Some landscape scenes are more demanding than others. And the same goes for the weather. So you should have reliable clothing and the right photography accessories before you go out on a shoot.
You’ll need to adjust your gear to the weather to avoid discomfort on your shoots. And there are a few tools and accessories that aren’t related to the weather but are handy to have.
This article will take you through all the landscape photography accessories you’ll need.
Landscape Photography Clothing and Photography Accessories
The right clothing is essential. You need to carefully select your items so that you can be outdoors for an extended time without your jacket or base layer bothering you.
For landscape photography, you’ll need to prepare nearly all items. That means choosing everything from the right footwear and socks to a hat and sun protection.
The Layering System
The smartest way to dress is to wear three layers of clothing. That’s because the weather can change fairly quickly. And if it does, you’ll be able to add or remove layers as necessary.
The layering system itself is very flexible and, depending on what you wear, can suit any environment. You won’t need to remove or add layers every five minutes.
The bottom layer removes sweat, the middle layer keeps warmth and continues to remove moisture, and the outer layer must be wind and rainproof for the best protection. There can also be a shell layer on top to improve wind resistance.
The base layer plays a significant role in overall body temperature regulation. It has to be able to remove sweat efficiently, breathe, and dry quickly.
It may sound counterintuitive, but cotton tees won’t work here. When you start sweating, they get soaked immediately and stay this way for hours.
Performance tees, on the other hand, have all the qualities we need. Always choose a synthetic, tight tee. It will keep you dry and fresh. These tees are available in both short and long sleeves.
This layer is designed to keep you warm. When it’s cooler outside, the best option is a fleece jacket. There are also some synthetic jackets too.
The rule of thumb is to pick something you’d typically wear for an autumn walk.
Choosing the right outer layer is crucial. It must be rain and windproof. And it is best to have a synthetic breathable material for your jacket.
It may be a good idea to get clothes a size larger than your regular fit. You’ll have two layers underneath, and it also should be a little loose.
If you ask me about a single most important piece of clothing, I will pick boots. It’s hard to overestimate the importance of quality footwear when it comes to hiking.
They can save you from so many injuries, including sprains and dislocations. Plus, you’ll be carrying a considerable amount of photography equipment. This increases the overall load on your muscles and joints.
You cannot just blindly pick some good-looking shoes. There are a few important things to consider. There are three types of boots to choose from:
- Hiking shoes—a low-cut outlook with a flexible midsole.
- Day hiking boots—mid- to high-cut boots. They are designed for day hikes with light loads. A good option for most hikers.
- Backpacking boots—the most sturdy models designed for a heavy-load multi-day hike into the wilderness.
How to Choose Hiking Boots
- Weight. The heavier your boots, the more they’ll fatigue you. On the other hand, heavier boots tend to provide better foot and ankle support.
- Waterproofing. Get the best waterproofing you can afford. Gore-Tex membrane has proven to be the best in this area, and a lot of brands use it.
- Ankle height. I always try to get at least mid-ankle height, as it’s very easy to strain your leg with the low cut.
- Durable outsole. It provides additional protection.
- Test the shoes in the store at the end of the day. Hiking shoes should be immediately comfortable. They should be tight on the sides for better support. Try to walk around and see if you position your feet straight without rolling it to either side. Bring insoles if you use them.
There is an alternative to Gore-Tex—the Columbia brand. I tried one of these on my recent trip and was pleasantly surprised.
I prefer to get some hiking pants with large, loose pockets. These make it easier to store and retrieve the little things you can easily store in your pockets. Stuff like your shutter remote, lens cap, microfiber cloth, etc.
Regarding the material, the best ones are breathable synthetic lightweight pants. They shouldn’t be too tight, but they shouldn’t be baggy, either. Baggy pants can get caught on brush as you hike.
You may also need thermal underwear in case it gets cold. But during the summer, I usually just wear some shorts (if I don’t go far or through the bush).
Jackets For Photographers
Regardless of whether you want it or not, you’ll sometimes be out there in the rain. Doing landscape photography in bad weather is challenging but rewarding. You need a good rain jacket or coat to stay warm, comfortable, and focused.
A good rain jacket will be made of nylon and polyester. It should have a breathing net inside so that it doesn’t stick to your body when it rains. And the hood should be deep enough to cover all of your head.
Landscape Photography Accessories—Clothing
It may feel like choosing the right socks isn’t essential, but that’s not the case. Socks are vital for a good hike! An incorrectly sized sock will cause blisters and sore feet. A proper hiking sock supports your feet and improves your overall fatigue level.
Hiking socks have a unique compression band for better foot support. The price range is vast, and there’s no good rule for socks. As long as you choose a high-quality, purpose-built hiking sock, you will be fine.
Again, I used Decathlon socks with some excellent results. And they are not too expensive compared to some other famous brands. It is best to avoid cotton or wool socks as they provide zero support and can cause blisters.
Headwear depends on the weather and trip length. If the weather is cold, you definitely need something. There are no hard-and-fast rules for hats—just get something warm. I prefer wool or something made from synthetic material.
If you are not sure about the weather, or it changes quickly, the best alternative would be Buff Headwear.
You can use it as a scarf, as headwear, or as a cover for your face if there’s a wind chill. When used as headwear, it’s similar to a bandana.
Some people wear sunglasses, but I don’t. I think it’s annoying to take them off every time I want to take a photo. But I do wear them in snowy terrain. This can hurt your eyes without protection because of how bright it is.
But if you plan on hiking for days, you’ll need a bigger hiking backpack. The volume depends on the length of the hike. For two to three days, you’ll need about a 70-liter bag. For a single day, 30 liters will do.
If you take a hiking backpack, you’ll need to leave your photography backpack at home. Apparently, you can’t carry two bags!
In this case, you may need to have a photo bag to move around the camp. Here is our article outlining the best camera backpacks for hiking. You can also try out a photographer vest for packing extra gear.
Depending on the weather, you may need gloves to keep your hands warm. You can’t get away with some regular winter gloves because they prevent you from using your fingers. You need at least one finger to manipulate the shutter button and all the wheels on the camera.
That’s why photography gloves exist.
They allow access to the thumb and index finger when required. Alternatively, for autumn or spring, I use regular long cotton gloves. These stretch nearly up to the elbow and with access to all fingers.
Landscape Accessories – Gear
A piece of microfiber cloth saves your lenses from water drops or spray. I always buy a bag of microfiber pieces for a couple of bucks and then use them for a year.
Keep a bunch in your camera bag, as their weight is next to zero. I also have one or two in my pockets at all times during a photography session.
The best tripod for landscape photography is a big consideration. It really depends on the environment you are planning to shoot. But that article gives you all the information you need to make the right choice for you.
The tripod head is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer the 3D head, the others prefer a ball head. But remember, if you plan on taking panoramic shots, make sure to get a tripod head that can take them.
The story is different if you shoot seascapes. Sea salt doesn’t care about the price you paid for the tripod. And as with anything by the ocean, the salty sea air can ruin the joints and the plastic quickly. Even if you rinse it every time, it’ll still be broken in half a year.
An L-plate is a single piece of equipment that can easily double the number of good photos you produce.
How many times have you wanted to do a vertical shot but didn’t take it because it was too time-consuming to realign the tripod? I bet it’s happened more than once.
I had 90% horizontal shots in my portfolio just because it was inconvenient to shoot vertically or because the platform couldn’t hold the camera.
An L-plate solves these issues. It’s a special platform that attaches to your camera. It has both a vertical and horizontal part, allowing you to quickly change the alignment without touching the tripod head at all.
The important note here is to look up the platform that’s designed for your camera. Don’t choose a generic one or a multi-camera one. Choose the one that has your camera in the specification.
Headlamp or Torch
Most landscape shots are created around dusk or dawn. This timing means part of the adventure happens in the darkness. It doesn’t matter if you know the area, you still need a headlamp.
It could save you from falling off a cliff, tripping over a fallen branch, and many other dangers.
There is an advantage to having a robust torch instead of a headlamp. It’s way stronger and helps with the following:
- You can use its light to focus
- You can use it for light painting
- Some people like to beam them into the night sky
The lens pen is a handy little device that helps to keep your lens clean. One of the sides is a brush, which helps to remove dust from any surface.
The other side is something like a sponge, which eliminates tougher dust particles or fingerprints or whatever else gets on your lens.
You can’t easily get rid of greasy things like fingerprints with the microfiber cloth. That’s when it’s handy to have a lens pen to help.
There are a few types of remotes. One is a cable remote, which plugs into the camera, and then you press various buttons.
They typically have a range of functions and buttons and allow you to change a lot of settings without even touching the camera. There is a whole range of prices and features from different brands to choose from.
The other type is a single-button remote that just fires the shutter button. I prefer the second one because it’s easy to carry, doesn’t have extra cables, and only costs a couple of dollars.
The other option is to connect to your camera using Wi-Fi. It allows you to control everything from your phone or tablet.
My experience wasn’t as good because the Wi-Fi on my Nikon D750 wasn’t overly stable. And sometimes, it just wouldn’t work. That’s why I use a single-button remote to avoid a lot of wasted time.
Filters are a significant piece of equipment for landscape photography. There are two types of filters: screw-in or square filters.
Screw-in filters have the advantage of blocking extra flares by sitting tight. But square filters are better for everything else. First of all, they are more generic, and you don’t need five circular filters for five different lenses.
The primary filters are:
- ND filters. Neutral density filters are important to block the light, which allows longer exposures even during the day. They differ in the number of exposure stops they block. ND2 blocks one stop and is useless in most cases. ND4 blocks two stops. ND8 blocks three stops. I recommend having at least ND8.
- CPL filter. The circular polarizer is a must-have for any landscape photographer. First of all, it serves as an ND filter as a side effect. But its primary function is to remove the reflected polarized light. It’s perfect for removing glares from the water’s surface and revealing the bottom. It’s also great for forest photography, where it eliminates the glare from the leaves, bringing in color and saturation.
- Graduated filters. They are partially dark, which you can use to darken the sky while leaving the foreground brighter. I recommend using them only if you have zero experience with Photoshop. Otherwise, I suggest bracketing photos. This allows for much better control and improved results than the filters.
Conclusion—Photography Accessories for Landscapes
You have to be well prepared for your landscape photography trip, even if it’s just for a sunrise picture.
There are lots of little things to remember, and you never know when you’ll need a particular item. So it’s best to think in advance and save yourself from trouble.
Keep our list of photography accessories in mind for your next shooting trip. You’ll thank us when you come back with great photos and no blisters!