The New York Times published its Holiday Gift Guide for Photo Hobbyist. It speaks in very basic terms to the beginner who just got a camera and wants to take the next step in both gear and education.
One item mentioned is a “fast” prime lens, like the f/1.8 50mm for both Canon and Nikon. For about 100-bucks you can get a wide aperture that lets in lots of light. Interestingly, Adorama published an article about whether 1.8 is better than 1.4. I can tell you I’ve shot with both (Canon) and found the 1.8 produced ghosting and flaring. Just saying.
Whether you’re considering the nifty fifty or another lens, renting is a good way to test drive before you buy; not to mention saving big bucks. “The Complete Guide to Renting a Lens Online” breaks down some things you should know. For my Central Florida readers, it mentions local shop The Lens Depot which I’ve used before.
If you’re not sure which lens to rent or buy, the new site, LensHero.com helps you sort it out. Just enter your camera body, your budget and what kind of shooting you want to do and it spits out a list of lenses with prices, specs and reviews.
Another thing the Times article mentions is education. You can find a lot of free tips and tutorials online, including YouTube. Here are “10 of the Best YouTube Channels for Photographers.”
Lastly, powerful, moving and sometimes graphic; Life is out with the 2010 Pictures of the Year.