What do I buy them?
Are you stuck on what to buy the photographer in you life for Christmas?
I know we’re not always the easiest people to buy for…
You need to either know what your photographer wants (safe option) or else you need to know what camera gear they already have (or it’ll be 3 tripods for Christmas?) and make an educated guess (not so safe option) as to what they might like. Well I’m here to help…
Note: You may also find 10 Must Have Accessories for your DSLR gives you some more ideas.
But whether you’re buying for Christmas, birthdays or anniversaries here are some great ideas to help with that Christmas shopping (oh and if my husbands reading this that includes me!):
1. Remote Shutter Release
If you are wanting to shoot remotely then there are two solutions. 1. Either a Remote Shutter Release Cable for shooting long exposures from behind the camera eg. night photography, eliminating even the slightest bit of camera shake that could affect your image. 2. Or an infared Wireless Remote Controller for shooting in front of the camera eg. self portraits, for when you don’t want to set the timer and run around the camera.
2. Filters – UV, ND, or Polarizing
There’s a huge range of filters available but how about these for starters:
- UV (Ultra Violet) Filter: great for lens protection and reducing haze.
- ND (Neutral Density) Filter: full – reduce the amount of light passing through the lens so that a longer exposure can be used eg blurring waterfalls. Graduated Neutral Density Filter - allows proper exposure for landscape photography for both background and foreground.
- Polarizing Filter: removes unwanted reflections from surfaces such as water, it rotates on the lens for adjustment.
* Remember check the size of the end of the lens (it can be different with each lens) where the filter will screw onto, it will be printed on the end of the lens, eg Canon 18-55mm IS kit lens has 58mm written separately to the focal length on the end of the lens, so would need 58mm filter.
3. Digital Photography book
There are a huge range of digital photography books out there, but for me I’d recommend the Digital Photography Book 1,2, and 3 by Scott Kelby. I think they’re a great place to start, and I’ve got and use some really great tips from these books. I only have the last one to get…
4. 50mm 1.8 II lens
A cheap lens but wow can it deliver! One of the cheapest lens you can buy (Canons cheapest) but the best for having lots of fun with it. I have the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens and I think it’s great for still life and portraits. The image of the purple flower at the top of this post was taken with my 50mm 1.8 lens.
5. Camera bag
If it’s climbing over fences, fields or beaches time then I use a Lowepro Slingshot, I have the 100AW and that fits my Canon 450D with kit lens and one other lens, memory card, battery, etc. Although a Lowepro SlingShot 202 AW would be better as it can fit 3-4 lens and a flash unit and that would give me more space. For around town on a day out when I need a handbag as well but don’t want to take one, then I use my Hama Cutline that can take all my camera gear plus my purse and phone.
A sturdy well made Tripod is an essential part of a photographers kit. I use a Manfrotto 785B (this tripod is similar), that is up the cheap end but is well made and works fine for me. If I had longer lens (which would make the camera lens heavy) I would probably upgrade for more stability.
7. Memory cards
You can never have enough memory cards. A 4gb, 8gb or 16gb SD or a CF (compact flash) memory card (check what the camera uses) would always be well received by any photographer and a great stocking filler.
8. Spare battery
Another must, if your battery dies you’ve officially had it, a spare can save your life! And Santa will be made up with another easy to fit in a stocking filler. This car charger is another great idea!
9. Lens cleaning kit
It’s like buying your Dad a car cleaning kit or your Mum the obligatory smellies. A lens cleaning kit or a fancy lens cloth like this Spudz one,
is the photographers equivalent, and lets face it, I like getting smellies for Christmas! Or maybe a nice fancy lens cloth or lens pen etc…
10. Print or Canvas
Why not take one of their favourite shots of this year, and have it made into a canvas or framed as a print. And there are lots of sites that can help you with that eg Adorama. Get those photographic triumphs off the hard drive and on the wall and enjoy them.
11. External hard drive
Storage, storage, storage, the thought of losing your images when a hard drive fails is a photographers worst nightmare. Keeping your images safe and sound is top priority. I know I’ve been there and lost them! So something like a Clickfree Automatic Backup 500GB External Hard Drive would back images up nicely or you could stick an Epson P-3000 40GB Multimedia Storage Drive in your camera bag and backup your images while on location. Either way they would help a photographer sleep a lot sounder.
12. Camera strap
After a day of lugging a camera around it can start to get a bit heavy, so a decent camera strap can be the difference between a visit to the chiropractor or a neck that you can actually still move! (ok slight exaggeration!). But there are some good ergonomically designed ones out there like the Black Rapid RS-7 Camera Strap
13. Magazine subscription
How about something a little different like a years magazine subscription to their favourite magazine. Here’s a few for some ideas:
14. Off Camera Flash
Starting out with using off camera flash can make a whole new range of camera accessories available to the budding Strobist. A good place to start is a camera flash unit, for my camera a Canon 450D/XSi then a Canon Speedlite 430EX IIwould be a good place to start for instance.
P.S. Yep you’ve guessed it those are affiliate links (some not all). Click a link to find out more, or if you’re a photog then maybe add a few to your Amazon wish list to drop some bigger hints?