Photographers have a huge toolbox of accessories and equipment to help them take the perfect photo. Tripods, lightboxes, and diffusers are just some of the equipment that a photographer will have with them during a photo shoot. There is some photography equipment that any photographer just wouldn’t be able to go without.
We’ve highlighted the must-have photography equipment that should be in every photographer’s bag that will take your photography to the next level.
Although most cameras have a built-in flash, external flashes are much stronger and are better at lighting up a whole photo. Most built-in camera flashes have a maximum flash distance of 3 metres. At this distance, your photos won’t be fully illuminated. External flashes have much more power and can fully illuminate a subject over 10 metres away.
External camera flashes also have a much wider flash angle than built-in flashes. This will make sure the background and edges of your shots have proper lighting. Having a good external flash will also get rid of red-eyes from your photos.
Having a remote release will let you control the shutter on your camera and combined with a tripod will eliminate camera shake, and blurriness. Remote releases also allow you to set up your camera to take photos at set intervals. This is a great tool when creating time-lapses.
Wireless shutter releases let you take photos while being far away from the camera and are great for taking photos of yourself.
Different situations call for different lenses. Many amateur photographers limit themselves to just using the kit lens that comes with their camera. While this lens is great for starting, lenses with different focal lengths will make your photos more vibrant and emphasize depth.
You may have seen different focal lengths for lenses before. A camera’s focal length tells you how much of that lens will be able to capture. Low focal lengths will result in a wider viewing angle, while high focal lengths will give you a narrower field of view.
Lenses can also have different maximum apertures. Aperture controls how much light can pass through the lens and into the camera. A high aperture means less light will enter the camera and a low aperture means more light will be able to enter the camera. Lenses will indicate their maximum aperture. Lenses with a high maximum aperture will let more light in, which will be better when shooting at night or in other low light situations.
There are two types of lenses, prime and zoom. Prime lenses have a fixed focal length which will make your photos sharper and let you take faster photos. Zoom lenses allow you to change the focal length at the cost of speed and weight. Zoom lenses typically are heavier than prime lenses.
There are two focal lengths that we want to highlight for new photographers looking to grow their skills: a 50mm lens and a 16mm lens.
A 16mm lens will have a very wide field of view and are great for exaggerating the size of still objects. If you will be photographing small objects, then a 16mm lens will be great.
Many photographers will recommend a 50mm lens as your first lens. This is because it shows images almost exactly the same way a human eye would see objects. It is a great choice for any kind of photography and is very versatile.
It’s no secret that every photographer needs to have a tripod. They can help take steady photos, especially if you have shaky hands. At faster shutter speeds using a tripod will keep your camera steady. Shooting at speeds longer than 1/60th of a second without a tripod will make your photos blurry. In low light situations, you will have to shoot at slower shutter speeds, to avoid motion blur you will need a tripod.
Having a tripod is especially important for video work. You won’t be able to hold your camera perfectly straight for minutes or hours at a time. If you are shooting a time-lapse, a tripod is essential to make sure your frames are aligned.
If you find yourself shooting photos of yourself, having an adjustable tripod will help you align your shots.
This is especially important for shooting videos. A gimbal will allow you to move your camera, while you are filming and maintain steady video quality. After holding your camera for long periods, your hands are bound to get a little shaky. Unlike a tripod, a gimbal is easy to move while you are filming making it the choice tool for sports videographers. Gimbals give you the freedom to move around without the risk of getting a blurry, unsteady result.
Attaching a lens hood to the front of your lens will block out unwanted light from entering your camera and eliminate lens flare from your photos. Having a lens hood during busy event photography is great because it can protect your lens if you pump into something. Having a lens hood gives you more control over how much light can enter your camera and is the best way to avoid flare.
An obvious tip, but you wouldn’t believe how many photographers only have 1 set of batteries for their camera. If you will be on a photo shoot all day, you will need at least two batteries for your camera and a portable charger. Photographing an event will use up your battery very fast, so it’s best to have extra batteries on hand to keep on shooting. Some photographers keep 3 or 4 batteries with them at all times.
Shooting inside a studio gives you lots of control over lighting, setting, backdrop, and equipment. Studio lights can sometimes be too bright and this will show in photographs. Without a light diffuser, harsh lighting may make your subject squint or overexpose your photos.
A light diffuser will soften the light the same way that clouds soften the light from the sun. They spread the direction light is coming from and reduce shadows. Different diffusers can bounce light in different ways. An umbrella diffuser is great for reproducing the look of natural light while a softbox will soften the light by scattering it and creating softer shadows.
The last item that all photographers should have is a light meter. As their name suggests, they measure the amount of light in a photograph and helps the photographer determine the right settings and lens to use for optimal exposure.
A light meter can tell you exposure with your flash on, a feature no camera can do. Photographers can input their desired shutter speed, aperture, and ISO into a light meter and the meter will recommend changes or adjustments based on the lighting. Using a light meter will take the shot from your head, and put it into the camera.