries die). As an infrared remote you can control your camera from up to 30 feet away to take awesome selfies or more serious family portraits.
But like Pulse before it, Spark allows you to seize control of your camera using the accompanying smartphone app.
Using Bluetooth, you can range up to 100 feet away from your camera and still retain control.
Spark even lets you program basic time-lapse settings without your phone. Just press Spark's button and a ten-second time-lapse video will automatically be created.
Seriously...if you pick up Spark, you'll not only have the means to take sharper, higher quality photos, but you'll also have the means to create incredible long exposures and real-time and time-lapse video too. Talk about changing your photography for the better!
The Next Generation of Photographs
After you take some breathtaking photos with your camera and Spark, you'll want to give them a post-processing treatment that makes them stand out from the crowd.
There's no better way to do that than with Plotagraph.
Plotagraph is a cloud-based platform that brings still photography and dynamic, looping content together into one incredible final product.
By using a single still image, you can add movement to the shot to give it a unique, eye-catching look that will make people "ooh" and "aah" over your photos (and wonder how the heck you created it, too).
With Plotagraph, you can take even the most incredible still image like the one above by Nick Carter and turn it into a work of art, like the one below:
And though it looks complicated, creating a Plotagraph is simple, easy process that anyone can master.
All you need to do is join the Plotagraph community, upload your photo, use Plotagraph to edit the image, and what you end up with is a motion-filled photo that makes it come to life and jump off the screen.
I know photography isn't all about drawing attention, and that it's as much a personal journey as it is giving others something eye-catching to view.
But boy, if you want to elevate your photos to the next level, using Plotagraph is as good an idea as any!
Your Eye in the Sky
No list of incredible photography gadgets would be complete without a drone, and one of the best on the market today is the DJI Phantom 4.
Unlike the first two entries on our list, the Phantom 4 is definitely not budget-friendly.
But that doesn't mean that you can't get every penny's worth of your money out of the enjoyment this thing brings to your pursuit of better photos and videos.
With auto takeoff and return features, this GPS-enabled drone is easy to operate. Use the accompanying app to monitor your progress as you fly and operate the camera as well.
The f/2.8 lens has a broad field of view that gets you clear, crisp images, and with 4K Ultra HD video capabilities, you can create stunning videos from a perspective few of us get to see.
And that perspective is what has so much impact on drone-based photography and videography.
Rather than giving viewers the same old view, taking to the skies for an overhead shot helps you make something fantastic and unique.
That's what it's all about, right?