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The 3 camera accessories I didn’t realize I couldn’t live without – Part 1

If you’ve been into photography for awhile there is an inevitable amount of clutter/junk/”accessories” that just kinds of fills up your camera bag over time. Maybe there’s some left-over rolls of film, if you’ve been into this for quite awhile, or the odd lens cap saving string that never quite stayed stuck on the front of the cap. Perhaps it’s that random filter that everyone just said was essential in every photographer’s bag, but now you do the same thing in Photoshop.

The fact is that most of the “accessories” out there for cameras don’t really live up to the purported usefulness, but every once in awhile I run into some that I find myself using on almost a constant basis. When I take a moment to consider that I’ve only had them for a few months, I find myself wondering , “How did I ever get along without them?”

The following are not simply product endorsements, and believe me I wish I had some kind of deal with the companies as their spokesperson. No, these are just suggestions from a photographer who happened to stumble upon some gems while looking for ways to blow more money on photo gear (as if I needed to work real hard at that!)

BlackRapid Camera sling

This thing, if you’ve never seen or tried one, is about as simple a concept as it comes. I don’t know why they haven’t been thought of LONG ago, but frankly when I go out and about with my camera anymore this strap is a constant companion. If you’ve ever struggled with camera straps, had a sore neck after walking around with a brick bouncing off your chest all day, or missed a shot because you couldn’t get to your camera fast enough because the too small strap was positioned diagonally across your body in a bandolier-style, then this is your little piece of heaven-come-true.

I first saw one of these at a photographer meet-up/contest in downtown Tacoma, WA. The leader of the group was yakking away about rules and what-not, but he had what looked like a messenger back slunk over his shoulder the whole time. Then I looked closer and realized that the strap was actually connected to the bottom of his camera, which left it hanging conveniently right at his side for quick grabbing access. Thunder-struck by the convenience, and sore neck relief, I rushed home and ordered myself one right away.

The BlackRapid strap isn’t just positioned right for easy access, it’s got this great latch that just slides up the strap when you grab it, which means you don’t have any straps choking you or getting in the way of the shot. The camera just slides up and down, in the easiest fashion (see BlackRapid Video if you don’t get what I’m talking about).

(the rest of this blog is continued in Part 2)

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