For that special someone in your life who loves photography and is shooting digital, here are my suggestions.
Rather than compile a list of out-of-this-world equipment, I thought setting a budget or price range would be better.
- Point and shoot Canon Powershot G10
- Drobo backup system
- Epson Stylus Photo printer
- Film scanner/Flatbed scanner
- External Firewire/USB 2.0/eSata 1 Tb hard drive for backups
- An external flash with a long sync cord for
Canon or Nikon
- **a 50mm f1.4 lens (Canon or Nikon) but only if they own a digital SLR**
- **a radio slave for triggering external flash or camera**
The last 2 suggestions are for folks who already own a digital SLR and an external flash.
- Lightroom 2.0
- Aperture 2.1.1 (only for Apple computer users)
- Adobe Photoshop Elements for around $100Â Mac/Windows
Lightroom and Aperture do the same thing. Organize, allow you to work quickly and batch process your photos. They won’t replace Photoshop but they help you speed up your workflow if you shoot hundreds and thousands of images from one event. To get an idea of what Lightroom does, see these videos.
Both Lightroom Â and Aperture come into their own when it comes to helping you organize and sort so that you can retrieve your images by keywords, date shot and every conceivable criteria that you choose, right down to the lens that you use to shoot!
It also means you’ll have to learn another application. Photoshop Elements will do just about everything most photographers need.
In the end, it depends on how you work. If you like to get everything as perfect as you can “in the camera” and don’t want to mess with post production in photoshop, then you can get by with Elements instead of the full version of Photoshop CS4.
Stocking stuffers (<$100)
- Digital picture frames
- Firewire 800 card readers only if your computer has this interface
- Memory cards, can’t have too many of these Lexar or Sandisk
- Image recovery software for those disasters
Naturally you’ll want to know where to find the best price for this. But that’s a tough one.
Buying anything online is dicey if you decide only by price alone. I generally pay more for the peace-of-mind that a vendor is reputable.
You only need to get burned once to know that saving a few bucks is not worth the hassle of making multiple phone calls trying to straighten out a purchase gone wrong.
If your special someone is busy and doesn’t have time to take scheduled classes, you can contact me for personal lessons.
If that someone wants to build a website to showcase their work, I am teaching a class called Web publishing with WordPress.
If any of this info is too late to be of use, you can always re-visit this post same time next year. I’ll make sure I update it and keep it current.
So which of all the above would I consider the most indispensible? Probably a backing up solution like the Drobo.
It may not be the most fun item to buy but it certainly is the most important because your data will be safe.
And if our economic woes have you down, and you’re tight on cash, count your blessings that you have access to the internet and you’re healthy everyone.