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Gifts for Photographers

Looking for gift ideas for that hard to shop for photographer?  Here are some suggestions that might come in very handy!  Of course the best gift you could give someone would be one of my photo tours:)   But here are some other options as well:


Order HD Helmet HERO at GoPro.com

The new GoPro.com camera has to be at the top of the list!  This tiny camera really is incredible.  It can do HD video, even 1080 HD at 60 frames per second!  4K video at 15 fps.  It can take still photos and time-lapses at 12 megapixels.  It is water proof, has wifi built in for remote use – even a large camera with these capabilities would have cost a fortune until now.  This camera just came out, and I’m sure any photographer you know could think of a million uses and could have a blast with this thing!

Petzl E99 PG Tikka XP 2 Headlamp.   I really like this tiny little light weight headlamp because it at 80 lumens, it is super bright!  Because it is so small and light, it always stays in my camera bag, and sure comes in handy on the pre sunrise / post sunset hikes that photographers are often forced to make in the pursuit of light.  But, the thing that really makes this one sweet for photography is the addition of the red LED light.  The red light allows you to see your camera gear in the dark without messing up your night vision – perfect for night photography of star trails, northern lights etc.

LED Keychain Micro-Light I love these little things and usually keep one on the zipper of my camera bag, and on my jacket.  Gee, I’m noticing a light theme here – fitting for winter in Alaska.

Leatherman 830039 New Wave Multitool There is a reason you see these on the belts or in the pockets of many Alaskans – this all around tool comes in really handy!  I have been carrying mine in my camera bag for many years – this is the new and improved model of the old one I have.   I have gotten so used to having it in my camera bag that I made the mistake of leaving mine in my bag as I went through security at the airport – whoops!

Little Hotties Hand Warmers 40 Pairs This time of year you can’t have too many chemical hand warmers – I always leave a pair or two in my camera bag.  Not only are they great for rewarming hands once they get cold – gloves are ineffective at warming cold hands, but, I will also put them in the pockets of my jacket and use this as a place to rewarm and replenish camera batteries if I’m in real cold weather.

Reflectors and defusers Most photographers can’t have too many of these.  They are great for close-up work and people photography.  You can get them in all different sizes – something for every budget.

Digital frames Most photographers love to share photos with family and co-workers, and having a  nice  digital frame for the office or home makes a great gift for most any photographer.  I can’t recommend a particular one as I don’t own one, but I have found the buyer feedback on Amazon to be pretty accurate.

iPad I know I love mine and what gift list would be complete an Ipad on it.

Books.   I can’t own enough books, I’m running out of room to store them all.  I have books on particular animal species, books on locations, and books on photography.  Here are some of my favorites:

Outdoor photography

Galen Rowell’s classic book Inner Game of Outdoor Photography had been out of print until being re-released this year – this is a classic, and likely isn’t in the library of a newer photographer.  Another great book on outdoor photography is  Galen Rowell’s Vision: The Art of Adventure Photography

I haven’t seen this book, but know most of the contributors so feel fairly safe in recommending:  The Ultimate Guide to Digital Nature Photography

Jeff Wignell has written far more books on photography then most people will even read in a lifetime!  You can’t go wrong with any of his popular books including:  The NEW Joy of Digital Photography (Lark Photography Book)

I haven’t seen this book, but know most of the contributors so feel fairly safe in recommending:  The Ultimate Guide to Digital Nature Photography

Location Guides

These can be very helpful and provide a nice running head start for photographing any location.  I like to try to find my own “hot spots”, but there is nothing wrong with getting some help finding the existing ones.

Photographing California – Vol. 1: North – A Guide to the Natural Landmarks of the Golden State  I haven’t seen this brand new guide book yet, but the author, Gray Grabbe is an old friend who I have meet up with over the years everywhere from Jackson Hole Wyoming to Palm Springs – I know Gary did an awesome job and I’ll be picking up a copy for myself.

Wild in Arizona: Photographing Arizona’s Wildflowers, A Guide to When, Where, and How Colleen Miniuk-Sperry is another friend of mine and I do own this book – it is excellent!   I wouldn’t go without it if I was going to Arizona.

Here are more guides I have found valuable:

Photographing the Southwest: Volume 1–Southern Utah (2nd Ed.)
Photographing the Southwest: Volume 2–Arizona (2nd Ed.)
Photographing the Southwest: Volume 3–Colorado/New Mexico (Photographing the Soutwest)
Photographer’s Guide to Yellowstone and the Tetons
The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite
Photographing Oregon (Phototripsusa)

I could probably do a whole new section on just ebooks – they are definitely the way of the future.  To start with, pretty much any thing published by Guy Tal would be an excellent starting place – his writing and photography are both inspiring and incredible.  You can find them here:  Guy Tal  Guy is another old friend who I have spent time photographing with in his home state of Utah.

Jim Goldstein’s book, Photographing the 4th Dimension-Time is another excellent choice that would expand the technical abilities of most photographers – you can read my review here:  Photographing the 4th Dimension – Time

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About the author: Ron Niebrugge is an Alaska based outdoor photographer specializing in landscapes, wildlife and travel photography. Ron shares his travels and adventures here on the blog. To see more photos, or to learn about Ron’s photo tours and workshops, visit our main photo website.

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Greg Vaughn November 30, 2012, 7:59 am

    Great list, Ron. Thanks for including “Photographing Oregon” in your guidebook suggestions!

  • Ron November 30, 2012, 9:35 am

    Thanks Greg – you welcome! Look forward to crossing paths out in the field with you one day!

  • Richard Wong November 30, 2012, 11:19 am

    Excellent list, Ron. I recently bought an iPad for myself and love it too! Maybe a little too much though, with the game apps… lol.

  • Ron November 30, 2012, 5:34 pm

    Thanks Richard – they really are cool devices – no more newspaper deliveries for me!

  • Russ Bishop November 30, 2012, 6:21 pm

    Great suggestions here Ron. I think any photographer would be happy with any of these items (the GoPro and iPad have to top the list of course ;-)

  • David F. December 2, 2012, 3:38 am

    Waiting for this list every year Ron.

    Love it!

  • Ron December 2, 2012, 5:26 pm

    Thanks David!

    Russ – I agree, those are my top two as well!

  • eva julita December 3, 2012, 8:51 pm

    LEVERAGE
    Do the work once and get paid forever.

  • Nancy Young December 27, 2012, 4:56 am

    It’s very cool list, Ron!
    I know that some gift ideas not imply the presence of pictures, yet feel the lack of images in the post… Anyway, thank you for the ideas! :)
    Christmas ended up, but there are lots of holidays and occasions in future. So, I’d like to share with you my huge list of gift ideas for photographers http://photodoto.com/gifts-for-photographers/ Hopefully, you’ll appreciate it by far :) I know that sometimes you feel just out of ideas, so I wish this post turns useful.

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