Common & Very Helpful Photography Accessories

WendyMay

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Common & Very Helpful Photography Accessories

Obviously, getting hold of a nice camera and lens are the very first things you'll need for your budding photography career, but beyond that, there are a few items that may make your world a brighter place. The thing is, you'll only need these accessories if you find that they may help with the quality of your photos or the ease of your image capturing. Far too often we find ourselves browsing around Amazon, B&H Photo, or some other photography website, credit card in hand, getting sucked into the latest and greatest gadgets that we may or may not need. When it comes to accessories, my advice is this: if you're very active in the field and are finding that one additional tool would help you substantially, then go for it. Don't just buy something and hope that you'll use it one day. Chances are, you won't. Camera accessories are a need to own kind of thing.

Okay, with that said, let's get to the top three most popular accessories out there. I'll first tell you what they are and then I'll tell you how they can benefit you while taking photos.

Tripod: This is likely the very first thing anyone thinks of when they ponder photography. Well, besides the camera itself. Tripods come to mind for good reason; they're critical in some instances. I can think of two right off the top of my head. First, if you want to do any sort of self video or get yourself in a picture when you're alone, it's a heck of a lot easier to do this with a tripod then without. Second, tripods are instrumental when attempting to keep camera shake at bay. And this includes using one while doing long exposure shots, such as those popular silky smooth waterfall photos.

When purchasing a tripod, be sure to size it properly to your camera. For a regular DSLR camera, a normal tripod should cost around $70-$140. I recently purchase an excellent Vanguard Alta tripod (https://amzn.to/3q51MAf) on Amazon for around $125. It's the nicest tripod I've ever owned and it works perfectly with my Canon Rebel T7i. Of course, these pieces of equipment can come a lot cheaper and a lot more expensive, but keep your eye towards the middle of the pack. There's lot of good stuff out there.

We all know that tripods come with extendible legs and neck, but one area we might not be too familiar with are the two different types of heads. The two primary styles of tripod heads are the three-way and the ball. Like every other thing that has to do with photography, there are pros and cons to each style. As for the three-way head, they're great because you can limit your camera's movement to one axis at a time. And on top of that, they're very stable. There's little chance your camera will swing around and crash into the tripod neck. Also, these are the less expensive of the two types of heads. The downside of these are that they're sort of bulky. The one I used to own came with two large twisting handles that got in the way of everything, especially the bag I used to store it in. I still loved it though.

When it comes to ball heads, this is what the pros typically use. You'll see them raving about them online. They're fairly compact, light, and they've got a great strength to weight ratio, meaning, they can securely hold up some pretty heavy cameras. The downside to them is if you're not careful when you're adjusting them, your camera can quickly flop down and crash into a tripod leg. It's also a challenge to make fine adjustments. Otherwise, they're great. Actually, both options are great. Try before you buy is my motto. Go to a real life camera store and play around with the different types to see which one you like better.

Remote Shutter Release: This is probably the second most popular camera accessory on the market. The best part about this one is that it only cost a few dollars. Remote releases are simply shutter buttons that are on the end of a cord. The reason most people buy these things is to keep their fingers and hands from touching the camera. Again, touching the camera while taking a photo can cause shake, which results in blurry images. The last one of these released I've owned was called a SMDV Remote Shutter Release Cable (https://amzn.to/2K16yQ7) and it only cost me around $10. These are great items to have around, especially when taking those crystal clear waterfall photos.

Lens Filters: The final accessory I'd like to discuss is the lens filter. These are basically semi-clear glass or plastic pieces that you place over the end of your lens to change the look of the photo you're taking or the video you're capturing. Lens filters are used for many reasons: some reduce the amount of light that's allowed through the lens, some polarize that light, some warm or cool the light. All sorts of things. The big decision you need to make when buying a lens filter kit is whether you want the screw in type or the slide in type. I used to own the screw in type and they were good. The only problem was, I needed an entirely new kit for every sized lens I owned. That got annoying after a while. With the flat plate filter holder style though, the kit comes with many adapters that fit just about every size lens there is. And strangely enough, both of these types of kits are relatively inexpensive. I recently purchased the Neewer Square Lens Filter and Accessory Kit (https://amzn.to/38u7BkU) for under $25. It's the slide in flat plate type and it's pretty great. I'll tell you though, the primary filter I add to my camera's lens is the neutral density filter. It's been said that these filters are like sunglasses for your camera. They reduce the amount of light that travels through the lens. When I take long exposure shots, it's easy to over expose my photos. That's what this type of filter is mean to fix.

So there you have it. After photographing for a while, start taking an interest in the various accessories that you have available. One just might make your life easier.
 
Common & Very Helpful Photography Accessories was posted on 01-09-2021 by WendyMay in the Photography Forum forum.
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