If you’re new to photography and raring to go with your newly purchased camera then below is a range of accessories and a layman’s explanation of what they do. These accessories will inevitably help you in the long run and are a staple for many avid photographers. You’ll soon come to find yourself purchasing all of these, so why wait?
There are several types of filters you can purchase, the most popular one being the UV filter which blocks out UV rays, this is especially useful for film cameras which are sensitive to UV light. However, if you have a digital camera don’t expect the filtering to do much. Instead, for £5-20 you have a lens protector that is potentially protecting that precious £1000 glass. Another type of filter is the polarizing filter which filters the light into specific planes, as a result by rotating the filter you can darken skies, manage reflections, or suppress glare from the surface of lakes. You can also get neutral density (ND) filters which are used to reduce the amount of light that enters a lens by a specified ‘stop’ rating. This is so that you can take photos that would be naturally overexposed such as low aperture or motion blurred daylight photos. Hoya Filters are considered best value for money so below is a selection of lens filters, be sure to verify what filter size (normally written on the front of the lens) you need!
Tripods come in all shapes and sizes, the top tripods may come with a hefty price tag but offer build quality that will last you for years to come. Tripods essentially hold the camera in place, this prevents your hand motion from being registered when taking photos which show up in those of longer shutter speeds. It is also especially handy if you want a myriad of shots to be taken in the exact location for the use of perhaps stop motion. To make it easier to know what tripod you want to get, you can break it down into three types, the flexible legged gorilla pods, mini tripods and full-sized tripods. The gorilla pods have legs that can twist and conform to objects such as tree branches to allow your camera to hang at precarious angles. The mini tripod is non-extendable but is handheld, hence typically suits smaller cameras. Finally, the standard sized tripod is more often than not found in the typical studio set, poised in a stable manner to produce results after results.
Any photographer that wants to ascend to the top of their game needs to know how to sculpt light in order to produce desired shadows or lack thereof, this is extremely important in product/ portrait photos. What a Speedlite does is allow you to transport the large studio lights into a compact solution for things like wedding ceremonies or red carpet events. The most significant perks being it allows for fast shutter speeds and is a lifesaver for those lowly lit situations. They also come with accessories to customise the type of light you want to get, such as a diffuser which spread out the flashlight. Please be sure to check the compatibility of the Speedlight as the software has to match the specified camera. The higher end Speedlites such as the ones recommended below allow for the ability to wireless sync the flash so that you can position it wherever you want.
A remote timer simply lets you release the shutter on your camera without touching the camera itself, which means you eliminate handling vibrations that occur when clicking the shutter release on the camera. It also means you don’t have to be next to the camera, and again compatibility with these instruments needs to be verified, so a Nikon remote will only work for Nikon cameras. The wireless infrared remotes tend to be small and cheap whereas the larger ones offer additional settings such as delayed interval release. On Amazon, you will sometimes be able to see a model that has a selection of similar items which cater to different camera manufacturers.
If you’re going to be taking videos then it is recommended to buy an external microphone that will suitably boost the performance of the small microphone(s) integrated into your camera. You will hear a noticeable improvement in the clarity of voices and the removal/ filtering of background noise by a considerable amount.
This last one won’t actively affect your photos but it sure does help keep your gear from getting damaged which in the long run puts this as a sound investment. There isn’t much to say other than buy a bag that suits the size of your kit, in other words, if you have you many lenses then a large bag is what you need.
Nothing beats being out in the field and taking photos in leisure, realising over time what skills to refine. However, you can speed up this process and learn the ins and outs of everything to do with a camera with books, YouTube or online courses. An invaluable book we recommend is The Beginner’s Photography Guide. If you’ve learnt the basics and want to take your skills a step further into editing as well, then the award-winning Tony Northrup’s Dslr Book is highly recommended with stellar reviews.