Monday, November 26, 2007
Holiday Gifts for under 50 bucks
This is THAT time of year. Unlike the stores, I do not get into Christmas mode back in September. In fact, if it were up to me, I'd pass a law that said no x-mas songs, etc. until AFTER Thanksgiving (like it was in my youth). So, in the holiday spirit, I am encouraging you to go forth and spend money that you probably don't have.
You know, I'm as cheap as they come when it comes to buying things. However, there's cheap and there's frugal, so I am more likely to be frugal when possible. I always want to get a good deal AND not go to Wal-Mart, so therefore internet shopping is my mall. Unless you live in a cave somewhere, you also know that most photographic items are expensive -- Especially if they involve anything with a computer chip inside. Well, shoppers, I have put together a motley selection of gifts for the photographer. Not for me, mind you. I already have these things, and I'm trying to be helpful here. They are either Mark-tested or friend-tested, and therefore, not by a shill for some photographic magazine. These gifts are also not something you can buy at your local stores, so I will provide you with the appropriate web links.
First on my list for the good girls and boys is a film-based camera, the Diana +, from the crazy-ass folks at Lomography. I have not personally used this camera, but I have several friends on Flickr that have, and I say that even at $50, this camera could be one of the best things to have become available for toy camera shooters. An improved version of the old plastic Diana, it also has a PINHOLE mode. Wow! See one of Becky Pendel's shots made in that mode. You can buy the camera from The Lomographic Society, but you know, I prefer to shop at a place that isn't so crazy, so you can buy it at B&H Photo for the same price without the crazy navigation.
Second -- You like Nikons? You like T-shirts? Then try this one on, because you can't find another like it except at my Cafe Press store! Less than 12 bucks if you buy the cheapie one, which I find is just fine. There is also a ladies' version.
Third -- A year's subscription to Lenswork magazine. Quite possibly the most interesting photography magazine out there. No equipment reviews or any such thing. Wonderful portfolios by people like you and me. I believe Stieglitz would be a subscriber to this one. You can even buy the entire 56 issues on CD if you are really feeling generous.
Fourth -- The Gorillapod by Joby. This funky bendable tripod can also be used to attach remote flashes to objects, so the small sizes would be perfect for that. Nothing smaller than the largest size for an SLR. For under 50 bucks, this is a great item for any photographer. Works well with the Diana+ above. You can find this item at most online photostores, and maybe your local store, too.
Fifth -- Okay, this one is really a bit over 50 dollars, but if you use a Windows-based OS on your computer, you should buy Paint Shop Prop Photo X2 from Corel. At about $60 for an upgrade, it has features that made me an instant fan, plus they have a promotion that ends up with you getting a $50 VISA gift card if you buy the full box version for $99. I like it so much, I just bought a PC in addition to my Mac so I can use this program for photo editing. I have been using Macs since they came out, so you know if there were a Mac version, I would be oh so happy...
Last -- If you want to make a film-using photographer happy, go thee to the Freestyle site and buy some things! This is my favorite place to go, and believe me, they cater to the photographic community.
Have fun, and remember don't drink and do online shopping.