Stepping Up Your Gear
Written by: Tiffany Joyce
So, you have a camera that you’re happy and comfortable with. You have a small handful of lenses which accommodate nearly every photographic circumstance that you find yourself in. You’ve set yourself up with a few extra pieces of essential gear – a remote shutter release, a tripod, maybe some lens hoods or a couple of filters. Now you’re ready to start looking at additional gear that will help you take your photography further.
I’m in that position, too, and here are a handful of things that I’m looking at that will step my gear up to the next level.
1. A battery grip. This one from Opteka accommodates my Canon, though Opteka makes versions for Nikon as well. Battery grips are extremely useful items. Not only do they significantly extend the battery life of the camera (essential when you’re using an external flash or lens with image stabilization), but they also provide for vertical camera positioning with a vertical shutter release on the grip itself.
2. Speaking of which, an external flash (like this Speedlite for Canon or this Speedlite for Nikon) becomes more and more essential as your photography skills grow. The pop-up flash just doesn’t cut it anymore (if it ever did)! The ability to position external flashes and bounce them off of reflective surfaces brings tremendous flexibility when shooting your subjects, and creates dramatic depth in your photographs.
3. You might want to consider upgrading your camera bag. Sure, the one that you bought when you got your first camera served its purpose to keep stuff contained, but now that you’ve taken it out of the house a bunch of times, you’re probably beginning to notice how cumbersome it is. I myself have my eye on the Lowepro Slingshot 200 All Weather Backpack. It’s a sling-type bag that will allow me to access my camera quickly and easily, without having to off-load the bag and dig. Plus it can carry all of the gear and lenses and whatnot I might need for a day out in the field.
4. Create and direct light where you want it. This Lastolite KickerLite Indirect Floor Softbox is light, portable, flexible, and very easy to use. Using that along with a couple of reflective surfaces (like this reflector/diffuser) will allow you to create and direct light in any way you require.
Are you considering stepping up your photo gear? What sorts of items are you considering? Leave your recommendations in the comments!
Photo credit – “Packing for Germany World Cup” by Luis Vieira on Flickr Creative Commons.
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