Taking good photos is about more than just the camera.

What accessories are you sure to take with you?

  • Please make questions that ask for a list of answers (i.e. polls or list-of-X questions) community wiki. While there not exactly the type of questions this system was designed for, at the very least the author should make them community wiki. I converted this question. Jul 17, 2010 at 15:48
  • I think the answers this question has accumulated basically prove that while there are some common-sense things that are often nice to have, there's nothing everyone must have.
    – mattdm
    Dec 23, 2013 at 10:50

15 Answers 15

  • Extra batteries
  • Extra memory cards
  • Tripod if appropriate
  • Flash and remote triggers if appropriate
  • Remote shutter release
  • Folded garbage bag, for quick cheap rain/water protection.
  • Microfiber towel for quick lens cleaning
  • Double check that I have those extra batteries and extra memory cards. Twice.

Good, comfortable footwear - many types of photography involve walking a fair bit, and you don't want your feet getting sore and being a distraction.

Similarly, suitable clothing in general - if there might be a great shot in the next field over, don't let fancy trousers stop you climbing a fence to have a look!

Oh and a friend - to warn in case that one last half-step to get the scene framed perfectly will result in a big splash. ;)


Thermos of tea. Because sometimes photography is about patience (and cold places) - it's hard to take good pictures when your hands are shaking.

Some coffee is good too!


Nikon 7072 Lens Pen Cleaning System — it's about $10.

It's the size of a fat pen, has a retractable brush on one side. The other side has a soft chamois-like material to remove fingerprints. Simple, portable, useful.

  • I've got one of these. Keeps my lens perfectly clean. No dust/fingerprints at all.
    – Matthew
    Dec 20, 2010 at 12:44

Depends of what you're shooting. For landscapes many people won't go out without a tripod. On the other hand tripod is quite useless for indoor reportage, in which you can perfectly use an external flash.

Batteries and memory card are handy for most applications, though.


Some sort of calibration thingy to include in at least one shot per "scene". There are a number of different makes & models from different makers -- I like the Lastolite collapsible XpoBalance and the XRite ColorChecker Passport -- but anything that will help you set a white balance at shooting time and set white, mid and black points in post will help immensely.

Oh, speaking of Lastolite (as one brand, again, among many good ones), it profiteth not to venture forth shooting people without a reflector. I usually carry a collapsible white/soft gold model with me, even for "just walkin' around".


Polarizers are very useful when shooting outdoors, especially because they can double as neutral-density filters.


All good suggestions ... I would like to repeat the 'extra memory cards' thought.

I had a situation where I brought a single high capacity memory card, but the card had some kind of error on it and I was stuck. Luckily my wife had a spare, lower capcity, card with her ... so I could take some pictures (but I couldn't take them in raw+jpg the way I wanted).

  • Extra batteries
  • Extra memory cards
  • gallon sized zip-lock bags

    • used to protect gear during inclement weather AND
    • preventing condensation on camera/lenses when going between air conditioning and humidity
  • tripod (but only if I have a specific reason, usually this is left behind)

  • small microfiber cloth
  1. Extra batteries
  2. Lens Cleaning cloth
  3. Extra memory cards
  4. Rain jacket
  5. Plastic bag to put your camera in if you need to use the rain jacket.
  • Polarizers
  • Extra memory cards
  • Extra batteries
  • Lens cleaning cloth
  • Tripod, if you expect to need it
  • Flash, if indoors
  • Spare lenses
  • Spare Battery
  • Extra memory
  • Something I'm comfortable cleaning a lens with.
  • Lens Pen or soft camel hair brush
  • Lightweight Tripod
    • Ball-type Tripod Head (for wide angle shots)
    • Gymbal-type Tripod Head (for telephoto shots)
  • Variety of ND Filters
  • Proper attire
  • Proper amount of gear (less may be better)
    • I've made the mistake of taking too much...you eventually feel like your hauling around a bag of bricks
  • Battery
  • Tripod
  • A good lightweight bag
  • Rain protector
  • Spare memory card
  • External Flash
  • Cleaning kit

I always have a polarizer with me but it is a tool not generally useful. I take photos at bodies of water (lakes, ocean) and of varnished wooden objects (read: boats). A polarizer makes the difference between large burnt-out white areas and nice visible structure for me.

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