Landscape photography can be a rewarding hobby if you have the right equipment and accessories. This post will go in-depth about landscape photography gear, including what to bring with you when you’re out on location. We’ll discuss camera accessories, lens choices, filters, tripods, and more!"I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Full disclosure here."
It’s always best practice to bring along a tripod. It’s one of the most important pieces of landscape photography gear. You never know when you might have the opportunity for that perfect shot, and having your camera mounted on a tripod ensures you won’t miss it!
Make sure to get yourself a good one that’s durable with options for height adjustments as well as flexible in terms of positioning. A ball head is generally recommended since it allows you more flexibility when shooting landscapes. I currently use the Peak Design Travel Tripod. It’s a little expensive, but it’s pretty lightweight and packs up really well.
Lens filters such as GND and neutral density filters help improve the colors of your image. And can help create some pretty unique shots. Of course, they’ll help with sunrise and sunset images, but also they can create long exposure shots. That always seems to draw some “oohs and ahhhs” from your audience. Check out this article going a little more in detail on lens filters.
Using a remote or trigger is also important when landscape shooting and can help you avoid camera shake caused by physically touching the shutter button on your camera. You’ll be surprised by how much the camera can move during a long exposure shot while you’re pressing that button. Remote triggers help to avoid this.
You can also rely on your camera’s timer feature. But for some cameras, those settings are fixed and there’s not much time limit flexibility. Remote triggers give you that flexibility and allow you to choose your appropriate shutter time. These go hand in hand with lens filters. Depending on the thickness and type of lens filters you’re using, the timing needed for the proper exposure can vary. You can try holding the remote shutter trigger for 15 seconds, 23 seconds, or 47 seconds, whatever you find to work best for that scene.
Backpack or carry bag
Besides keeping all your landscape gear together and organized. A bag gives your gear protection in bad weather. I have a simple shoulder camera bag that carries one full DSLR with a lens attached as well as a secondary lens. I can also fit in a flash if I really wanted to along with some cleaning accessories, an extra battery, and more.
Peak Design makes an awesome backpack if you wanted something with a little more space. Or to easily carry two camera bodies. Or possibly a drone. Whatever your shooting style may be.
Already pretty obvious. A landscape photographer needs a solid camera body. A full frame option is optimal, but if you’re just starting out with landscape photography it’s not necessary to invest in one of those quite yet. Full frame cameras do however have a few trade-offs and generally bring in much more light than a crop sensor camera. But again, they are much more expensive. I shot with a crop sensor/entry-level camera for 7 years before I upgraded to a full-frame camera. I learned a lot about photography and took many great pictures!
Another feature to keep in mind is a camera’s water or weather resistance. Some camera’s like Fujifilm’s XT4 offer great weather protection, but to get the best protection, be sure to pick up their specific lens that offers weather protection as well. Look for the ‘WR’ feature on the lens like this Fujifilm XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR or the Fujifilm XF23mmF2 R WR. They have a bunch of them at various focal lengths. If your camera doesn’t offer any weather protection features, look for a cover in case you get caught out in the rain.
Bring an extra lens for different shots
Having at least one extra lens can help improve your images. Giving you a different way of looking at things. Having one lens for extreme wide-angle landscape shots, a telephoto lens that can capture distant mountains or wildlife, and even lenses with different focal lengths such as prime lenses.
I typically carry 2 lenses with me on my landscape adventures. One wide lens (Nikon 24mm f/1.8) and one smaller general-purpose lens (Nikon 50mm f/1.8). These are prime lenses because I prefer shooting with primes but they don’t have to be.
Bring a hat for blocking the sun
Even though this isn’t quite camera gear it still deserves a place on this landscape photography gear list. I depend on hats so often that they’ve even become a part of my logo. I use a classic ballpark cap, worn forwards when traveling to locations to block the sun. Then when it’s time to shoot I’ll turn it backwards so the brim doesn’t get in my way shooting. But there are also plenty of other styles of hats that may work better for you. Like these bucket hats, that have flexible brims. Much easier to stay out of your way while shooting. The choice is yours.
If you’re shooting long exposure work out in the cold you’re gonna want a pair of gloves to help keep your hands warm. I like fingerless gloves to make it a little easier to feel the buttons on the camera or remote shutter. Without gloves, the shoot might be a little miserable. I took this shot in NYC a few years ago in February without gloves. Although I got the shot I wanted, I ended up packing up early and not taking many more photographs that night because my hands were freezing.
Extra batteries/SD Cards
Depending on how long you’re planning on being out, carrying an extra battery is highly recommended. Especially if you’re shooting with a digital camera. They generally go through batteries pretty quickly.
Extra SD cards never hurt as well. I typically don’t take enough landscape pictures in one sitting to actually fill up my SD cards but if one fails or I forget to format the cards for space before the trip, extra cards will help.
I know this seems like a no-brainer, but depending on how long you’re looking to be out taking pictures, this one can really come in handy. Especially if you’re shooting during warmer months, take some extra water and food to keep your energy up while on location.
Bonus pro-tip: I like to keep a stash of 5hr energies for when I go sunrise shooting. There’s no prep or waiting for it to cool down like coffee, so I can grab one on the go and focus on getting to the location.
Lens cleaner and cloths
Make sure you pack along a lens cleaning kit. You don’t want to be caught with dirty or smudged lenses! A clean landscape photograph is always more appealing than one that’s got dust specs on the lens, especially if it’s of your favorite landscape location. Simple lens wipes can do the trick in most cases. I make sure to always keep one of these on me or in my camera bag.
I hope you found this article informative and got a few ideas for what to bring as your landscape photography gear. Now it’s time to grab that gear, get out there, and start shooting!