Outdoor (or adventure) photography is not as easy as most people think. EssYou require a higher degree of preparation, creativity and energy as compared to studio photography.
While all you need to take outdoor photographs is a camera and an ideal location, taking great and high-quality photos requires slightly more than that. Some essential adventure photography accessories include lighting equipment, tripods and filters. If you are planning to major in outdoor photography, or are just looking to take some cool pics for your Instagram, here are 10 outdoor photography accessories that you absolutely need
1. Joby Gorillapod
Generally, gorillapods are designed to offer enhanced camera stability, even on uneven surfaces. They differ from normal tripods, as they can bend and wrap to fit various types of surfaces.
A Joby Gorillapod will provide you with all the features of traditional tripods. For one, it allows you to smoothly do 360-degree pans, which will come in handy while shooting landscape scenes. It also has a versatile mount that can fit all sorts of cameras, and additional side mounts, which are suitable for small accessories such as microphones or a lamp.
Additionally, the Joby Gorillapod is quite lightweight to carry around, but can hold loads of up to 11 pounds for the 5K version and 6.6 pounds for the 3K. For a harder, more stable grip, the Gorillapod comes with rubberized feet and side rings.
2. Lens Pen
Outdoor photography exposes your camera to different elements, and no matter how much you try to shield it, dust, dirt and fingerprint smudges will always find their way to your lenses. It therefore follows that you need to carry a lens cleaner every time you head out.
Lens pens are basically small, pen-shaped tools that have retractable brushes and concave tips that make them especially effective in cleaning all sorts of lenses.
3. Travel Tripod
The tripod is one of the most essential photography accessories for both the studio and outdoor photography, as they provide stability when taking pictures.
Travel tripods, in particular, are lighter and smaller than studio pods, and this makes them ideal for long, and engaging outdoor photography.
4. Graduated ND Filters
While basic neutral density filters help extend your exposure time, graduated neutral density goes a step further and provide you with the ability to balance this exposure. It also helps to neutralize high contrast situations, to help you deliver quality shots.
5. Memory Card Case
I don’t need to highlight the importance of a good memory card to a photographer, do I? I can, however, recommend carrying an SD card case to hold all your precious memory cards and protect them from damage or loss.
6. External Hard Drive (LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C 500GB SSD)
Let’s face it. Even if you purchase all essential photography accessories, they won’t help you much if you don’t have a way to back up your photographs. That’s why we recommend carrying the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C 500GB hard drive. The drive is bus-powered, and you can carry it anywhere you go. What’s more, the USB-C function allows you to connect it to all your devices, be it a tablet or laptop.
7. ReVolt Headlamp
The ReVolt headlamp is a rechargeable, waterproof headlamp that is not necessarily a photography accessory, but could be quite useful when you’re caught up in the dark. It consists of a TriplePower and a DoublePower LED that combine to produce up to 300 lumens of light. This is adequate light to not only walk your way through the night, but also provide decent lighting for some quality shots. Sounds good, right?
8. Everyday Backpack By Peak Design
To carry all your outdoor photography accessories, you need a good and reliable backpack. The Everyday Backpack by Peak Design is one of my favorite makeshift camera bags, as it offers a large carry capacity, complete with side loading and 2 expandable pockets. Above all the cool features and qualities, this bag is also waterproof, hence you can rely on it to protect your items from rain.
9. Extra Camera Batteries
Running out of charge is the most disappointing thing that could happen to an outdoor photographer. It’s even worse if it happens when you’re miles away from home, and there’s no electricity to juice up your devices. As such, it’s always good, and very much advisable, to carry one or two fully-charged extra camera batteries for emergency purposes.
Admittedly, the camera batteries are quite pricey. However, from a long term perspective, the investment is insignificant compared to the potential losses in money, energy and opportunity that you may incur all the times you run out of charge when photographing landscapes.
10. Peak Design Cuff Camera Wrist Strap
Figure this out, you’re shooting a historical building in a somewhat busy street, then out of nowhere, someone (accidentally) barges you in the shoulder, and in the process, your camera drops to the ground. You wouldn’t only lose your focus and control, but probably your camera too.
You therefore need a way to protect your camera from falls and accidental dropping if you intend to take it outdoors. The peak design cuff wrist rap is built to accommodate all sorts of cameras, and it is integrated with a magnetic wrist loop that locks itself when in the open position. The unit is made from aluminum hardware, and when not in use as camera holders, it can comfortably serve as a bracelet.
So is it really worth investing in outdoor photography?
Outdoor photography has a lot of challenges. For you to succeed in the art, you need to invest in different accessories to not only capture great shots, but also ensure that your items are protected, during and after the adventure.
In essence, whether you are an experienced or a novice photographer, you have to choose the right tools, specifically designed for outdoor photography. This helps to eliminate possible disappointments while in the field. The good news is that most of these items come in different price range, and this gives you the freedom to choose one that is within your budget.
Stefano Caioni is the founder of Pixinfocus. His passion for photography helps him discover new places and live new adventures.