It’s that time of the year again! The holidays are here, and if you are shopping for a photographer, you’re in luck. The photo industry is exploding with new products. New camera systems, editing software, lenses, flash accessories…the list is long. Below I will list some of my favorites covering a wide range of prices. Get ready to go shopping and experience a little retail therapy!
1. Think Tank Emergency Rain Cover. For $40, you can’t beat this, and it won’t break the bank. See my earlier blog post on this beautifully designed rain cover. Simple, effective and you can shoot in a downpour with no worries.
2. OnOne software. For $100, this software is worth it. Why? Because it compliments LR and PS nicely, and adds a lot of fantastic actions and presets. I run many of my landscape images through this program for quick, stunning results. And simple sliders allow you reduce the opacity and effect if you want a softer look.
3. Nikon 500mm 5.6 PF. For the Nikon shooters out there dreaming of a wildlife telephoto that doesn’t cost $10,000, this is it. I’ve been shooting this lens for over a month now, and its compact lightweight size combined with razor sharpness is quickly making this a legendary Nikon lens. You literally can walk through the forest or down the beach with this lens…it weighs the same as a 70-200mm F2.8. It will cost you, though….$3500.
4. Photographers On Photography by Henry Carroll.$20. With all the technology talk on photography, it is nice remember exactly what photography is all about. This book is inspiring and loaded with fantastic quotes. Some of the best photographers out there reveal what drives them creatively and how they approach their work. A small book perfect for the stocking over the fireplace.
5. Sandisk UHS II SD flash cards. As cameras have increased their file size, flash cards have advanced their speeds. Some of the new cameras (Nikon D850) can tap into this speed…your camera buffer will clear faster. Sandisk UHS II flash cards run three times faster (300MB/s) than UHS I cards, and new cameras can tap into this speed. 64GB $120.
6. Topas Clarity in Studio. $49. Adding contrast is critical in processing your digital images. While LR may offer one slider to adjust Clarity, this software offers four sliders and presets. Check out my recent blog post on it.
7. Rogue Gel Set. $30. If you have a speedlight, you should have a set of gels to go with it. The Rogue Combo Filter Kit will give you every color you will need. Popping a gelled flash in an old car in the forest or in a hotel window in Tuscany is bound to get you excited! (Or at least it would get me excited…).
8. Tripod Leg Covers. $45. LensCoat makes some great insulated covers that velcro onto your tripod. Not something you will need all the time, but they are terrific in winter to insulate against the cold. They also pad your shoulder if you are carrying a telephoto lens on your tripod.
9. Elinchrom ELB500. If you have a photographer who wants to step up from speed lights for portraiture, get them the Elinchrom ELB 500. This set up includes one or two heads and a 500 watt pack that will shoot in TTL mode. What that means is ‘point and shoot’, the flash and camera will figure out the exposure. I carried one of these lightweight units all over Bhutan to photograph monks. The ELB500 worked perfectly, and brought my portraits to a new level. $1900 on up.
10. TBP workshop. We saved the best for last. We just read the trend this year is buying ‘experiences’ as gifts rather than objects. We have the answer for you…a workshop with Tom and Cree! We still have a few spaces left on Redwoods/Oregon Coast and Sedona for 2019. Come join us on one of these trips, they are both fantastic (check out this post on Redwoods).