December 8, 2021
Photographers Christmas Gift Guide 2021
What would the photographer in your life love for Christmas this year? Ten presents a snapper would love to receive
It’s just a few weeks now until the big day when Santa will come down the chimney and deliver Christmas presents. If your significant other is a photographer, then we’re here to make your gifting easier with ten suggestions that would go down great if they end up under the Christmas tree. We have tried to cater for budgets from big to small.
Adobe Photographers Package
Even great pictures need a little bit of editing. There’s no better tool than Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. They are both available on an annual subscription, giving 12 months of access to both of these great software programs, along with regular updates and new developments. Even if your photographer pal already has a subscription, an annual pass will extend the licence for 12 months on top of their existing subscription.
Click on the picture below to buy the annual plan at £119.99. That will give 12 months of access to Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Lightroom Classic, Adobe Photoshop, as well as 20GB of cloud storage and loads of mobile apps to edit on the go.
There are other editing tools available, including Affinity Photo, Capture One and DxO Photolab, but I think Lightroom and Photoshop are the easiest to pick up and start using. You know that by gifting editing software, you’ll also benefit from seeing even better photographs
One of the downsides of photography is there can be an awful lot of gear to carry around. You can take the weight off your photographer’s shoulders by buying them a great camera bag. I love the Think Tank Photo range and particularly the Shape Shifter V2.0. The 17″ version can hold two camera bodies, three lenses, a laptop and a tablet – enough for most snappers! The beauty of this bag is the slimline design when it’s in use—no more banging into other pedestrians while walking through busy centres. The bag is available in the UK for around £269 so, if someone has been really good this year, they deserve a Chrstmas pressie like this!
Peak Design Strap
If you’re carrying a camera around for quite a few hours, then a comfortable camera strap is a welcome addition. One of the best on the market comes from a small company called Peak Design. This US-based company use Kickstarter to develop new products and have a knack for innovating to make photographers lives better. Their Slide camera straps have a revolutionary two sides design – one made to smoothly glide over clothes when in sling mode and a more grippy second side that prevents slipping in shoulder mode.
There are three versions of the strap available, ranging from £30 to £45, and they can all hold camera and lens combinations weighing 90kg which is more than enough for any photographer.
One thing that a photographer can never have enough of are memory cards. If there’s a big trip planned for next year, they’ll take hundreds, maybe thousands of pictures. Gifting some good quality memory cards will be a very welcome present for the photographer in your life. Most cameras now use SD cards which can be very cheap. You can pick up a 64GB card for as little as £10, with the very top quality cards costing over £250. If your photography friend shoots things that don’t move, then the cheaper cards will usually be more than good enough if you buy a good-quality brand like San Disk, Lexar or Kingston. However, if they like to shoot fast-moving animals or sports, then you’ll need to buy a card with a fast write speed.
If you know a landscape photographer, then they’ll love an excellent reliable tripod, so they know their camera will be safe when shooting by the sea or in strong winds. I’ve just changed mine this year, and I think I have found the perfect tripod. The Slik Pro CF-833 was reviewed a few weeks ago after using it for around six months, and I could hardly fault it. It’s a pricey Christmas present at about £200, but this will be a present for life!
Kase Armour Filters
While writing this blog, I took delivery of the new Kase Armour filter system. Landscape photographers use filters to balance the exposure of the sky and foreground, smooth water and all manner of clever effects. For years, they have worked by screwing a ring onto the front of the camera, clipping a holder onto the ring and then sliding the filters into the system. It can get quite fiddly, especially when it’s cold (usually when we take the best pictures). I can easily say that the new Armour system is the biggest revolution in filter systems – ever! Simply screw on a new magnetic ring to the lens, and everything else is attached securely and quickly through a magnetic system. No more dropping and breaking filters in the cold, and the set-up time reduces significantly, meaning your photo pal has more time to enjoy taking photos. They’ll need to be a best friend, though, as the system costs a little over £500 for the complete starter kit or £270 for the holder.
Photography Workshop Vouchers
I can’t produce a Christmas gift guide without a little plug for my workshops. The Switch to Manual session is excellent for beginners or those who may have forgotten how to use their cameras. The Night Photography and Landscape and Seascape Workshops build on the manual exposure skills and give some great practical tips and techniques to take photography to the next level. You can buy vouchers for any value and even better, there is no expiry date, so your friend can use them at a time which suits them. Find out more by clicking on Gift Vouchers at the top of the page or click on the three little dots if you are reading on a mobile device.
Digital Photo Frame
All those brilliant photos shouldn’t be sitting on a hard drive, never to be seen again. However, it’s hard to choose the best picture that should be printed and framed to put on the wall. So, why not display all your favourite photos in a digital photo frame? That way, you don’t need to worry about taking a better shot and replacing it on your wall. We love the Aura Mason Luxe, which has unlimited photo storage and is controlled by an app on your phone or mobile device. At £229 it’s a Christmas gift for your best photography friend.
We have already mentioned that SD cards are a great stocking filler. Another linked present is a holder to keep them organised. The ThinkTank Secure Pixel Pocket Rocket Memory Card Case wins the award for the longest named photo accessory. It’s also a great way to hold up to 12 memory cards. You can mount it on your belt or attach it to the camera bag. It’s a snap at £25
Our final gift idea for 2021 has been a regular addition for the last three years. When it’s cold outside, and that snapper wants to keep snapping, they need some warm gloves that make it easy to keep controlling the camera buttons and dials. There are no better photo gloves than the Valleret Markhof Pro V3. Designed for shooting in mid-winter they feature a 100% merino wool inner and goats leather outer. Available from around £75
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About the author
As well as running Edinburgh Photography Workshop, Rich Dyson is a professional photographer. His photographs are regularly used in newspapers such as The Times, Guardian and Daily Telegraph. He also had two solo exhibitions as well as being featured in a members sponsored exhibition in the Scottish Parliament. You can see and buy his photography at richdysonphotography.com