The Most Valuable Photography Accessory

I cringe to think of all the things I’ve bought through the years centered around photography. Of course, the cameras, then the lenses, and the peripheral items; cable releases, mounts, tripods, monopods, covers, cases, batteries, memory cards, and on, and on. The sum total, I’m sure would floor me.

Then I look at the images through the years. This image was created last year when I made a little extra time to visit our nation’s mall before my adventure staffing the Boy Scout National Jamboree in Virginia. I planned and prepared to take advantage of this night photography opportunity. I wanted to create an image during blue hour that was different and powerful.


During my first trip to Washington D.C. I was immature, still just a teenager. I had no clue what I was doing. I was simply snapping and ‘taking’ photos.

That trip, and that time in my life wasn’t about ‘making’ photographs as much as it was about adventure.

So, I’m left to ask ‘what has changed so much through the years?’ Was it my camera equipment? Perhaps, after all I’m shooting with much better, more technically-advanced gear. How about the peripheral gear? Oh, I have all kinds of thingy-ma-bobbers to do everything imaginable.

I mean…look at the before and after images here. Clearly some amazing accessory must have been used. Well, I did use an accessory that I didn’t have many years ago, simply because it wasn’t available to me at that time. And now I use this accessory in every single photo shoot, regardless of the situation. If I lay all my gear, equipment, and accessories out on the floor, their total value would not come close to the value of this one accessory. The one accessory I’m speaking of, which is the most valuable photography accessory, is knowledge.

It didn’t occur all at once, but rather over time. Several ‘ah-ha’ moments where lights came on and photography principals all started to line up and make sense. Knowledge is an interesting thing, you can try to force it, cram it in the night before, want it more than anything, but the most valuable knowledge simply seeps into you when you’re playing, having fun, exploring and not really realizing you’re learning.

My whole blog is based on sharing my photography knowledge, my passion, with you. Take what you can and increase your knowledge. Of course, I offer eClasses, but no matter what classes or training route you go, do something. Grow your knowledge, expand your skills. There is no accessory in existence that can compete with your knowledge.

The higher quality images on this post incorporate many night photography techniques, which I explain in great detail in my Night Photography eClass. Join us and afterwards you’ll realize the true affordability of the most valuable photography accessory ever.