"Top 10 Gifts for Photographers" - Digital Photography Podcast 506

This is The Digital Story Podcast #506, Nov. 17, 2015. Today's theme is "Top 10 Gifts for Photographers." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I'm so jazzed because I just finished and published the itinerary for the SF Street Photography Workshop. This 3-day event takes us to the coolest locations throughout the City, and even on a ferry to Sausalito (one of the best ferry rides around). Signups are already underway, so please don't procrastinate if you plan on attending.

Photographer's Top Ten Gift Guide

Here are 10 gift ideas that should surprise and delight the photographer in your life.

  • The ikan Micro Spot On-Camera Light $69.95 - This lightweight, cool-to-the touch, daylight-balanced, on-camera LED about the size of a small flashlight. The front of the light incorporates a lens system that creates a 30° beam angle providing a directional light well suited for on-camera use or also as a kicker light. The unit features a discrete on/off switch and is dimmable from 100 to 10% on using an integrated thumb wheel on the side. You can read more about in my article, Super Nimble LED Lighting Kit for Photogs on the Go.
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  • The Koolertron Pan and Tilt Flex Head $39 is a foldable, Z-shaped tripod head or standalone support. It's constructed of high quality aluminum, folds flat for easy transport, and can be used by itself or mounted on a tripod. It weights only 1 pound, but can hold a camera up to 6 pounds. When folded flat, it only measures 4.7" x 2.4" x 1.2". Note: If you want it by Christmas be sure to choose Expedited Shipping. It';s $15, increasing the total price to $54.
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  • The RavPower All-in-1 Filehub $45.99 - is a 5.4 ounce device that measures a mere 3.82 x 1.06 x 2.13 inches is WiFi enabled with a USB port on one end and a SD card reader on the other. Using the free iOS or Android FileHub Plus app, travelers can copy files from the SD card to an USB Flash drive for backup. There are many more functions available with the RavPower, but this one in particular is vital to mobile photographers. You can read more about it in my article, RavPower All-in-1 Filehub for Super Nimble Backup.
  • The Manfrotto Compact Xtreme $44.88 boasts 4-section tubes made of a combination of Adapto and aluminum and can hold a payload up to 1 kg. It features a 1/4 thread both on top and underneath, allowing a rapid change in the product's configuration in just a few easy steps.
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  • The Vanguard Havana 21 Shoulder Bag $39 - Whether you're going on a desert safari or an urban one, the tan Havana 21 Shoulder Bag from Vanguard will hold and protect your DSLR or Mirrorless camera with attached lens, 1-2 extra lenses, flash unit, accessories and a 7" tablet. The bag features a zippered main compartment with a removable, padded insert. Simply remove the insert to free up space for everyday excursions which don't involve photography. Within the shoulder bag next to the insert is a slip-in pocket with a touch-fastening tab for storing your 7" tablet.
  • The Tile (Gen 2) - Phone Finder. Key Finder. Item Finder $25 is a great way to keep track of keys and camera gear. The Tile works with its free companion iOS or Android app to log the last time the device was "seen," and you can instruct it to chime when in range. I keep one on my key ring, and drop my keyring into my messenger bag when on the go for double protection.
  • The Olympus 9mm f8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens $89 is one of the coolest optics for Micro Four Thirds camera bodies. About the size of an Oreo cookie, this little wonder provides amazingly sharp, gloriously wide views of the world. Easy on both the pocketbook and camera bag.
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  • The Cooperative of Photography Original Photo Glove 139 Euros are possibly the nicest gloves I've ever used for photography. Made from super soft leather with silicon logo imprints on the palm side for better grip, these gloves are as fashionable as they are functional. The index finger on each hand is specially designed for precision control of camera buttons and dials, plus works with touchscreen devices. So you can operate all of your devices while keeping your hands warm in the gloves. European customers can order in sizes ranging from Small to XXL from the COOPH online store. I recommend that you purchase one size larger than you normally wear. U.S. customers can buy the Original Photo Gloves from these U.S. dealers.
  • The Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM lens $149 is a wonderful optic for street photographers providing a versatile 38mm focal length on APS-C bodies (lens does not work on full frame Canons). With its slim design that only measures 1" thick, plus 7 blade aperture for smooth bokeh effects, not to mention the relatively fast f/2.8 maximum aperture, this optic is light enough to take anywhere, yet provides pro results everywhere.
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  • The The Essence of Photography $29 by Bruce Barnbaum demonstrates that photographic seeing and creativity can be taught, learned, and improved. This book expands on the ideas that are central to Bruce's method of teaching photography, which he has used in workshops for the past 41 years. 196 pages, soft cover, 10" x 10".

And I have two copies of Bruce's book to give away this week. All you have to do to enter is sign up for The Nimbleosity Report before Monday, Nov. 23. You'll receive twice-a-month highlights from The Nimble Photographer and The Digital Story, plus be eligible for a free copy of the book. I'll announce the recipients on next week's show.

Get Your Training On

This week's lynda recommendation is iPhone and iPad Photography with iOS 9 with Sean Duggan. We have these powerful devices with us practically everywhere we go. Here's how to get the most out of them as imaging tools.

Software Download

iWatermark +. The Essential Watermarking App for Professional and Beginning Photographers. Watermarks, once added to a photo or video, display that it was created and is owned by you. Easily, secure and protect your photos by signing them with 9 visible and 2 invisible = 11 watermark types. These days any unique photo can suddenly go viral and lose all connection to it's owner/creator. A watermark subtly displays, no matter where your photo goes, that it's your property and can provide a link to your website. $3.99 - available for iOS, Android, Mac OS X, and Windows.

Cash In on Greeting Cards

Red River Paper posts in their blog: "The Greeting Card Association estimates that more than 7 billion paper cards were sold last year at prices ranging from $2 to $10 and that women accounted for 80% of the sales. Despite the e-card phenomenon, nine out of ten people still prefer receiving (and keeping) a card they can display- on a desk, bedside table, or taped to the fridge." Red River Paper is the longest running sponsor of The Digital Story.

See you next week!

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More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

Red River Paper -- Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

Zenfolio If you want your site to look as good as your photos, visit www.zenfolio.com today.

SizzlPix! - New 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com.

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