The tryptophan hasn’t quite kicked in yet, and your afternoon football game needs a break. Stretch those legs and surf along to one of these fine buys – Black Friday or any day!
1. A New Card Reader: With faster and higher sized cards coming out all the time, believe it or not, that card reader from 3 years ago (or older) might not work anymore. The newest format – SDXC – Secure Digital Extended Capacity – takes things to the stratospheric level, with card memories reaching the theoretical limit of 2TB of data! Obviously, developed with the photo/video – ographer in mind, these cards re-designed the way media is read, and a newer card reader is needed to see all the bits and bytes. They’re not terribly expensive, usually around $15-$30, but the one I got was the Delkin Reader came from B&H for $20.
2. Daylight Balanced Light Bulbs: For the color correction perfectionist, truly accurate color balance only comes from working in a controlled environment. One of those elements is the light bulb. The ideal recommendation for a color-controlled work flow starts with a colorimeter, but ends with the ambient light. Consider the bulbs you use in your lamps and ask yourself – are these the right light levels? According to many resources, daylight balanced light bulbs give the best neutral light to work from. A number of vendors claim their products meet the daylight balance gauge but look for ones with a Kelvin of 5000-5500, so be sure you get bulbs that are in this range. The ones I like are from Tabletop Studios – ranging from $10-$40 depending on size and wattage. (I got the 14 watt spiral tops for $10…)
3. Gaffers Tape: This is one thing that photographers hate to buy, but love to have. It’s just not sexy to own, or fun to have around, but when you want to somehow strap a light to a corner, a tree, or any one of a number of both conceivable and inconceivable uses, gaffers tape is your best friend. It’s kind of silly not to buy it, but it’s just not got the pop. Get your photographer a 30′ roll of it for only $15 at B&H though, and they will be thanking you over and over again! From B&H
4. Gift Cards: Out of Ideas? – Let them do the shopping with a gift card. It may not have the creative spin of gaffers tape or a battery caddy (from Part 1), but if you truly have no idea what someone wants or needs, let them decide and get a gift card. Most major vendors from Amazon to Best Buy have them. For me – I like the B&H Gift Card, with values ranging from $25 – $1000.
5. Zip Ties!: Cables are a necessary component for photographers. Whether it’s the mini-USB, the micro-to-USB, the iPhone-USB, or any other connector (also think PC-sync cables), nothing keeps things organized better than cable ties. My super “on-the-cheap” method is left over twist-ties, but you can class it up easily with a couple packs of these much more professional-looking Velcro-ties. At $6 for a pack of 100 ties from Amazon, you can’t go wrong!
In case you’re wondering, there is a Part 1 and a Part 2 with ten other ideas for the photographer you know, so if nothing here strikes your fancy, be sure to check those out for other options. In the meantime, enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving here in the States, and for the international readers, have a Happy Thursday! We’ll see you back here likely on Monday. Don’t forget Friday is the National Family Photo Day (as declared by Nations Photo Lab), so you can take and print pictures of all your family, while getting a chance to win lots of fun free stuff from them!