Argh! What the heck! I have bought a DSLR, thinking I can take some amazing photos. But these DSLR pictures are worse than my mobile phone photos! Have you ever got this feeling, first month into using your brand new DSLR? Do you feel this way when you look at the pictures clicked by your DSLR? You are sailing the same boat as I was, almost a year back. But let me tell you, DSLR is just one of the few basic things you need to be a good photographer. You also need the below must have camera accessories to capture high quality HD photos and then edit them.
Here you go… a list of top camera accessories professional photographers recommend, and I guarantee that the quality of your images would improve at least by 100% 🙂 .
Bokeh is one word every portrait photographer loves. And for that the one ‘must have’ DSLR accessory in your camera bag, after your kit lens, is a Prime lens. 35mm/55mm/85mm prime lens are amazing for taking those high quality photos, with great depth of field.
So what is a Prime lens? A Prime lens does not zoom and has fixed focal length.
Then still, why you need it?
Because Prime lens has less lens elements (lens groups) and less moving parts, which help you to get ultra sharp images, compared to your zoom lens. It also has a low chromatic aberration effect, due to less number of glasses in the lens.
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Secondly, they are cheaper compared to a Zoom lens and come with better aperture value (F/1.8, F/1.4 rather than F/2.8, F/4.5). Canon 50mm F/1.8 comes approximately for £110 whereas Canon 24-70mm F/2.8 is for more than £1500. Of course, zoom lenses have other advantages. But cost is an important factor one should consider, isn’t it?
Thirdly, Prime lens makes you a good photographer.
It would make you come closer or move away from the subject, would make you to climb a wall or lay down on the ground and would really make you think hard to keep your subject in the frame.
I have a Nikon 50mm f/1.8G and I simply love this lens.
With f/1.8 aperture, this lens allows high amount of light to fall on it’s sensor. This enables me to take properly exposed images even during the night time, keeping my ISO as low as possible and with great depth of field. This allows me to take high definition pictures. And with a good editing software, I can convert them into high quality photos, which are then pretty sellable on stock photo websites.
68GB photos are stored on your laptop, 6GB on Pen drive, 37GB on SD card and 126GB in your second laptop. Sounds familiar? Of course yes!
Also, as the size of your high definition images and videos is huge (images in a raw format are approximately 30MB per photo) that your computer hard disk is always full with your high quality media.
NAS is the best solution for that, believe me.
So what’s NAS? NAS is network attached storage, when synched with your wireless network, enables you to store and retrieve your media files from multiple devices.
NAS basically backs up everything from your camera, mobile, tablet and laptop, keeps your data centralized and creates your personal cloud which you can access from anywhere.
All you just need is an internet connection and you are sorted. So the next time you are travelling abroad and want to access your files from your desktop, NAS would give that power to you. Really amazing, isn’t it?
In nut shell, benefits of NAS:
1. Connects with laptop, desktop, mobiles, tablets etc.
2. Storing huge amount of data becomes convenient
3. It lets you stay organised with your files
4. Retrieving media files is much easier and fast
One thing every photographer is scared of – shaky images, right?
To overcome that, there is one important rule in photography – Shutter speed vs Focal length to take razor sharp images. The rule says; keep your camera shutter speed at a higher value than your lens’s focal length.
For example, if you have kept your camera lens at 55mm and you are hand holding your camera, then keep your camera shutter speed at least at 1/55 or faster (1/60, 1/80 and more).
But then how does one take long exposure photos or do astrophotography? In one word – Tripod
A tripod holds your camera in the correct angle/position and keeps your camera firm and steady so that you don’t get blurry images when you need slower shutter speed for your long exposure or other type of slow shutter speed photography.
Now, imagine you are taking a portrait at night and you want to keep your ISO as low as possible to reduce noise on the photo. For that, obviously you need slower shutter speed to get well exposed images with good depth of field.
Sadly, you cannot hold your camera still for even 1/10 of a second. Tripod comes handy in this case to take ultra-sharp high quality hd images.
Carbon fibber tripods are light in weight, more sturdy and absorb ultra-minute vibrations. I personally use manfrotto tripod for my photography.
Ever wonder how professional photographers give that silky smooth effect to water, which makes that photo 100 times prettier than the actual place?
They use Neutral Density filters for that. What it does is that it controls the light falling on your camera sensors, so that you can keep your shutter speed slow and get that silky effect.
So, what if you don’t use ND filter during day time or even in the evening for long exposure photography? As you have kept your shutter speed slow, your camera sensor would be exposed to a huge amount of light and this would completely blown out your photo. A white photo, congrats! 🙂
There are a variety of stops available in ND filters. For example, 3 stop ND filter would reduce the light falling on your camera sensor by 3 times, 10 stop by 10 times, so and so forth.
Shutter release has two purposes; first, it helps you to click hd ultra-sharp high quality photos. Camera sensors are so sensitive that they can sense ultra-minute vibrations when you press your camera button. For that either you use a camera timer or buy a Shutter release.
It can be connected (wired/remotely) to your camera and you can take the picture by clicking the Shutter release button without touching your camera.
Second, it helps you to click a photo in Bulb mode.
What is a Bulb mode?
Bulb mode is used when you want to keep your camera shutter speed as slow as 30 seconds or more, may be for your astrophotography or for long exposure shots.
Generally, you can keep your camera shutter speed at max 30 seconds by using the camera click button. But if you want to go beyond 30 seconds, you definitely would need a good quality shutter release.
Do you carry your camera, two lenses, filters, cleaning kit, shutter release, ipad, mobile charger, tripod, winter gloves and 100 more camera accessories, but can’t find anything quickly when required? Then you my friend have already signed up for the Shabby photographer club!
One of the most important parameter for a good photographer is timing. So, how do you keep all your things systematically so that you can pull them out from your bag when you need them?
Camera backpack solves this issue. It has adjustable compartments which can accommodate and arrange your things quite systematically.
Also, good camera bags are designed to take some shocks so that you don’t damage your expensive camera equipment.
Also bonus! Carrying a camera backpack on my back gives the impression that I’m a professional photographer. Shhh…!
Let me share a heart-wrenching story with you all, which will make you cry your heart out (or laugh at my stupidity). I was in Rome on holiday with my beautiful wife and we were touring the Colosseum during the day. Of course, I ended up clicking thousands of photos (would generally be hundreds, but as I said I was with the wife :p )
I had this amazing picture composition in my head: I wanted a long exposure night shot of the road which lead up to the Colosseum, and the monument in a single frame. After pursuing my wife to go back to Colosseum when it was dark, I setup my camera and you know what? zooooop! Battery low! What the hell!
I wished I had an additional battery set. But then, everyone knows, carrying an additional battery becomes a headache. However, getting a Battery grip serves two purposes 1) It gives you extra clicks as it has additional charge in it 2) it makes your camera more stable with that extra weight to get you sharper images.
Every basic Point & Shoot, Bridge and DSLR has inbuilt flash, then why on earth would do I need a flashgun, you ask?
You need it for four reasons.
First, it saves your battery charge. Continuously shooting with your flash on eats up your battery charge like nobody’s business. External flash has its own battery so it doesn’t consume much of your camera battery.
Second, you can point the flash to your roof or other areas so that you don’t blow up the subject with harsh light and you get better highlights and softer shadows.
Third, as you have flexibility to point your flash somewhere else and not just on the subject, you don’t get that red eye effect. (Remember those scary looking pictures with red eyes?)
Fourth, you can control your flash timing so that you can do awesome Rear flash photography. . Basically in this technique, you tell your flashgun to shoot while your camera’s rear curtain is closing. This would freeze a particular moment and you get an awesome effect.
Watch this amazing video to learn about Rear flash photography.
Don’t even call yourself a beginner photographer if you haven’t heard of Photoshop. It’s the best photo editing software used by millions of photographers to edit their high quality hd photos.
It’s so powerful that you can virtually do anything with your photo, it can make a fat person slim, can place you on Moon or can remove your existence (from the photo).
Obviously, it does require a lot of effort to learn Photoshop and no one can claim that they are an expert in it. But there are thousands of videos available on Youtube where you can learn the software. I personally like YouTube channel – Photos in Color by Ed. Watch his step by step tutorial to learn more about Photoshop.
Another awesome software by Adobe. You can do wonders with this software in few clicks. I use this software for editing my landscapes and portraits.
You can adjust the exposure, highlights, shadows, clarity, sharpness, noise, saturation and many more things in a jiffy. You can also use other photographer’s presets to edit your photo.
This software has very powerful image management functionalities like cataloging, filtering, sorting, rating your images and many more. If you use this software efficiently, I bet you wont have those messy folders on your computer.
I simply love this tool and recommend it to every beginner and intermediate photographer (Professionals are already using it, aren’t they?:) ).
Over to you
Guys, we all know, to become a great knight, one needs a sharp sword. The same way, I strongly agree that to become a good photographer, you need to have good photography skills and knowledge. But you also must have good tools and accessories for your DSLR to take those high quality HD pictures. So, learn new photography techniques, explore new places, try various photography styles and share your joy with everyone.
If you think, there are other must have DSLR accessories one should own, please put your thoughts in the comments section to benefit others.
Few awesome articles you may like:
- A Few Tips on Astrophotography and How to Capture Stars at Night
- How to use rear curtain flash for creative photos
- What is a Prime Lens? Why use one?
- 21 tips on how to travel cheap and make money while traveling
- When you need an external flash in photography
P.S. If you would like to buy any of these accessories through amazon.com, please buy it through the links I have provided. This would help this blog to be ad-free for better user experience. Cheers! Mangesh