Friday, 21 March 2014

Equipment overview - Part 3

Accessories

We all have our favourite accessories in our camera bags, here are mine which I carry with me most of the time. Hopefully it may give you some handy tips for what I find useful.

Accessories

Batteries:
  • It goes without saying you need to take spare batteries with you, sometimes when I'm only out to take a few shots I do sometimes wing it. A few years back on a cold morning in Cambridge I did find myself warming up my flat battery in a trouser pocket which was sufficient enough to get me a few more shots.

Cleaning cloths:
  • Very useful, spend a bit extra and get a few decent ones. I also use lens tissues which pack down very small and weigh next to nothing.

Cable release:
  • I did buy a cheap cable release, but it didn't last. I then decided to get the RS-80N3 this has lasted quite a few years, but recently the cable started to split at the base of the switch. I've bodged it with some insulation tape must get a replacement soon.

Bubble level:
  • I find a bubble level as vital as a tripod, I'm not too great at getting horizons spot on and this certainly helps. Beware cheap eBay knock-offs I bought one for 99p and popped it on my kitchen worktop and it was way off!

Rain cover:
  • If the weather isn't looking too good and I'm going to be out in all weatheres I pop an Optech rainsleeve in my bag, cheap and cheerful, weighs next to nothing, but does a good job.

Torch / whistle:
  • I often get caught out in the dark, so a tiny torch makes perfect sense an LED Lenser P3 is perfect. I've also got a Petzl Tikka head torch if I'm out early or late. I'm often taking landscape photos in somewhat remote locations on my own so I always carry a tiny whistle with me. I've never had to use it yet, but it could be a life saver. There are lots of places in the UK where you can't get a phone signal. 

Other:
  • Sunrise/sunset compass, I still like using paper maps especially OS Landranger  and this comes in very handy.
  • Quick ND reference card, I've printed out common shutter speeds and their equivalent when you pop on a high density ND filter - There is a handy app for that if you prefer.
  • Drinks stirrer - now I've got you puzzled! Occasionally when I'm taking a photo direct into the sun flare ruins the shot. Bring on the drinks stirrer, set the camera to manual on your tripod take the first shot then hold the drinks stirrer over the sun and take your second shot, blend the two together in Photoshop and no lens flare!



Lots of flare

Drinks stirrer in use - no flare

Final processed image