‘Photography is such a cheap hobby!’ Said no one EVER. But I hope you’ll agree that it’s worth splashing out to make lifelong visual memories of your travels?!

So now you have your camera, a few lenses, is there anything else you need?!

Well no, you can get started straight away if you’d like. However, there are several camera accessories that will make your life a little easier and your photographs that bit better.

There are also several types of photos like long exposures and night photos which will require some additional camera accessories like a tripod.

Whilst travelling, it’s important to keep your camera bag as light as possible so you will need to decide what is most important for you and your style of photography. Also, what is within your budget!

I decided to ask travel bloggers which travel photography accessories they see as essential. So here, they tell us, which travel photography essentials they could not live without!

Travel Photography Essentials as Voted by Top Travel Bloggers

Meagan Moore of www.tworestlesshomebodies.com

Peak Design Camera Bag

Peak Design is a brand designed by photographers, for photographers, and it shows. Luke and I both carry Peak Design bags, and we’ve found they fly in the face of everything normally frustrating about other camera bags.

Where other bags fall apart, these are sturdy. We’ve shoved ours in luggage bins and trunks, and folded them flat in other suitcases, and they’ve come out unscathed.

Most bags have set compartments that don’t necessarily mesh with our personal (and very different) shooting flows, but PD bags have modular dividers that fix in place with strong, durable Velcro and move as needed by the photographer.

Best of all, where others stick out as CAMERA BAGS, these are attractive, sleek, and don’t look out of place on a wine tour or a metro. I even remove my camera and use this as my primary work bag for going to the office. These are investment pieces, but we have no regrets!

paint mines colorado springs luke exploring

Credit@MeaganMoore

Jessica Sern  of www.thelongestbusrides.com

Joby Camera Strap

The two best features about the Joby Camera Strap are the quick release tab, for adjusting the strap length in less than a second and the ability to hike with my camera out of a bag, without the camera swinging around with every step.

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The strap comes in both women’s and men’s models. I wear the strap cross-body, so my camera weight hangs on my shoulder, instead of my neck. While hiking, I shorten the strap, so the camera barely moves, even while going up or down steep hillsides where I need to use my hands.

The quick-release tab lets me flick it wide open and get my camera up fast, so I can easily shoot wildlife, or a cool street scene.

Finally, the strap attachment is perfect. It screws into the tripod mount, and turns freely. This allows the strap to tuck into the camera bag easily, and the strap doesn’t get in the way while I’m shooting. I have a plate on my camera, so I can actually attach my camera to a tripod without taking off the strap.

Verislav Tudjarov of www.globalcastaway.com

Joby GorillaPod

If you are serious about your photography, you already know a tripod is a must-have. However, a tripod, even if it’s a travel one, is big and a burden to carry around all the time. Even though I bring my travel tripod with me on all of my travels, I use it only for planned sessions and sunrise/sunset spots. If I have a cent for every time, I missed a perfect long exposure or selfie opportunity because I didn’t have my tripod with me…I would probably have a few bucks.

Then I found the Gorillapod. With a weight of just 200g, small and flexible enough to fit in every photo bag, this little fellow is the perfect carry on tripod. The Gorillapod is not only incredibly compact, but you can also bend its legs and strap it around everything. And I mean everything. Railings, trees, rocks, all the crazy angles you need are at your disposal.

Different Gorillapods support a different amount of weight so make sure you get the right one for your camera.

Sigma-10-20

Credit@VerislavTudjarov

Billingham Hadley Pro Bag

Attention – Billingham Hadley Pro is neither the biggest nor the cheapest bag out there. I would even say it’s a luxury bag. But boy oh boy, is it worth it.

If you want something classy and unique, this is the bag for you. Every single Billingham is handmade in the UK and has the appropriate number to prove it. They are water resistant and have this perfect quick release straps that are not only super easy to use but are also completely silent and from my experience – thief-proof. Looking small at first glance, this bag can actually fit a surprising amount of gear. There is enough space for a mirrorless or small DSLR camera with mounted lens, two other lenses, a 13′ laptop, Gorillapod and a few extra pockets for your accessories, filters and documents.

The only negative of the Billingham is the price. A Handley Pro costs around $250 on amazon which is way above the regular messenger’s camera bag price.

If you can afford it though, this bag will become your best friend, and if you take good care of it, it will be your best friend for life!

Kristen Addis of www.bemytravelmuse.com

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Drone ND filter

Filters take drone photography and videography to a new level. When I first got my drone, I noticed that unless I flew in the late afternoon or right at sunrise, my videos and photos looked blown out.

I pretty much always fly with an ND filter on it now, deciding on which one based on brightness outside, so that I can get great photos at any time of day. This photo is an example from midday in Raja Ampat, Indonesia.

 

DJI_0016_preview

Credit@KirstenAddis

Samah Khan of www.godandwanderlust.com

Breakthrough Photography ND Lens

The quality of the Breakthrough Photography ND lens is tough to beat. I use the 6-stop X2 ND filter for my Sigma 35mm during golden hour and it keeps the colours completely neutral—the colours in my images without and with the filter are identical—and provides a way to create beautiful long exposure images.

The lens has been dropped and scratched a few times, yet still looks as good as new. The filter comes in many different stops and sizes so finding the right one for your lens and photography style is quite easy. Conveniently, the filter’s side has little grooves so it’s easy to grip and screw on or off your lens. And with a 300-day return policy, there really is nothing to lose.

Patrick Horsfield of www.adventographer.com

Polarizing Filters

With the advent of digital filters that you’re able to apply during the editing process many real world filters became obsolete. One that hasn’t however, is the polarizing filter. It’s effect cannot be replicated in post processing and it is a must have photography accessory in my books. Fitting a polarizer will up your photography game by helping you control reflection.

Polarizer Filter in the woods

_DSC2469If you’ve ever worn a pair of polarized sunglasses, you’ll be immediately familiar with what I’m talking about. The sky is a deeper blue, the trees are greener and you can see the stones on the bottom of that riverbed rather than just the sheen of the water. In your camera this translates into a more colorful, more interesting photo that you simply can’t recreate without having taken the image through a polarizer.

 

 

Use a polarizer any time you’re shooting water or wet surfaces, leafy green vegetation or if you simply want to reduce reflections (or enhance them –Rainbow anybody?) In combination with an ND filter you’ll have the ability to create some mind-blowing images!

Pixel Intervalometer

Grabbing yourself an intervalometer before jetting off and getting into photography mode is a must! It comes in handy for so many things.
If you’re looking into getting any night photography of the sparkling stars, getting a creamy and smooth shot of some epic waterfalls, or simply are travelling solo and have nobody to help take a picture, you need an intervalometer.
I love this one because it’s wireless. Which means you can take a sneaky shot of yourself super easily. I regularly have to take my own pictures so I set up my intervalometer and go twirl in place while I click the button on the remote.
When shooting subjects at night, for a crispy image, you need one of these. If you press the shutter button and then lift your hand off, that small amount of movement can mess up your photo. With a wireless remote, you don’t need to worry about it.
It’s a small accessory that can really help up your travel photography game.
Marie Gizelle of www.ourcitytravels.com

Jill-E Camera Bag

 
When travelling, I always bring either a canon 5d or a 7d, these two are quite bulky especially when I put the battery grip, and the lens, which is either a 17-55mm or a wide lens 17-35mm. That’s why I opted to get a camera bag that is durable and can protect my gears. I got the medium Jill-e  769411 Medium  Black Leather trim (Bone) and it has been with me for years now.
 
The bag was designed to look like a woman’s messenger bag. The leather exterior is comfortably stiff, which gives you a more protective feel…it has a soft padded interior that will give you peace of mind; knowing your gears will be ok. It is also a plus that the exterior is water proof and very easy to clean.
 
When it is unzipped, it has a relatively large opening that you can completely see into the entire bag, and get your stuff out quickly without the risk of banging them onto one another. The adjustable dividers are also another safety feature of this bag, to this day, the velcros are still functioning as it did on day 1.
 
I also love that Jill-e has pockets everywhere! The interior pockets make for easy storage of extra memory cards and smaller items (or your phone and wallet). The exterior pockets could hold cables and chargers. The bag also comes with both dual carrying handles and a removable shoulder strap with pad – which comes  in handy when the bag (remember there are 2 dslrs in it) becomes heavy, sling it onto as a messenger and you lessen the risk of having a bad shoulder in the long run. 
Here are a few different inconspicuous Jill-E camera bags you may like!

Nic Hilditch-Short  of  The Roaming Renegades

Lumos: Sun and Moon Tracker App

I found this app and it has literally been one of the most helpful photography accessories I have ever bought. The Lumos app essentially shows you in two ways, the position of the sun and where it will be at any given time or day. 

You can search anywhere on the map and it will give you the path the sun will be taking that day, you can use sliders to move the time forwards or backwards and also change the date.

You can also use the AI feature when you are stood at the spot you would like to photograph and point the phone’s camera up at the sun, its path will then be overlaid so you can see when it will be in the perfect spot.

 

This app has saved me so much time, I can plan out where I want to visit according to where the best light will be and avoid either missing out on that crucial light or waiting around for too long. It is available on iTunes and android.

 

Faye Haines of www.travelwithlittleone.com

Adobe Lightroom Editing Software

I’ve used Adobe Photoshop in its various incarnations for about a decade and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

I’ve always used it in conjunction with Adobe Photoshop, which I’ve used for about 18 years.
Lightroom helps a lot with editing. I’ve always shot landscapes and cityscapes, so if I’m shooting, say, Sydney Harbour at dusk I’d expect to shoot anything between 15 and 60 frames in RAW, knowing that I’d probably only ever edit between two and six of them.
The chances are that whatever tweak I apply to one, I’d apply to the others too. So in Lightroom, I might use the various sliders to make small adjustments in Levels, and very occasionally Color Balance. I apply the edit to the other the selected images, then export them to Photoshop for further work.

Josh Shephard of www.thelostpassport.com

Rode Microphone

One of the most important travel photography accessories is a decent external microphone, particularly for travel vloggers. Sure, you can initially get by with the camera’s internal microphone, but you will quickly realize the sound quality captured just isn’t at the same level.

All pro vloggers know that audio is just as important as video.

Rode produces a large range of professional microphones. The Rode Videomic Go is a great quality, compact microphone, to step up your level in producing travel videos. This microphone is small enough to pack easily in a camera bag, self-powered (no batteries needed), easy to assemble, and sells for under USD100!

If you are planning to shoot video outdoors in low to medium wind conditions then it is also essential to invest in a dead cat windshield. This furry microphone sleeve cuts back wind from directly hitting the microphone, giving a much clearer audio recording.

Rachel Heller of www.rachelsruminations.com

Camera Cuff

I hate having anything heavy hanging around my neck. I also have a tendency to clumsiness, dropping cameras or clunking them on things as they dangle from my wrist. That’s why, when I decided to move from a compact to a proper camera – an Olympus E-M10III mirrorless, to be exact – I knew I had to find a way to protect it.

Credit@RachelHeller

My solution is a wrist strap with a cuff. It essentially attaches the camera to my hand, and even if I have to let it go – to hang onto a bannister, for example – the cuff holds it onto my wrist closely, so it doesn’t swing around. I’ve gotten used to the camera as an appendage, and so far it’s only taken a few minor knocks.

 

Another accessory I like is a lens cap leash so I don’t lose my lens cap. It’s a little piece of plastic on a string that sticks to my lens cap. The other end of the string is an elastic band that fits around the lens itself. When I want to take off the lens cap, I just let it loose and it hangs out of the way. Simple yet effective.

 

Nadine Maffre of www.lelongweekend.com

Manfrotto Compact Light Tripod

I purchased this tripod to go with my Sony A6000 travel camera. I wanted something that was going to be sturdy and capable, but also light and compact. The Manfrotto Compact Light Tripod fit the bill perfectly! Plus, it was really affordable without compromising on quality. The aluminium frame is durable, and it feels rock solid – even when extended to its full 130cm height.

The tripod adds less than a kilo to my luggage weight when I travel and it folds up really small. I’ve even attached it to the outside of my camera bag when using it as carry-on luggage! It’s also really easy to use with no extra attachments needed to connect it to your camera.

I love the effect you can create when you have a tripod to keep your camera stock-still – it’s really helped me improve my photography. It’s fun to experiment with long exposure shots and other effects that are hard to do hand-held!

 

Credit@NadineMaffre 

The Lonely Planet : Travel Photography Book

This is a great place to learn how to use your new kit, how to make the best of the conditions you have and how to use creative techniques to create beautiful, unique photos. This travel photography book is one of the best I have read. Whilst it assumes no knowledge and covers all the basics, it also teaches advanced techniques.

What I love most about it is that it splits the book into chapters about each type of photography relevant to travel. So for example, there may be a section on photographing festivals or wildlife which you can use for quick reference before your trip to polish your skills!

I personally have never taken any photography courses to date (though I am going on some later this month in Rotterdam) and am entirely self-taught to date – mostly via this book and a whole lot of practice!

 

 


Some great suggestions there from these travel bloggers! Which camera bag essentials could you not live without? Or are you on the lookout for some affordable travel photography essentials? If so, I hope you’ve found this article useful and as always I love to hear from you and appreciate any social media shares!

 

 

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