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The Annual 20 Photography Gifts Under $100 List: The Book Edition

Here it is – that time of year when holiday lists start popping up on the web…

This year – I thought I’d shake the list up a bit.  Yes – I’m keeping to the 20 Photo Gifts under $100 theme – but I thought I’d keep this year’s  list to books.

Christmas lights-1Why?

Well – first, books often offer a great value.  There are lot of great teachers right now publishing a lot of great resources. And, second, most of these are filled with a healthy dose of “get out there and shoot”.

I also gave myself a second constraint:  each of these books had to be on my shelf (or loaded onto the tablet).

Is this list exhaustive?  Golly, no.  There’s are a lot of good stuff out there today for photographers – but hopefully this gives you a running start.

So – in no particular order – here’s Camera 47’s Annual 20 Photography Gifts Under $100 List – The All Book Edition.  If you have any to add – please don’t hesitate to list them in the comments.  Enjoy!

Books

  1. Street Photography Now by Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren.  This is a cool book that’s on my reading pile right now.
  2. 2013 Photographer’s Market.  If you’re looking for places to sell your work – this very well could be a great place to start with over 1,500 listings for stock agencies, print publishers, and more.  There is also a collection of articles aimed at helping you with your business.
  3. The Americans by Robert Frank.  I’m not going to say every photographer should have this one on the shelf.  Not going to say it…
  4. Exposed by Michael Clark.  The subtitle says it all: “Inside the Life and Images of a Pro Photographer”.
  5. Speedliter’s Handbook by Syl Arena.  Shoot Canon?  Want to get better with Canon Speedlites?  Get this book.
  6. The Digital Photography Book 1,2, 3, and 4 by Scott Kelby.  Are you a beginner / immediate photographer?  For the love of sushi – please, just buy and read these books.  The “advanced” folks will likely get something out of these, too.
  7. Storytellers by Jerod Foster.  Moving from photos to stories.  Good stuff.
  8. The Passionate Photographer by Steven Simon.  The subtitle “Ten Steps to Becoming Great” probably isn’t the most descriptive – but I liked this book.
  9. Photographically Speaking: A Deeper Look at Creating Stronger Images by David duChemin.  ‘Cuz it’s duChemin …
  10. Going Pro: How to Make the Leap from Aspiring to Professional Photographer by Scotte Bourne and Skip Cohen.
  11. Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It by Scott Kelby.  Good book.  Christmas lights for blog-2
  12. Hope in the Dark by Jeremy Cowart.  I wish this book were still readily available but unfortunately it’s not.  Check the used book stores.  This is a good one.
  13. Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision by David duChemin.  See #9.
  14. Lighting Notebook by Kevin Kubota.  Great lighting book.  Also – if you ever get a chance to hear Kevin talk – do it.  I caught him up at WPPI U.  Enjoyed it.
  15. Vision & Voice: Refining Your Vision in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom by David duChemin.  See #9.
  16. All Access: Your Backstage Pass to Concert Photography by Alan Hess.  If music photography is your gig – check this one out.
  17. Visual Poetry by Chris Orwig.  I’m simply a fan of Orwig’s work.
  18. Fast Track Photographer by Dane Sanders.  Most will say this book is focused on making a run at the wedding photography business – but I think it’s about building a photography business with wedding specific examples.
  19. The Moment It Clicks by Joe McNally.  Joe is a great teacher.
  20. Sketching Light by Joe McNally.  Did I mention that Joe is a great teacher?
  21. Visual Stories by Vincent Laforet
  22. Vision Mongers: Making a Life and a Living in Photography by David duChemin.  See #9.
  23. People Pictures: 30 Exercises for Creating Authentic Photographs by Chris Orwig.  Just good stuff.

E-Books

  1. Anything from Craft & Vision.  Seriously.
  2. Seeing the Light: Making the Most of Available Light and Minimal Equipment by Mitchell Kanashkevich
  3. The Essentials of Street Photography: A 21st Century Guide to Photographically Capturing the Streets by James Maher Christmas lights for blog-4
  4. Captivating Color: A Guide to Dramatic Color Photography by Mitchell Kanashkevich.  Published through Digital Photography School.
  5. Getting Published in Photography Magazines by Mitchell Kanashkevich.  Published through Digital Photography School.
  6. Going Pro: How to Make Money Through Your Photography by Kelly Kingman.  Another one from Digital Photography School.
  7. The Essential Guide to Portrait Photography edited by Darren Rowse

DVD’s: Hey, it’s my list … I can change the rules   :)

  1. Jeremy Cowart’s Lifefinder.  Chillin’ with Jeremy on location.  How cool is that?
  2. Photo Recipes Live Behind the Scenes 1 and 2.  Not sure where I learned more on lighting – from these or from Zack’s One Light stuff.
  3. OneLight by Zack Arias.  Yeah – this one exceeds that whole $100 rule thing.  This one also exceeds all expectations.  It rocks.
  4. People Pictures: Creating Authentic Photographs with Chris Orwig.  This complements Orwig’s People Pictures book.  Simply good stuff.

Hope that helps – but if your photographer has all of it (or wants none of it) – how about something like this?  It’s great for making smoothies.  :)

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Looking for more ideas?  Here are the first 4 editions:

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15 Images from 2011

I’m thankful to have had a chance to really stretch myself as a photographer in 2011.  Now – that doesn’t mean I nailed every shot I pointed my camera at (in fact – I missed quite a few images) – and it doesn’t mean that I shot everything on my “2011 list” – but it was a great year for learning – from having the chance to fly half around the world to deciphering some studio lighting.  In between – I had opportunities to shoot more rodeo and hot air balloons – and to teach an informal travel photography class and write an article for PhotographyBB (both were great learning curves!).

As I’ve done the last few years, I’m posting images from the year that I think sum up what could be considered some of my best work.  For folks new to this blog – I simply think this process of handpicking and culling photos from a year – the process of drawing a line in the sand – is a great exercise to really sharpen the proverbial pencil.  There’s no need to post your images on a blog or on Flickr  or Facebook – but I highly recommend trying this exercise.

In year’s past – I’ve posted 10 images – and then I quickly followed up with “ten more”.  Well – this year – I decided to simply post 15 images without a follow up.  Maybe next year – I can actually get myself to only 10.  :)

It’s probably not surprising – but this year’s list is heavily weighted with images from Uganda (6 photos).

Also – maybe not surprising – buts something that struck me after I compiled this list – many of the images – at least in my opinion – had a lighting element that could be considered striking or extraordinary.

Are these my “15 best”?  Maybe some of these would make that list – it’s hard to say exactly.  Regardless – I hope they represent a range of some of my better images from the year.

So – here you go – in no particular order – 15 images from 2011.  And – if you have any feedback – please don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments.

Fishermen on Lake Victoria.

2011 top images-4

Playing with sparklers (+ long exposure).

2011 top images-8 Traffic on Highway 99.

2011 top images-21

I was taking some photos inside this classroom between classes – and this girl was just drawing on the board.

2011 top images-15

At the Northwest Art & Air Festival.

2011 top images-1

Boda-boda drivers outside of Kampala, Uganda.

2011 top images-6

Steer wrestling at the Philomath Frolic & Rodeo.

2011 top images-12

Rough stock riders prepare at the Benton County Rodeo.

2011 top images-3

Green heron fledgling.

2011 top images-9

Hot air balloons at sunrise.

2011 top images-17Rain at Rally for Life in Salem, Oregon.

2011 top images-14

Sunrise.  Uganda.

2011 top images-5

Carver at the carousel in Salem, Oregon.

2011 top images-10

Boy playing at a school in Kampala.

2011 top images-7

From the back of a boda-boda outside of Kampala.2011 top images-16

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The 2011 Big List of Holiday Gift Lists for Photographers!

I posted the 4th Annual 20 Photography Gifts Under $100 a couple of weeks ago  – and today I wanted to pass along to you more holiday gift ideas for the Christmas lights for blog-3photographer on your list.  If I’ve missed your favorite collection of gift ideas (or if you have one of your own posted out on the web) – please – just let us know about it in the comments below.

So – in no particular order – here you go:

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4th Annual 20 Photography Gifts Under $100 (Plus 4 More)

It’s that time of year again – and I’m starting to see holiday gift guides pop up around the web – which means it must be time for our annual photography gift list!  As for the other lists?  Well, there are a lot of really good ones out there – so swing on by here in the next couple of weeks – and I’ll try to cobble together a large list for ya’ll to check out.

As for this year – I’ve decided to mix it up a bit – and give myself some ground rules:

  • I really wanted 20 gifts under $100.  So – I gave myself “4 More” – just for fun to stretch the $100 budget.
  • No Scott Kelby or David duChemin…  OK – just kidding.  :)   I could fill an entire Christmas list with only super cool stuff from both of these guys.

Christmas lights for blog-2The rule I really wanted to impose on myself this year– but just couldn’t:

I have tested, used, and love all of the gear on this list.

I tried (I really did) – but I just don’t buy that much gear in a year.  When I first tried to cobble together the list with that self-imposed rule – it included things like parachute cord just to keep the list up around 20 items (regardless – you should have some in the bottom of your bag for your next trip – seems innocuous until you really need it).  That said – I’ve actually used most of the gear here – but there’s some fun stuff on here I just haven’t had a chance to try yet.

So – in no particular order – here’s the 4th Annual 20 Photography Gifts Under $100:

  1. Cowboy Studio Radio Triggers.  If your favorite photographer is thinking about taking their hot shoe flash off camera – this is a great tool at a great price to get them started.
  2. Leatherman Squirt PS4.  On the very first list I had the P4.  But now there’s no reason to choose between pliers or scissors – they’re both on the PS4. 
  3. REI Sahara Tech shirt.  A great shirt at a pretty good price.  Works both in the (casual) office and while traveling.
  4. Diana F+ lens.  It’s plastic, inexpensive, and fun.  Just make sure to get both parts – the lens and the adapter to the correct camera brand.
  5. Timex Expedition watch.  I was looking for something in non-descript black that had an alarm and this watch has done very well in the field.
  6. Domke insert.  Turn a favorite messenger or backpack into a favorite camera bag.  I used one of these in Uganda (you can read my review here).
  7. Photojojo is always a place to go shopping for your favorite photographer.  This year they’ve added the Ring Flash Adapter.
  8. Lastolite TriGrip 1 Stop Diffuser. Great for those out-and-about portraits.
  9. Another Photojojo cool gift:  The 360 Spinner from those Lomo folks.
  10. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.  OK – so it’s not a photography book – but it’s a great read for trains, planes, or automobChristmas lights for blog-1iles.  And it will probably do well in coffee shops or in that overstuffed chair next to the fire.  Highly recommended.
  11. Scott Kelby’s new book – Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It.  Working on my full review of this book now. 
  12. Hello Somebody watch.  OK – you can actually give this one to just about anybody on your list.  And while you’re stuffing your stockings with watches – you’re helping to feed kids in Africa.
  13. People Pictures by Chris Orwig.  If your photographer takes photos of people – even if it’s just at family birthday parties – this is a great book.
  14. Elements 10.  Is there a better value in photography software?
  15. Wacom Bamboo Capture Pen Tablet.  This is one of the new tablets from Wacom.  The Capture allows for both pen and multi-touch input – and it includes some cool software, too – all for under $100.
  16. BlackRapid.  What’s a list without BlackRapid?  Check out their new RS-Sport 2.  If they already have a BlackRapid strap and would like to make it more sporty – check out the Brad mod.
  17. A year in the Craft & Vision community.  A gift that simply keeps on giving.  Great member only blogs, a monthly ebook, and a discount on the rest of the Craft & Vision library.
  18. Cowboy hat.  Odd item?  Not if you’re going to get serious about shooting rodeos.
  19. Costco canvas.  If your favorite photographer hasn’t yet printed a photo on canvas – treat them to one.  Now a lot of folks print photos on canvas these days – but it’s tough to match the Costco value.
  20. Lowepro memory card wallet.  I can carry 4 compact flash cards with cases.   OK – so I modified it a bit by cutting out some parts – but it works great in the field for those big bit-burning days.
  21. The LomoKino.  If experimenting with silent analog movies is your photographer’s thing – here’s the tool.  If you want to learn more about this camera – check out the LomoKino Vimeo Channel.

4 more for just a bit more:

  1. The North Face Base Camp duffel.  From yaks to airplanes.  This is a great bag.  There are a few sizes and colors to choose from.  I like the medium and large versions for their versatility.
  2. Zoom H2 recorder.  This is a great little tool.
  3. Lensbaby Sweet 35.  The best Lensbaby optic yet?  Still working on my review.
  4. For $1200 you can buy a Canon tilt-lens or for just about 1/10 of the price you could just head on over to Photojojo and you could pick up this tilt-shift camera!

Item I wish I could have put on this list:

  1. F-Stop Loka.  Great pack – just too expensive to make the list.  You can find my review here.

 

Hope that helps – but if your photographer has all of this (or wants none of it) – get ‘em a Hawaiian shirt!

 

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And if you’re looking for more ideas – here are the lists from the first 3 years:  1, 2, and 3.

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(Disclosure:  Camera 47 is an Amazon.com affiliate.)

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3rd Annual 20 Photography Gifts Under $100

Here it is, the 3rd Annual 20 Photography Gifts Under $100. Now I realize there are a lot of other great gift guides out there (like Kelby’s 5th Annual Holiday Gear Guide) – but they’re just now hitting the airwaves – so check back in a week or two and I’ll try to get a list out to ya’ll.tree-107

So – in no particular order – let’s get started:

  1. Not every photographer wears ball caps – and on sunny days it’s important to have something shading the ears and neck – which takes us to those brimmed hats.  Now – I had one of these Proppers given to me while I was shooting a gig this last summer (thanks, Kevin!) – and I found it to be a great hat (so much that if I lost mine – I’d replace it). It’s lightweight, durable, and crushable – and pretty much nothing else comes in at this price.
  2. Ball caps from The Clink Room.  These guys are great!  They’ve been growing over the last year – and have posted some very cool designs.
  3. OK – this one is over $100 – but it’s a Think Tank bag… the Retrospective 10.  It rocks.  You can read my review here.  And while you’re over there – check out Think Tank’s Pixel Pocket Rocket to help tidy up all of those memory cards.
  4. Kelby’s Photo Recipes Live.  Bottom line – lighting befuddles me –even though I’ve read about the photon vs. wave stuff.  But – Kelby’s book helps me unbefuddle the whole thing about people + photons (which is not taught in most physics courses).
  5. E-books from Craft & Vision.  Just an idea – you could purchase all of these for your sweetie… and then load them on to a jump drive… or CD … or a brand new tablet (insert favorite platform here).  Of course, that last idea doesn’t officially land on this list – it’s WAY OVER $100.
  6. Citizen Eco-Drive watch.  There are a lot of great watches out there and this one is cool for two reasons.   One – it’s solar powered.  Second – the face is less than 40mm – so it doesn’t look gargantuan on my middlin’-small wrist.
  7. In the 1st Annual list – I added the Gorillapod – here on the 3rd list – it’s Joby’s Ballhead X.  It holds up to 11 lbs – and it’s rock solid.  You can read my review here. singers-107
  8. P-filters for your favorite landscape photographer!  You can get the holder (here’s the Cokin 77mm) – and two Hitech filters (such as the graduated neutral density 0.6 and 0.9 – soft edge) for less than a bill.  It’s a heck of a deal – and with a little practice – could help with his/her landscape images.  Just make sure to match the the filter holder’s ring size to their favorite landscape lens.
  9. If your photographer uses Lightroom – consider duChemin’s new book Voice & Vision: Refining Your Vision in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.  It’s a great opportunity to look over the shoulder of a great photographer and teacher.
  10. What cool things do the folks over at Photojojo have that you could throw into a stocking?  Well – consider the SLR pinhole lens.  Very cool, very retro.
  11. Also over at Photojojo – the camera lens mug!  In Canon or Nikon.
  12. When your favorite photographer is traveling – and the MP3 player is rockin’ the tunes – let ‘em listen comfortably with the compact classic Koss PortaPro’s.  I’ve been sporting a pair of these for something close to a decade.
  13. 10 stop filter.  And this one is pretty reasonably priced (here’s another one that should be matched to his/her favorite landscape lens).
  14. Another one just over the $100 line – but if your photographer has a Lensbaby – and doesn’t yet have a fisheye lens – consider the LB Fisheye Optic!  It’s small, lightweight, and a heck of a lot of fun.
  15. You know, those folks at Blackrapid just keep working.  The RS4 has been pretty hard at work on my camera for about 18 months.  Now they have the RS-5, RS-7, and RS-W1 (just for women).  I can’t say enough good things about Blackrapid straps. penguins-107
  16. Reverse mount rings for macro photograph.  There simply is not a lower cost method to get started in macro photography.  Two styles to choose from:  reverse your favorite lens directly to your camera – or try stacking two lenses together (I have one that joins my 50mm to the 85mm lens).
  17. Instant images – for less than $100 with the Fujifilm INSTAX 210 (and don’t forget the film – here’s a double pack).
  18. This could become a backpacking essential – the Lowepro Toploader Zoom 50 AW + chest harness.  This will fit a 50D + 17-55mm f/2.8.  There are plenty of bigger sizes available if your photog carries larger glass into the backcountry.
  19. Another one  a bit more than a $100 (OK – it’s $250) – but if you’re photographer is shooting one of those ultra hip micro 4/3 cameras – and has wanted to try tilt photography – the new Lensbaby Tilt Transformer is pretty cool – and pretty inexpensive when compared to a Canon TS lens.  And if you don’t have Nikon glass around to attach to it – consider this nifty-fifty.
  20. Here’s a gift that just keeps on giving – Kelby Training right on your computer.  Top notch instructors  include McNally, Kloskowski, Cross, Concepcion, and White – and it’s only $24.95 a month.
  21. 5-in-1 40” reflector.  At some point – we all need some fill light.
  22. And what would a photographer’s gift list be without a Gary Fong light shaper on it?  Check out the Lightsphere.

OK – so I didn’t count all that well.  But if you’re still looking for more ideas – check out the 1st and 2nd year lists, too.

And, if the photographer on your list has all of this – or will have none of it – just get ‘em juggling clubs!

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(On a side note – for that “little something extra gift” for just about anybody on your list – the 2011 Hot Air Balloon calendar is on sale for only $15 over on MagCloud.  The cool part?  70% of the proceeds are going to Show Mercy International.)

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2nd Annual 20 Photography Gifts Under $100

happy dog - low res-1Here it is … Camera 47’s 2nd Annual 20 Photography Gifts Under $100.  Of course, there are plenty of other holiday gift guides out there – so check back – and I’ll try to get a list of those posted soon.

And if you’re looking for more ideas – the 1st Annual list can be found here.

So, without further introduction – here you go – in no particular order – 20 ideas for your favorite photographer:

  1. The best photography book I read in 2009?  DuChemin’s Within the Frame.  Read the review here.  And if the photographer on your list already has that one – here’s his new book – VisionMongers.
  2. Another great book – Photographer’s Eye.  You can find the review here.
  3. Hot Shoe Diaries has become one of the hottest photography books of ‘09.  Why?  Because McNally has nailed it with this great book on minimalist lighting.  You can find my review here.
  4. Moleskin notebooks – the small size.  Perfect for all of those in-the-field note taking moments.  Easily fits in the back pocket or in the camera bag.  Conveniently, it’s a 3 pack.
  5. A Kenko extension tube in your photographer’s favorite mount.  One of these in the bag could save space and dollars – replacing the need for a dedicated macro lens for those occasional micro opportunities.
  6. Cool, hip travel / photo vest from Scottevest.  I haven’t had a chance to try this out yet – but it’s receiving great reviews.  Check it out here.
  7. And to keep all of those great back-at-the-desk notes – a Maker’s Notebook.
  8. B+W neutral density filter to help with those landscape photos (just make sure you get the right size).
  9. Blackrapid RS-4 strap – lightweight and room for a couple of memory cards – or you could try the newest model – the RS-5!  Bottom line – the RS-4 hasn’t left my camera since July.
  10. Via from Starbucks. Why?  Because this is more than just the best instant coffee I’ve ever tried – it actually tastes good.  It has solved my backcountry java dilemma – and it’s good for an emergency cup in the office, too.  It comes in Colombia or Italian Roast.
  11. The updated Digital Photography series from Scott Kelby – now goes to 3!
  12. The retro-styled seatbelt camera strap – from the same folks who brought you the Super Secret Spy Lens – Photojojo (who else?).
  13. Lowepro shoulder bag… Stylish, discrete, well made, and convenient (and just a small bit over our $100 limit).
  14. And speaking of stylish, discrete, and convenient – check out this new setup from Mountainsmith.
  15. Cap from his / her favorite basketball team.
  16. If your favorite photographer already has a Lensbaby Composer – the 0.42x wide angle lens attachment could be a great addition.
  17. One year of Smugmug – to share photos with friends and family near and far.
  18. OK – another one that exceeds the $100 limit – but seriously – it’s an opportunity to learn lighting from Zach Arias.  Very cool.
  19. Wacom’s new Bamboo Pen and Touch tablet – making it easier to work with those photos.
  20. For the panoramic shooter in your life – from the Photojojo folks – The Perfect Pano + The Level Camera Cube!

And, if none of this fits the photographer on your list – get ‘em an In-N-Out t-shirt!

(just typing that out makes me hungry for a Double-Double – “animal style” – of course)

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Filed under action / sports, backpacking, book review, destination, event photography, gear, hiking, macro photography, misc, photojournalism, review, travel

20 Photography Gifts Under $100

snow windmill-1Doggone it – wouldn’t you know it – just as I started to sketch out this cool idea for compiling a list of 20 gifts under $100 – Scott, of Scott Kelby, released his 3rd Annual Gonzo Holiday Gear Guide.  Well, go check his out, too – but, keep in mind, he has things like a Canon 5D MkII in there – which is likely not a stocking stuffer in my house.

So, without delay (and in no particular order) – here’s Camera 47′s 1st Annual 20 Photography Gifts Under $100 for your all-too-good-this-year photographer:

  1. The Moment It Clicks by Joe McNally: $33
  2. Kelby’s Digital Photography Boxed Set ( Volumes 1&2): $27
  3. Best Business Practices for Photographers by John Harrington: $20
  4. Gorillapod SLR-Zoom(I’m thinking DSLR’s – but there are smaller sizes…): $50
  5. Lowepro SlingShot 200AWgeneral all-purpose bag for a small kit: $90
  6. HonlPhoto Snoot: $25
  7. Subscription to Outdoor Photographer: $15
  8. Subscription to Popular Photography: $14
  9. Subscription to Shutterbug: $18
  10. Subscription to Make (hey, wait, how did that make the list?): $35
  11. Photojojo’s Secret Spy Lens: $50
  12. Refurbished iPod Nano 8GBcuz every photographer needs to chill on occasion: $99
  13. Kata E-702 Elements Cover (for the rain): $40
  14. Holga camera (OK – it’s film – but it’s cool): $28
  15. Leatherman Squirt P4 Multi-Toolsmall and compact tool for the bag – just don’t forget about it before boarding the  plane – or it’ll be on your list for next year, too: $40
  16. Ball cap from favorite team. $35
  17. Blackrapid camera strap: $44-$56
  18. RMSP weekend courseOK – this breaks the $100 barrier – but for newer photographers – this is a great series of classes: $179
  19. Small 11 LED flashlight: $12
  20. Comfortable, all-terrain Chaco sandals: $95

There you go.  And if you’re photographer has all of this (or wants none of it) – no worries – get ‘em a ukulele!

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Update (Dec 2009): For folks looking for the 2nd Annual 20 Photography Gifts Under $100 – you can find it here.

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