Thursday mornings at my shop, I always have coffee with several friends. The conversation is always good, lively and is, of course, usually about photography.
Last week we ended our morning conversation discussing how off-camera flash technology was advancing, and I had mentioned how amazing it was to be able to synchronize a camera’s flash at 1/8000th of a second, and how I liked the versatility of positioning a speedlight with the off-camera flash bracket that I use.
Later that day as I thought about what my friends had talked about that morning, I got to thinking about how some accessories make our experience as photographers easier. There is always lots of discussion about cameras and lenses, but photographers only seem to mention occasionally the accessories that they use.
I decided to post the question, “What is your favourite photographic accessory?” on a couple on-line photography forums, but I received very few replies. I suspect “What is your favourite camera or lens” would have gained more attention. Nevertheless, here are some responses that I selected.
This first from someone called Hawaiiboy says, “I would have to say my tripod combined with my wired timer/remote.”
Then Merlin from British Columbia wrote, “My iphone. I use maps to find my way around and play birdcalls when needed. It acts as a flashlight at night. Oh yeah I can even make phone calls with it.”
The third I’ll include is from a Toronto, Ontario photographer, “My 10 stop Neutral Density filter is right up there.”
Another photographer called Cicopo in Ontario posted, “My cable release and tripod because that allows me to shoot from a higher perspective and steadies my camera.”
Dave from Alberta included, “I would have to go with the obvious ones like an air bulb blower, and micro-fibre cleaning cloth. I photograph mainly out side so I use them a lot.
A photographer named Matt that shoots in Manitoba wrote, “My monopod, the next best way to stabilize my camera after a tripod. I also use it like a walking stick during my weekend hikes.”
My wife Linda leaned back over her chair, after I interrupted her reading with the question, and said, “My polarizing and graduated ND filters. I shoot mostly scenics and those filters help me control the sky.”
From Saskatchewan, Gary wrote, I’d include my 5 in One reflector as my favourite accessory. I shoot portraits and always use a reflector.
I think my favourite commentator was Hendrik, from Alberta who wrote, “My bean bag. It gives me the best stability I can ask for; it enables me to shoot from the safety of my car and lets me use my car as a blind. When I am out a whole day and stop for lunch, I can use it as a super comfy pillow to lay down in the grass and look at the clouds flying by.”
I’ll add one of my personal favourite accessories. I have written many times in the past that I almost never photograph people, indoors or out, without adding light from a flash. My favourite accessory that makes that all so easy is a flash bracket that I use to lift my flash way up off my camera.
I am sure readers will have their own, even if they never think about it, that is there in the camera bag, always waiting and ready to be used. These favourites that I listed from my responses aren’t that special, they are just those accessories that, as I wrote earlier, make our experience as photographers easier.
I like comments. Let me know what you think.
My website is at www.enmanscamera.com