I'm from a tropical country, the beauty of it is we do not need some thick clothing to deal with cold temperatures and high winds, so most of the time I went shooting with a pair of slipper/sport shoe and some casual wear. So today I'm not going to mention any clothing accessories. I will share some essential equipment for landscape photography base on my shooting experience. Tripod/Ballhead Most of the time photographers were lazy to carry a tripod while they were out for shooting, because is very tiring and heavy to carry around, but for Landscapes , Tripod should be an essential part of your outfit. Because most of the time in landscape photography we are shooting in small aperture setting to maximise our depth of field, and with the lowest ISO to give us the highest image quality. Which mean most of the time, shutter speed will be too low for us to hold the camera still long enough without shaking. So with a tripod you will never worry about the shakes or image blur. Another good thing is by placing the camera on a support, you will have more time and attention fine tuning the frame to get the best possible composition.
Most high end tripods are not supplied with a head. This allows users to choose their preferred head. The two most common types of heads are a Three way heads and a ball/socket head.
Cable/Remote releases Long exposures mean camera shake is a real problem, using a cable/remote releases will helps minimise camera movement while you firing the shutter, sometime firing the shutter with our finger will put more force on the shutter and cause the camera movement result in an image blur. most of the DSLR in the market today only allow 30sec of exposure, to obtain shutter speeds slower than the maximum offered by the camera, BULB mode need to be use,Cable/remote releases generally include a locking feature to eliminate the need to keep the button or plunger depressed during extremely long exposures. Bulb setting is normally use in:
- the night sky, Aurora and celestial objects
- Long Shutter Shooting
- Dusk or Dawn
- streets at night (creating streaks from moving cars)
Filters There are many types of filter in the market, some are screw mount and some are pro slot-in filter system. The most commend use were a UV filter and a circular-polarising filter (CPL). The applications of a CPL in photography are: it saturates the image more by eliminating unwanted reflections (water, sea, glass & etc.), it can darken the sky or increases contrast.
For me a Graduated Neutral Density Filters are a must if you are serious in landscapes photography, it will darken the skies for a more balance image. These filters are simple, they are half coated, half clear, with a transitional zone where the two halves merge. By positioning the coated half over the brighter area of the picture, reducing the contrast between the light and dark areas and therefore enabling you to capture details in both foreground and the sky.
Lens Hood. Most of the time I'm not using Lens hood on my shot but sometime you will find it handy, it helps to prevent flare from the sun which can ruin your picture quality. Beside that it provides suitable protection for your lens in the rain when you continue shooting in the raining day. So I suggested that leave it fitted at all times.
Spare Battery/Memory card I always bring an additional battery and memory card while I went for shooting, you never know that one of them might went wrong in the "very" moment, I believe you rather bring those beautiful shots home than bring your regrets home.
Other things that I carry:
- Cleaning Kit for cleaning dirt marks, rain and dust from your lens surface
- Whistle just in case you get lost and Torch light for lighting the way in the dark
- Rain coat or rain cover for your camera gears in case the weather change suddenly.
- A Knife to protect yourself.
I hope my sharing help and happy shooting.