It is often the little things that bring us surprisingly much relief. So today we make your life a little easier with these little and cheap things that you should put in your camera bag.
I am a self-confessed follower of the philosophy of life “Simple is simply simpler”. So if there’s something that’s almost too simple, but can have a big effect, then I’m definitely there.
Because it’s just easier.
That’s why this isn’t a classic equipment must-have list, but just a few everyday things that can often serve you well in your camera bag. Lost it goes.
1 A handkerchief for the camera bag
Yes, indeed, a conventional handkerchief. (If it’s not in the camera pocket, then maybe in your pocket) The cheapest way to get a correct white balance for your photos.
If you’ve never done this before – clamp handkerchief as smoothly as possible over the lens, trigger it once in automatic mode. (Attention, Focus on Manual, otherwise the camera tries to sharpen and probably does not trigger). You should aim from your subject in the direction of the camera position from which you will shoot to capture the main light that falls on your subject.
In the settings of the camera, find the menu item manual white balance (usually “Custom WB”) and select the gray photo just taken. In the WB settings select “manual”. Finished.
2 A shower hood (yes, real)
I know it is becoming more and more absurd. Handkerchief ok, but shower hood? These little cheap shower hoods found in hotels that probably never put on anyone because they are so pitifully ugly, weigh nothing, can easily be hidden somewhere in your pocket and allow quick, simple and effective protection for the camera body in light rain.
Just try it out, pack such a thing and tell me in a year if it didn’t make sense at least once. The nice thing about it is that once there is not enough when it comes to water protection for the body.
I used to talk to the guys from Canon – number 1 among the repair orders for Bodies is tadaaa water damage. And if it didn’t make sense all year round, the hood certainly didn’t bother.
So, shower hood in the camera bag and ready. Where I come from they say, “Don’t hurt anything, it doesn’t damage you” 😉
To shower hood
3 Tape / Duct Tape
Sounds natural, but is very much forgotten. Duct Tape can help in so many situations if you have it in your camera pocket. You will wonder what services it will serve you and what ideas you come up with just because it is not at home, but is in your photo bag.
My system flashes have mighty traces of Duct Tape, because I’ve glued them so many times to the strangest places.
Sometimes the duct tape is like a third hand. And who hasn’t wanted them when taking pictures?
To Duct Tape
4 White plastic bag
Or “plastic sackerl” as we say. Before they end up in the garbage and in the sea, the white little plastic bags prefer to grab and take them with them as lightning diffusers in the photo bag. Simply clean the button, inflate it and hold it in front of the flash, and the light from the small “emergency light” in the camera is much softer and more beautiful.
Sure, no substitute for a real softbox and unleashed flashing, but definitely much better than without.
To White plastic bag
5 A water bottle
For one thing, it’s healthy enough to drink.
And with the camera in your hand, you forget it far too often. Why it is best to include a water bottle in the camera bag.
But a water bottle has another advantage – you can create mirrors yourself with a little water, where there were none before and thus quickly make a picture much more interesting. In particular night lights on the asphalt mirrored in water … Very nice, very simple, very effective.
To water bottle
It doesn’t always have to be a big, chunky, heavy tripod. But the possibility to stabilize the camera for a long-term exposure should always be with you.
The invention of the gorillapods is truly a blessing. Available in different sizes for different cameras, hold bombproof (provided you don’t take too small) and carry your camera on tree branches, railing handrails, standing on the table or floor, hanging,… in the most impossible places. Admittedly, the announcement “below €20,-” depends of course on the size.
7 Notepad (and pen)
I don’t know how long it took me to understand this little thing. But I understood and you should like to believe me now – you will speed up your progress in photography enormously if you join in.
A good photo sometimes consists of so many little things, starting from exposure time and aperture, about light angle, time, what went through your head,… Take notes while taking pictures, review them while editing, reproduce and refine what you liked. It’s worth it!
If not, come back and give me in the comments because I’ve let you carry so much unnecessary weight. 😉
You might think that goes without saying. We are photographers, we work with light, of course we should have a flashlight with us, right? In most photo bags it is still missing.
I even have a flashlight and a headlamp with me. It doesn’t need much more space, but especially if you’re looking for something in your pocket at night and want to have your hands free – priceless.
BY the way, LED Lenser makes huge flashlights. A small sun in your pocket. It’s also worthwhile in starry nights if you want to illuminate something in the foreground.
9 Silica Gel
These small bags with silica bags keep coming with them in shipping packages. I never throw them away, but collect them in the studio and then distribute them in the photo bags every now and then.
If you don’t know these bags – the purpose is simply to soak up the humidity and thus have a dryer air in your pocket. Sure, if it’s wet, that doesn’t help. But for slightly increased humidity and residual moisture in the camera bag, they are not bad at all.
You can also order them online for a small amount of money, but the collection method is more fun 😉
To Silica Gel
+1 photo bag or camera backpack recommendations
And with that, i.e. probably the most difficult topic – which camera bag should be. Or is a camera backpack possibly better? Always these decisions.
I may be the wrong person for it, because I love bags. What women have to be shoes are probably for me camera bags and photo backpacks. I have to constantly master not buying too many photo bags and camera backpacks. But would like to.
So here are just a few of the bags and backpacks I have or have had in use:
Compagnon Backpack – my current favorite. Sitting with me on the motorcycle, has even flown around the world with us once and has not suffered any damage. This speaks to the robustness. In addition, it is well thought out, very practical and , not unimportantly – beautiful.
The guys at Compagnon now have a few new backpacks that are also suitable for outdoor use and hiking, with carrying system from Deuter etc.
Lowepro Vertex 200 AW – the (even) hand luggage-ready professional. In general, the Lowepro backpacks and bags are very high-quality processed, live forever and look like the first one until the last day. Quality at its finest, always well thought out. That’s why I have a Trolly from Lowepro:
Lowepro Rolling Case Pro Roller x300 AW – If you need to do more with a bigger shoot, he’s never let me down. 2 Bodies, 5 lenses and all that other stuff? No problem.
ThinkTank Streetwalker HardDrive V 2.0 – the alternative to Lowepro. Also very high-quality processed and at the same time slightly cheaper (approx. 250,- Euro). I can’t say clearly which brand I’m going to have here. Both have slightly different approaches to the way they store things, both are great. Pure matter of taste which is more in your interest. Unfortunately, I love both of them. Always difficult 🙂
F-stop gear – SUKHA – F-Stop Gear makes great backpacks for outdoor lovers, campers, hikers. Unbreakable, not only in black but many colors, very well thought out and weatherproof.
Of course, this list does not claim to be exhaustive, these are only my experiences, the things that have proved to be helpful to me personally. But I’m sure there are a lot of different experiences and little things in your pockets.