Stumped by gifts for your photographically inclined BFF or just looking for some inexpensive ways to add to your own creative kit? Here are a few suggestions.
One of my veteran accessory suggestions is one or more; Lensbabies allow you to create some special effects or play with depth-of-field in a way that's more fun and satisfying for photographers than slapping on a post-processing filter. A new addition to this year's recommended list us , which lets generate Holga's trademark artifact-ridden photos from your high-quality dSLR, but once again in a way that's more fun for photographers than some of the dumber special effects filters.
If you're still shooting on a cramped, slow card, now's a good time to ramp up. If you shoot with a pro dSLR or high-resolution camera that generates really big files, maybe you can get someone to buy you one of SanDisk's really fast, high-capacity Extreme Pro cards. Even if you don't see any performance difference in-camera, the type of speed these cards offer (fast read/write times instead of minimum SD "class" standards, for instance) can make a big difference when uploading the photos to your computer via a card reader. If you don't need the speed, but instead want to add some wireless uploading or geotagging capabilities to your camera,also makes my annual list of accessory recommendations.
Another veteran recommendation I make every year is for a Wacom tablet, which is a great option for anyone who works with images rather than just uploading them as-is to Facebook. This year I'm adding Nomad Brush brushes as a suggestion for use with your favorite tablet. Pressure sensitivity isn't an option yet, but if you work with photos on a tablet, be it in or a great painting app like ArtRage, they add a nice dimension to working with photos on a tablet.
Everybody needs a little more stability in their lives, and Joby has always done that with flexibility and style, making it one of my most frequently recommended stocking-stuffer-type gifts. Another ingenious little product to toss in is the, a tiny stand for your point-and-shoot camera.