There is no doubt that being able to photograph well depends a lot on your abilities and skills. But there is something more you require to become a great photographer. Yes, it’s the accessories that are specially designed to make your task easier as a photographer and produce excellent results at the same time. So, why not take the help of those accessories instead of going with simpler tools.
We attempt here to provide you with some useful information on this subject. Read ahead and see which of these accessories would be helpful for you.
One of the most important accessories you need to invest in are lenses. In fact, while buying a camera you must check if there are good lenses available for it. Choose a lens wisely because it is something that is going to stay for long. In order to master photography, you need to have some additional lenses apart from the lens kit you get with the camera. Experts prefer a different set of lenses for different cameras. On the basis of current trends and experts’ views, we have some lens recommendations for the users of Nikon, Canon, and Fujifilm to take your photography to the next level.
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G is an affordable lens that gives great images in low light. Buy Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM for great quality, sharp images if you can afford an expensive lens. Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70–300mm f/4.5–5.6G IF-ED lens will make a good choice for zoom, Sigma 10–20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM for wide angle zoom, and Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G for portrait.
Canon users can start with the newest Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 as their standard prime for good images in dim light, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L as telephoto, and the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 would be good for a wide-angle option. If you are searching for macro, Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 Di SP will be a good choice as it has a focal length of 145 mm.
Fuji’s XF 35mm F2 R WR is the best choice for prime; it gives you fast shutter speed and a sharp image without using a tripod. Then we have Fuji’s XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR for zoom. Its optical image stabilization keeps the images secure making camera shake not a problem. Finally, we have XF 14mm F2.8 R as the wide-angle lens for superb results.
Lightening and Colour
The most crucial things that make a photo appear outstanding are lightening and colour. The interaction of light and a scene points towards the use of flash, among other things, to avoid capturing shadows, catching some shade of light that accentuates a portrait, and altering the colours to make a photo all the more captivating. Tasks related to this can be made easy with the help of some of the following tools.
To believe David Hobby, a renowned off-camera lightning expert, LumoPro LP180 is the best flash to use. It’s a manual flash that can go with any camera. It is often suggested to begin with a manual flash because an automatic one means one flash for one camera. The reasons why this flash is the most preferred are many: it is available at a cheaper rate with a longer warranty than most of the first-party flashes, it helps you understand photography better, and last but not the least its build quality is way better than those third-party options.
Although using a manual flash isn’t a recommended practice, people still choose them as it is the easy way to go. Besides, sometimes you just want to take photos with extra illumination by just pressing the button on top, in that case using an automatic flash is okay.
It is better to opt for an automatic flash which is made by the same company as your camera. Make sure you select the one that can make the light bounces off the ceiling so as to provide more diffuse illumination. If possible, pick the one that has a rotating bulb so that the light can bounce off the walls for different illuminations.
An absence of reflectors often results in photographs where unwanted shadows appear across the subject’s face or ones in which uneven lightening ruins the still image you have been wanting to capture with perfection. These problems can be avoided by using reflectors. More than a solution, they are an asset. Once you get a hang of them, you will come to know that you can capitalize on them to shape the light the way you want and actually transforming a simple image into a stellar image. Now a question arises, which reflectors to use? To answer that, the Westcott Basics 40″ 5-in-1 Reflector (model 301) is a good one to start with, however, the most important thing is not the brand but the size and feature set. A general recommendation would be go with a 36- to 42-inch “5-in-1” reflector that has white, silver, gold, black, and diffuser panels.
Using a reflector is not at all a difficult task. Just fix the angle of the reflector so that it fills the darker area with light. The most commonly chosen colour is white. It gives a soft, mute light. Gold panel puts a degree of warmth in the image and when accompanied with silver it gives a light of higher intensity. With the help of black panel, you can add pronounced shadows to the portrait, whereas a translucent panel helps soften the sharp sunlight.
A photo tent is used to capture an image without taking in all the distracting surroundings, that is it gives uniformity to the background so that the focus rests on the main items. It also helps get rid of unwanted shadows that destroy the whole image sometimes. Most jewellery photographers use photo tents for a softly lit background which is a result of light rays passing through the translucent fabric.
There are so many photo tents out there. Impact Digital Light Shed is a widely chosen tent owing to the many benefits it offers. Firstly, it comes with zippered openings with the help of which you can shoot highly reflective objects without being bothered by the unwelcome reflections on the surface of those objects. And the Digital Light Shed has a removable bottom for times when you need to photograph an object on a smooth surface such as a wooden table.
The Digital Light Shed is available in four different widths i.e. from 13 to 36 inches. The 36-inch XL model is used when you need to photograph large objects. Since you don’t always need that large a size, the 27½-inch model would be advisable for shooting regular objects. It gives you enough room to move your arms in and arrange the objects as per desire.
A colour chart is not a must have tool. A number of photographers, especially those that shoot high-end portraits, prefer shooting raw scenes. However, using them helps you get a specific colour fix under particular lightning and results in a more accurate picture.
Two products are highly recommended by photography experts. The first is the Datacolour SpyderCheckr. It comes in a nice folding design that keeps its new look intact for a long time, and a fade marker informs you when it needs to be replaced. A more portable option is the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport.
Using a lens filter, you can control the light that hits the image sensor. Below are some of the most used filters.
Shooting at higher altitudes can let the ultraviolet rays affect the clarity of your portrait. To avoid that, use a UV filter. It has a coating on the glass surface that blocks the UV rays. Another use of these filters is to protect the expensive lens. They are cheaper and useful accessories. However, using a UV implies the image would not be as sharp as it would be otherwise because they act as a barrier between the lens and the scene. Hoya 77mm HMC UV Digital Slim Frame Multi-Coated Glass Filter is a good choice.
An ND filter controls the amount of light passing through the lens. With this filter, you can shoot with shutter speeds that can be a few seconds to some minutes without letting the bright areas appear too bright. It is especially helpful when you are photographing rushing water. Currently, the Breakthrough Photography X3 filter is known to be the best for its clarity and colour fidelity.
A CPL is primarily used to lower strong beams and some reflections like those from glass and water. One of its less important functions is to darken a scene. You can also control specific wavelengths with the help of a polarizer and get a photo in the colour you choose. An inexpensive, decent and hugely preferred polarizer is the Marumi DHG Circular Polarizer Filter 77mm.
Those were some of the accessories, along with their advantages, you might want to use to improve your photography.
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