CHAPTER 5-: This is the fifth chapter of “A Beginner’s Guide to Becoming a Professional Photographer.” – The camera is undoubtedly the single most important object in your life and career as a photographer. As some of the most notable photographers in the world have said, “the camera is the ultimate money maker”. Talking about money, if you want to convert your camera into a device for generating income for you as a professional photographer, then you need to think about the camera supplements. In other words, you need to acquire some fundamental photography accessories to complete your camera kit and give your camera all the faculties it needs to function to its full potential.
A Camera Is Not Enough
One of the most common mistakes that are made by the novice beginners is making the assumption that the camera alone can suffice in the career of a professional photographer. You will often hear beginner photographers putting forward immature and illogical arguments about how exemplary camera personnel do not require the assistance of camera accessories to take a brilliant shot that can land in newspapers and magazines all around the world.
Although there is some truth to that statement, given the fact that the worlds’ best photographers are able to captivate their audience with photos that have been taken without the help of camera accessories, it does not however change the fact that the absence of camera accessories is sure to decrease the quality of the photograph. In other words, you can take a very good picture without a camera accessory if you are a photographer of the highest calibre, but will not be possible for you to take a flawless picture without making use of camera accessories.
4 Facts You Must Know About Photography Accessories / Equipment
a. Accessories Provide Perfection
They say that perfection can never be achieved, it can only be pursued. This statement does not hold true for photographers. As a photographer, you cannot aim for anything less than pure perfection and flawlessness. If you accept from the onset that your pictures will be scarred with flaws all over the place, then you can never produce a photograph that will drop the jaws of people all around the world. It is in your pursuit of perfection that you will eventually achieve perfection through hard work and perseverance.
But toiling day and night and improving your techniques constantly can only get you so far. You require the assistance of technology and its advanced tools to get you across the line and establish yourself as a photographer who is worth of being mentioned by people all around the country if not the globe. This is where camera gear or camera accessories come into play. Without their presence, you will be at a clear disadvantage and your photography competence will be severely compromised especially in this day and age of intense competition.
b. Accessories Can Be Expensive
One of the other reasons why novice photographers tend not to buy camera gear is the fear of over expenditure. DLSR cameras that are suited for professional use are not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. You need to spend a considerable amount of money in buying yourself a DSLR camera of medium to high quality. After having done so, you may find it quite difficult to financially accommodate a set of camera accessories and photography equipment.
Frankly speaking, the list of these accessories and equipment are quite long, and there may never be an end to the number of ways in which you can incorporate tools to improve the quality of your picture. That is the reason why some of the best photography teams in the world need SUVs and vans to transport their camera gear and photography equipment. As a person who is embarking on his or her journey towards photographic brilliance, you are not required to have a van stuffed with state of that art accessories and equipment.
However, you do need to start off somewhere. Some accessories and equipment are clearly more essential than others and adding them to your collection of cameras can give you a massive competitive advantage especially if you are planning to launch your professional career early by keeping your academic career short and concise.
As far as the amount of money is concerned, there is very little denying the fact that camera gear and equipment have price tags that can be quite cringe-worthy. You need to understand that these accessories and equipment are not child’s play, and are specialized tools that separate hobbyist photographers from professional photographers. In other words, being the symbols of professionalism that they are, the high prices of camera accessories and equipment are quite justified. The problem that you will face as a beginner photographer of struggling to or not being able to finance the purchase of camera gear and photography equipment.
c. Investment in Your Future
With that being said, you still need to make sure that you save a considerable amount of money to purchase the most basic and essential equipment without which you cannot upgrade the quality of your photography. You may feel that you are losing out on a hefty sum of money by buying these equipment which do always product immediate results, but you need to bear in mind that these purchases will be nothing less than a worth investment in your future as a photographer. If you want to overcome the hurdles of the early stages in a photography career and clear your path from unwanted competition, then acquiring camera accessories and photography equipment should be your number one priority. You may not notice any short term perks making these purchases, but these will certainly yield dividends in the long run.
d. Long Term Benefits
In other words, if you buy the correct accessories and equipment, and make the best use of them, you are most likely to not regret the hefty purchases you made later on in your career. In fact, you will be looking back at these purchases as some of the best decisions you have taken in your career. Besides, the quicker you start compiling the camera equipment and accessories, the easier it will be for you to have a vast collection of them during the latter stages of your career when you will be required to use them on a regular basis.
Photography Equipment and Accessories You Need
1. Buying the Best Camera Lenses – Factors to Consider
Once you understand the importance of having a collection of the finest camera gear and equipment in your arsenal, you need to proceed to the far more difficult task of figuring out what exactly are the objects you need to build this collection from the ground up. The first and foremost accessory that you need to be concerned with is camera lenses. Overlooking the significance of camera lenses and their ability to influence your photography competence is career suicide. You need to attain as much knowledge about camera lenses as you possibly can within a very short period of time.
- Better Quality Equals Better Performance
Lenses are available in various degrees of quality. Once again, it is very easy for a novice photographer to give into the temptation of buying low quality inexpensive lenses. However, these will have little to no impact on your picture quality, and may actually cause your photographs to turn out worse than you expect them to be. Imagine the horror of using a DSLR camera to take pictures that are not even up to the mark of pictures taken using point-and-shoot cameras. Now that is what you call pure embarrassment. In order to avert such disasters, you need to set aside a considerable amount of your photography fund for purchasing high quality lenses. These lenses, albeit slightly expensive, can turn a mediocre photograph into an A grade photograph that is worthy of being showcased in an exhibition or printed on a celebrity magazine.
- Durability of High Quality Lenses
The other major advantage of investing in high quality pricey lenses is durability. When you buy lenses that are long lasting and perform to their full potential for extended periods of time, you neutralize the high price that you had to pay for it. Instead of buying ordinary lenses that need to be replaced periodically over time, it is much more preferable to spend your money on high end camera lenses that you will stay with you for years and help you produce high quality images even when you change your cameras (provided that you stick to the same brand/manufacturer of camera).
- Lens Specifications
Often times, you will find it difficult to pinpoint the exact type of lenses that will suit your style of photography. In those cases, the best option is to simply stick with the lenses that have been provided with your camera and ask the camera retailer to recommend additional lenses that may complement the particular model of camera that you have purchased. Lenses are classified by their focal length and their maximum aperture. The aperture can be compared with the pupil of the eye. The bigger the gap in the aperture is, the more light you allow to enter your camera. The working mechanism seems quite biological. If you have studied human biology in high school, you will be in a better position to understand the dynamic of lenses and its impact on the photographs taken from the camera.
- Fast Lens
In certain cases, your camera will require a greater amount of light to hit the digital sensor required to produce the image that you are aiming for. Since the aperture of lenses is fixed, it is not possible for the camera to open up the lenses any further. Therefore, the shutter speed of the camera is reduced and the shutter stays open for longer to accommodate the entry of more light. However, adjusting the shutter speed in this fashion can increase the risk of a camera shake resulting in a blurry image that you do not want to see. This is the reason why a lot of the professional photographers opt for a fast lens. These are lens that open the aperture at a range of f2.8 or less, which allows the shutter speed to remain fast even when the camera is in a low light environment. Whether you need a fast lens or not will depend entirely on your preferences. If you like taking photographs in the clubs at night, then perhaps you may consider buying a fast lens.
2. Memory Cards and Extra Battery
Camera lenses aren’t the only things that should go into your camera kit. There is a wide variety of other accessories that you will need starting with a camera memory card and an extra camera battery. As a professional photographer, you will be taking an awful lot of pictures, far more than any hobbyist photographer. The last thing you need is for your camera to run out of memory space or charge. Sometimes, running out of either of these can put you into embarrassing situations during a professional assignment. To avoid such unfortunate incidents, you can buy a memory card that will provide extra memory space and a few backup batteries for emergency scenarios.
3. Shutter Release
There are two other things that will be essential to your collection of camera gear and photography equipments. The first is the shutter release. A shutter release allows you to set off your camera without your intervention. Often times, clicking the camera shutter button causes the camera to shake and produce a slightly blurry image. As a professional photographer, you cannot afford to have a modicum of blurriness in your images. Therefore, buying a shutter release becomes imperative. Shutter releases are easily available and are usually made by the manufacturer of the camera that you have bought.
The second equipment that you need to be acquainted with is the tripod. The tripod is perhaps the most recognizable photography equipment there is in the world. Its function is quite simple; to provide stability to the camera so that flawlessness is achieved in every shot taken. Now you may think that buying any ordinary camera stand with three legs will do the trick, but the reality of the situation is that very few “tripods” in the market provide you with the stability that you need to produce brilliant photographs.
3 Things To Look for In a Tripod
When buying a tripod, here are 3 things that you need to take into consideration.
a) Weight– The tripod should be heavy enough to carry the weight of your camera as well as the camera lens. Placing a heavy DSLR on a tripod that is rated for a point-and-shoot camera will turn into a photographic disaster. Try not to overspend on tripods that are built to sustain extremely heavy masses.
b) Legs– You must check the flexibility and the functionality of the legs of the tripod. Make sure that they can be easily tightened and loosened when needed to. Most tripods come with a centre column which is better left unused.
c) Height– Finding a tripod that has the perfect height will depend on how tall you are and the height at which you prefer to operate your camera from.
The key to buying camera gear and photography equipment is taking your time and carefully seeking out the products that best suit your needs.