Photography Equipment: Cameras, Lenses and More!
Whether you’re an amateur or seasoned photographer, you’ll need some standard photography equipment at any photo shoot you plan. While you probably know that a camera is essential, other photography tools, such as memory cards or additional lenses, may not immediately come to mind.
Photography Equipment Essentials
Obviously, some kind of camera is the first tool that a photographer will need. The following list details the various types of cameras a photographer can use:
- 35mm camera
- digital camera
- disposable camera
- SLR camera.
The accessories you need are dependent on the type of camera you have. While a manual camera requires film (with extra rolls), a digital camera demands a memory card (with extras for longer, more involved shoots). Regardless of the type of camera, photographers should always pack extra batteries.
Another key piece of equipment to have is a camera bag. Often overlooked as a photographic tool, camera bags not only carry your extra film/memory cards and batteries, but they also protect your camera in between shots.
Photography Equipment: Helpful,Yet Less Essential
Now that we have the essentials nailed down, we can move on to the tools that can spice up your everyday shots. One such piece of equipment is the tripod. By setting up your camera on a tripod (unless you’re using a disposable camera, of course!) you can steady your shot, eliminating any blurriness in the picture due to a shaky hand.
Along with the tripod, a photographer can use a cable release bulb. This mechanism allows a photographer to trigger the camera to take a picture from a distance. Often, the cable release bulb plugs into the camera at one end while the other end remains in the photographer’s hand. At the appropriate moment, the photographer presses the button in his hand, taking a picture. With the cable release bulb, the photographer can set up a shot, be in the shot himself or stand in places (other than behind the camera) to manipulate lighting or props. Most important, the cable release allows the photographer to take the picture without even the slightest tremor to blur the picture.
Specialized lenses can enhance a photographer’s shots. While some lenses are primarily used by professionals, the zoom lens is one type that amateurs can enjoy without much training. Zoom lenses, also known as telephoto lenses, are best used when a photographer can’t get close to his subject. For example, try taking a nature shot of an insect or an action shot at a sporting event. A telephoto lens improves the quality of these types of photos.
Professional Photography Equipment
Although much of the equipment described below is best suited for professional photographers, amateurs, of course, can dabble with these tools as well. Generally, this equipment is left to the pros because each piece requires that the photographer know how to use it just right so that his shots turn out.
Similarly, these pieces of photographic equipment tend to be expensive. Consequently, a photographer should invest in them only if he’s committed to learning how to use them or if he already understands how they’re used.
In addition to the telephoto lens, pros may consider using a macro lens, a fisheye lens or a wide-angle lens. While the macro lens enlarges small subjects in photos (such as the eyes of a fly), both the fisheye and the wide-angle lenses capture subjects that have a broad scope, such as overviews of cities or landscape shots.
Filters alter the way in which light enters the camera’s lens. A filter either slightly changes the details or shades of a frame or it creates an image on the film that isn’t visible to the naked eye.
Pros may need a special flash attachment, as the more advanced cameras they use may not come with a built-in flash. Also, photographers can use different types of films: not only will they change between color and black and white, but they may also use films of different speeds. While slower film speeds are best used in poorly lit scenes with only ambient lighting, faster speeds are more suited for action shots, such as cars speeding by.
Photography equipment can expand from here whether or not you have a darkroom. If you’re stocking a darkroom you’ll need a dry area with storage bins, an enlarger and a dry tabletop to dry your photos. Also, you’ll need running water and a series of chemical baths for the wet area.
The best advice for both amateurs and professional photographers alike is to practice with both new and old equipment. Experimenting with photographic tools will not only help you refine your skills, but it may also help you create interesting shots!