Take a look in any experienced photographers camera bag and you’ll soon realise that on order to capture some the shots they do, you’ll require more than just a camera.
It’s easy to get carried away or a bit baffled by what you do and don’t need
Expect to pay: £50-£200
Unless you have the grip of a human-statue, it’s really hard to hold a camera perfectly still. If you’re forced to take a shot with a shutter speed longer than around 1/100 second, you might want to mount your camera on something a bit more solid.
A tripod is crucial if you’re interested in landscape photography or want to shoot anything at night. Ever wanted to light paint – get one now. The lighter and sturdier the better, and it’s worth investing in quality.
Expect to pay: £70-£500
Unless you’re shooting in flat light (cloudy weather), it’s advisable to mount a flash so you can fill in shadows or cast light on a scene. It’s quite obvious that you‘ll need a flash to shot in dark conditions, but many people don’t realise they are almost as important when shooting on a sunny day.
Flashes are also great for freezing action – if you’re into sports photography, pairing your flash with a remote trigger can lead to some pretty pro looking pictures.
3. Polarising filter
Expect to pay: £30-£100
Apart from ND and UV filters, a polarising filter tops a list of the few things you should ever stick in front of your lens (if you care about quality anyway). I’m really not a fan of coloured filters; I prefer the control you have in Lightroom – especially for black and white images.
A polarising filter is used to reduce glare, so if you’re shooting anything with a reflective surface like a car, glass or water the result will mean less reflective light – a polarising filter can even improve the look of a bright blue sky.
4. Cable release
Expect to pay: £20-£40
Pressing the release button of a camera can mean slight movements in its body. This isn’t a problem if your shutter speed is fairly fast and you’re shooting in daylight, but if you want to shoot at night (and I highly recommend you do) a cable release can make the difference between a crisp shot and one that’s totally blurred out.
Of course you’ll need to refer back to point one, because if the camera isn’t on a tripod you’re going to struggle holding it still anyway.
5. Cleaning cloth.
Expect to pay: £Free-£10
It’s a fact of life that at some point your glass is going to get dusty – or worse a big, greasy fingerprint smudged on it.
You can’t just go rubbing it on your t-shirt – any small piece of grit that gets stuck between the fibres if going to carve a pretty expensive groove into your lens… not something you want, believe me! A microfiber cloth will take away the worry and cost you next to nothing to buy.
6. Camera bag
Expect to pay: £80-£300
If you just own a camera and lens and plan on keeping it that way, you could probably ignore this one. But the chances are you’ll want to carry a fair amount of kit around with you at some point.
Expect to pay: £80-£re mortgage
This is where things start to get pretty expensive: lenses. Chances are you’ll have started off with a 17-55mm kit lens. For most people this lens is more than adequate.
However, if you want to start getting different ‘looks’ for your images you might need to consider trying some different lenses. 50mm f1.8 for super shallow depth of field, 70-200mm f2.8 for sports or portraits, 10-20mm for wide angle and landscapes… the list goes on.