Your next adventure is all planned out. You know where you’re going, how to get there, who you’re going with, and all your gear is out and ready to be packed.
But have you thought about what you need to bring besides a camera and lenses to take lots of amazing pictures? As with most packing tips, less is more, as maintaining a simple set up will mean your focus will be on photography, instead of your gear.
Nevertheless, there is some photo gear that should definitely make it into your bag. These accessories should be your go-to items, and you can always add more depending on where you’re going and your skills.
A tripod is likely the handiest photo accessory in your bag, as it can help you to capture anything and everything, from wildlife and landscapes to scenery and long exposures of a star-filled night sky.
There are lots of tripod options in the markets, including budget buys made out of aluminum or pricier versions made out of carbon fiber. Just make sure that it’s lightweight (some models weigh in at around 3 pounds or less), and sturdy enough to support both your camera and your lens. Something else to consider is a mini tripod which you can attach to a tree, a fence, etc.
Remote shutter release
An investment of around $15 will give you a remote shutter release, which allows you to take pictures remotely, without needing to touch your camera, and avoiding blurry pictures from shaking hands. You can always set the self-timer on your camera to get a crisp picture, but for very long exposures, such as photographing the night sky, a shutter release should be your go to. This gadget will allow you to keep your shutter open for a long period of time without needing to keep pressing the button on your camera.
Spare batteries and memory cards
Don’t let a dead battery or a full memory card ruin your chances of taking the perfect picture. Pack a power bank and your charger to charge your batteries, or make sure to bring extra charged batteries.
As for memory cards, 32GB memory cards have enough space to store loads of images, but won’t overwhelm you when scrolling through your photos.
Lifehack: During winter, or freezing weather, keep your extra batteries somewhere close to your body, so they remain warm, as batteries drain more quickly at low temperatures.
ND (Neutral Density) filter
A neutral density filter is essentially a very dark piece of glass you place in front of your lens, which will allow you to shoot long exposures no matter the brightness level on the day. Using them with a tripod will mean smooth seaside, river, and waterfall photos. It can be tricky to choose an ND filter, as they come in all sorts of darkness levels, so we recommend starting with a 9-stop filter that matches the size of your lens.
Alternatively, go for a GoPro
GoPros have gotten better and better, so they’re a great option for anyone that’s just starting out or doesn’t want to lug around a professional camera and equipment. Not only are they fantastic for POV shots, but you can also mount them on your head and remember your experience from your own perspective.
GoPros can also work as a lightweight and compact backup camera system. You can capture something while shooting something else, or use them to shoot a timelapse of moving clouds, shooting stars, or even setting up your camp. The only downside can be their battery life, so if you plan to be out for a while, think about a solar charging kit.