As a hobby, photography can be expensive. The camera costs a tidy sum, and a DSLR lens alone can cost more than the camera body itself. After spending a lot for new equipment, you may think you need to prepare as much for accessories. Not necessarily, as there are lots of accessories that cost just a fraction of a pound. Here are 15 must-have photography essentials that you can get that won’t put a dent on your bank account.
- White Foam Core
This may be the lowest-priced lighting equipment you can find. You can buy one from a craft store for just around £3. To save even more, buy a pack of 5 from Amazon for about £9.
- Medium Gray Card
For less than £7, you can easily do some post processing to fix basic white balance and exposure problems. This accessory can help you get your shots “in camera” just right.
- Cloth bean/rice bag
Having a bag of rice can be a good alternative to carrying a tripod around. To save on space and weight when travelling, just empty the bag. Just buy some rice or beans and fill the bag up when you need to prop your camera up.
- Spray Bottle
You don’t have to wait for dawn to shoot dewy and fresh flowers, fruits, and spider webs. A spray bottle can do the trick. At around £1 each, and for the same shot effects, who’s complaining?
- Lens Pen
Do away with paper and lens fluid. The lens pen comes with a dry lens cleaner-filled microfiber disk on one end; a retractable brush in on the other end. Best of all, it’s cheap.
- Remote Shutter Release
For less than £14, capture no-fuss “selfies” and sharp photos without touching your camera. A remote shutter release can also minimize motion blur from camera shake.
- Flash Diffuser/Wax Paper
A flash diffuser can be used to soften the effects of your on-camera flash, if and when you need to use it. Although you can choose from many styles, it usually comes with a white translucent material.
- Filter Wrench
Screw filters can get stuck on the lens. It is an unfortunate but common consequence of filter use. A filter wrench can be used on a stuck filter without bending the lens.
- LED Flash Light
Great for multi-tasking, this accessory allows you to experiment with light painting and drawing at night; not to mention it can help you see where you’re going in the dark. A small LED Maglite costs less than £15.
- Nikon Lens Caps
Canon cameras may be great but Nikon makes easier to use caps. They come in various sizes as well that can fit other brands; and they are cheap too.
- Reflective Emergency Blanket/Circular Reflector
Either can be used for reflecting light into shadows. Aside from being cheap (costs as little as a pound), it is made of waterproof material.
- Bulb Blower
Before wiping your lens or camera, it is best to blow off grains of dirt and sand first as these may scratch your equipment as you wipe it clean. Bulb blowers deliver powerful blasts of clean air to get rid of any harmful particles. Get one for around £7.
- Compact Backpacking Hand Towel
A must-have for outdoor camera use, the lightweight, absorbent towel can eliminate water drops before they cause any problems. It is also great for giving your gear a good wipe before calling it a day.
- Flicker Account
Use it to get feedback, archive, show off your great shots, and track your progress. Signing up for a free account will give you 100 MB of storage space every month but you can get unlimited space for less than £20.
- Hot ShoeMount Bubble Level
This will allow you to keep horizons straight even while holding hands. For just a few pounds, you can avoid constantly having to straighten and crop your captured images.
These are only a few affordable must-have accessories for the budding photographer. They also make great gifts. A good gift idea is to stuff a gift basket with items from this list.