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.
BTW, if you hate the gallery format as much as the Grinch hated Christmas, click here.
Crumpler Industry Disgrace neckstrap 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 neckstrap is fat, super padded and breathable. And, they come in patterns. $30-$40. [Link]
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 Lens Baby, which produces cheap, quick and dirty single-effect lenses and adapters 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. $95-$300. [Link]
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 stabilization 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 cheap 50mm for about a hundred bucks, and a cheap(ish) 35mm for between $200 and $300. $90-$320 [Nikon 50mm, Canon 50mm, Nikon 35mm, Canon 35mm]
Crumpler camera bags Most camera bags aren't very befitting of actually cool photographers. They're boring. Corporate. Ugly. Crumpler's 5 Million 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. $80-$170. [Link, Link]
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. $105 [Link]
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. $7000 and worth every penny. [Link]
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.
All Giz Wants is our annual round-up of favorite gift ideas, including amazing attainable objects and a few far-out fantasies. We'll be popping guides catered to different interests several times per day for the next week, so keep checking back.