While you can take great landscape photos with nothing but your camera, the right gear makes it easier and gives you more options.
Landscape photography so I've put a lot of thought into gear. Everything on this list is something I 've personally used.
A good tripod: Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Aluminum Tripod Kit ($ 110)
] The most essential bit of landscape photography gear you can buy is a solid tripod; It shuts down a range of possibilities and allows you to use shutter speeds — both key things for landscape photos. They also make it easier to take photos in the low light of dawn and dusk.
We have a full round of the best tripods, but the best one for most people is the Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB. I bought one for around $ 200 but it's now down to $ 110 — that is a ridiculous steal.
The Alta Pro folds up small enough to carry (25.75) while extending to a maximum height of 65. At 4.4lbs, it's not super light — it's made from aluminum — but it's not too heavy either. It can support 15.4lbs so much more than enough for any reasonable DSLR setup. The multi-angle center column and the adjustable legs mean you can get up to get whatever shot you want
For your $ 110, you also get a decent ball tripod head. It's never let me down.
A Decent Bag: f-stop Guru Bundle ($ 27)
Landscape photography tends to involve a fair bit of hiking and climbing . Nothing more than 10 miles from a carpark is over photographed. To lug in your camera, you need a decent bag. It has to be comfortable, able to carry all your stuff, and keep it protected.
For this sort of adventuring, my go-to bag is the f-stop Ajna. It's been discontinued (and is too big for most people) but, if I was to replace it, I'd grab this f-stop Guru bundle ($ 270).
The Guru is a 25L hiking pack with proper hip straps so your camera's weight will not be on your shoulders. It's big enough to carry all your camera gear, plus a jacket, some food, and a bottle of water. The Gatekeeper straps let you mount your camera to the outside of the bag. The internal camera unit keeps your camera stable and surrounded by foam.
A Neutral Density Filter: Hoya ProND 1000 ( $ 75-95)
To get the shots of silky smooth water, like the one above, at any other time than twilight, you need a way to slow down your shutter speed. The solution is a neutral density filter: basically, a dark piece of glass that sits in front of your lens and cuts the light levels reaching your camera. ND filters are normally rated in stops. A three stop filter stops three stops of light, a six-stop filter stops six, and so on. The darkest filters are commonly available at stop filters. If you're starting out, I'd recommend getting one of the most dramatic effects on the photos you can take.
While an ND filter from any reputable brand will work, I'm a of either Hoya filters. They screw on the end of your lens so you don't need a complicated filter holder and they strike a good balance between price and quality. Different lenses require different filter sizes so check your lens before buying. All are available in every common size like 72mm, 77mm, and 82mm
A Circular Polarizing Filter: Hoya HRT Circular Polarizer ($ 40)
Like neutral density filters, polarizing filters let you capture a child of image you couldn't otherwise. Instead of blocking out all light, polarizing filters just block out polarized light: they block glare and reflections from shiny surfaces appearing in your images. You can see the effect in the image above.
And again, as with ND filters, I am a fan or Hoya filters. They have a polarizer available in whatever size you need like 72mm, 77mm, and 82mm
A Remote Shutter Release: TW-283 Wireless Shutter Pixel ($ 32)
A wireless remote shutter release, while not essential, is a very handy bit or kit for a few reasons:
- You can set your camera up, then back and shoot photos.
- You can take time-lapses.
- You can take photos without shaking your camera at all. lots of shutter releases out there but I like this fairly generic wireless model from Pixel. At $ 32, it's pretty cheap for camera gear. It works well and has never given me any hassle. There are models for both Canon, Nikon and most other brands so make sure you get the right one.
A Camera Cover: Peak Design Shell Medium ($ 45)
If you are shooting in the wild game, it's a good idea to protect your camera. Most of us can be a few splashes but in torrential rain a camera cover goes along way.
We're big fans of Peak Design's products here at Review Geek so it's no surprise their Shell camera cover is our top pick. The form fitting design stays on while you shoot without getting in the way. For most setups, the medium shell ($ 45) is the one to go with.
Taking landscape photos is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to spend a day. Most of the time, everything above is my complete kit list — plus my camera.