2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Photography Edition
The tough thing about purchasing gifts for a professional photographer is that they know exactly what they want, or they already have it. My goal here is to give you some ideas on gifts that they need, even if they don’t know it yet.
Pusher Labs: PFixer
Want to gift your favorite photographer a Photoshop super power? Pusher labs offers hardware-based control solutions for Adobe Lightroom. With their software/hardware solution, you get real-time adjustments for over 200 Lightroom functions at the tip of your finger. Edit your photos with the tactile feel of physically turning a knob or slider. With the top of the line Xtremist Bundle, you receive a motorized controller that moves in tandem to your on-screen sliders.
Humanscale Freedom Chair
We spend a third of our lives in bed, and many people spend almost as much time at our desk. So why not sit in comfort and style? Not only is the Humanscale Freedom chair ergonomic, when ordering you also can dictate every aspect of it to suit your gift recipient perfectly — from the textures, materials, colors, height, casters or even the amount of fire proofing.
Ruggard Electronic Dry Cabinet
Many of us have camera and lens collections that cost more than our car, so why not take an extra step in keeping things in pristine condition? These electronic dry cabinets can keep your giftee’s gear in a climate-controlled environment, preventing fungus and corrosion. The gear will be safe from dust and there is also a locking mechanism. There are 8 sizes to choose from, making it easy to find one that fits anyone’s needs.
Gitzo GT1545T Series 1 Traveler Carbon Fiber Tripod with Center Ball Head
One of my biggest regrets is not investing in the right tripod years ago. You can buy a tripod that will last for decades for a few hundred bucks. However, if that everlasting tripod is bulky, heavy or otherwise difficult to handle, you are stuck with a bad tripod for life. Do your esteemed lensperson a favor, and gift them a tripod for the long run. This Gitzo will last a life time, and with its carbon fiber construction, weighs in at a paltry 3.1 lbs while providing a load capacity of 22 lbs. For a “budget Gitzo,” check out Induro.
A wrist brace is one of those things that your photoshooter will thank you greatly for, especially if they plan to play the long game. In the early stages of photography, we are typically equipped with entry level cameras and lenses that are constructed with light-weight plastic bodies. As our needs expand, we upgrade to more sophisticated cameras with heavy-weight construction and lenses with large amounts of glass. This takes a toll on the wrist, especially if we shoot long or consecutive days. A wrist brace in a photographer’s early days can save lots of suffering in their near future.
High Fidelity Earplugs
Wedding and event photographers often end up in extremely loud situations. It may be due to an overly confident DJ, or a very lively bar. Sounds above 85 decibels can cause irreversible damage to your beloved photographer’s ears. The beauty of these ear plugs is that they are reusable, comfortable, and inexpensive. While cheap earplugs can do a good job of blocking sound, they don’t do a good job of allowing you to hear the sounds that you may want. A good set of ear plugs blocks sound across all frequencies evenly. So you can still hear in full fidelity, just at a lower volume. If you want something even fancier, you can get your paparazzo pal a gift certificate for custom-molded ear plugs and/or active electronic ones.
Kase K100 Wolverine Series Shock Resistant Glass Filter Master Kit
Here’s a gift that’ll help elevate your number-one photomaker to photomaster. If you ever looked at a landscape photo and noticed cloud-like flowing water and impossible sunsets, chances are, the photographer used a kit similar to this. Like it’s closest competitor, Breakthrough Filters, Kase also uses the B270 glass, but for a fraction of the price. In this kit, you receive a 100mm filter holder, several adapter rings, a Circular Polarizer, 3-stop gradient, 4-stop gradient, 3-stop reverse gradient, 6-stop ND a 10-stop ND and a case to carry everything. You simply attach the proper lens adapters by spinning it onto your front lens element, then clip on the adapter and slide up to 3 filters in place. The filter adapter also has a little knob that allows you to spin your circular polarizer! With the CPL in place, a 10-stop ND AND a 4-stop gradient filter loaded at the same time, I have not been able to detect any discolorations or distortions. This glass is crystal clear.
Seagate 14TB BarraCuda Pro 7200-rpm Internal Hard Drive
One thing that is sadly overlooked until it is too late is storage. We can never have enough of it. For one thing, we need plenty of storage to work from inside a PC case or housed in an external Drobo, then we need an equal amount of storage to back everything up. We need it fast, large and reliable. Fortunately, Seagate produced this gem that stores up to 14TB of data and provides a sustained data rate of 250MB/sec. We’ve worked so hard and spent so much money to create our photos. Do your camera buff a favor and make sure their hard work, gorgeous images and all those memories stay safe.
Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L Lens
Why the 11-24mm f/4L? Because your pet professional photographer probably already has all the basics: 16-35, 24-70, 70-200. The 11-24mm f4L is far from basic. This ultrawide takes you to the extreme, with no barrel distortion or vignetting, you get edge-to-edge clarity in every image. So you can make an ND filter for just a few cents worth of material. The fact that this lens shoots so incredibly wide makes this is the most exciting lens I’ve used in 10 years. There is even a little gel filter holder behind the rear element, so you can make an ND filter with a few cents of material.
Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS Lens
So your camera addict already has a 70-200mm f/2.8III, why do they need a 200mm f/2L Prime? The way I see it, the 70-200mm might be an Audi, but the 200mm f/2L is a Bugatti. Yes, it looks massive, but thanks to the clever engineers at Canon, you have a very balanced lens that is easy to handle and takes images that are out of this world. It is what I call a “gateway” lens which opens your eyes to the world of high-end glass.
Adding a Canon 1.4x Extender transforms it into a 300mm f/2.8. The Canon 2x Extender doubles the pleasure at 400mm f/4. The lens with both extenders costs a staggering $6,557 — equivalent to some of the biggest, baddest 4K TVs out there, for example. But remember, this is for your favorite pro, and the combo takes place of 3 super telephoto prime lenses that would normally cost over $18,000.