Christmas gift for $100

City of Corona Xmas Parade–Here’s an image from a night parade. I’m always looking for high places to shoot from, I can’t help it, I’m short. Working in the media does give you access at times. I doubt this would be allowed today. America has become way too litigious.

For that favorite photographer in your life, is it possible to buy them a gift under US$100?

I think so.

If they don’t have any photo editing software, you could pick up Adobe’s Photoshop Elements 8 for $55.
For some reason the Mac version costs slightly more.

With the remaining balance of about $50, head over to and send them a gift certificate to online training so they can learn how to use it. The cost for one-month’s worth of training is $25. Pay for 2 months?

A word of warning. You might not see your favorite photographer again until their subscription expires because there is just so much they can learn there. Sort of like being a kid in a candy store.

That’s because the number of software training titles number in the hundreds, and there’s just not enough hours in a day to learn them all.

Lighting accessories

If your favorite photographer already has an external flash and a radio remote trigger, then a Justin clamp will rock their world.

The clamp can hold a small speedlight or battery powered flash in a secure location with the ability to aim it.

When you add that with a radio slave–a transmitter and receiver so you can wirelessly trigger your flash, your photographer will be really appreciate it.

For the photographer who has an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) flash you can look for one of these extra long off-camera cords.

The cords allow the camera to use the fancy ETTL & iTTL metering because those connections “fool” the camera body into thinking the flash is still on the hotshoe.

Sensor cleaner

Even the photographer who has everything they need, will have a use for a sensor cleaner.

Most photographers don’t like the idea of not having their cameras for a single day, so doing the cleaning themselves is a good investment.

It’s not that difficult. Camera stores will charge about $80 for one cleaning.

Free photo-editing software

And for those of you who don’t have the $100 to spend, don’t fret there’s plenty of “free resources” online.

My apologies but these applications are Mac-centric since I’m on that platform.

Don’t need to edit but need to resize? Try this Picnik.

Hopefully that gives you some ideas. I should have posted this earlier so that it could be useful. There’s always next year.

I can’t believe this is my 215th post.

I just realized this recently when I was doing some “behind-the-scenes cleaning” on the blog.

Currently I have 94 subscribers. It’s not too shabby considering I started from scratch June 2008.

Have a great Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year. I’m optimistic things will start to look up. We’re all in the same boat. We should weather this alright.

Just remember to keep learning and share what you know.

8 thoughts on “Christmas gift for $100”

  1. Excellent Jim. I know getting something not tangible like training is not for everyone but I can guarantee that your post production for your photography will improve so dramatically.

    You will find training titles for other software, you will be a “new man” in the New Year, Jim.

  2. Michael you rock! Thanks for sharing that hyperlink. I’m sure many reading this will benefit from this. That’s what’s great about the internet.

    Thanks Will Sherwood for finding them all and putting them in one place.

  3. I copied Will Sherwood’s LinkedIn email about all of the free 2009 Photoshop resources that he and his company have put together and have already thanked him for doing so. This is a page worth checking out!

    From Will Sherwood of the LinkedIn Adobe Photoshop Group:

    The Best Photoshop Resources of 2009.

    What a year it has been for Photoshop, with a multitude of new, fresh and original tutorials, a wide array of useful Actions, textures for, well, every possible texture you can think off. Resources are seemingly endless.

    What DesignReviver has done today is put together a collection of the best Photoshop resources from this year (2009), There are tutorials for image manipulations, text effects, icon design, digital imagery, illustration… and much, much more. Accompanied with all of this, there are also huge collections of PS actions and textures.

    Best regards,
    Will Sherwood, MA, MSP

  4. Take a look at the online classes that Creative Techs in Seattle have been doing.

    The quality is excellent and the live webinars are free-6 months of Photoshop CS4 webinars on different topics that are still going on: .

    The instructor Jason Hoppe is very good.

    Since the series is still going on, you can sign up for free to view the webinars live (Thursdays 11AM PST) and check them out for yourself. I sat through the first 5 weeks. Very good stuff. I believe that the $75 (half-price sale until Dec 31) gets you all of the recordings. You can check with them.

    Creative Techs:
    phone: 206-682-4315

    Happy Holidays, Michael

  5. Jim,
    Would it be poor form for me to add to that list some unsuspecting item now that I know you plan on forwarding it to your wife? 🙂

    $100 may be too much money for some folks in this economy. If that’s the case I highly recommend the online training from

    Let me know what you get for Christmas Jim.

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