No matter if you are a professional photographer or a beginner starting your photography journey. Some photography accessories are essential and should be in everyone’s camera bag.
Take this list of 10 photography accessories that I have in all my camera bags. They take up very little room, I use them every time i’m out photographing and best of all, most items costs less than $20
Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
Of course you can use your t-shirt to wipe clean. But don’t forget that if you’re outside things like dirt and sand can get onto your T-shirt and can scratch the lens element or at the very least add more dirt.
This is why I have a couple of these microfiber cloths in each of my camera bags. One to always use and a second as a backup in case the first gets really dirty or wet.
Giotto Rocket Air Blower
It’s a good idea to use a air blower and blow away any dirt from your lens, before you use the a micro lens cloth to avoid scratching the glass element.
I know it’s very easy to just simply blow with using your mouth. But don’t forget food residue or spit can get onto your camera equipment which is not a good look and can do hard to sensitive areas like the sensor or lens
It’s an essential piece of kit and keeping a rocket blower in each of your carry bags is handy.
LED Flash Light
An LED flash light in your camera bag is very useful for those less than ideal conditions. LED lights are small and lightweight, super bright and can be used for more than finding things in your camera bag at night.
The obvious use would be too help find your shooting location at night. Especially useful if you’re out photographing at dusk or at night, using it also to look through your camera bag.
- I also find it particularly useful when I need a little bit of extra light just to help me focusing of my camera. I would shine the light on the object, once I have my focus locked in I turn the light off and continued to shoot. Very useful for those low light portraits outside.
- Speaking of portraits, LED lights can be used as an alternative to flash you can concentrate the light on the subjects and use it as a continuous light source.
- Shooting macro photography in dim light especially with a light that is dimmable. I find when shooting macros, I have to stop down the lens to get the depth of field I after, which of course requiring more light on the subject and a dimmable LED works in a pinch.
- Use an LED Light for light painting can be interesting especially if you have photographed the same location at night many times, this can give you a perspective on things.
Eneloop Rechargeable AA Batteries
Before discovering Eneloop batteries, I was a nervous Nelly and a madman, when it came to charging my batteries and making sure they were ready before a big event.
Because even if you want to get proactive and charge your rechargeable AA’s the week before. By the time you photograph you would have lost alot of it’s charge, especially in winter.
Then I discovered the eneloop batteries by Sanyo. These batteries have ultimately changed the way how I prepare for a big event.
I don’t have to worry so much about the batteries losing charge. Because of their excellent shelf life. They keeping most of their charge even after a year in storage. Which I think is brilliant for us photographers.
How many times have you charged a couple sets of AA batteries, only used one set and then expecting the second set to be fully charged next time you use them but find out that the charge is gone.
I’ve been caught out a few times by this, not anymore though.
Using the quick charger, I can charge 10 sets of batteries over a few days and be assured that even after the event. All the unused AA batteries will still have 80 to 90% of their charge even a few months down the track.
AA Battery Storage Cases
Got to keep your batteries organised, I found these excellent cases for my AA batteries. Since I use for four batteries at a time in my flashes, I like to keep sets of four together for convenience.
These cases of are inexpensive and you can buy a whole stack in one go.
A little battery hack that I use is making little paper indicators to tell me when my batteries have being drained. especially when I have 8 -10 sets of AA batteries in my camera bag for a large events. It’s nice to know at the end of night which batteries are need charging.
Hot Shoe Bubble level
A Bubble Level on a modern DSLR I think is probably little bit redundant. Most newer cameras use a virtual level on the back of the camera.
But there a times that even the virtual level on the back of the camera won’t help. Such as when the camera is very low to the ground and in a awkward position, such as close to water or muddy ground.
Then a bubble level that inserts into your camera hot shoe can get you out of trouble.
Think Tank Memory Card Wallet
If you’re photographing for long periods of time you bounce need to swap out memory cards throughout the shoot. You really need a safe place to keep your memory cards and a memory card wallet will do they for you.
I’ve used think tank memory card wallets for years. I format all the cards the night before a shoot and placed them with the brand / logo of the card facing upwards in the wallet.
When I use up a card, I place it into the wallet with the brand / logo of the card facing down exposing the back of them the memory card. This tells me that I’ve used that card and it will be one of the first I download to the computer.
The wallet I use is holds both compact flash cards and SD cards and is small in size.
Chamois or Microfiber Towel
Some uses are:
- If your camera gear wet use a chamois or towel to dry them off.
- You can use a chamois or towel to wipe down the legs of your tripod if they get dirty or sand on them
- Save you bum from getting wet if you need to sit down while out shooting in wet conditions.
- Roll up a towel and place under the lens to prop it up as a makeshift support when you don’t have a bean bag or tripod.
Just make sure to clean and dry off the chamois or towel before you put it back in your bag. Otherwise you introduce mould and dirt inside your bag, which of course can ruin your camera equipment.
Plastic Bags & Rubber Bands
For years I photographed outdoors sports, landscapes and a lot of my event photography was done outside.
I always carry garbage bags and smaller shopping in my camera bag along with some rubber bands.
I used to cut the bottom of the bag and slip my camera lens through and secure it with a rubber band on the lens hood and use another rubber band at the base of the lens to keep it in place.
When using a 400 mm lens a garbage bag worked well and anything from 200mm and smaller, a small smaller plastic bag from the general store worked.
Another one of those items that you don’t always use. But when you do need it you are relieved they were in your bag ready to go.
The downside is that it’s a one use application, which is fine as buying a pack of garbage bags from the local store is inexpensive.
Now days I use rain covers by think tank photo, they work really well and they having rain covers for small lens to super telephotos lenses, and of course they look nicer than a plastic bag 🙂
Domke Protective Wraps
Sometimes their is a need to put more than one lens or camera body in the same pocket of your camera bag to stop them from hitting you could use a towel or you could use something like the domke protective wraps.
They come in different sizes to accommodate lenses, they also have largest sizes to accommodate a camera body.
They are also a great alternative to using a jumper, when you want to take just one camera and body with you in a day pack or rucksack.
As you can see these accessories are inexpensive but are a necessity for all photographers are the basic minimum. and your find that once you start using them you won’t be able to work without them.
What are your must have photography accessories that are in your camera bag? Let me know In the comments below.