Best Photography Accessories to Actually Improve Your Photos

Oct 14, 2021

Great shots are a result of learning, practice and getting out there. Our top 10 photography accessories will speed up your progress.

Top 10 Photography Accessories to Actually Improve Your Photos

This is a list of the best photography accessories you can get your hands on. However, not all items on this list are actually accessories. We believe that they're essential tools for improving your technique and the quality of your shots. Consider downloading our complete list before you go shopping! 

  1. 50mm lens
  2. Subscription to Adobe Lightroom
  3. External Hard Drive for Storing Digital Photography
  4. Tripod
  5. Flash
  6. Light Stand, White Umbrella & Remote Trigger
  7. Landscape Filters
  8. Macro Lens or Extension Tubes
  9. Five-in-One Reflector
  10. Education

#1 50mm Lens

The humble 50mm (or “standard lens”) is a great tool for learning and advancing your composition skills. This little “fixed” lens will help you discover if you’ve been a “lazy zoomer” which is why it’s such a great tool. Fixed focal lengths push you to explore the possibilities with your composition, rather than teaching you to zoom your way to a better crop. You’ll find yourself moving around more and making the effort to clean up your compositions. It’s also our go-to lens for low-light photography. In our opinion the 50mm is a must have!

#2 Subscription to Adobe Lightroom

The sooner you can get started with Adobe Lightroom – the faster your photography learning will take off. Importing, organizing and applying creative edits to your images is an essential part of advancing your skills and Lightroom is the software you want to learn. Once you discover the many different creative editing possibilities you’ll be amazed! Dodging and burning alone will change your life! Did I mention that we have an online course for that?

#3 External Hard Drive for Digital Photography

We’ve seen countless photographers suffer from digital storage and organization problems over the years. The most common cause is that they are storing their images directly on their computer’s internal drive. This makes a mess out of the computer, by gobbling up precious storage space and slows the computer’s performance to a crawl. Dedicate an external hard drive as your one-and-only storage location for your digital photos. Don’t put anything else on that drive and simply make a copy in order to backup your precious photography archive.

#4 Tripod

Without a tripod, it’s not even possible to use two thirds of the shutter speeds your camera is capable of? There is an amazing world of creativity to explore with slower shutter speeds, but without a sturdy tripod there’s just no way to create these kinds of effects. Once you crack the lid on blue hour cityscape photography, HDR shooting and astrophotography – you’ll wonder how you ever lived without this essential piece of equipment.

#5 Flash

Once you learn how to work with flash, you'll be entering a new world of creativity, where you'll have much more control over the lighting effects in your images. Start small with a simple on-camera flash! Life will never be the same. Light is what photography is all about, and if you can embrace your flash you’ll also be learning all kinds of things about light that you never expected to learn along the way.

#6 Light Stand, White Umbrella & Remote Trigger

Now that you’ve got a flash, it’s time to up your portrait game. By separating the angle of your light from your shooting position, you’ll start to see the amazing relationship between the direction of light and the shadows on your subject. The umbrella will help you soften that light at the same time, giving your photos a studio lighting look with minimal fuss or expense.

#7 Landscape Filters

With a small selection of filters for landscape photography you can really start taking things to the next level. In combination with the tripod, you can start implying movement in your scene with super long exposure times. Over-exposed clouds and under-exposed foregrounds leave many beginners disappointed with their landscape shots. With just a few key filters in your backpack, you can gain control of the contrast in your scene and massage so much more out of the final image.

#8 Macro Lens or Extension Tubes

Macro photography is an eye-opening experience and reveals an entire world of subjects right under your nose. What better way to get creative when the weather isn’t cooperating. Throw the macro lens (or a more thrifty set of extension tubes) in your backpack for the next landscape or wildlife outing and see if you can’t discover a whole new perspective on nature. 

#9 Five-in-One Reflector

One of the simplest tools you can use to manage light and contrast is a foldable pop-out reflector. All it takes is an extra set of hands and you can easily manipulate the natural light to be more gentle or more flattering to your subject. A five-in-one model can also be used as a diffuser when the outer reflective surface is removed. It's intuitive, inexpensive and very effective.

#10 Education!

Of course we're biased on this one – but the fact is that photography lessons can open the door to many different genres, stimulate your curiosity and accelerate your progress. Viewfinder Mastery offers a variety of courses to help you advance your skills and achieve next level results while having a lot of fun with our welcoming community in the process. 

Download our Top 10 Photography Accessories list and other helpful free resources and start mastering the craft of photography today!


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