Photography is often seen as an expensive and exclusive pastime. While it’s true that top-of-the-range equipment can be very costly, you don’t have to spend a lot to improve your skills. It’s important that you know the principles of photography in order to advance your craft. There are also some essential and affordable accessories that you can purchase to help you take better photos. We’ve listed ten such accessories, below:
Your digital camera will, of course, come with a battery as standard. The chances are it’s a rechargeable lithium-ion cell. These usually last for a decent amount of time, but if you’re taking a lot of shots, it can soon run down.
You can purchase additional batteries for your camera for a relatively low price. Branded ones tend to be expensive, so stick to third-party sellers to keep costs down. With an extra battery or two, you can continue taking pictures and practising your art.
2. Memory Cards
It’s no good having extra batteries to take photos with if you run out of memory card space. Make sure that you also purchase an extra memory card or two to give you plenty of storage space. Try to choose one that has a high read and write speed, as this will make the whole process a lot easier.
3. Off-Camera Storage
By the time you’ve been on a few photography trips and filled up some memory cards, you’re going to need somewhere to store your pictures. Your laptop or PC hard drive will soon fill up, so it’s always a good idea to pick up an external one. They’re often inexpensive and mean you can take your collection with you without issue. Just make sure you back up your important files.
4. Camera Strap
Most new cameras will come with a branded camera strap. However, they’re usually cheaply made and uncomfortable. Invest in a new strap that is strong and has plenty of padding. Using one will mean you’re more likely to have your camera out and ready to capture those surprise moments.
5. Polarising Filter
Shooting in sunlight can sometimes be difficult. A polarising filter can help to reduce the amount of glare you experience in your compositions. It allows you to see through reflective surfaces, and also means that your blues and greens are richer in colour. If you’re in a pinch, try using your polarised sunglasses if you don’t have a filter.
6. ND Filter
If you’re taking photos on a particularly bright day, your camera can sometimes struggle to balance aperture and shutter speed. An ND filter means you can shoot with a wide open aperture and not over-expose your shot. They’re perfect for shooting in bright light with a low f/ number.
When the light is poor, a tripod can be incredibly useful. They stabilise your shots, allowing you to capture the scene without blurring the picture. It’s possible to buy a small and affordable tripod that’s robust enough for even the toughest situations.
8. Cable Release
Also known as a shutter release, these are perfect for minimising camera shake. If you’re taking a landscape shot or shooting in low light, you don’t want to blur your pictures. A cable release means you can remotely release the shutter without moving the whole camera.
Newcomers to photography are often daunted by the prospect of using a flash. However, they can be extremely useful in many situations. A remote flash doesn’t have to be expensive, and neither do the transceivers to trigger them. But, adding them to your camera setup really expands your options, particularly when shooting portraits.
10. Mini Softbox
If you’re adding a flash, you should also pick up a cheap softbox for it. This will diffuse the light and soften shadows, meaning that the final results are a lot better. It will also prevent you from blinding your subject.