Many photographers will often head off for adventures to capture breathtaking photos during perfect conditions in the great outdoors. We may want to emulate beautiful images, which we’ve seen on social media of forests, seascapes or mountain views. Whichever subject you’re going to photograph, from wildlife to landscapes, action to cityscapes, you may find yourself outdoors at any time of year, come rain or shine. Whether you’re new to photography or more experienced, it pays to know what outdoor photography gear you’ll need to nail the shot.
This guide will help you pick the most essential photo accessories to bring when you next set off to brave the elements and help you to get the perfect shot during your own adventures.
There are a huge number of accessories available for every situation a photographer may find themselves in. This can be daunting and costs can add up quickly, but which outdoor photography accessories are essential for every photographer, helping them to capture amazing images? Discover the best camera bag to carry all your gear, what features to look for in a travel tripod and get advice on protecting your equipment if the skies do open up.
One of the most important accessories for any outdoor photographer is the camera bag that they use to carry photography gear on adventures. Being able to comfortably walk, hike, or climb freely is crucial, so a specially designed outdoor camera backpack is normally preferable. There are many hundreds of backpacks to choose from, with no single one being the perfect solution for everyone, however we’ve highlighted some essential features to look for.
Here are three of our top pick camera bags, which combine several of these essential features and all come with a lifetime warranty for the original owner.
A brilliant investment for every outdoor photographer is a good quality tripod. The vast majority of landscape photographers will bring the sturdiest tripod on every excursion, as will many wildlife, sports and action photographers. A tripod helps get sharper shots at lower ISO’s and gives you a platform for shooting long exposures, panoramas and astro photography. As with camera bags, the choice can be daunting, so we’ve locked down three options if you’re new to photography with a tripod.
Camera and lens covers offer protection, camouflage, or both, and may be invaluable in some situations you find yourself. If you’re looking for the perfect way to camouflage your equipment from wildlife, then Easy Cover Silicone Skins are the ideal choice. However, if protecting your equipment from the elements is your biggest concern, then a rain cover is essential to allow you to shoot gorgeous photographs – no matter what the weather.
Choosing a silicone skin for your specific camera also adds protection from knocks and bumps, while maintaining full access to camera controls. A rain cover is made to be more flexible, but you should still choose one which fits your camera/lens combination. A small size Vanguard Alta Rain Cover fits a camera with a shorter lens, whereas a large Vanguard Alta Rain Cover is suitable for a longer 400mm or similar telephoto lens. Rain covers are perfect for adverse conditions, as well as capturing beautiful waterfalls and seascapes.
A camera GPS unit or adapter can be very useful for cameras without built-in GPS. These will let you track your adventures on a map, or enter caption information in the image metadata, so you know exactly where a photo was taken from. The Canon GP-E2 GPS Receiver includes an electronic compass and can be attached to compatible DSLR, mirrorless and pro video cameras.
Sometimes taking the most epic photos outdoors requires a remote control for your camera. With a remote control (sometimes called a trigger), you can place yourself in the frame showing off grand scale in the scenery. A remote will also help avoid camera shake during a long exposure shot, or for astrophotography. You can take group photos, create engaging content like time-lapses and even reduce blur with regular landscape photos, as you won’t need to touch the camera to trigger the shutter release.
Make sure you pick a remote control for your camera brand and camera type. For example the Canon BR-E1 remote controller is compatible with many Canon DSLR and EOS R mirrorless cameras, whereas the Sony RMT-P1BT Remote Commander works with Sony mirrorless cameras. Once you have a camera remote, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without this essential accessory.
After photographing all day in the pouring rain, the last thing any photographer needs is a lost or damaged memory card or other accessory. There are innovative accessory storage solutions for just this purpose, which fit inside your main camera bag to make sure this doesn’t happen to any of your equipment.
The Peak Design Travel Tech Pouch in Charcoal will securely store all of your travel essentials within a compact weatherproof bag, as will the 2nd generation Lowepro GearUp Camera Box Medium Size. The Lowepro works perfectly on its own, or packed inside your main camera bag, acting a bit like a Tardis with acres of space inside. A Tenba Tools Reload Universal Card Wallet in Black offers versatile storage to keep your memory cards safe and organised, making it one of the best choices on the market.
If you shoot outdoors it goes without saying that you’ll inevitably find yourself, and your gear, getting wet, muddy or dusty at some point. This can cause anything from dust and fingerprints on your lens, to specks of dirt on your camera sensor. Even drops of rain or sea spray on a lens can ruin a perfectly good shot, rendering it unsalvageable even with advanced post processing skills. Sensitive electronic contacts on your camera body can also get wet, which may cause equipment failure, so it’s well worth bringing an emergency camera cleaning kit with you.
Luckily you can pick up everything you need for cleaning in the field easily, you just have to remember to pack them in your bag before you head out! Make sure your images are clear and smear-free by having a handful of lens wipes from the 24 Pack of ZEISS Lens Wipes in your bag. Alternatively you can bring a couple of Spudz 6x6 Inch Micro-Fibre Cloth in Deep Red, with easy to find bright colours and reusable after washing. A dust blower is another absolute essential, making easy work of rain drops, water drips or dust particles found on any of your equipment.
You might even notice dust or rain spots getting onto your sensor when switching lenses. This needn’t ruin your shots, as you can pack a suitably sized sensor cleaner from VisibleDust. These include a full frame EZ Dualpower-X Regular Strength 1.0x Cleaning Kit, the EZ Dualpower-X Regular Strength 1.6x Cleaning Kit for APS-C, or EZ Dualpower-X Regular Strength 1.3x Cleaning Kit for micro four thirds. If conditions are too poor, you can always clean the sensor when you get back to your hotel/camp in the dry.
In order to capture stunning photos in the great outdoors it’s crucial to bring all of the essential camera accessories along with you. Always keep your camera and lens clean and dry and remember to pack accessories in weather-resistant storage. Bring a lightweight, compact tripod, which is strong enough to hold your camera and lens combination. Store all of this in a suitable backpack, which is both waterproof and comfortable, then head out to make some magic happen.
By Park Cameras on 22/12/2021
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