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Top 10 Camera Bag Essentials, Part IV of V

Howdy!  We’re near the end of our guest series on camera bag essentials from Will, one of the experts at Wolfe’s.  He’s shared 6 of his top 10 favorite accessories for photography and today he’ll share two more.  Make sure to enter to win all ten at the end of this post!

 10 Essentials That Should Be in Every Camera Bag

Part IV of V

Will Mansfield,

Gray Card / Color Checker - $14.95 to $80+

Admittedly, I feel the need to justify carrying around a low-tech, painted gray card in your camera bag, so hear me out: a gray card can definitely help with white balance issues.  I have used one more than once in tricky lighting situations and usually I just put the camera in live view and start changing the white balance until the camera screen shows the same color gray as the gray card.  This method isn’t terribly precise, but it can save valuable time you would otherwise be spending in front of a computer to correct lighting issues afterward.

A color checker works in a similar fashion.  These things aren’t cheap like the gray card, because each color leaves the factory calibrated to a known color value.  But again, if it lets you make more pictures instead of sit in front of a computer, it may pay for itself.  To use the color checker chart, just stick it in front of the lens and snap a picture.  When you edit later (RAW files work better for this), you change the white balance and colors until they are the same tone as the color checker.

Double Bubble Level – $29.99

“Hey! This is photography, not civil engineering!  What do I need the stupid bubble level thing for?” Yeah, the green bubble can (and usually does) look goofy on top of the camera.  But it saves your pictures from looking goofy when they have a slanted horizon line and the whole picture looks like it’s going to tip and fall right off of the paper.  Some cameras have a virtual horizon built-in, so the bubble level isn’t crucial.  But straight photos are.

Okay, I’m not going to lie, the gray card thing sounds a little intimidating, BUT I also don’t really like to edit photos on my computer so that’s why I’m trying to learn more tips for behind the lens.  I’m always impressed with my friends who do great editing but I just don’t think I have the patience.  Will…I’m coming to see you about this gray card situation.  I’ll probably have lots of questions.  Good thing you’re a patient man.

Don’t forget to enter to win all 10 of Will’s Camera Bag Essentials below!


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