Which landscape photography accessories should you get?
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of landscape photography accessories available in the market. But out of these countless photography accessories, which one should you get?
So if you are on the hunt for must-have landscape photography accessories then this article for you. It is an in-depth list of what you really need.
With that being said, let's get started.
The first and most important on this list is a tripod. And not just any tripod. You should have a sturdy tripod that can support your camera setup.
The tripod material does not matter. But, take note that carbon fiber tripods are better when it comes to reducing small vibrations caused by wind.
Carbon fiber tripods are also lighter, which means, it is easier to carry whenever you are out hiking to your location.
Shooting with a tripod lets you take sharper images. You may also use longer shutter speeds and small apertures.
For starters, an aluminum tripod will do. Just make sure that the load capacity is enough for your setup.
But for seasoned landscape photographers, a carbon fiber tripod such as the ProMediaGear TR344L Pro-Stix is a wise choice. It is lightweight, durable, and can carry heavy camera setups.
Affordable and entry-level tripods usually comes with a basic ball head or a pan-tilt tripod head. This setups is enough for starters.
Now, if you are looking to step up your tripod setup, then a separate tripod head will do.
There are endless options when it comes to tripod heads for landscape photography. But the two top competitors are the ball head and pan-tilt head.
The two tripod heads are different in mechanics. The ball head adjusts freely with just one knob while the latter has two knobs for tilting and panning.
But if you prefer a pan-tilt head, you may get yours from other manufacturers such as Benro, Sirui or Manfrotto.
Another thing to consider when buying a tripod head is the clamp type. It is highly recommended that you get a tripod head with an Arca-type clamp. The Arca-swiss system is widely used and you can mix and match products from different manufacturers.
There are quite a lot of filters that you can attach to your camera for certain effects. And while other effects can be achieved via post-processing, there are filters whose output cannot be replicated digitally.
The Polarizing Filter, for an instance, cannot be replicated through editing. Polarizers or Circular Polarizing Filters reduces reflections from water surface and similar materials.
Moreover, Polarizing filters makes the blue and green hues pop out more. This increase in saturation results in punchier and more vibrant images.
Another lens filter that is great for landscape photography is the Neutral Density (ND) Filter. There are two common types of ND filters today - Solid ND and the Graduated ND.
A Solid ND filter blocks out the overall amount of light that enters the lens. Once attached, you may then use slower shutter speeds to shoot. This is often used to take water images where the water flows silky smooth.
On the other hand, a Graduated ND filter, as the name implies, starts with a darker tint then gradually clears out towards the other end.
Graduated ND filters are used to balance the exposure of an image. For example, you want to take a photo of the beach. But if you expose for the sky, the foreground will be very dark. And if you expose for the foreground, the sky will be overexposed.
Using an ND filter solves this problem. You can pop in an ND filter and expose for the foreground or the shore. With an ND filter, the sky will not be overexposed anymore as the darker tint of the filter balances the exposure.
Wired or Wireless Remote Shutter
Pressing the shutter introduces camera shake. Though minimal, it could be visible to pixel peepers. This is where a wireless remote shutter comes in.
A wireless remote shutter allows you to trigger the camera without you physically touching the shutter button. It reduces contact, which in turn lessens vibration.
Another advantage of using a remote shutter is for long exposures. You can lock the shutter for as long as you want and it will take a photo.
There are wired options as well. But that means you should be within an arm away from your camera.
Modern cameras have smartphone applications with a wireless remote shutter option too. You may use that if your camera has that feature.
For budget conscious photographers, you may set the shutter to a 2-second delay to reduce vibrations. This is enough time to step away from the camera and not touch it as the shutter clicks.
However, having a wireless remote shutter at hand is still more advantageous especially when shooting ultra long exposures.
This accessory is debatable because modern cameras already have a built-in light meter that tells you the right exposure.
There is an advantage to using a light meter though.
Once your composition is set, you may use a light meter to get a precise exposure measurement without changing the camera's position.
Yet, exposure bracketing is also an option. That is when you take three photos (underexposed, correct, overexposed) then combine it digitally. This reduces the need of a light meter.
In the end, consider a light meter optional. It is beneficial on certain scenarios but not necessarily a must-have.
This one is not only for your camera but for yourself as well. Bring rain jackets, or wear boots whenever you are expecting the weather to change in an instant.
For your camera, you may use rain covers such as the Ruggard RC-P18 Rain Cover. But if you are on a budget, a plastic with a rubber band to hold it in place will do too.
Aside from camera covers, you may also want to consider getting a protective cover for your camera bag. It keeps your gear dry and protected from the rain, dust, or even mud.
Spare batteries and memory cards
Always make sure that you have extra batteries while you are shooting landscapes. If you are fond of taking long exposure shots, then the easier it is for your battery to drain. Bring at least two extras as a precaution.
Prepare extra memory cards too. It is highly suggested to shoot RAW or even RAW+JPEG as it keeps all the details of the shot. The downside is the larger file size and it fills up your memory card easily.
Bring a powerbank too just in case. It will help in keeping your smartphone and camera charged during emergencies.
Smartphones have built-in GPS. But for out of town trips, or if you are heading deep into the mountains for a shoot, a separate GPS device is recommended.
These devices can be used in places without a reliable smartphone signal. So you can navigate your way without worries.
Also, GPS devices lasts longer with a single charge compared to a smartphone.
Flashlight or Headlamps
Landscape photographers often trek into places. It is sometimes unavoidable to start heading out at night. Thus, a flashlight or a headlamp is a must-have.
Using a headlamps keeps your hands free and you can move freely. It is an essential tool that will help in dark places as well as emergencies.
Bring a friend
Last but not the least is a friend. Sure, it is not technically an equipment. But having someone with you has a lot of benefits.
Having a company is great when shooting out. It is for safety and it helps to keep you out of boredom while waiting for the decisive moment.
Also, having a person in your photographs provide scale on how huge the landscape is.
That's it for the landscape photography accessories that you should get. The equipment listed here are just recommendations. Photography is all about freedom and you can take or buy everything that you want.
Do not forget to share your landscape photos with us or tag us on Instagram @ProMediaGear. Have fun!