Essential Accessories for Landscape Photography

Have you ever hiked hours into the bush only to discover that you’ve left your tripod clip on your other camera? I confess I’ve done this and much worse. Many a choice swear word has been heard echoing in the valleys by all manner of wildlife. It’s a good thing there are no parrots where I go hiking.

Inside a Landscape Photograhers Camera Bag

Proper planning prevents disappointment

I’ll admit I’m not the tidiest person, but when it comes to my camera bags, I now pack them with a microscopic fastidiousness that you’d expect from the likes of Hannibal Lector.

I’ve learned the hard way that packing everything I need for a particular shooting environment will almost guarantee success – weather permitting of course.

What to pack for fun landscape photography

Let me share with you the essential gear that I usually pack into my camera bag. I think you’ll find it contains a few essential accessories you may not have considered before. I actually use three different bags for different occasions. I’ll use my largest bag for short hikes where I expect to be spending a lot of time shooting. I also use that large bag when I’m traveling internationally because I need to have ALL my stuff.

The big bag – Lowepro Pro Trekker 450 AW

Essential Landscape Photography Accessories

  1. Lens wipes
  2. Filters such as polarizers and neutral density filters
  3. Extra lens – in this case it’s the Samyang 14mm for shooting the stars
  4. Second camera – mine is the Sony A6000
  5. Third camera – this is the Gopro Hero 4 Black for quick and easy 4K video shooting
  6. Rain sleeve, or as I prefer to call them ‘camera condoms’
  7. Main camera – Sony A7R with a Canon 16-35mm lens
  8. Insect repellant – if I donate blood, it won’t be to those sodding mosquitoes
  9. Weather proof memory card holder
  10. Blower for lenses and sensors – this is essential if you switch lenses often
  11. Batteries for camera – as a Sony shooter I need three batteries to every Canon shooter’s one. I actually pack six
  12. Hand warmers – these handy little heat packs are a life saver. Just click the metal plate inside to trigger the chemical reaction and you have instant heat in your hand. They’ll probably be proven toxic eventually but until then I’ll remain in blissfully warm ignorance.
  13. Extra lens – in this case it’s the legendary Sigma 85mm 1.4 for those lovely bokeh shots
  14. Sensor cleaning kit for full frame and APS-C sensors. Absolutely essential
  15. (Image below) Battery grip for extended battery life. Most of the time I leave this off the camera. I use it for long duration time-lapse shooting
  16. Lens pen – for quick and easy removal of dust and water spots
  17. Headlamp (two) – avoid falling off cliffs or stepping in dung heaps during the night
  18. Battery chargers – I pack two chargers that I can plug into a wall socket or car
  19. Business cards – always be ready to promote your brand. You never know who you’ll bump into
  20. Battery pack – this device will charge/power my phone and battery chargers
  21. Spare tripod clips
  22. Extra storage for memory cards
  23. Tools – Allen wrenches for tripod maintenance
  24. Ear plugs are a life saver when you travel

Landscape Photography Essential Equipment

Not pictured

  • Laptop
  • Phone charger
  • Batteries for headlamps
  • Water bottle on the side of the bag

The medium sized bag – Case Logic

Medium Sized Camera Bag for Landscapes

My medium sized Case Logic shown next to the Full sized Lowepro bag. This is just my own approximation of the scale comparison.

If I’m planning on a large hike, I’ll actually use a medium sized bag that I strip down to the bare essentials. There’s no point dragging your entire kit list on a grueling 10 hour hike. In those cases you’ve really got to stop and think about exactly what you’re likely to need. Water is usually the most important. This bag is used for longer hikes and has a stripped down version of the big bag. I use a Case Logic bag which is about half the size of the giant camera bag show above. My medium sized bag weighs next to nothing empty and can fit most of the essentials needed for landscape photography.

  • Headlamps
  • Water
  • Camera batteries
  • Memory cards
  • Main camera with lens
  • Spare lens
  • Lens wipes
  • Blower
  • Lens pen
  • Rain sleeve
  • Filters
  • Insect repellant
  • Business cards
  • Ear plugs

The small bag – Roots Safari

Small Camera Bag

When you can get away with only the minimum of gear, this bag will save your back and shoulders. This is my standard night photography bag. To be honest it’s nothing special, not even waterfproof but I never take it out in the rain anyway.

  • Headlamps (two)
  • Camera batteries
  • Memory cards
  • Main camera with lens
  • Lens wipes
  • Blower

Safety first

Many years ago I hiked nine kilometres around Uluru (Ayers Rock) in scorching heat with only one little bottle of water. Not the smartest thing to do, but having learned that hard lesson, it’s absolutely vital that you plan according to your environment. Desert photography requires a different kit list to arctic photography. It’s not just about what you pack into your camera bag but also the smaller things that you carry in your pockets. Water, food, gloves, phones and ideally a SAT phone are all things that need to be considered if you plan on staying alive and getting amazing photographs when you’re out in the wilderness.

Whether it’s flash kits, ropes or umbrellas, I’d love to know what other essential accessories you’d bring on a landscape photography shoot.

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