From the outside looking in, it may appear that being a photographer is an easy job; after all, you just have to shoot pictures. Anyone can do that, right? If you are reading this article, we are going to assume that you know the basics of photography and recognize it as a nuanced artistic discipline.
There are a few hints to outsiders that photography is just as much work as any other job. Good photography takes as much effort and pain as any other form of art. What difference does it make if you are toiling over a canvas or you are fiddling with the settings on your camera when they have the same result?
One of the most prevalent examples of the complexity of photography is the vast range of equipment that you will eventually find yourself using. While photography gear may seem like an intimidating subject to someone who is just starting off in the field, most of the things you bring with you will have a logical function.
Of course, the first (and most important) of your photography essentials will be your camera. If you are just getting into the hobby, you will have to find a suitable DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera. The type of camera that you end up purchasing will depend on your available budget.
While you can find a reasonably capable camera for an acceptable price, there are many more things to consider when you make your purchase. For example, you will want to think about what the majority of your subjects will be, from people, to nature, to architecture.
Some of the most impressive camera models can cost up to thousands of dollars, so you will have to decide on a relatively concrete budget early on. Of course, a lot of the cost of a complete DSLR is not going toward the camera itself, but instead the next item of photography gear on our list.
Having just a camera doesn’t mean that you can take photos yet unless the body of your DSLR came with a lens. Most cameras will come equipped with at least one lens so that they may be used out of the box, but you may also purchase the body of a camera alone for a much lower price.
The lens of your camera is the medium through which your picture is taken, so you will want to ensure that you invest in a decent variety of lenses. Different lenses can affect every aspect of a photo, ranging from the focus to various distorting effects.
For example, a wide-angle lens will do precisely what it sounds like; it will increase the angle of your camera's field of view. A wider field of view means that your camera will be able to capture a broader slice of the area in front of it.
Tripod Or Bipod
If you are going to be taking photos at a reasonably long range, you will have to bring along some means of stabilization. While many modern digital cameras have a stabilization method built into them, they are not sufficient enough to make too much of a difference at longer range.
While us photographers like to pride ourselves on having steady hands, the truth is that your hands just aren't stable enough to take quality photos at max zoom. While it can be possible to get a good shot every now and then at longer ranges without stabilization, it won't be consistent.
It is for these reasons that you will want to ensure that you bring along a tripod or a bipod at the very least if you are going to be taking long-range photos. A tripod can also be used in combination with a remote to take pictures of yourself, but many photographers prefer to stay behind the lens.
You will always want to ensure that you bring enough storage with you for everything that you plan on shooting over the course of a day. While you can take thousands of HD pictures on flash cards and you won't have to worry about them reaching capacity, videos and rapid photography are a different matter.
If you are taking bursts of photos, you will find your storage room filling up far faster than taking single shots. Even worse is video, which is essentially hundreds to thousands of pictures played in quick succession, depending on the length of the video.
If you plan on taking any videos over the course of your photography expedition, extra storage is another piece of must have photography gear. You can choose to bring along additional flash memory cards, a laptop so that you may clear your camera's storage of the photos you took; even an external hard drive can work.
Camera Bag And Lens Cap
You will also have to ensure that you can look after your camera while you are out taking pictures. Regardless of the amount of money you paid for your camera, you will always want to keep it in perfect condition. For full-time photographers, their camera is their main source of income.
Even if you don’t take photos full time, nobody wants to take out their camera and find that the lens is scratched or the screen is broken. Your camera bag is made out of microfiber cloth to ensure that your camera will never be scratched while it is being transported, many bags are also padded.
Along with your camera bag, you will always want to bring a lens cap along with you to prevent your lens from scratches. There are some lenses which are more expensive than entire cameras, and a single scratch on a lens will render it useless. A small piece of plastic can end up saving you thousands of dollars.
We hope that our list of photography essentials has been comprehensive and helpful. Whether you are an aspiring photographer or a rusty veteran looking to get back into the hobby, we wish you luck with your pursuits.