Hoya Circular Polariser Filter
The only filter I regularly use is a polariser, which takes reflections off surfaces. Classic use is to make blue skies more blue and help white clouds stand out, and to take the shine off water, allowing you to see down into the depths, or increase the contrast between the water and surface plants.
However, this filter can make a massive difference to the look of foliage in woodland etc, as it takes the silvery shine off the leaves, and allows the true green to show through. It even helps with macro work, especially with toadstools.
Manfrotto 055cxpro3 Tripod
Many of my photos simply couldn't be taken without a tripod, or at least not without a great deal of compromise. It allows me to pick whatever aperture, ISO and filtration I want, and not worry about camera shake from a slow shutter speed, but it also gives me control and repeatability - if I've got the perfect composition but my exposure needs a tweak, I can do that without affecting anything else.
This Manfrotto also lets me support the camera literally millimetres above the ground, or up to head height and beyond, so it's hugely flexible.
I'd always assumed creating a custom colour profile for your camera was a complicated and long-winded process, but it turns out it just takes a couple of minutes, and is as easy as importing and exporting an image, the software does all the work. Working seamlessly and simply in Lightroom, a custom profile ensures that the images from your camera have true colour, and consistency across different cameras too.
The Passport also has colour swatches to allow you to set White Balance absolutely correctly, and it's a really useful tool when shooting RAW, probably even more so if you're a studio portrait shooter, but I've found it gives me much better and workable colours at the start of the processing workflow.
Manfrotto Manhattan Mover-50 Bag
Picking the right bag to carry your gear in is important, as it needs to suit the way you work, and fit all of your equipment in without being cramped, which might mean some items are difficult to get out when you need them. Having used a Lowepro bags for many years, I needed a new one as the zip had failed, and I've now switched to this Manfrotto as I found it offered the features I was after, at a reasonable price.
Picking the right bag can be a bit tortuous, as there are so many options, and rarely does a bag have everything you want or need (or maybe they do, and I'm just very picky). Simply visit your local camera shop and try out their bags, it's best if you take your camera and lenses along with you, to make sure everything fits okay.