Gift shopping for my DH (my garden photographer) is often a challenge, so I thought I would share my victories and maybe be able to help others with gift ideas for those difficult-to-buy-for photographers on your list. A photographer is someone for whom you inhale first, fretting about the cost of their hobby. Then you fret about what they already have of which you were not aware, and of what they wouldn’t possibly use. Well, this list of suggestions is not geared to whether your photographer is a Canon or Nikon person, or what lenses are already in their bag, but of little (and somewhat big) extras that will give them joy.
First, let me confess that I love photos on a computer screen and printed in hard copy. It is a pleasure to turn pages in an album, turn pages in a book, or mouse around. However, it is rare that an amateur photographer who does somewhat extensive photo-editing (other than cropping and straightening) has both the computer screen and printer set up to match each other — often, amateurs are disappointed with the final print even when they like what is shown on the computer screen. So, I suggest a great gift is software that will calibrate your computer monitor and profile your printer so that prints more closely resemble what you see on your screen:
1. X-Rite ColorMunki Photo
This is software and hardware that includes a spectrophotometer allowing the user to adjust and match colors among devices.
The ColorMunki Photo software and hardware will calibrate your computer monitors, projectors, and create profiles for your printers so that what you see on screen matches more closely what you’ll get in print. It is fairly pricey (list $500), but will save a ton of paper and ink and time and frustration that you would be otherwise experiencing to get the final print that you like, as well as satisfy you when switching between monitors, projectors, and TVs to show off your best and favorite photos.
There are also colorimeters that will calibrate just your screen (such as one of the “spyders” at $120 to $350 at the time of this post) but no other single package that will match your output to a printer from a computer screen at the price point of the ColorMunki Photo.
2. X-Rite Passport Software or
CameraTrax 24ColorCard-3×5 (OneSnapColor) with 12% White Balance Card and User Guidebook
While we are on color, you could buy your fave photographer a simple color card to make sure his/her camera is set to capture the authentic colors he/she loved when taking the original picture. The CameraTrax card is a sturdy $30 basic solution that is a bit more DIY
and the X-Rite Passport a more automated $100 software and hardware solution.
DH has the Passport.
3. Blurb Photo Book
For as little as $11 (not including shipping) up to $50 for 20 photos, you can get your photos turned into a hard copy photo book for giving to someone special as long as you give your photos to Blurb as late as December 10 (or 12 for special delivery)!
Shipping can cost from $8 to $20 depending on how much time one gives Blurb to deliver. We have seen these books and they are quite nice! Blurb does a good job and can deliver quantities with discounts from 5 to 15% for everyone on your list. But timing is of the essence if you want your book for Christmas giving. Other well rated photo book publishers are VioVio and Samy’s Camera. Cross-comparison is available here.
4. Travel Mugs, Shot Glasses, Bracelets, Etc. – A Whole Shopping Site
There is a site called PhotoJoJo that has a ton of “cute” photographer gifts for those not quite sure what to get, don’t want to spend too much, and still want a memorable gift. Whether the photographer favors Canon or Nikon products, the travel mugs or bracelets for either type will definitely please. The mugs are so realistic that they almost fooled DH last year, thinking I had given him a lens he already had! They run from $25 to $40 each. The bracelets start at $15.
Check out the site for other great gifts.
5. Brite Vue Visible Dust Magnifier
This is a lighted magnifying loupe to detect dust on your photographer’s camera sensor so that it can be removed. It works with cameras with interchangeable lenses, and runs about $85-90.
6. Eye-Fi Wireless Storage for Camera
One of the more frustrating experiences for camera buffs is to be out for a long day or trip of shooting and to run out of storage on the camera’s flash card. The Eye-Fi Connect 4 to 16GB ($35 to $100) wireless cards allows you to wirelessly transmit your camera data back to your computer, phone, or any other storage device to free up more camera storage.
Some of us take our computers with us to download at the end of a day of shooting, but this little memory card will allow us to free up space in the middle of the day or whenever needed without having to lug our computer along for that purpose.
7. The Nice Clip Lens Cap Holder
My DH and I are always missing an extra pocket for our lens caps when we are shooting. Do you have any idea how expensive this can be for a good lens? This is a great little gadget to attach to your camera bag and then attach to your shirt to avoid ever doing this again. One clip is $10, a 3-pack is $28.
Best of the season to you and yours! We have posted other great gifts for gardeners in general here.
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