We all like to talk about cameras and lenses, but photography accessories, and all the incredible things we can do with them get little praise or attention. This Fall, before you head out on the trails make sure you have accessories that are up to the task of helping you get the most out of your photography.
Photography accessories play such an important role in our day to day lives as photographers, but we rarely give them as much attention as the latest and greatest cameras, or new glass that hits the market. Every day we use tripods, bags, filters, and flashes yet we rarely think about the impact they have on our images. This Fall before you hit the trails, before you take those images of tress with the gorgeous orange, red and yellow leaves, think about the accessories you do or don’t have. In this article we will look at the essential photography accessories you need this Fall so you can capture your most stunning images yet.
Breakthrough X4 CPL Circular Polarizing Filter
Circular polarizers are incredible filters that allow us to get nice saturated colors in our images right out of camera, they also reduce glare from sun on anything with a reflective surface likes, water, leaves, glass and metallic objects. Just from reading this you will be able to understand why a polarizer is an essential photography accessory when it comes to landscapes. The Breakthrough X4 circular polarizer would make a great choice for you to use this Fall, and while it operates in the same fashion as other circular polarizers, the X4 lets in more light than its competitors.
In our review we said:
“I often photograph yachts and sailboat racing, and using a polarizing filter sometimes helps show off the beauty of the marine environment. Getting a sharp picture of a moving subject while on a moving platform requires the highest shutter speed I can get, so the half stop improvement is tremendously useful for my work.”
The Breakthrough X4’s ability to let in a extra half stop of light is quite fantastic. Polarizers stop a lot of light from hitting your sensor, which means some lenses can have a hard time focusing, and it can force you to use high ISO’s, or low shutter speeds, so the the extra half stop of light the X4 lets in is a game changer. The X4 has a fantastic build quality which is backed up by a 25 year guarantee, it also has a water and dust resistant nano coating which helps when you’re in the great wide open. The Breakthrough X4 is available in thread sizes from 39mm all the way up to 105mm. This circular polarizer is definitely one to get before you head out this fall.
Buy now ($129 – $199): Amazon
Pro Tip: Lenses and filters get dirty out in the field. Make sure you have a good lens cleaning kit in your camera bag.
Vanguard Alta Sky 51D Camera Bag
A quality, durable bag is one of the essential photography accessories every landscape photographer should have in their possession, and the Vanguard Alta Sky 51D is one of the strongest around. The Alta Sky 51D is a beast of a bag that weighs in at 7lbs before you start loading your gear into it. This should speak volumes about the quality of materials that Vanguard used when making this bag. The Alta Sky is truly meant to be out on the trails.
In our review we said:
“There is ample room for lenses and straps and batteries here. One configuration allowed me to have an 85mm, 28mm, a zoom lens, sling strap, 8 DSLR batteries, spare triggers and tripod plates all just within the bottom compartment. With a rubberized bottom and thick padding, I really haven’t worried about my lenses getting damaged in there.”
The bag is very large and has ample room for one to two camera bodies, multiple lenses, flashes and accessories, and depending on how you configure the bag, there is space for one to two Phantom 4 size drones (one stored internally, and one stored in the outside strap). You can store a tripod on the outside of the bag too, while there is plenty of room for water and snacks on the inside of the bag as well. The bag is made from weather resistant materials but also comes with a weatherproof cover for when mother nature really gets angry. If you need a new bag for your treks this Fall, check out the Vanguard Alta Sky 51D.
Buy now ($269.99): Amazon
Pro Tip: Before you go on a long hike make sure you are prepared for anything by putting a good first aid kit in your bag.
Vanguard VEO 2 235CB Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod
When it comes to photography accessories, tripods may well be one of the most important pieces of kit we carry. Tripods can make or break your shot so you need to make sure you have one that is up to the task at hand. Vanguard have been making quality tripods for quite some time, and the VEO 2 235CB could well be the perfect, lightweight tripod you need when you head outside this Fall.
In our review we said:
“In my tests, the Vanguard VEO 2 235CB survived the deserts of Sedona, the sands of Williamsburg beach, rain, the NYC subway, TSA agents who seriously couldn’t care any less, and of course my own roughing around. Vanguard’s quality has seriously improved since I started this website and they do it at a bargain. I’ve put heavier cameras and lenses on this and had little to no issues.”
The Vanguard VEO 2 235CB is made from carbon fiber. The build quality is excellent which means this tripod can withstand the harshest of elements and beatings. The max load capacity sits at 13.2lbs which means you can put a full size DSLR and a heavy telephoto lens on this tripod without any worries at all. Thanks to it being made from carbon fiber, the VEO 2 is very lightweight which means it is perfect to take with you on long hikes, and it won’t add too much more weight (2.6lbs) to your camera bag. The VEO 2’s ability to fold down into a very small footprint makes this an essential photography accessory for your outings this Fall.
Buy now ($199): Amazon
Pro Tip: Make sure you put some good high protein snacks in your bag. You’ll need the energy to complete your hike.
Neewer Complete ND Filter Kit for Cokin P Series
ND filters sit right up there with circular polarizers on the list of essential photography accessories. A lot of photographers have never used ND filters which is a shame because they are another game changer. ND Filters act as sunglasses for your lenses. They come in various strengths with each of them cutting out more light as they get darker. With ND filters you can slow your cameras shutter speed way down so that you can capture beautiful long exposures of flowing waterfalls during the day. Graduated filters work to darken only part of your image, which comes in useful in high contrast situations. What’s so great about the Neewer Complete ND Filter Kit is not only the quality, but the insanely low price.
In our review we said:
“We all completely understand the difference between great glass and mediocre glass, and know that you won’t be able to create as great images straight out of the camera as you could with better glass and paying for a much higher premium overall. However, you’d be incredibly shocked if I told you that you were really, really wrong.”
While the price may be low, the quality isn’t. Neewer have become known for creating high quality items for low prices, and this kit is no exception to that rule. With this kit you will get 8 ND filters (full ND2, ND4, ND8, and ND16, and graduated G.ND2 G.ND4 G.N8 G.ND16), 9 metal adapter rings (49mm/52mm/55mm/58mm/62mm/67mm/72mm/77mm/82mm), two filter holders, two square lens hoods, and a handy dandy carry pouch to keep it all together when you put it in your camera bag. With the low price you would think the resulting image quality would be affected, but it’s not, they just work flawlessly. If you really want to take your images to the next level this Fall, add this essential photography accessory to your arsenal of gear.
Buy now ($20.99): Amazon
What photography accessories do you consider to be essential for when you hit the trails? Let us know in the comment section below.