As a landscape Photographer there are several ‘Must Have’ tools in my books. These tools will increase your success as a landscape photographer and while also making it more enjoyable and your life easier. Check out the seven tools for landscape photography I consider as the bare minimum required for getting great results.
1. Sturdy Tripod
I see so many people attempting to do landscape photography and getting frustrated when their shots are not sharp and a lot of that is to do with the fact that the tripod they’ve chosen is not a stable shooting platform. The ball head combination or the head combination are really important parts to landscape photography. You don’t need one of those video type heads with the two handles. Make your life simpler and get something that once you move your camera around you can just lock it in and no matter what, it’s going to stay there.
2. Comfortable Camera Bag
If you want to be successful and more comfortable when you’re out taking photos you want a camera bag that is comfortable and I spent a lot of time in my landscape photography journey searching for the perfect bag. Traditional camera bags have compartments for your camera but they don’t always have a lot of room left over for you to bring things like water, snacks, or weather appropriate gear.
If you want to get the most enjoyment out of your landscape photography shoot it has to be comfortable for you to wear, easy for you to access, and protect all of your gear. If the bag your using can do all of that then it’s a great camera bag.
I think any photographer who is serious about improving their landscape photography will invest in a filter kit because it makes life much easier when you get back to post process your photos. Most lenses have a 77mm thread and you can just buy filters that screw on to the front of your lens. I would consider a ND400px HMC filter and CPL circular polarizing filter the minimum requirement filter tools for landscape photography. With me using a Nikon 14-24mm lens, I use a Lee filter kit. When you’re out doing photography, you want to be able to make it nice and simple for you to settle down the light in your shot and grab yourself a filter that just slides into the front.
4. Camera Remote
Remotes are really important for landscape photography – the less you’re touching your camera the more likely you are going to get a sharp shot as it allows you to set your camera up and sit somewhere else. Especially if it’s wireless, you can just click away and you’re not touching the camera body and you’re not moving your things around. Whatever I can do to reduce the likelihood of my cameras shaking around, I’ll do it because that’s how you guarantee a nice sharp shot.
5. Carrying Spares
I see so many people out in the field taking photos and all of sudden they end up with no battery power.
If you want to be serious about getting out there and capturing photos in the wilderness you have to remember there’s no charging points, no where you can quickly recharge your battery, and if you run out of an SD card or battery power, you’re going to be kicking yourself. An essential for my landscape kit is to make sure I’ve got spare batteries at all times.
6. Photography Apps
Gone are the days where you have to manually try and work out direction of the sunrise, sunset, moon rise, galactic core, or the milky way. Apps such as The Photographer’s Ephemeris give you all the data you need to plan your shoots. You can also use apps like Aurora to see the likelihood of an Aurora in the location your at. Find the apps they’re gonna work for you; there are apps that work as remotes for cameras, editing apps, apps that allow you to quickly preview and edit photos to see if you’re happy with the composition, apps to help you work out the best spot and time to photography (as mentioned above). I think that’s really important to talk about the hardware needed as well as the software as essential tools for landscape photography. That being said, you will need some software to post-processing your photo. A lot of people like to believe that you don’t need to do any post-processing but I’m a fan of post-processing because you get the best result. Shoot in raw and get some software to help you post process.
7. Cleaning Gear
I always carry with me a soft microfiber cloth as it’s great for cleaning things like lenses and filters. I also carry the Giottos rocket blower for when I see that I’ve got little dust spots on my images then I’ll use this blower to give a quick clean to the sensor, lens, or whatever it might be that I need to clean. It’s very simple and light equipment to carry with you in the field but sometimes it can make the difference between whether or not you get a shot that is crisp and clean or whether or not you’ve got to do a fair bit of work in Lightroom or Photoshop when you get back home to remove all the spots and and sloshes. When you’re out in the field as a landscape photographer you never know what you’re going to come across.
So there you have it, my seven essential tools for landscape photography if you want to make sure that you enjoy landscape photography a little bit more. Let me know in the comments if there are any other tools you find essential for great landscape photography.