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3 essential accessories for your camera

Here you have your (new) camera to immortalize your travels, your family, your loved ones or your daily life. Here are 3 essential accessories for all photographers to take good photos in all circumstances.

UV filter / Neutral filter

The lens of your objective is more precious than the apple of your eye, well, not quite, but in any case, it is precious. As such, it is essential to protect it. The good news is that the solution is simple and inexpensive. Simply screw a filter onto your lens.

UV Filter, one of 3 essential accessories for all photographers

The role of this filter is to protect the front lens from dust, all kinds of splashes and accidental shocks. A piece of glass is enough. Marketing obliges, these filters are decked out with different properties, in particular anti-UV. Why not. But in this case what is expected of these types of filters is simply to be a physical barrier, optically neutral.

Take your lenses, locate the small crossed-out circle that indicates the diameter and look for a UV filter of the right diameter.

Here are some links to filters of different diameters:

Upon receipt of your filter, screw it on your lens without tightening like a maniac and you are at ease.

Tripod

Long exposures, group shots, night shots, panoramas, the uses of a tripod are almost endless. It is one of the 3 essential accessories for photographers. From the strongest in carbon to the lightest designed for travel, the choice of tripods is almost as endless as its uses.

Tripod, one of 3 essential accessories for all photographers

Two brands have my favourites: Manfrotto and Cullmann. The first for the largest models, the second for the most compact.

For the “large” model, I use a Manfrotto 055 (MK055XPRO3-3W) daily. He followed me faithfully and without ever failing in Guinea, Mali, Cameroon, Morocco, Tanzania, Ukraine, etc…

In the Cullmann range, I strongly recommend the MUNDO, it is a compact and light travel tripod.

Development and editing software.

Ask a photographer who shoots on film what he does with his film once exposed; he will answer you that he develops them or that he has them developed. And depending on the film he will choose a laboratory and a mode of development in accordance with the preciousness of the shots. In digital the process should be the same: shoot, develop, shoot.

For the development to be of the best possible quality, there are two imperatives:

  • Shoot in RAW;
  • Use quality demosaicing and retouching software.

A RAW file is a computer file generated by the camera from sensor data and various contextual elements (date, time, image style, camera model, etc.). This file must be demosaiced to become a viewable image. The camera systematically dematrixes the RAW file to display an image on the monitor screen and generate a JPG file; but the quality of this demosaicing is highly questionable. The use of demosaicing software on a PC or Mac is, in my opinion, imperative for optimal results in terms of optical corrections, denoising and color management.

There is state-of-the-art demosaicing software: PhotoLab, published by DxO Labs.

PhotoLab, one of 3 essential accessories for all photographers

PhotoLab allows:

  • Demosaicing (therefore working on RAW files);
  • To apply specific optical corrections to a Lens / Sensor couple;
  • To denoise at the demosaicing level (and that changes everything compared to denoising on JPGs);
  • To make local and global corrections with tools designed for photographers such as control points;
  • Organize your photos using the photo library module.

It is the best demosaicing and photo editing software on the market (it works with RAW and JPG), it is clearly designed for photographers and not for graphic designers, like Photoshop for example. Its acquisition is not on a subscription model but on a perpetual license purchase model. In summary, you buy the software and it’s yours ad vitam (that’s classy Latin!), no need to pay every month for features you don’t need like adding seagulls or changing the sky.

The icing on the cake, PhotoLab, like all other DxO Labs software (PureRaw, ViewPoint, FilmPack and the Nik Collection) can be downloaded and used without restriction, free of charge, for 30 days.

To download DxO PhotoLab, it’s here.

DxO PhotoLab is available in english, french, german, simplified chineese and japaneese.

3 essential accessories for all photographers

In summary, the 3 essential accessories for all photographers are:

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Nicolas Beaumont is a photojournalist, director and writer specializing in social and humanitarian photography. Among our clients are the French Red Cross, Emmaüs, Handicap International, Secours Mag, Dimatex, Actusoins. We make films, photographs and articles around the world on current topics: migration, war, displaced, natural disaster, flood etc...

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