Let’s be real here, if we are honest the only truly essential gear for a landscape photographer with passion and commitment is simply a camera. These days great results can come from utilizing just about any camera. That said, there are definitely some highly recommended items that all – if not most – landscape photographers will agree make landscape photography that much easier and fun to enjoy.
This one may seem obvious, but likely one of the best and easiest investments for an aspiring landscape photographer can make early on is in a quality tripod. Tripods come in all shapes and sizes, for uses ranging from ultralight for hikers to enormous units for large format cameras. The key is to understand your needs of the tripod and finding one that fits those needs for a price you can stomach.
Beyond your regular tripods, it can also help to have a smaller table-top tripod. These are incredibly cheap and that way, if you are out driving or need to get ultra low to the ground, you can pull that out without all the hassle that comes with setting up your full tripod.
In other words – any tripod is better than no tripod at all. So get yourself a solid tripod.
Tripod Recommendation: Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100
You can also check Amazon for the latest tripod deals, here. There are always savings and deals to be had!
For virtually all other forms of photography, lens filters have become more of an optional artistic choice for those who are wanting to get things right in camera. However, in Landscape photography there are still some very real and solid reasons to throw a filter on your lens.
One of those such filters is the Circular Polarizer, which helps eliminate reflections and increase the vibrancy of your colors. This is an effect that can only be achieved with this filter on your lens, you can’t ‘fix it in post’.
Another favorite for landscape photographers is the ND filter, which helps cut down the amount of light entering your lens and thus making it possible to shoot longer exposures in the bright sun for those amazing images you see of silky smooth water and clouds.
Filter Recommendation: Lee Filters 77mm Big Stopper Kit
You can also check Amazon for the latest filter deals, here. There are always savings and deals to be had!
As more and more cameras start to come with WiFi connectivity and mobile apps that allow you to remotely trigger the camera a cable release may seem like an odd thing to have on this list. But the point is that having the ability to trigger your camera without touching it is key for longer exposures and reducing camera shake.
Plus you can pick these up for incredibly cheap, so even if your camera has a WiFi app, its good to have one of these in the bag as a backup in case you run into Wifi or phone battery issues.
Cable Release Recommendation: This is camera specific so we can’t make a recommendation. But you can find some great and affordable options over on Amazon, here.
Sure, if you are serious about landscape photography than chances are you will be wanting to invest in a camera that features some degree of weather sealing. That said, even those have their limits and we prefer to err on the side of caution. You can pick up simple draw-string plastic coverings that help prevent rain, snow, sand, etc from getting into your gear, or you can opt for a more substantial casing.
At the very least we recommend a drawstring cover for your back as a ‘just in case’ measure.
Rain Gear Recommendation: Mudder Rain Cover Camera Protector
You can also find those really inexpensive plastic versions over on Amazon, here.
A Good Backpack
Roads will only get you so far in the landscape photography realm, and eventually, you are going to find yourself wanting to get to some amazing views that are only accessible after a nice walk/hike. In these cases you are going to find yourself needing to pack all of your gear in and out from the location, and a good backpack to carry that gear in can be the difference between a comfy ride home and an achy back/body.
Everybody’s bag needs are different, but as a rule, you should try and find a bag that fits just what you need. Nothing more, and obviously nothing less. This will help prevent you from taking extra things you don’t need and just cause back pain from added weight.
Backpack Recommendation: The PRVKE Series
You can find other great bags over on Amazon, here.
So there you have it, some gear you should really consider adding or having in your kit if you are wanting to get serious about landscape photography. Good luck!