With the holidays fast approaching, Outdoor Photographer offers our annual collection of photo gear to help you get better photographs. This year, we have everything from printers to software to photo backpacks. What you won’t find in this guide are cameras or lenses. Instead, we focus on the accessories that work with any camera or lens setup you have. Happy Holidays!
Adobe Photoshop CS4 Technically, it’s version 11.0.0, but Photoshop CS4 is still the industry-standard photo-editing package. Some of our favorite features include a new Adjustments panel that’s more intuitive, with lots of useful presets, a new Masks panel that makes it easier to create and use masks, content-aware scaling (which lets you stretch or compress the aspect ratio of an image without stretching or compressing subjects like people in the scene), workspace enhancements, improved Camera Raw and extended depth-of-field features. Estimated Street Price: $699 ($199 upgrade). Contact: Adobe, www.adobe.com.
Epson Stylus Photo R2880 With the ability to print 13x19 inches and Epson’s professional UltraChrome K3 ink set, the Stylus Photo R2880 is a pro-level printer with a decidedly enthusiast-friendly price. The printer features pigment-based inks that produce exhibition-quality images that stand up to the rigors of time. Built-in Radiance technology ensures smooth tonal transitions and improved highlight and shadow detail. An exclusive Advanced Black-and-White Photo mode gives you four preset menus, each with custom sliders for maximum control. You can fit the unit with roll paper or use media like artist’s canvas if you desire. Estimated Street Price: $799. Contact: Epson, www.epson.com.
Nik Software Silver Efex Pro Outdoor photographers interested in black-and-white work should try Nik Software Silver Efex Pro, which makes it easier to produce first-class black-and-white results than ever before. Like all of the company’s software, the controls are intuitive and conceived from the perspective of a photographer rather than a software engineer. There are a number of presets you can choose from, and once selected, you can fine-tune the effect. Estimated Street Price: $199. Contact: Nik Software, www.niksoftware.com.
Subaru Forester Telephoto lenses are a great way to get a closer look at a distant subject, but nothing is a substitute for getting in close yourself. The Subaru Forester has the cargo capacity you need as a photographer and the all-wheel-drive capability to keep you from getting stuck on fire roads that might not be well maintained. Estimated Street Price: Starts at $19,995. Contact: Subaru, www.subaru.com
Lowepro Vertex 100AW Getting deep into the backcountry really isn’t that difficult. Getting deep into the backcountry with all of your photo gear requires the help of a backpack. The Vertex 100AW is a premium photo backpack built to withstand the rigors of trekking deep into the field. Rugged construction, water-resistant zippers and a built-in All Weather cover make it an ideal companion for any outdoor photographer. The harness is adjustable to provide a good fit for just about any body type. Estimated Street Price: $239. Contact: Lowepro, www.lowepro.com.