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Aim, Focus, Shoot - The HyPyC blog
My must have camera accessories

Travel Photography - 3 camera accessories I would not be without

Photography can be an expensive and time-consuming hobby - High-end DSLRs can cost thousands, while the ever expanding range of available lenses can cost just as much and more. Ontop of that there is a myriad of accessories to complement your arsenal and aid your photography.

I have a range of accompanying accessories for my photography together with different lenses and editing software - Listed below are three of my favorite accessories, three that really make a difference and make travel photography easier. Let me know what your own favorites are in the comments!

Gorilla Pod - A portable tripod

Gorilla Pod Hybrid

Gorilla What? Firstly I love the name, Joby could have picked a boring generic title, but instead they chose a name that makes the product sound awesome, and also has meaning - The Gorilla Pod is a small portable tripod that has bendable legs that look much like a Gorilla wrapped round a tree, or a baby Gorilla attached to it's mother.

What is it? The Gorilla Pod is a portable tripod with ball joint legs that can be twisted and bended to wrap around just about anything. I use it as an alternative to a proper full size tripod. There are different sizes of Gorilla Pod's to suit any type of camera, from smart phones, up to heavy DSLRs with tele lenses.

Why use it? I don't know about you, but I can't personally think of one situation where I would want to be hauling round a huge tripod? But at the same time there are plenty of instances where I need a tripod to get a better shot. This is where the Gorilla pod fits in perfectly - the Hybrid model which I own stands at just 26cm and can easily fit into my backpack or (at a push) my back pocket. It is lightweight, durable and really good quality and I think it is the perfect travellers tripod. I have used it many times and always take it with me when on a photo trip.

It might not be as stable as a full sized tripod, but the bendable legs mean you can attached the Gorilla pod to anything - When I went to New York in 2012, we attached our Gorilla pod to one of the viewing binoculars on the top of the GE building in order to get some decent night shots of the Manhattan skyline - It held firm and allowed us to get some shake free photos.

Hama Microclean Cloth - Portable Lens cleaning cloth

Hama Microfibre lens cloth

Can't you just clean your lens with your t-shirt? NO!!!! In the past I havn't bothered about cleaning my camera lenses – I didn't think a little amount of dirt or dust would matter. That all changed when I went upscale and brought my first DSLR – The lenses are fairly expensive and I realised the importance of regularly cleaning your lens.

Hama Microfibre lens cloth Hama Microfibre lens cloth

What is it? The Hama Microfibre Cloth is a small lens cleaning cloth that comes in an easy accessible plastic container. The container is approximately 6cm in length by 3cm in diameter so it easily fits in your pocket or camera case, whilst the cloth folds up perfectly to fit inside.

Why use it? There has been so many times that I have looked at my camera lens and thought "WTF?" and subsequently needed a cloth to clean it – Until getting one of these Hama lens cleaning cloths I would either not bother at all, or try and use my t-shirt. No matter how hard you try, you will never keep your lens in pristine condition if you are using it frequently on your travels – Having a small portable (and storable) cloth like this means you can wipe off any dust, dirt or smears on your lens and keep it in mint condition. It's also useful for cleaning your mobile phone, and the LCD display screen of your camera. For £4.99 each it's a bargain – I have two and take them with me whenever I have my camera.

Lexar USB 3.0 Card Reader - External SDHC Card reader

Lexar USB 3.0 Card Reader

What is it? It's what it says – A USB Card reader! DSLR cameras record their images on SDHC memory cards, and to transfer these images from the camera to your PC/Laptop you can either use a card reader or a USB cable. The Lexar 3.0 is an external card reader that connects to your Computer via USB connection – It can read UDMA Compact Flash, standard CF, Secure SDHC and SD cards and can transfer of up to speeds of 500 MB/s; you simply put your camera's memory card into the reader and transfer the images direct to your computer. The Lexar USB 3.0 is compact measuring at just 11cm x 14cm and is quite robust so although I don't take it on my travels, I'm sure it would stand up to the test.

Why use it? Before purchasing this card reader, I would simply connect my camera direct to my PC via USB and transfer the photos that way – This was extremely slow and would take ages when I had a large amount of photos. As I save my photos in the RAW format, each file can be up to 25mb so the Lexar USB 3.0 allows me to transfer the files much faster – I can transfer hundreds of RAW files in minutes.

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