Holiday Gifts for Photographers 2011


Christmas Tree Ornament

I like to live in a state of denial. Florida doesn’t really have “seasons”, but when the weather got cooler and I had to start raking my front yard, I had to admit it was Fall (or at least Fall-ish). I’m still not used to the time change and despite the commercials, ads and displays, I don’t want to think about Christmas just yet. But alas time marches on without me. So with that, I want to start sharing some gift ideas for photographers in case you’re the type that likes to wrap presents before you dress your turkey.

Let’s begin with Adorama’s “100 Photo-tastic Gifts for under $100.” Considering most photography gear is in the hundreds or thousands of dollars, this is a good list of stuff that is actually useful; from camera bags and light modifiers, to memory, software and books.

I am a dork. (You see how I moved past denial and straight into acceptance?) My mouse pad has a camera dial on it and I have two Canon lens mugs. I also like to wear photography-related t-shirts. The best place to find them is over at Cafe Press. They’re having a sale right now, so most shirts will run you in the $23 range. Here’s a tip: don’t pay extra for faster shipping; I got my most recent order much faster than anticipated. Try coupon code “GLOW” for an extra 15% off.

Since I mentioned mouse pads, there’s one for Nikon shooters here; and more designs here.

UPDATE 11/29/11:  I just ran across this link from the LensPro To Go blog. I like how they divide the categories based on price range. Check out the $100-$200 category. The Steadicam Smoothee is an interesting item. A DSLR steadicam will run you about 800-bucks! Also, check out the Spider Holster which I mentioned in a past blog post.

Lastly, check out the posts I wrote last year in case you missed them:

Gift Ideas for Photographers

Stocking Stuffers For Your Favorite Photographers

That’s it for now. As the holiday’s get closer and retailers announce deals, I’ll try to post them. If you noticed, I’m looking for items that won’t break the bank; because let’s face it, no one in my family is going to get me the $2,400 5D MKII…which is why I’m giving them socks.

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The Nifty Fifty, Renting Glass and Life’s Best of 2010


Canon 50mm 1.8 Lens

The Nifty Fifty

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.

Stocking Stuffers For Your Favorite Photographer


It’s that time of year again when vacant strip-mall spaces are temporarily occupied by costume shops and stores everywhere have candy on sale. Yes, it can only mean one thing…it’s almost Christmas! Relax, I found the perfect stocking stuffers for the photographer on your list.

First is a wide/macro and fisheye lens that fits on your camera phone. Awesome.

Next is a 4GB USB thumb drive in the shape of a DSLR. Shut the front door! They even come in different makes like Canon, Nikon, Sony and Olympus.

Those are the two that stuck out to me. Check out the Photojojo store for more cool ideas and hit me in the comments with your favorite.