There are many elements involved in taking a good photo, and often you need to go the extra mile and use certain accessories to really make your shots stand out. I have put together a list of tools you should add to your photography gear, which will assist you in manipulating light and composing a good shot.

Tripods and monopods

A tripod can be a lifesaver for photographers with shaky hands. It is even more important if you plan to take photos with slow shutter speeds, and it helps in long-exposure and low-light photography.

A monopod gives you much more flexibility to take photos from any angle while keeping the camera stable, and it is also lighter and more compact.

Reflectors

You can get these in white, silver, gold and golden silver to elevate your photos by softening shadows or highlighting certain objects. Reflectors are a must-have if you want to take professional looking shots, as these bounce and redirect light onto the subject of your photo.

Neutral Density filters

You can mount an ND filter onto your lens so that there is a reduced amount of light entering in. This artificially darkens the scenery when it is sunny outside, and you can really show your creativity by shooting landscapes with this effect.

Polarizing filters

These filters are also mounted on the lens to limit incoming light, but the difference is that polarizing filters can reduce glares or glints coming from a specific source. They come in handy for nature photography when reflections or sunlight are ruining your photo.

External flash

If you want to take good photos, I’d advise never to use the built-in flash your camera has. Almost all great shots are taken when the light is coming from a different direction instead of from the camera.

Mount an external flash onto your camera and tilt or swivel it to allow light to bounce back onto your subject from elsewhere. You’ll immediately notice the difference.

Flash Diffusers

To avoid getting unwanted shadows in your photo, use this transparent cap to cover your flash. This prevents harsh light from directly affecting your subject and makes shadows softer.

30mm, 50mm and specialized lenses

When you are starting out as a photographer, the two lenses you should definitely add to your arsenal are the 50mm and the 30mm. The 50mm isn’t very pricey and while the 30mm is more expensive, it is suitable if you have an entry-level, cropped sensor camera.

As you upgrade your photography gear, you can move onto specialized lenses for wildlife, portraits, landscapes, live events etc.

Conclusion

As you may have noticed, many of the accessories I have recommended above relate to light manipulation, which reflects how important it can be to have good lighting if you want a fantastic shot. Equipped with the right tools and techniques, all you need to do next is be on the lookout for a subject you can transform into an outstanding picture!