So you have brought your first camera, now what?
Well if you have looked online lately or in a camera shop, you will know that there are thousands of photography accessories fighting to get your attention. Once you have your camera, there are definitely a few accessories that are worth investing in, a camera bag to protect your camera for example.
Long before I even brought my first camera, I remember walking into the photography shop. It felt like I had walked into a sweet shop. Now I admit to being a bit of a gadget geek, but everything in that shop wanted to come home with me that day I could just feel it. Sadly my credit card didn’t agree, and I ended up planning just to get the bare essentials. It turns out the bare essentials have served me well, and years later those are still my go-to products.
Trust me when I say that you have to fight temptation and ask yourself this. How exactly will this help me to create a better photograph?
No matter what kind of photography accessory you find yourself needing. It has been created and is out there waiting for you to buy it. Photo Source: Unsplash
Of course, if you are looking for photography ‘accessories’ a camera doesn’t seem like it should be on the list. But your camera is one of your primary pieces of equipment. Once you are aware of the kinds of pictures that you would like to capture you will find lots of amazing cameras just waiting to be brought.
Once you pass the novice level of experience and really become interested in photography and in being a photographer whether it is professionally or just as an enthusiast. You will find that cameras come in a few styles, Point and shoot / Compact cameras, mirrorless cameras (interchangeable lenses), Digital SLRs (interchangeable lenses) and Action Cameras like a GoPro (Including drones and waterproof cameras).
A camera lens is a crucial piece of your photography equipment, without a decent lens your images will never be able to reach their maximum potential. But with that said with most cameras, you will get a pretty decent kit lens bundled for the same price. Lens all have different functions and depending on what you plan to photograph different lenses will be necessary to help you reach the best results. The standard kit lens bundled with your camera is likely to cover a middle range and give you the chance to take a picture of most things with pretty great results.
But there are also Marco lenses for taking pictures of things in great detail, Telephoto lenses to take a picture of things that are far away, wide angle lenses to fit a lot of image into the picture great for landscape photography and fisheye lens which bring a creative photographic flare to imagery. They all come with pros and cons depending on what your subject is.
This is another essential piece of kit, without a memory card you will have nowhere to store your pictures. Now there are many kinds of memory card, the type that you will need will depend wholly on the camera that you have.
The some of the most popular kinds of cards available are CompactFlash (CF), Secure Digital Card (SD card), MultiMediaCard (MMC), Sony Memory Sticks, xD picture card. Now when you come to choose memory cards, you will see that there are different prices and descriptions. Class 10 memory cards, Class 2 memory cards, 64Gigabytes (GB) cards 32 GB cards. GigaWhat??? OK, let’s keep it simple!
When buying a memory card, you need to know two things buy the most significant capacity you can afford so that you can fit more pictures on to the card 8GB is a good starting point but the more GB, the better. Secondly, despite the price differences, the cost of the card does not indicate the quality of the photo that will be saved but the speed at which it is written to the card.
It is your camera bag that you want to get banged and scraped not your camera or your lens. Source: Unsplash
If you want to photograph in low light or take long exposures, a tripod could be the answer to your no blur prayers. Because with a camera tripod or monopod you are going to be able to capture beautiful images with a sharp focus effortlessly. However, if you prefer the freedom of moving around as you shoot images, then this accessory won’t be for you.
Now although I have put this in the nice to have a category, this can be a pretty important piece of kit especially if you plan to move around a lot or plan on carrying your camera with you as you walk around. Picking the best camera bag is also essential, and it is this bag that you want to get banged and scraped not your camera and especially not your lens.
However, if your camera will be in a portrait studio or other kind of studio, then you may not really require a camera bag. Although they can also be useful for storage and protecting your camera from dust and accidental damage. Lowpro is a favourite brand, and they have a range of camera bags and backpacks available that can store your camera gear.
If you are a snap-a-holic and love taking pictures, you may find yourself running out of battery power before you are through with taking your photographs having a few extra battery packs in your bag will get rid of any frustration that may come up and ruin your shoot.
However, if you won’t be far from an energy source and have time on your hands, there is no need to carry extra camera batteries. But if you are photographing someone’s wedding or have just climbed Everest then make sure you have a few stashed away. Once in a lifetime events won’t wait for your battery charger.
Without a decent lens your images will never be able to reach their maximum potential. Photo Source: Unsplash
This equipment is clearly only for people who want to set up their own studios. Studio lighting and studio equipment, in general, is large and bulky and is not highly flexible in terms of moving around. But if you are setting up a studio then this equipment will shoot straight up to your must buy list. A professional camera and studio equipment can capture beautiful images.
A smartphone is an everyday item, but when used in conjunction with a digital camera it can be invaluable. Whether you decide to forgo the DSLR camera and a tripod for your smartphone and selfie stick. Or you choose to connect your phone to your camera to use as a wireless shutter or secondary external screen. Integrating a smartphone into your photography is beyond cool and extremely useful.
Once you have taken your pictures, you will want to see them on a screen larger than your 3” LCD screen. Having a laptop or computer to hand will bring your photos to life, and if you have an HDMI port, you can connect this to your TV to get a look at them on the big screen.
Viewing your images off the computer, however, you decide to do it is an essential step. Especially important while you learn photography and find your style and skill. When looking at the images, you will be able to see any small issues with the focus, blur, noise or any other problem that might ruin your photo. This is what will help you to improve as you learn about your camera and how it hands itself.
When you get comfortable with seeing your images on a bigger screen, you might want to take a step further to consider starting to edit your image. Perhaps the skin on your model isn’t as bright as you would like it to be or maybe a person’s foot is in the shot.
Adobe Photoshop is professional level software made to edit photos. It has advanced tools to help you to correct any issues with your images but further to improve them and add a creative flare.
There are so many more accessories available on the market that it could make your head spin. Things like Filters which add protection to your lens, Flash accessories which are portable and help light your image, a hot shoe bracket which helps to connect other accessories to your camera, Camera straps to help you keep your camera secure when handheld. The list could go on forever.
What you will find is that no matter what kind of photography accessory you find yourself needing. It has been created and is out there waiting for you to buy it. The good thing about waiting until you need a camera accessory, before purchasing it is that you will be sure that you need it and will use it.
All of this camera gear is useful, but all have a unique purpose. If you never find that you have that particular unique need in your photography then you will be buying just for the sake of buying. In the end, the only reason to purchase any camera accessory is to improve your photograph. That is the end game that all photographers are looking for.
So how do you plan to accessorise your camera?