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.
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!
- Street Photography Now by Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren. This is a cool book that’s on my reading pile right now.
- 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.
- 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…
- Exposed by Michael Clark. The subtitle says it all: “Inside the Life and Images of a Pro Photographer”.
- Speedliter’s Handbook by Syl Arena. Shoot Canon? Want to get better with Canon Speedlites? Get this book.
- 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.
- Storytellers by Jerod Foster. Moving from photos to stories. Good stuff.
- The Passionate Photographer by Steven Simon. The subtitle “Ten Steps to Becoming Great” probably isn’t the most descriptive – but I liked this book.
- Photographically Speaking: A Deeper Look at Creating Stronger Images by David duChemin. ‘Cuz it’s duChemin …
- Going Pro: How to Make the Leap from Aspiring to Professional Photographer by Scotte Bourne and Skip Cohen.
- Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It by Scott Kelby. Good book.
- 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.
- Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision by David duChemin. See #9.
- 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.
- Vision & Voice: Refining Your Vision in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom by David duChemin. See #9.
- All Access: Your Backstage Pass to Concert Photography by Alan Hess. If music photography is your gig – check this one out.
- Visual Poetry by Chris Orwig. I’m simply a fan of Orwig’s work.
- 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.
- The Moment It Clicks by Joe McNally. Joe is a great teacher.
- Sketching Light by Joe McNally. Did I mention that Joe is a great teacher?
- Visual Stories by Vincent Laforet
- Vision Mongers: Making a Life and a Living in Photography by David duChemin. See #9.
- People Pictures: 30 Exercises for Creating Authentic Photographs by Chris Orwig. Just good stuff.
- Anything from Craft & Vision. Seriously.
- Seeing the Light: Making the Most of Available Light and Minimal Equipment by Mitchell Kanashkevich
- The Essentials of Street Photography: A 21st Century Guide to Photographically Capturing the Streets by James Maher
- Captivating Color: A Guide to Dramatic Color Photography by Mitchell Kanashkevich. Published through Digital Photography School.
- Getting Published in Photography Magazines by Mitchell Kanashkevich. Published through Digital Photography School.
- Going Pro: How to Make Money Through Your Photography by Kelly Kingman. Another one from Digital Photography School.
- The Essential Guide to Portrait Photography edited by Darren Rowse
DVD’s: Hey, it’s my list … I can change the rules :)
- Jeremy Cowart’s Lifefinder. Chillin’ with Jeremy on location. How cool is that?
- 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.
- OneLight by Zack Arias. Yeah – this one exceeds that whole $100 rule thing. This one also exceeds all expectations. It rocks.
- 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. :)
Looking for more ideas? Here are the first 4 editions:
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 photographer 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:
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.
The 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- REI Sahara Tech shirt. A great shirt at a pretty good price. Works both in the (casual) office and while traveling.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Photojojo is always a place to go shopping for your favorite photographer. This year they’ve added the Ring Flash Adapter.
- Lastolite TriGrip 1 Stop Diffuser. Great for those out-and-about portraits.
- Another Photojojo cool gift: The 360 Spinner from those Lomo folks.
- 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 automobiles. And it will probably do well in coffee shops or in that overstuffed chair next to the fire. Highly recommended.
- Scott Kelby’s new book – Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It. Working on my full review of this book now.
- 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.
- 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.
- Elements 10. Is there a better value in photography software?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cowboy hat. Odd item? Not if you’re going to get serious about shooting rodeos.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- Zoom H2 recorder. This is a great little tool.
- Lensbaby Sweet 35. The best Lensbaby optic yet? Still working on my review.
- 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:
- 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!
And if you’re looking for more ideas – here are the lists from the first 3 years: 1, 2, and 3.
(Disclosure: Camera 47 is an Amazon.com affiliate.)
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.
So – in no particular order – let’s get started:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Also over at Photojojo – the camera lens mug! In Canon or Nikon.
- 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.
- 10 stop filter. And this one is pretty reasonably priced (here’s another one that should be matched to his/her favorite landscape lens).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Instant images – for less than $100 with the Fujifilm INSTAX 210 (and don’t forget the film – here’s a double pack).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 5-in-1 40” reflector. At some point – we all need some fill light.
- 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!
(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.)