Last Updated on 01/14/2019 by Mark Beckenbach
These accessories will help you protect your gear and improve your winter landscape photography to no end.
Landscape photography is incredibly relaxing. There’s really nothing better than getting out into nature to take in its sights and sounds. Winter landscape photography can bring about its own set of challenges though. Before you head out you need to make sure your gear is prepared to deal with cold, wet conditions, and that you have everything you need to capture the beauty of the winter wonderland that sits before you.
The accessories we have chosen below will help protect your camera, cut out glare from the bright sun that can bounce off of snow, and hold your gear securely while you capture images. With these accessories, shooting out in the elements will be a piece of cake and y ou’ll be able to produce images that will please the masses. Here’s a look at four accessories that will enhance your winter landscape photography.
Tenba DNA 15 Backpack
The Tenba DNA 15 is a solid camera bag that has been designed to protect your gear, and stand up to the harshest of weather. Not only is the DNA 15 stylish, it’s also very practical thanks to its unique roll top design and its weather proofing.
In our review we said:
“The Tenba DNA 15 Backpack has been with me through heavy snows in Canada, heavy snows in NYC, rain in NYC, airports, airplanes, subways, and on hikes. I’m amazed at how durable it is.”
The Tenba DNA 15 can adapt to just about any situation. Inside the main compartment there’s plenty of room for a Mirrorless or DLSR camera, and four to six lenses. When the top of the bag is rolled open it reveals a deep storage area perfect for a change of clothes, a drone, or some lighting equipment. Inside this compartment you’ll also find a nicely padded sleeve for a 15-inch laptop or large tablet. The Tenba DNA 15 certainly allows you to carry a lot of gear around, and the great thing is that unless you strap a tripod to the side, people really won’t know that you are carrying thousands of dollars worth of camera gear with you thanks to the minimalist design.
The best feature of this bag is that it’s weather sealed; it does a fantastic job of keeping everything inside of it dry. If you’re planning to do winter landscape photography this is incredibly important. The 600 denier helix material is treated with a water repellent; water just beads up and rolls off the bag. We used this bag in heavy snow, torrential rains, blustering winds, and have banged it around on planes and the subway system; it still looks like new and everything inside was just fine.
The Tenba DNA 15 is a really comfortable bag to carry for long periods of time too thanks to the generously padded shoulder straps. The chest and waist straps keep the bag tight against the body, which is nice when traversing rough terrain. When positioned just right, the lumbar support built into the bottom of the bag feels really nice.
The Tenba DNA 15 is great for city dwellers, and for those who like to hit the trails. It’s very well built, holds a a lot gear, and the the weather sealing will keep your camera, lenses, and other gear safe and dry. We definitely recommend you check out the DNA 15 from Tenba if you want to protect your gear while you’re on your way to do some winter landscape photography.
Buy now ($198): Amazon
Tenba 15 DNA Product Images
Pro Tip: It’s always a good idea to keep some weather proof camera and lens covers in your bag when heading out in the winter months. Not all lenses and camera bodies are weather sealed, but by using one of these covers you’ll be able to shoot no matter what the weather is doing.
Neewer Complete ND and Graduated Filter Kit
Having to deal with stark contrasts between light and dark areas is tough at any time, but when having to deal with gleaming white snow during the winter months it’s a different ball game entirely. Fortunately Neewer have a very affordable graduated and ND filter kit that will help you create stunning images.
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.”
A lot of photographers have never used ND filters which is a shame because they are a game changer. ND Filters are basically sunglasses for your lenses. They come in various strengths such as ND2, ND4, ND8, and so on. The strongest filter in this kit goes up to ND16 which means that, with this filter in place, 16 stops of light will be prevented from hitting your camera sensor. ND filters enable you to slow your shutter speed way down so that you can capture gorgeous long exposures during daylight hours.
This kit also comes with a set of graduated filters. Graduated filters work by darkening only a part of your image. This comes in useful in high contrast situations. Think about winter landscape photography where the skies may be dark grey, but the snow on the ground is brilliant white. Cameras have a hard time exposing for both dark and bright areas, and that’s where grad filters come in to play. Slide the graduated filter into the holder so that the darker half is over the bright, white snow and it will allow you to expose the image properly for both light and dark areas. This can save you a ton of time in post production.
While the price may be low, the quality isn’t. With this kit you will get eight ND filters (full ND2, ND4, ND8, and ND16, and graduated G.ND2 G.ND4 G.N8 G.ND16). You’ll also get nine metal adapter rings (49mm/52mm/55mm/58mm/62mm/67mm/72mm/77mm/82mm), two filter holders, two square lens hoods, and a pouch to keep it all together. With this low price you would think the resulting image quality would be affected, but it’s not; they work flawlessly. If you really want to take your winter landscape photography to the next level, this kit should be considered a must-have.
Buy now ($20.99): Amazon
Pro Tip: Keep a lens and filter cleaning kit in your camera bag so you can wipe away any debris or water spots that may collect on the glass. The last thing you want to do is spend time in post trying to remove those imperfections from your images.
Breakthrough X4 CPL Circular Polarizing Filter
Circular polarizers do a couple of things for landscape photography. First, they allow us allow us to get beautiful saturated colors in our images right out of camera, which is fantastic. The second thing they do is perhaps even better: circular polarizers reduce glare from reflective surfaces such as water, leaves, glass, metallic surfaces, and snow. Take your winter landscape photography to another level by using one of these polarizers.
In our review we said:
“I have found this filter to be easier to clean salt spray off of, with solution and lens tissue, than other polarizers that I have. If it’s a breezy day and I have to clean the filter a couple times an hour, this really makes a difference.”
The Breakthrough X4 circular polarizer operates in the same fashion as other circular polarizers. Simply screw the filter on to the end of your lens, and then turn it to adjust the polarizing effect. The biggest difference with the Breakthrough X4 is that it lets in more light than its competitors thanks to a special polarizing film that’s used. In fact it’s so good that you’ll gain half a stop of light when using this polarizer over competing brands.
Half a stop of light really might not sound like much, but polarizers stop a tremendous amount lot of light from hitting your cameras sensor. This can lead to you having difficulties focusing, and it can force you to use higher ISO’s, or lower shutter speeds which can have negative impacts on your final image. The the extra half stop of light the Breakthrough X4 lets in is a game changing.
The X4 has a fantastic build quality that will stand up to constant use. It has a water and dust resistant nano coating which helps when you’re in the great outdoors. We found that the coating really helps cut down cleaning time, which means more time can be spent shooting. The Breakthrough X4 is available in thread sizes from 39mm all the way up to 105mm. If you want to cut the glare out of your images this winter, this filter should be on your list of must-have items. It’s a winner when it comes to landscape photography and is backed by a 25 year guarantee.
Buy now ($129 – $199): Amazon
Breakthrough X4 polarizer Product Images
Pro Tip: Sometimes removing filters from the front of your lens can be a little challenging. To make things easier on yourself, and to limit chances of causing damage to your gear you should carry a set of filter wrenches in your camera bag. A filter wrench makes removing a filter a quick and easy affair.
MeFOTO Roadtrip Leather Edition
A sturdy tripod is a must when it comes to winter landscape photography. The last thing you want is for your tripod to take off skiing while you’re trying to get a shot. If you’re in need of a tripod that won’t let you down at critical moments, and that doesn’t cut any corners in quality, the MeFOTO Roadtrip is the tripod for you.
In our review we said:
“The MeFOTO Roadtrip Leather Edition is built very well overall with its incorporation of rubber, aluminum or carbon depending on which version you go for, and the leather stitching is also very expertly done. What this translates into is holding the tripod at a great spot with some extra grip instead it being smooth and slipping out of your hand on a humid day.”
MeFOTO have really tried to elevate the Roadtrip tripod above its competitors by wrapping the top of the aluminum legs in beautiful hand stitched Italian leather. Leather on a tripod might seem a little strange, but there’s a good reason for it. The leather really does look gorgeous, and it makes you feel like you’re using a tripod that costs far more than the MeFOTO Roadtrip actually costs. The main reason though is because the leather is really easy to grip, and it offers a great, non slip surface to hold on to. When taking pictures in the great outdoors things can get wet quickly. If you find yourself needing to grab your gear in a hurry, being able to have a firm grip on your tripod could prove to be critical. Thanks to the leather you’ll feel confident about being able to do just that.
The MeFOTO Roadtrip weighs 3.7lbs so it’s a little on the heavier side of things, but you’ll be getting very sturdy tripod that can hold 17.6lbs of gear. You can mount a Full Frame (or Medium Format camera with the heaviest lens you have) to this tripod and you won’t even be close to maxing it out. When fully extended the Roadtrip reaches a height of 61.8 inches, and at its smallest it’s 15.6 inches.
The MeFOTO Roadtrip can quickly convert into a monopod as well thanks to it’s unique design. The included ball head uses an Arca-Swiss style quick release plate which has separate controls for pan, drag, and friction. You’ll also get a set of spiked feet as well so that you can make this tripod really dig down into the ground. Use these feet and this tripod won’t be going anywhere. For under $200 you’re getting a lot of tripod. It’s sturdy, can hold just about anything without breaking a sweat, it’s easy to use, and it looks gorgeous. If you’re going to be getting out and about to do some winter landscape photography, this is the tripod you’ll want to take with you.
Buy now ($174): Amazon
MeFOTO Roadtrip Tripod Product Images