A Photographer’s Christmas Wish List

Shopping for the photographer on your Christmas list can be tricky, but not if you use this list! (Copyright 2009/Andrew Boyd)

Shopping for the photographer on your Christmas list can be tricky, but not if you use this list! (Copyright 2009/Andrew Boyd)

What Christmas gift to get the photographer on your list? Always a tricky issue for a spouse/girlfriend/significant other/buddy. Now you can solve this problem by simply sending them this post at The Discerning Photographer! All of the items on this list are things I use myself in my daily work as a professional photographer, which means all of these items have been field tested and found to work. There are a few really cheap things on the list (amazing, since nothing seems to be cheap where photography is concerned), a bunch of mid-priced items and a couple on the pricy end of the spectrum. But I can promise you that any photographer receiving any of these items this holiday season will be pleased.  So happy shopping!

CF/SD card wallet—Pixel Pocket Rocket by Think Tank Photo  $16.50

CF card wallet from Think Tank.

CF card wallet from Think Tank.

Keeping up with your CF cards is a critical issue. This little wallet from Think Tank does the job well.

The Pocket Rocket card holder at Think Tank Photo

Original Domke camera bag.

Original Domke camera bag.

Domke camera bag—$102.95

Domke makes my favorite camera bags. They are relatively cheap, incredibly durable, tough, fairly waterproof, and come in lots of sizes and models. This is the original camera bag and the one that I still use every day.

The Domke F2 original bag at B&H Photo

Lens cloth/chamois  $6.95

Chamois-type lens cloth.

Chamois-type lens cloth.

I promise, this will work better than your sleeve. Everybody needs some version of this to wipe those big hulking fingerprints off their UV filter.

Chamois-type lens cloth at B&H Photo

Fotosharp rain cover.

Fotosharp rain cover.

Fotosharp 16” rain cover   $24.95

These are great rain covers and won’t break the bank. You’ll want a small one and if you have big lenses, a second, larger one. Buy them directly from Fotosharp.

See the rain covers at Fotosharp


Outdoor Research Dry Ditty Sacks (Pkg of 3) at REI.com.  $26.50.

These sacks can keep all sorts of gear dry, the way you want it.

These sacks can keep all sorts of gear dry, the way you want it.

Keeping your stuff dry when it rains or snows, or you take gear out on the water, is tremendously important. A set of these dry sacks is a great thing to keep in the trunk of your car.

REI.com dry sacks, set of three

A hot shoe-mounted bubble level.

A hot shoe-mounted bubble level.

Bubble level for hotshoe. $24.95.

This one from Jobu Designs is nice. Shooting landscapes, or shooting stitched-together panorama photographs, you need to have things truly level. This fits right in your camera’s hot shoe and will solve this problem.

Hot shoe bubble level at B&H Photo

Tiltall Tripod at Calumet Photo $99.95.

The Leitz Tiltall tripod.

The Leitz Tiltall tripod.

Leitz-type Tiltall tripod at Calumet Photo

My favorite tripod and a bargain at only a hundred bucks.

Bogen (Manfrotto) Super Clamp with ball head attached.

Bogen (Manfrotto) Super Clamp with ball head attached.

Bogen Super Clamp $26.99

Bogen Super Clamp at B&H Photo

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FLM Compact Ball Head $21.95

FLM ball head at B&H Photo

Having a Bogen Super Clamp with a small ball head is a wonderful gift for any photographer. With the clamp and ball head, you’ll be able to mount a camera, or a strobe, almost anywhere: down low, up high, clamped to a chair, railing, etc. We use a version of this to mount cameras to glass NBA backboards for those “Sports Illustrated” angles.

A pocket wizard. It's a wizard indeed!

A pocket wizard. It's a wizard indeed!

Pocket Wizard Remote triggers $338.00 for two units

Pocket Wizards at B&H Photo can fire your remote cameras or strobes!

This is an expensive, but very cool, present. These triggers allow you to fire a camera remotely, or set off a remote flash. Using radio signals, they allow you to shoot pictures when you can’t physically be in the position the camera is in. Only your creativity and imagination will limit what you can do with these. On a more mundane level, you can use them to eliminate the sync cords in your studio setup. You’ll want to buy the correct cords for attaching your particular brand of camera to them (they have a bunch of options.) Under the rail at the Kentucky Derby, high remote angles at political conventions, overhead shots at basketball games—Pocket Wizards are creating all of these photos.

A photographer's gray card.

A photographer's gray card.

Gray card by Delta, 4” x 5”, a bargain at only $2.49

Good, cheap gray cards at B&H Photo

When you want to get a true gray reference point, this is the way to go.

Sto-Fen Omni Bounce strobe diffuser,  $16.95

Sto-fen Omni Bounce attached to strobe unit.

Sto-fen Omni Bounce attached to strobe unit.

Omni-Bounce diffuser at B&H Photo

This is a great, cheap way to soften the light coming off your portable strobe unit. They make versions for most modern strobe units (this link is to the Canon 580EX that I use, but you’ll find your version if you need a different model.)

Posted in: Equipment

About the Author:

Photographer, videographer and photo editor. Host and creator of The Discerning Photographer web site. Currently a Canon shooter.

6 Comments on "A Photographer’s Christmas Wish List"

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  1. BayouBill says:

    Dear Santa,

    I already have the camera bag, dry bags, and tripod, and I think I can use a plastic garbage bag as a rain cover. So could you please bring me a Nikon D90, as recommended by my friend Andrew?

    Thanks very much,

    Bayou Bill

  2. Bill,
    I definitely see a D90 in your future….you won’t be sorry!
    Andrew

  3. BayouBill says:

    Okay, after several years away from it, I’ve jumped back in to the the SLR world – digital version. Ordered the Nikon D90 this evening and will hopefully have it by Christmas. Wish me luck!

  4. You won’t be sorry. That’s a great camera! Happy shooting!

  5. I had difficulty looking at this in Firefox but it works fine in IE. Don’t know if thats just my machine or something else. Anway, thanks for the post.

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