We live in an age where pictures speak volumes and just about anyone has the ability to become a full-fledged photographer; however, before you get there, you’re going to need a few things. You know you need a camera and, depending on whether you’re shooting digitally or on film, you’ll need to load your device with film or some sort of memory card. Beyond that, there are plenty of attachable gadgets that can come in handy to take your photography from average to amazing. Whether you’re looking to take the leap from amateur to professional or you’re simply beginning your journey in the creative craft of photography, this list of useful gadgets will aid you in the quality and efficiency of your work.
1. Canon 85mm f/1.8 Lens
The Canon 85mm f/1.8 Lens is a medium telephoto lens that is capable of taking some really sharp and interesting images. It is ideal for portrait-length photography, like studio headshots, but is also capable of producing exceptional images while on the floor at events like weddings or low-light settings like concerts with its fast f/1.8 aperature. Its 85mm focal length is great for getting tight shots without invading your subjects’ space. Additionally, the lens is only 2.8-inches long, allowing the photographer to remain discrete with a less bulky and more lightweight extension.
2. MagnumXG13 Grounder Tripod
Every photographer needs a tripod and the MagnumXG13 Grounder Tripod by Davis & Sanford is a well-built and affordable one at less than $200. It comes equipped with an FX13 head that includes a fluid system, allowing for smooth 90° tilts forward, 60° tilts up, and 360° pans. At full extension, the tripod reaches a maximum height of 6-feet and can be contracted to a minimum height of 8-inches. The sturdy three-legged support system is also capable of holding up to 8 lbs.
3. Eye-Fi Pro X2
The Eye-Fi Pro X2 is more than your average SD card. It is a card with built-in Wi-Fi that allows its user to automatically upload their captured images to their computer or mobile device and easily share photos on social networking platforms like Facebook. Essentially, it provides customers with “endless memory” by safely delivering images to your computer and then deleting them from the card, freeing up more space of the 8GB of physical storage on the card. There are cheaper versions of the Eye-Fi product, but the Pro X2 has the additional advantages of Wi-Fi based geotagging, permitting photographers to add a geotag with each uploaded photograph to keep record of each image’s location, and wireless uploads of RAW photos.
GorillaPod is a revolutionary camera accessory by JOBY. If a heavy duty tripod is out of your price range or just simply too bulky, the GorillaPod is the next best thing. Depending on your project, it could actually be the perfect little gadget that allows you to shoot your desired images that would otherwise be impossible to capture. This flexible tripod-like device has the ability to wrap its legs around anything from a smooth pole to a coarse tree branch while supporting your camera at the most extraordinary angles. There’s a GorillaPod for just about every camera from the Original, designed to hold compact cameras, to the impressive Focus which can hold up to 11 lbs of weight.
Price: $19.95 – $99.95
5. CowboyStudio 220 Watt Photo Studio Lighting Kit
As a photographer, lighting is everything, and it’s important to be able to control your light for the best results. Lugging around huge, expensive lights can be challenging and somewhat unnecessary if you’re just starting out. The CowboyStudio 220 Watt Photo Studio Lighting Kit is an affordable and effective lighting kit. This lighting pack includes two 110W strobe flash monolights, two removable 50W model lights, two 7-foot metal stands, a 16 x 24″ soft box, and a 33″ reflective umbrella. It’s an excellent choice for beginners to easily set up a home studio.
6. Hähnel Giga T Pro II
The Hähnel Giga T Pro II is a bit on the pricey side, as far as camera remote shutter releases go, but it is arguably the best on the market. The lightweight wireless remote can be used within a 100-meter range of distance as a shutter release control and for a number of programmable features including self-timer, interval timer, delay, long exposure setting, and exposure count. Exposures as long as 99 hours, 59 minutes, and 59 seconds can be programmed, which is an ambitious length of time considering your batteries’ life and the significant amount of storage space required to save onto your memory card.
7. The Photojojo Phone Lens Series
The Photojojo Phone Lens Series is the perfect attachment for photography novices who are still saving up for the perfect camera. These set of magnetic and easily detachable lenses snap onto most phones, tablets, and other such devices with cameras, giving its user the ability to take some incredible photographs. The series includes three lightweight lenses—Fisheye, Telephoto, and Wide Angle/Macro. Each of the sets, whether you choose to purchase them as a bundle or separately, comes with its own adhesive removable metal rings that stick to your phone, serving as the metallic base for each lens to magnetically attach to.
Price: $20.00 – $49.00
What’s your favorite photo gadget?
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Pinar Noorata is a contributing writer at My Modern Metropolis, a place where trendspotters and art enthusiasts come to connect over creative ideas. After graduating from Hunter College with a Bachelor’s degree in Film, Pinar worked in several creative fields ranging from film to publishing. Her immense appreciation for art and culture eventually led her to join the My Modern Met team in 2011. With over 3.2 million page views per month, My Modern Met is one of the leading art and culture destinations on the web.