Photography Accessories

Lens Cleaning Kit

There are many photography accessories that are great and useful to have. However, the only real essential must have piece of kit you need, apart from a camera or smart phone to take photos with, is a lens cleaning kit.
 
Whatever device you are using to take your photos with from a high end SLR to a smart phone you need a clean lens or your picture is going to spoil.  So to keep your devices lens free from grease, dirt and dust you need some sort of lens cleaning kit, even if it is just by the use of a soft cloth. It only takes a moment to clean your lens before you start shooting. Don't run the risk of being disappointed at the end of a photo shoot because the great photo you thought you had is ruined due to a dirty lens. It is within your control to avoid the disappointment.

Other great to have photography accessories

Memory Card

Your cameras memory will very quickly become full, particularly if you shoot in raw (.NEF) format which is the format of choice for most professional photographers. A good fast memory card of 16 gigabytes or greater capacity would be ideal to keep your clicking finger busy without having to delete any of your photos. 

lenses

If you are lucky enough to be using a high end camera that allows interchangeable lenses then you have five basic and two advanced lenses to chose from.
 
They are
          A telephoto lens (for zooming in and bringing far away objects closer).
          A standard lens (the nearest portrayal to what the human eye sees).
          A wide angle lens (for bringing more subject matter into the photo area).
          A macro lens (for taking very close up photos of small objects).
          A fish eye lens (for taking circular photos).
 
 The two advanced lenses are 
          A tilt lens (the lens tilts at an angle to the aperture).
          A shift lens (the lens can be moved inline with the aperture).
 
Both the tilt and shift lenses are photography accessories used mainly by professional photographers primarily for taking photos of very tall objects such as multi storey buildings. The purpose of the lenses is to keep the vertical lines of the subject parallel to each other. For example, if you look up at a very tall building the sides of the building appears to taper inwards the higher up the building goes. These lenses are designed to counter this. 

Tripods

Although not essential a tripod is a very useful piece of kit to have in your kit bag and could open up a whole new world for you as a photographer. A tripods primary function is to be a firm base, a table top, for you to work off. This will benefit you in many ways. Portraits and self portraits, close up studies of objects at a distance, low light photography without a flash and night time photography. A word of warning if you are looking to buy one. Don't buy a cheap flimsy tripod you will be wasting your money. Aim to buy the best your budget will allow. In general strength and sturdiness are more important in a tripod than lightweight portability.

Cable and bulb releases

Cable and bulb releases are two photography accessories usually used in conjunction with a tripod and allow you to fire the shutter release without potentially jogging the camera by manually pressing the shutter release button. A cable release is self explanatory whereas a bulb release works by firing a blast of air through a rubber tube onto the shutter release button. 

Exposure meter and grey card

The last of our photography accessories is a hand held exposure meter and an  18% grey board. Both are useful additions to your kit bag, In difficult conditions a hand held meter can often give more accurate results than the exposure meter in your camera. An 18% grey card can average out the light reading of a given one. It is a consistent neutral test target which will help provide highly accurate reflected light readings when placed in the same place as your subject. 

Camera Lens Pouch

Appin Castle
Most digital camera lenses come with a protective pouch when bought new. However, lose or rip the pouch and your precious lenses are at risk of being damaged. It makes sense then to have a set of spare protective pouches.
Taken from a distance using a tripod

Flashgun

 As far as photography accessories go this one is a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde. Used creatively a flashgun can be an extremely versatile form of lighting. However, many photographers have reservations about using flash as there can be problems associated with it. Its light can seem harsh and unforgiving and red eye can also occur.