OP's annual collection of photography books make long-lasting and memorable gifts for you and the outdoor photo enthusiasts in your life
Satisfying your holiday wish list with photo books shouldn’t be too difficult this year. With so many books hitting the shelves on such a broad range of topics, it’s paring down your list that won’t be easy. You’ll find career retrospectives from legendary photographers; how-to guides on software, equipment and techniques; and colorful pictorials showing landscapes from the mountainous terrain of the American Pacific Northwest to the sand dunes of Namibia. And there are, of course, plenty of pages devoted to wildlife.
Discover how some affordable accessories can fill a holiday niche
While holiday dreams of the latest D-SLRs rather than sugar plums dance around most photographers’ heads, there’s no shortage of more affordable fair to satisfy passionate shutterbugs. Though a large wrapped box with our name on it is always appealing, we decided to suggest a variety of stocking stuffers for yourself or the photographer in your life. While some of these items might not fit snugly in a stocking, each one fits a special niche that will help keep your favorite photographer happy and perhaps more eager to produce memorable photographs.
An effective anti-dust system and 10.1 megapixels come to this D-SLR
I do almost all of my photography outdoors. That means lots of lens changes in the field, and that means dust on my D-SLRs’ image sensors (and my photos). Blower brushes don’t completely remove it, and though I’ve bought a clean-it-yourself kit, I haven’t quite worked up the nerve to try it yet. So one of my favorite D-SLR features is an anti-dust system.
A new lens with macro capability and high image quality
A telephoto zoom is an important part of most outdoor photographers’ gear. But unlike the casual shooter, for a pro or serious amateur, a fast maximum aperture becomes essential because we often find ourselves shooting in relatively low light, such as at dusk or dawn. Yet such fast lenses can often be expensive and out of reach for some photographers. With the Sigma APO 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 EX DG Macro HSM, a fast telephoto zoom for less than $1,200, I was curious to see how well this affordable zoom would perform.
What you need to know about buying and shooting with long lenses
Long lenses are terrific tools when you can’t get close to your subject, providing dramatic frame-filling images of distant wildlife and sports subjects. Long lenses are also useful to isolate a subject from busy surroundings and for telephoto compression effects. There’s a variety from which to choose today—both prime (single-focal-length) lenses and tele-zooms. Following are some considerations when buying and using long lenses.
When you're traveling and you have lots of gear to move through airports, along sidewalks and anywhere else in the urban jungle, a roller bag is a welcome companion
A rolling bag won’t help you much if you’re pulling your camera pack through a South American rain forest, but if you’re sprinting to make a flight connection at LAX (or just sauntering along the sidewalks of New York), having wheels can save the day—and your back. When you’re tired of toting that heavy load of gear, do what the flight crews do—pull it along behind you. There’s a tremendous assortment of rolling photo bags available these days from nearly every manufacturer. There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping, but most of all remember—it’s a bag first and roller second. Make sure it satisfies all of your camera bag requirements; otherwise, you might end up with a heavy refrigerator on roller blades.
A low-priced D-SLR with very effective built-in Shake Reduction
As one who shoots handheld almost all the time, I appreciate image stabilization. With some digital SLR brands, stabilization is available only in special stabilized lenses. But it’s currently also built into some D-SLR bodies. The lowest-priced of these by far is the new Pentax K100D.
The successor to the popular D70 boosts resolution and features
It never ceases to amaze me how much camera manufacturers are able to fit into an SLR body these days. The Nikon D80 is a thoughtful combination of controls and features that makes creating pictures a pleasurable experience.
This Digital Rebel has a high-res image sensor, anti-dust technology and a host of new features
The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi offers more resolution, a larger LCD with a wider viewing angle and a built-in self-cleaning sensor, making it one of the most affordable and feature-loaded digital SLRs available.
What you need to know about digital camera storage media
Today’s digital cameras store images on removable memory cards (a few cameras have small amounts of built-in memory, but even they accept memory cards). There are several types of memory cards on the market, and within each type are several varieties. Here’s how to make sense of it all.
Bring your digital darkroom with you on your next photo adventure
Whether you call it a laptop or a notebook, having a computer that can travel along with you has changed the way digital photographers work. In the field, a laptop becomes a portable darkroom, a repository where images can be downloaded and stored and a place where the best shots can be soft-proofed long before returning to the studio. In other words, portable computers have become indispensable.
Nikon provides high resolution and a host of new features in itslatest D-SLR
If you've been putting off making your transition from film to digital or you've been holding out for a suitable upgrade from your existing digital camera, the Nikon D80 is very likely the camera that you've been waiting for. At a price under $1,000, the camera offers a lot in a compact, lightweight package that’s sure to satisfy the serious and passionate photographer.
Take the work out of photo organization with these smart applications
Organizing digital photos isn’t why most of us enjoy photography. Managing images rates right up there with chores we’d rather put off, like taking out the trash. In spite of that, it’s something we all need to do as the number of images in our collection grows rapidly.
How Sony changes the playing field for the D-SLR market
Outdoor photographers have had a strong interest in digital SLRs because of their versatility and access to varied focal lengths. Plus, high megapixels provide the digital data to make large prints with lots of detail, so when Sony announced a new 10.2-megapixel D-SLR, everyone in the industry paid attention. Whatever brand D-SLR you shoot, Sony’s new entry into the market affects you as it puts a very strong camera into the competitive fray.
Improved B&W printing is delivered with a new large-format printer
For me, the allure of the Epson Stylus Pro 4800 wasn’t only its ability to produce prints up to 17 inches wide. It wasn’t just that it could create dramatic, borderless panoramic prints on roll paper. And although the printer’s UltraChrome K3 pigment inks provide a lightfastness of more than 100 years, it wasn’t what was driving me to quickly set up this large-format printer and put it through its paces.