I've been thinking lately that I would like to cut back on some of the camera gear I own - I know I don't need all the lenses that I have, and I'm pretty sure I could cut back on some of the "extras" too. This has gotten me thinking about what I consider to be my photography "essentials" - things that I really wouldn't want to part with. So, beyond my DSLR, this is what my "bare minimum" would look like:
If the 35mm is in one hand, then the 85mm would be in a vice like grip in the other. It's actually one of the cheapest lenses I own, but I love it so much for outdoor shots - it's that perfect length of being just long enough to get a bit of distance, but not so far that you can't be close enough to keep a watchful eye on things, It's just all around amazing.
Of course this isn't an essential, but I love it because it saves me time trying to fix white balance by eye, and it's not break-the-bank stuff, so it would also have a place in my essentials cupboard.
I love Photoshop - of course it has probably saved the day on many an occasion, but the real reason I love it is because I think of Photoshop as just an extension of the photographic process - it's where you can enhance the feel of the image to make it, or the memory, more powerful. For me, it's as much a part of the creative side as setting the camera or choosing the composition.
Although that is the main things, there are one or two little extras too....
I came across these quite late on but they were a bit of a game changer in many ways. There were times when I would take a series of actions shots (say, down a water slide or something) where I would take a number of images in burst mode, and the camera just couldn't write the data to the card fast enough so I was left twiddling my thumbs whilst the camera caught up with me - and missing moments! This does not happen with these as the CF cards have faster write speeds, and I thoroughly recommend them if you find yourself with the same issue. (Note that some cameras won't take CF cards)
Ah, the spare battery has also saved my neck on many occasions because I always clean forget to check battery levels - always. With two, I leave in one until it conks out, take it out, and swap out the charged one.
Anything to carry your camera around is pretty much essential if you want to take photos outside the home! I now have three, each for different uses (I wouldn't take my "purse" camera bag on a hike for example) which means I can take my camera anywhere.
So there you have it - my essentials. I did limit myself here though, and there are some other things that are not on the list but that I wouldn't particularly want to be without - for example, a macro lens: not essential, but pretty hard to do macro without it!
What's your photography essentials?