There is a lot of photography accessories on the market today – some are very useful, but most of them are a waste of money. Here are five of the most important accessories for landscape photography.
Tripod: A tripod is important for one main reason, keeping your images sharp. You’ll want to select a small aperture to maximise depth-of-field, so you should be using a shutter speed of less than 1/60 second. It’s impossible to get a sharp image holding your camera in your hand at these slow speeds.
When choosing a tripod pick one made out of carbon fibres, these are light to carry but are sturdy in the ground. Choose a tripod that the legs will spread out far, this will help to optimise the strength of your support.
Filters: A small selection of filters is well worth packing when heading off for a trip. They don’t take up too much space and will definitely add a bit of spice to your images. A polarizing filter should be top of the list, while a few Neutral Density filters will certainly help with tough exposures. A 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 will help with exposure without affecting colour.
Bring a few warm-up filters to help when the light is cool. The 81-series are the best choice, which will give your images an extra bit of life. There’s a large amount of filters on the market today; these are the most important filters for landscape photography.
Correct Film: Fuji Velvia is an obvious choice for me when it comes to shooting landscapes. This is a slide film that is high in saturation and is perfect for capturing the colour of all seasons. It comes in two speeds of ISO 50 and ISO 100.
It’s always handy to have a few rolls of Black and White film in the bag. You never know when you see a scene and know that it’s perfect for B/W. Whichever film you choose, bring plenty of rolls; don’t be caught in the middle of nowhere without film.
If you are shooting with a Digital SLR bring plenty of memory.
Cable Release: If your camera has a connection for a cable release you should buy one. It is a perfect accessory to minimise the risk of camera shake – especially if you are taking long exposures. It doesn’t take up too much room and is extremely light.
Light Meter: All modern day cameras have light meters built into them, but if you are serious about landscape photography it’s advisable to have a hand-held light meter. These are small and of light-weight, and when used correctly are extremely accurate.
These are the most important bits and pieces for your camera bag; other important accessories include spare batteries, a grey card and a few spare lenses.