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  • Writer's pictureRachel Z

Accessories Every Photographer Needs

There are certain accessories every photographer needs to make them successful in their photographic endeavors. A few essential pieces of kit that should be in your photo bag, case, or kit. I’m Rachel with Rachel Z Photography, your San Francisco, California photography guide, and let’s look at some essentials today!

Neutral Density (ND) Filter

Neutral density filters will reduce the amount of light coming in to the camera’s sensor. They come in two different varieties, the solid neutral density filter and the graduated neutral density filter. A graduated neutral density filter will block more light at one end than the other (like a gradient) and a solid neutral density filter will affect the entire photo. The solid neutral density filter is a necessary accessory when you want to use long exposures during the day. For example, use a long exposure to give a soft, blurred effect to flowing water.

Neutral density filters come in different strengths, with the thicker ones blocking more light. The 10 stop neutral density filter is a good option to have on hand when you want to use long exposures during daylight hours. You can also get other neutral density filters that will not be as strong, or even variable neutral density filters. Personally, I’ve had much better results with solid filters as opposed to the variable variety.

10 stop neutral density filters can get quite costly, but there are some affordable options. The B+W 10 stop ND will cost about $100–$200 but it is a good quality without totally breaking the bank. The Big Stopper from Lee Filters is one of the most popular options and is currently priced at $140 at B&H. Some budget options are available, like the Ice 10 stop ND filter (I haven’t used an Ice filter but the reviews are pretty good for a cheaper filter).

Lens Wipes

Landscape photographers wind up exposure their gear to the elements, and this means that your lenses are bound to get dusty. Carry pre-moistened lens wipes, like ones from Zeiss, make it easy to clean your lenses whenever needed.

Dust Blower

Simple dust blowers can help to keep your lenses and your camera’s sensor clean. Using dust blowers is one of the safest ways to clean your sensor.

Lens Pen

A lens pen is another inexpensive accessory that can help to keep your lenses clean. You can use the lens pen to clean spots and smudges on your lenses.

Spare Batteries

Spare batteries are a must. The last thing you want is to go to a lot of effort to get to the ideal location, to wait for the perfect lighting, and then have your battery die on you. Most landscape photographers are out in the field for long periods of time, taking hundreds or maybe thousands of photographers, so batteries get drained pretty quickly. Make sure you always have a few fully charged spare batteries with you to avoid problems.

Rain Gear

There will be times when you’ll need to protect your camera in the rain. You can get rain sleeves or a cover, like this affordable option from Altura, that will allow you to keep your camera and lens dry while still photographing in the rain.

Extra Memory Cards

Memory cards can fill up pretty quickly, especially with the massive file sizes of today’s megapixel beasts. You’ll always want to have some spare memory cards in your bag so you won’t run out of room.

Have Fun!

These are just a few of the most essential items you will need for your photography adventures. Of course, there are more, but these tips will help your next shoot be a success from start to finish!

About Rachel Z Photography

I’m a 29-year-old San Francisco-based photographer, activist, tattoo enthusiast, and guardian of 2 lovely rescued birds. I adore doing portrait photography for others, whether that’s indoors or outdoors, covered in flowers and nature or covered in fake blood. My goal with my photography is to empower you by taking the essence of who you are and turning it into works of art. I want to hear what YOUR ideas are and help make them into a reality. I want you to feel powerful. I want you to feel beautiful. I want you to feel confident, because we all deserve that.

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