Basic Gear for a Beginner Photographer

Clearly if you have spent some time on my blog, you know that I am not a professional photography.  I am a novice at best, but I am really loving starting to explore the features of my DSLR camera.  It can seem so overwhelming to know where to begin and what you REALLY need.

Nikon camera

Here are a few basics that you will want to consider purchasing as basic gear for a beginner photographer, most of which can be purchased from a digital camera store.

Basic Gear for a Beginner Photographer

Camera Bag –Once you have invested in a good camera you need to protect your investment and easily transport it between locations. There are lots of options available so be sure to look around.  Some people prefer a backpack while others like myself.  Although you can’t imagine spending much more now, as you just spent a pretty penny on your fancy new camera but you soon will!  Rather than find something that just fits, give yourself a little wiggle room for growth!

Before my recent trip to Disney World, I purchased a LowePro Passport Sling III.  It is expandable and has multiple pockets for the camera, lenses and even SD cards.

Tripod – A tripod is something many consider a necessity for beginners.  It helps to provide stability while you aim to shoot the perfect shot.  With a tripod, you can get angles you couldn’t otherwise, including those of yourself!  Tripods come in all shapes and sizes and prices.

By adding a tripod to your photography arsenal you will be able to practice your photography on yourself any time you want, assuming you have a remote.  That brings us to the next item!

Remote – How many of us use remotes daily?  A remote shutter release are essential for self portraits, family shots and even night and landscape shots where longer exposures are required so as to reduce the camera shake, in turn reducing blur.  Many of them also have timers that allow you to leave your camera unattended and take shots at set intervals, useful for techniques like time lapses.

There are two types of camera remote controls: cable or wireless.   Each camera model and make will have a different remote shutter release, so ensure you are purchasing a the right model.

Lens Filters – Lens filters are another fun camera accessory that can be useful. Lens filters basically act as sunglasses for your camera lenses.  They can help you to create better images by reducing glare and even add contract to your photos.  They also offer protection from UV light, dust, water, scratches and finger prints.

There are many options available but the basics to begin with are a polarizing filter.  Think of polarized lenses in your sunglasses.  They help to reduce reflections and glare while adding more vivid color and better contrast to your photos.

The second is a ND (neutral density) filter.  This filter helps to reduce the amount of light entering your camera in a way that doesn’t affect the color, similar to your pupil controlling the light entering your eye.

Photo Editing Software Just as a darkroom was used to achieve certain visual effects for film, photo editing software is a tool to allow you to work creatively with your digital images.  Depending on your budget, there are many popular software packages like Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, Corel Paint Shop Pro and others.  If you don’t have the funds, try free photo editing software like Picmonkey.  I use the paid version of Picmonkey and love it!

This list is not all-encompassing but is a good start to a few things I have found to be very helpful as a beginning photographer.

photo credit: tiffa130 via photopin cc

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