As well as a camera, here are 10 other essential pieces of photography equipment that you should own:
1. Spare battery/batteries
If you get to the top of a mountain, switch on your camera and find your battery's dead you'll be extremely annoyed so one, make sure the battery is charged before you leave and two, always carry a spare(s). This is even more important for compact users whose camera is more likely to use AA batteries.
2. Memory cards
You can buy cards which have several giga-bites of memory now but don't be tempted to just buy one huge card and head off on your holiday with it as cards can fail, be lost or stolen. Instead, purchase several smaller-sized cards and make sure you carry at least a couple of them with you when you head out to take some shots.
3. Camera bag
To keep your equipment safe, you need a camera bag. Something lightweight, compact and waterproof will keep your equipment dry and it means you won't break your back lugging unnecessary weight. There are various models on the market to suit both the compact and DSLR user. Plenty of storage space is a must and if you use a tripod, you'd find a tripod holder a very useful feature when you're walking up a mountain path. Take a look at our bag reviews if you're in the market for a new camera bag.
A tripod is something DSLR users shouldn't be without. They'll keep your camera still and slow you down so you think more about composition. If you're taking photos where space is a premium or will be on the move quite a bit you'll probably find a monopod more useful. For compact users or for people who use the phones as cameras, take a look at the Gorillapod range. The legs are flexible so can be wrapped around tree branches, railings etc. There's even a model designed to hold DSLRs if you're heading off on your travels and don't have the space to pack a large tripod. There's also travel tripods which are designed to not take too much space up in your luggage.
5. Air blower
Dust can get into your camera which can create dark patches on your photos and even though most cameras now feature anti-dust features, you'll still occasionally need to remove the dust manually. One of the easiest and most effective ways is with a Hurricane Blower. You just squeeze the bulb which forces a jet of air out of the nozzle to blow any dust away. It's also handy from getting dust/sand out of other photographic equipment as well as keyboards.
6. Lens cloth
The smallest of marks, scratches or dust spots can effect your image so having a lens cloth in your camera bag is a must. Most come with pouches so make sure you use it to keep it clean and don't use the cloth to clean anything else. If you're out photographing waves or waterfalls where your equipment can be splashed, make sure you regularly wipe your lens to stop any moisture getting into it and to stop water droplets decorating your final image.
Filters are particularly useful for landscape photographers but every photographer who owns a DSLR should consider purchasing at least a UV filter as they can act as a permanent lens protector. After all, it's cheaper to replace a filter than a lens that's got scratched. Other filters to consider are:
- Polarising filters – Make the sky more blue and the grass more green. They also help cut down glare from glass or water.
- ND filter – Help reduce brightness of a shot without changing the colours of it. You'll be able to use larger apertures in brighter conditions.
- Graduated ND filter - Reduces the brightness difference between the sky and ground or vice versa if needs be.
8. External/Portable hard drive
Having one copy of your images on your computer isn't a good idea as, like any technology, computers can fail and if it can't be brought back to life you could lose your images forever. Instead, buy a portable hard drive and regularly backup your photo collection on it. They come in various sizes and some are shock resistant so you could take one on your travels and back your photos up if you're going to be away for a long period of time.
9. Multi Card Reader
A multi card reader makes the job of transferring images to your computer a lot easier and buy purchasing a multi card reader, you won't have to buy a new one if you change to a camera that uses a different type of memory.
10. Account to share your photos
What's the point in taking your photographs if you're not going to share them? A site such as ePHOTOzine will give you a portfolio where you can share your images with others and ask for feedback on what you take. If you're a professional looking to create your own website to showcase your images on, take a look at foliopic. The template system means you'll be able to create a stylish website with ease.
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