5 things under €20,- that should be in your bag from the beginning
This post is also available in: German
Despite your camera, your lens(es), batteries and memory cards, there are a few things you might want to have in your bag from the very beginning of your photography carreer, whether you´re an amateur or aspiring professional. Some of them only cost a few Cents or Euros, but can make your life much more easy and photography more fun in the field.
Yes, honestly, a simple handkerchief. The cheapest way to get a proper white balance. If you never did that before: Simply put the Handkerchief on your lens. (Wrinkle free, as far as possible). Take a shot in automatic mode (turn your focus on manual, otherwise the camera might not want to fire). Make sure you point the camera from the position of your subject, to the position where you will take the photo later. So you can be sure you catch the main light. Then find the “Custom WB” in your cameras settings and choose the gray picture you just took. WB Settings to “manual“, done.
I know, it sounds weird. Handkerchief, ok, but shower cab? These small, ugly little things you get in most hotel rooms, noone ever puts on his head, are extremely lightweight and small, so you can put them away in your bag. But as soon as you got rainy conditions, but still want to get the shot, you will be very happy to have it in your bag, as it can perfectly protect your body (in case you don´t have a pro-body that is water resistant) Just give it a try, put it in your bag, and let me know in one year from now, if you really didn´t need it. Once would be enough, as a wet camera once would also be enough to cost a lot of money. I talked to the guys of Canon lately and they told me wet bodies are on top of the repair-list. Again, give it a try ;-)
“Of course” i can hear some of you say. But forgotten most of the time. Duct Tape can help in so many situations, not enough space here to tell all of them. But once you have it in your bag, you will be wondering how many ideas you got, just because you have it with you. My small flashes for example got a lot of marks, because i put them in the weirdest places with duct tape. Sometimes Duct Tape feels like a third hand on a shoot. And honestly – who didn´t want that at some point?
It doesn´t necessarily need to be a heavy, big tripod. But having the possibility to stabilize your camera for long exposures for example. They are available in different sizes for different camera weight. And it works perfectly (as long as you don´t use a too small one for your camera). It will carry your Camera on trees, on the floor, hanging from whatever at the weirdest places. Ok, here is where “under €20,-” is not guaranteed, you can get them from 10,- to 120,- and more, depending on the size.
NOTEPAD (AND PEN)
I don´t know how long it took me to understand that point. Bud i did understand it. So be good to yourself and trust me on this one. You will take you photography to higher levels and you will do it faster, if you take notes. A good photo sometimes consists of so many different things, shutter speed, aperture, what you were thinking, how the light was feeling, what time was it … Just take notes, read them while editing, reproduce what you liked, make it better, get better … It will pay off. And if it doesn´t, come back and speak out, as i made you carry that much weight for so long.
Of course, this list to does not raise claim to completeness, just some of my personal experiences during the last years, some pieces in my bag that i sometimes really appreciated. But i´m sure there are many different experiences and opinions on that one. So, what are the must haves in your camera bags?!