If you are like many of us (or like me) and still have Christmas shopping to do and you don’t know what to get for the photographer in your life, then you just may be in luck. Take a look below to find some great last minute gift ideas!
Did you get someone a new digital SLR for Christmas this year? Do you know someone that already has a DSLR, but they never take it off of automatic because they are unsure how to work their camera? Have no fear, David Busch is here to save the day! Published by Course Technology and found online at www.courseptr.com these books explain in easy to understand terms how to get the most out of your camera. Written for both the amateur and the professional alike, I have one for each DSLR that I own and cannot recommend them enough. Many bookstores including Barnes and Noble carry them, but most stores do not have the book for each model camera in stock at all times, especially for camera models that are out of production.
If the photographer in your life is looking to do more than the software supplied with their camera will allow them to, Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 may be just what the doctor ordered. It has many features that are found in the more expensive Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite 5, but at a greatly reduced price. PSE 10 even has a few features that are not found in CS5. The good news is that B&H Photo and Video has it on sale through December 31st for only $64.95USD, with free shipping in the USA.
If you are going to get them the software, then you might as well go all the way and get what is without a doubt, the best book written for the Photoshop user (IMHO). Scott Kelby is the ultimate Photoshop guru and the founder of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. Matt Kloskowski is one of the top instructors for NAPP and together they have written a series of books about Photoshop that is geared for the photographer. When I got my first version of Photoshop Elements, I tried just about every book printed (including the ones by Adobe) and found that I learned more about Photoshop in this one book than I did in all of the others put together. It is published by New Riders and is available at many books stores, including Barnes and Noble.
If your photographer friend takes a lot of portraits and is looking to touch them up with easy to use software, then get them what I use…Portrait Professional. As you can see in the example above, it can do quite a few neat things to a portrait. I have used it to slim her face, whiten her teeth, reduce and remove wrinkles and blemishes, smooth her skin, and plump and darken her lips. There are numerous other touch-ups that it can do as well. I personally have the Portrait Professional Studio Version 9, but Version 10 is currently available and offers even more features. Portrait Professional software is developed by Anthropics Technology and Version 10 is currently on sale for $39.95USD (a $50 savings), which according to their website includes an upgrade to Version 11 when available. You can find it online at Portrait Professional, where you can even download a free trail offer. After I used the free trial on one photograph, I pulled out the plastic and ordered it…it is that good!
If you are not sure what the photographer in your life needs or wants, than maybe a gift card from B&H Photo is just the perfect thing to stuff their stocking with this Christmas. They range in denominations from $20USD up to $1,000USD and can be ordering by clicking here.
If your photographer likes to try gear before they buy, then let me recommend an electronic gift certificate from Borrow Lenses. They carry a large amount of gear for both the Canon and Nikon shooter, as well as studio lighting and backdrops. I have used them for the past couple of years when I’m looking for a piece of equipment that I need, but use so rarely that purchasing it does not make economic sense. Their customer service is great and if you live in the San Francisco area like I do, you can either pick up the equipment at their main office, or have it delivered (for a small fee) to one of several locations around the bay area for you to pick it up at. Of course, for the rest of you, they will ship it to your location. When you order the gift certificate, you tell them the amount, the date that you would like it delivered, and the email address of the person receiving the gift. They will email them the code to use on check out to pay for their rental/purchase. The certificate never expires and can be used all at once, or to cover the cost of multiple rentals. You can order it by clicking here, and values range from $10USD up to $500USD.
I hope that this has helped with the last minute gift getting for the photographer in your life!