Top Camera Accessories For Outdoor Photography

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They say the bigger the camera, the more places you can get into without question. When it comes to outdoor adventure photography the locations are limitless and the accessories that can help turn a normal image into a stunning piece of art might surprise you.

Speaking of camera accessories for outdoor photography, there are a lot of body styles, lens preferences, or even flash options. Since most photographers are already familiar with those, let's take a look into some accessories to elevate your outdoor adventure photography and make the experience even more fun.

Be sure to drop a comment below with your favorite camera accessory for outdoor adventure photography!

camera accessories for outdoor photography
Photo by Marin Tulard

Light Painting Accessories

When it comes to outdoor adventure photography there is one accessory that shouldn't be left behind, especially if any photos are going to be taken after dark. While a flash might be the first thing that comes to mind, there are a few tools that can add a whole new layer to an image.

Taking advantage of long exposure settings on your camera, light painting can be a new technique to try out. Some of the accessories that are helpful range from a simple flashlight all the way to color-changing LED light bars. Since odds are you are somewhere off-grid, be sure to pick options that have great battery life.

In certain locations, another unique accessory involves steel wool and a whisk. If you have ever seen those long exposure images where there appear to be orange lines extending from a subject, odds are they are using burning steel wool to achieve this effect.

  • Start with 0000-grade steel wool.
  • Fluff it up and stick it inside a fully metal whisk.
  • Attach the handle to a rope and get ready to spin.
  • Light the steel wool so that it begins to burn and spin the whisk by the rope.
  • Capture your beautiful long exposure while the wool is burning.

Important: This technique should only be used in locations that are not prone to fires since sparks will be flying around.

light painting accessories
Photo by Andrea Riezzo

Dreamy Filters To Improve Your Outdoor Photography

Another useful accessory to carry with you on an adventure shoot is a lens filter. Filters are especially useful if water is involved in the location. When it comes to waterfalls, in order to capture those dynamic long exposure images during the daytime, a neutral density (ND) filter is a must. ND filters allow light to be filtered out allowing for daytime long exposure images without overexposing.

Now have you ever wanted to photograph something under the water without getting wet? A lot of times when trying to photograph down into the water there is a glare on the water. To remove that glare a polarizing filter can be used. By rotating the filter, the glare will be removed.

lens filter for outdoor photography
Photo by Chris Lynch

Aerial Vantages

A list of outdoor adventure photography gear wouldn't be complete without talking about drones. In recent years, drones have become a common tool used in photography. With all the advancements in camera and drone technology, it is now possible to bring a small drone with you on an adventure.

Some of the most useful drones are folding drones since they take up less space and can be deployed from anywhere. One thing to keep in mind with drones is if they are legal to fly where you are. Places like national parks, state parks, or private locations may restrict drone use, so be sure to double-check before sending a flying camera into the sky.

drone photography
Photo by Dose Media

Don't Forget About Relaxing!

Now no adventure-filled day would be complete without talking about taking a break and relaxing along the way. Some useful accessories to bring with you for an enjoyable day include things like:

  • plenty of water
  • snacks
  • extra battery packs
  • hammock

If your adventure photography is going to be taking you out on a hiking trail or walk, extra water is a must, or having a portable water filter is handy as well. Modern technology, unfortunately, takes power, so don't be stuck without your gear due to lack of power, grab a solar-powered battery pack to take with you. And of course, everyone loves a good relaxation session in a hammock, they are lightweight and easy to bring along for a comfy place to take a break and enjoy the location that is being explored.

hammock outdoor photography accessories
Photo by Zach Betten

Packing It All In

We've talked about some of the accessories that are useful when taking adventure photography, but one of the most important is where do you keep it in between shots. A lot of times, a camera bag can be overlooked as not as important, but in reality, it can make or break the day. Having a bag that is large enough for all your gear, plus snacks, water, and comfort items is important. The other thing to remember is how comfortable the bag is to wear. Most adventure photography photoshoots happen away from drivable access, so carrying in gear is a way of life.

Another tip to keep in mind is, is there quick access to your camera? Sling-style camera backpacks offer the option to rotate the bag around and access cameras through a side zipper opening allowing for quick and easy access at a moment's notice.

If a traditional backpack-style bag is preferred, consider a quick access mount. Typically, they come with a mounding piece that can be attached to backpack straps or belts and allow a camera to be secure but within easy reach. Another option would be a side sling camera strap allowing for hands-free hiking and maneuvering while still having your camera ready at a moment's notice.

Photo by Skye Studios

Each photographer is going to have their list of must-have camera accessories for outdoor adventure photography, but these are just a few of the most common options. Don't be afraid to try out different brands or options to find what works best for you. Photography is about more than just the gear; it is about an experience. Equipping yourself with some of these accessories can enhance the experience for you.

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