Hopefully, this blog title is self explanatory! These are five of my favourite photography accessories and gadgets at the moment.
Unfortunately, the JerkStopper is not some handy device to stop cat calling. I bought the JerkStopper a couple of months ago, as I was shooting tethered to a laptop. It is so easy to knock out connections from your camera when shooting. I’m a big fan of Tether Tools, they have a great range of accessories for photographers to make life easier on a shoot. And their cables are BRIGHT ORANGE. Most cameras and accessories tend to be a shade of black or dark grey, so having bright orange accessories makes life a lot easier when you’re trying to find a specific cable. The JerkStopper is a very small accessory but can make life a lot easier when you’re on a busy shoot. You simply attach it to the metal ring that your camera strap goes through, and then trap the cord inside the JerkStopper. You can buy them from B&H, The Flash Centre, and Amazon in the UK.
Timer Remote Shutter Release
I’ve recently had a growing interest in star photography. Obviously, because you’re shooting the dark night sky, you need to keep the camera shutter open for longer periods of time. But you also need to keep the camera still so as not to blur the image. This is where a remote shutter release becomes really useful. You can program it to open the camera’s shutter for a specific amount of time, so you don’t have to press the shutter button on the camera, and therefore you minimise blur. You can also program it to use for time lapse photography, and any application that needs a timed or interval exposure. I bought mine from Amazon.
Last year my dad gave me a bunch of his old analogue camera equipment. Amongst the lot there was a few filters, including a couple of star filters. I’d never used a star filter before, but the purpose of the filter is to turn sources of light in the frame (such as a streetlight or lamp) into star shaped light (see a handy example above). I actually found a four point star filter (it looks like a grid etched into the filter) and an eight point star filter (it looks like lots of triangles etched into the filter). I took the four point star filter with me to a test shoot a couple of months ago to see what it would look like if I shot portraits with it. The filter produced a beautiful, soft light, and softens the edges of the image, giving the portraits an ethereal look to them. Lee do a great star filter set.
My silver beauty dish had been sitting in my office for a while, waiting for an appropriate shoot to use it. I had wanted one for a while, as I love the flattering light it can give to beauty portraits. I finally had a great chance to use it when I shot portraits of Tanya Burr for her new collection for Tanya Burr Cosmetics. I diffused the light using a honeycombe grid and white diffuser, which softens the light on Tanya's face. I'll be doing a more detailed behind the scenes post about the shoot soon.
Okay, not strictly a physical accessory, but a really valuable part of my work flow. Earlier this year, my hard drive with every photo I’ve ever taken, died on me quite suddenly. Most of my work was salvable, but I did lose most of my work from 2014 (which was SUCH a good year!). So ever since then I’ve been super vigilant about backing up my work to two external hard drives as well as online back up. I did a lot of research to find a data back up solution that would work for me. I had to back up at least 2 terabytes of work, but I wanted something straight forward and cost effective. I was recommended BackBlaze by a couple of people, and they also worked out to be the cheapest for what I needed.
If you have any suggestions for accessories worth trying, please let me know in the comments!