What are the best landscape photography accessories?
Most of my equipment falls into 2 categories: Excuse killers and essentials so that’s how we’ll split up the best landscape photography accessories
I put it to the vote over on my Instagram story. Do you want some more guides on camera accessories and settings? You voted yes, so here’s the first part. Follow Adamkappaphotography to vote on what blogs and videos you’d like to see next.
** I’m not sponsored (call me), everything has been paid for by me. Links below are affiliate links that help support the channel **
An accessory that either makes taking the photographs simpler or protects equipment from bad weather. Everything is ready to go and prepared so all that’s left is to go out and get the photographs.
A good camera bag that holds all of your equipment safely and protects it from the weather. I use the Whistler 450 AW which has been perfect for me.
Room for pretty much any camera setup I need – 2 DSLRs with lenses attached plus spare lenses, filters, tripod etc
Room for day wear and food
Weathersealed so you don’t have to worry about the rain – has a built-in cover for heavy rain
Easily attach tripod to the outside
Backloading – People can’t access your camera gear from the front, keeping it safer
The big downside is the price but in the bags defense it has lived up to expectations
This is quite an investment but it has made a big difference for me as it used to be a 5-10 minute job to stop and set up, now it takes me 5 seconds to get my camera out.
Battery life in cold weather is terrible. Having a few spare batteries will get rid of any doubt you have in the back of your head. So rather than worrying if you have enough battery for the rest of the day, that question isn’t in your head.
tip: Keep spare batteries in your pockets. Keeping them warm will help maintain more battery life. I don’t know why, but it works.
1 less thing to worry about
Photograph for longer
Extra thing to buy/carry/remember to pack
There’s a variety of ways to cover your camera. If appearance is important you can get waterproof covers. Showers caps from a hotel room or a plastic bag will work in a pinch too if you can’t justify the price of buying a cover. It all depends on the conditions. Use a properly designed cover if you’re unsure.
(I’m not taking the blame if a shower cap doesn’t work, that’s your decision)
Protects your equipment
Some of them are expensive
Getting the horizon straight can make or break your photo (in my opinion). Some cameras have a spirit level built in or you can get a little cube level that fits onto your camera hot shoe. I 100% recommend getting these if you don’t have one built into the camera. It takes a few seconds to check so there are no excuses for not getting it right.
Relatively inexpensive compared to other camera equipment
They’re small and easy to lose
Essential acessories for landscape photography
An accessory that makes creating a certain look possible or increases the image quality.
I would say 80-90% of my landscape photographs are taken from a tripod. They give you the ability to fine-tune your composition and uses the optimal settings for your photographs. Drop your ISO as low as possible and eliminate most of the worry about shutter speed.
Obviously, if things move in your frame you have to adapt to that but any human/user error is removed. You can do long exposures or just set up your photograph and wait for the right light
Which tripod should you get? The best one you can afford. There are aluminum ones which are heavier, but cheaper or Carbon fiber which is lighter but more expensive. I chose aluminum.
Fine tune your composition
Get a better quality image with lower ISO
Extra thing to carry
Extra thing to buy
The pro’s outweigh the cons to me
Polarising filters are great for removing glare from reflective surfaces such as rocks and they help to boost the saturation. They work best when you’re at a 90 degree angle to the sun. If I had 1 filter, it would be this one
I use Hoya, but they’re made by a few companies. Lee and B+W are also good makes
There are different strengths and varieties but they’re basically a sheet of glass split into a dark half and a clear half. They’re used to balance out the lights and darks. If you’re taking photos of a sunset and your foreground is a black silhouette, you would use an ND Grad filter to darken the sky to match the foreground.
I know some people will disagree with this being essential. Yes, you can do HDR or you can drag out details from the raw file. Sometimes images don’t stitch together well in HDR e.g. if it’s windy a dragging out details from the raw file can give you grainy results.
Getting the image right the first time gives you the peace of mind that you have the photo in the bag plus if you do want to edit the photo you have a lot more options.
Better image quality
Gives you more options in post-production
They are a bit of a pain to set up. Especially with cold fingers
See the difference a grad filter makes
If you’ve seen photos of waterfalls smoothed out, chances are it was taken with an ND filter. They’re a piece of evenly darkened glass that reduce the amount of light reaching the sensor allowing for long exposures
They come in a variety of strengths. The more stops of light they cut out, the longer exposure you will be able to achieve with them
Smooth out water
Get rid of people walking through the frame
I don’t really like the look of long exposures, that’s personal preference though
See the difference ND filters make
I hope you found these helpful, what are your favourite photography accessories?
I’ve covered the photography accessories but if you’re heading out onto the fells/mountains there are some others things that you should take with you:
Map and Compass – Doesn’t run out of battery. Works everytime. I use OS maps
Torch – In the winter it is dark early, this is an essential bit of kit
Food and Drink – Plan for the worst and have more than you need just in case something happens
Warm clothing – Wear multiple layers rather than one big item of clothing. You can adapt to the weather and warm up/cool down at a better rate. Climbing will be one of the warmer parts of the day as you use the most energy, plan for it. Being too hot on the climb up will make you sweaty – which will make you cold once you stop. Plan for it and you can be comfortable all day
A phone – Worst case scenario and you need to phone for help. Accidents happen but hopefully being properly prepared will get you down safely without having to ask the volunteers at the mountain rescue for help