Can you believe Back-to-School is right around the corner? Where did the summer go?! Some of you might be beginning your photographic journey, others wrapping things up with graduation at the end of the school year. Wherever you are in your education, one thing is for sure: your teacher will be giving you a syllabi with a list of equipment you’ll need for class. Here at KEH, we get excited about sharing our knowledge and experience with all levels of photographers, so we have put together a “syllabus” of our own to assist you in planning for your photography courses.

The type of course you're taking will determine the type of camera you'll need to purchase. If you’re taking a digital photography course: a camera body, lenses, and memory card will be essential to your success. If you’re taking a film photography course, you may be required to have more unique supplies, such as a film camera body, lenses, and the appropriate rolls of film your instructor requires. Black and white 35mm roll film is a staple of many photography programs. Be sure to also have the proper lens hood when practicing shooting with different light sources.

During a more advanced course, film development and processing may be a part of the curriculum. While your instructor will be specific on the supplies you’ll need, be prepared to have some or all of the following:

  • Negative sleeves
  • Photo paper
  • Multi-contrast filters for multi-grade paper
  • Developing tank with compatible reels; (there are two distinct types: metal or plastic, check with your teacher)
  • Loupe - a small magnification device used to see small details more closely
  • Paper Safe - having your own easy-to-open photo-paper container saves time & reduces mishaps

You may also want to accessorize your camera equipment! Though all of these items might not be a requirement of your course, you can never be too knowledgeable about gear you may need in the future:

  • Gray Card - allows you to get the proper exposure and/or color; used with a reflective light meter
  • Lens Hood/Shade - To help stand out, get more contrast out of your lens by using a lens hood (also called a lens shade); lens hoods don’t just block out visible streaks of light (a.k.a. lens flare), they also cut down on stray incidental light, the net effect is you get deeper contrast and richer color. They're also handy as a bumper on the front of you lens.
  • Neck strap - attach a strap to your camera for safe, easy, and comfortable handling
  • Protective filter - protects the lens of your camera from the elements
  • Yellow filter - great addition to your camera bag if you’re shooting in black and white. It boosts contrast to more natural levels, so your images don’t look ‘flat’, which can save you time in the darkroom
  • Tripod - helps prevent camera shake and provides image-capture stability
  • Remote Release - perfect for group shots or landscape shots
  • Cleaning cloth - keep a microfiber cloth handy for lens cleaning.  While smudges need to be cleaned, anti-reflective coatings are delicate, so be gentle.  
  • Camera bag - the best way to protect your gear is keeping it safe in a bag whether you’re traveling near or far
  • Flash - if your camera is not equipped with a built in flash, or you need a little extra light, a flash is a great addition to attach

Getting your education can be quite expensive. On top of tuition, living expenses and more, adding on school supplies can make for a hefty bill. While you’re immersing yourself in all things photography, it’s wise to conserve funds by searching for used equipment first. Perhaps you know people willing to let you borrow their equipment or provide you hand-me-downs. If not, check out our inventory of used photography equipment to get you started. We grade all of our gear on an 8-scale grading scale, from NEW to AS-IS. This grading scale and system helps you evaluate and compare gear you’re interested in purchasing.  If you’re interested in putting together an affordable kit for your needs, give our photography experts a call at 770-333-4200.