It’s that time of year– the one where we make lists and give them to Santa Claus so that he can bring us especially wonderful treats. Are you looking for something to add to your list, or are you trying to find a gift for a dSLR owner? I can help!
Here are some of my favorite things for photographers. Most of them are relatively inexpensive, yet quite useful.
The hot shoe bubble level is one of my favorite gadgets. I’m notoriously bad about holding my camera level, and this little gadget helps me do that. It’s inexpensive and unobtrusive, and sometimes it’s extraordinarily useful. Where it really shines for me is when I’m shooting on a tripod, especially if I’m doing panoramic photographs.
The Giottos Rocket Air blaster is the perfect thing for easy dSLR sensor cleaning. While it won’t get stubborn stuck-on dust, it does a fine job of knocking the majority of it loose, and it’s far safer than wet cleaning.
Two of my favorite books are by Bryan Petersen. Understanding Exposure is the grown-up, sophisticated version of this blog, and teaches you more about exposure than I ever could. Learning to See Creatively is less about technical photography, and more about how to find great photos rather than average ones. Both of these books are a must-have for anyone learning photography.
Camera bags are always useful, and it’s often useful to have more than one. I have a large backpack that can hold multiple bodies, lenses, flashes, gizmos, a kitchen sink or two, and my laptop, and when I need all that stuff it’s wonderful. When I just have a camera and a lens or two, it’s overkill. Crumpler camera bags are very highly-rated, and I’m in love with mine. Plus, how can you not love a company that calls their biggest bag the Brazillion Dollar Home?
An 18% gray card is a useful tool for photographers who understand color temperature of light, or want to get their colors as accurate as possible. Just take a picture of the card under the lighting conditions that you’ll be shooting in, and use it to calibrate the rest of the images. Almost as good, but way cooler, is this 18% gray cleaning cloth. It’s designed to clean the dust off of your gear, but does double-duty as an 18% gray card. Plus, it’s a dirt cheap stocking stuffer.
Most photographers never have enough batteries and memory cards, but make sure you get the right ones for your recipient’s camera.
Happy shooting, and happy holidays!