With Black Friday coming up after Thanksgiving, I thought I would put together a wish list for nature photographers to look at. I use all of the items listed and can vouch for each one. You might want to print this out and put it in a prominent place for gift giver to find for your Holidays.. Happy Holidays to everyone!
1. Feisol carbon fiber tripod. See my blog on tripod comparision. Feisol Tripods
2. Nikon 24-85 f2.8-4 zoom lens with macro.. For up to half life size macro from 35-85. Downside is that AF not supported by D40, D40X, D60, D3000, D3100, D5000, and D5100 cameras. Check local camera stores or go to Hunt’s Photo
3. Bubble level – quickest way to level your horizon. Check Amazon for some great deals on 2 way and 3 way bubble levels
4. Really Right Stuff ball head. Best ball head on the market, imo.. Really Right Stuff. Use the BH55 or BH40.
5. Really Right Stuff L bracket – my students hear this all the time from me.. When is the best time to shoot a Vertical? Right after you shoot a horizontal.. But you are not likely to do that if it takes a lot of time to readjust. Using a L Bracket makes the transition quick and easy.
6. Really Right Stuff leveling base – if you shoot pans (by shooting elements and stitching) or shoot video or use a gimbled head for flight and action shots, being able to level the base of your tripod head is much faster and more accurate than leveling the base with the legs. Really Right Stuff makes one of the best leveling bases I have ever used.
7. Wimberley sidekick – if you want to have a gimbled head for those times you are shooting wildlife (birds and other animals you might pan the camera with action), but also shoot landscape and macro and want to keep your ballhead on your tripod, the Sidekick is the best thing since sliced bread. Just add it to your ballhead and you have instant gimbled action for your longer lenses. http://www.tripodhead.com/products/sidekick-main.cfm
8. Better Beamer Flash Extender—This is a Flash extender designed by Walt Anderson to extend the distance of your flash range with lenses of 300mm and greater. Looking for some fill flash on birds or put a catchlight in the eye? This works! Look for them at Naturescapes.
9. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 – Before you go out and buy Photoshop, try the free trial of Lightroom. This program allows you to keep your images organized and backed up and the develop, print and slide show capabilities just keep getting better and better. Most photographers will need nothing more for their images than Lightroom.
10. Nik software– For those who want to explore image enhancement (including HDR and Black and White conversion), NIK software’s line of allows fun of enhancement without a prolonged learning curve. Check out Viveza 2, HDR EFEX Pro, Silver EFEX Pro and Color EFEX Pro.