Every photographer wants to be artsy, because if their Flickr stream isn’t fancy enough to pull in lots of “Oh, you’re so talented” comments, what’s the point? Here’s some gift ideas for aspiring artsy photographers.
Crumpler Industry Disgrace neck strap Fancy cameras, especially German ones, are heavy. Fancy lenses bolted to fancy cameras? It’s like lugging around a (fancy) dump truck. Normal camera straps are thin and cut into your neck. Crumpler’s Industry Disgrace neck strap is fat, super padded and breathable. And they come in patterns. 50 Australian bucks. [Crumpler]
Lensbaby optics Crazy lenses for DSLRs, like tilt-shifts and fisheyes, can be ridiculously expensive, way too expensive for a starving artiste who must save their pennies for vintage boots. Enter Lensbaby, which produces cheap, quick and dirty single-effect lenses and adaptors for DSLRs. While their quality isn’t exactly bulletproof, they do deliver the special effect shots Flickr whores crave. The core lenses do variations on the whole small area of focus, lots of blurriness surrounding it, while the optics system lets you swap out inserts for different effects, like fisheye or pinhole. Prices vary. [Lensbaby]
A 50mm prime lens Back in the day, a 50mm prime lens is what photogs cut their teeth on. No zoom, no wide-angle, no image stabilisation to fiddle with. Just sharp focus. Meaning it’s pure composition on the photographer’s part. If you’re buying for a DSLR that’s not full-frame – basically anything other than Canon 5D Mark II or D700 – you’re gonna wanna grab a 35mm lens (with the crop factor, it becomes about 50mm, give or take). They get pricier as they get faster, but you can score a 50mm for a couple of hundred, and a cheap(ish) 35mm for a bit more. Price varies.
Crumpler camera bags Most camera bags aren’t very befitting of actually cool photographers. They’re boring. Corporate. Ugly. Crumpler’s 5 Million Dollar Home holds a DSLR, an extra lens and flash and is sunny sky blue. Stepping up a model, the 8 Million Dollar Home has more space for more stuff, if needed. $135-$220 (Australian). [5 Million Dollar Home, 8 Million Dollar Home]
Diana F+ CMYK lomo camera Real artsy photographers shoot with cheap lomo film cameras to produce vintage-y lo-fi photos, with crazy saturation, exposures and optical effects, perfect for Vice Magazine. Don’t think, just shoot. And the super bright CMYK paint job? You know what it is. $200 [Lomography]
Leica M9: The ultimate photographer gift. Picking up a Leica camera instantly turns anybody into a Photographer. While holding a Leica, it is impossible not to shoot perfect, artsy photos. Even if you try. The M9 is the latest, most exquisite piece of German photographic craftsmanship yet, with an 18-megapixel, full-frame sensor that delivers the most amazing photos of all time. $US7000 and worth every penny. [Leica]
Superzoom Cameras: They’re not DSLRs, they’re not pocketable point-and-shoots, and they’re definitely not artsy. They’re for tourists, and for the money, you could easily get a way better cheap DSLR or vintage film camera.