Every year, I do a gift guide for photographers. Instead of focusing on some of the larger items as I've done in the past, I thought I'd take time out to identify more accessories and peripherals that any photographer would love. More often than not, photographers save up for their gear purchases and are very specific about things like lenses and cameras, so you probably don't need me to tell you what they need.
Here are 10 gift ideas for photographers that any photographer would love to receive for the 2013 holiday season.
I recommend Adobe Lightroom year and after year, and 2013's Lightroom 5 release is no different. Adobe is the industry standard for image processing, Lightroom 5 is the company's best software yet for editing RAW files. If you're working with an older version of Lightroom, the 5th generation software is even more powerful and streamlined.
Wacom Intuos Small Tablet
Using a pen and tablet interface for photo processing is an extremely efficient and comfortable way to work with images, especially when precision is needed. The Wacomo Intuos small tablet is a fantastic option for any photographer that can cut down on wrist fatigue and nerve stress that can be caused from using a mouse.
Having a good flashlight can be indispensable to a photographer, and the Sunwayman V11R is one of the very best compact flashlights that will most standard flashlights to shame. The insanely bright 500 lumen LED bulb lights up dark locations and camera bags with ease, but the real beauty of this LED flashlight is the infinitely variable output — a control ring makes it super easy to dial in exactly as much light as you need for any given task. The Sunwayman V11R is something that any photographer would be happy to throw into their camera bag. The Sunwayman V11R can take both CR123 and AA batteries, making it extremely versatile as well.
For extended location shoots, roadtrips, and vacations, having enough juice for one's electronic devices is a constant problem, even more so for the digital photographer. Perfect for travel or anytime you need to have power on the go, the Limeade 18000mAH external battery packs enough juice for multiple recharges of phones or tablets or even camera batteries, and even offers two USB slots for simultaneous charging of two devices.
A photographer can never have too many camera bags. The Think Tank Urban Disguise 40 is a bag that has the ability to slim down or expand to accommodate more gear, thanks to outer pouches, giving you the flexibility to carry as much as two camera bodies and 3-4 f/2.8 zoom lenses. This As a bonus, this bag is part of Think Tank's Urban Disguise line and features a low key design that blends right in on a morning subway commute.
Pelican are known for making extremely robust cases and are used by pros around the world to safeguard their gear. These Pelican memory card cases take the same rugged design philosophy of the full-sized cases and give the same protection to memory cards in a tough, waterproof solution that help keep your images safe until download. Pelican makes both a CF memory card case and an SD memory card case.
Even for the photographer who has the latest and greatest digital equipment, there's a quality of serendipity and singularity with instant prints that any photographer can love.
Moleskine notebooks seem to have become ubiquitous in recent years, but with good reason. They're tough, go-anywhere resources, and for the photographer, they're perfect for jotting down shooting notes, lighting ideas, and planning out photography ideas. The squared grid notebooks are particularly nice for sketching out lighting diagrams. At 3.5 x 5.5, the Moleskine Classic Notebook is a great size for a camera bag
Photographers happen to buy a lot of things in boxes, which are usually shipped in larger boxes. Open these like a pro with a high quality pocket knife like the Spyderco Dragonfly.
This pocket knife is ultra lightweight due to fiberglass-reinforced nylon handles, features the Japanese super steel ZDP-189 for extremely high edge retention, and a full-flat ground blade that cuts like a laser beam. Plus, the Spyderco Dragonfly is small enough that no one is going to mistake you for a mall ninja and it slips into any camera bag for small cutting chores.
Most photographers spend a large amount of time at a computer editing and processing their work, and, for many, listening to music doing this work is an essential part of the process. Upgrade this experience with some quality headphones. The Son MDR-V6 are studio headphones that deliver time-tested quality with great build quality. Just read the reviews on Amazon if you have any doubts — these headphones have a legion of dedicated fans.