Photography studio, gallery and training complex

Dear Santa: The 12 Tips Of Christmas

Wondering what to get the photographer in your life for Christmas? Or are you a photographer eager to suggest something other than socks and after-shave to the mother-in-law in the unlikely event she asks you what you’d like this year? Well, here’s my little round-up of things you might like to add to – or strike from – your letter to Santa…

  • Do you have one leg? Or one leg considerably shorter than the other? Were you usually cast as a pirate in your school play? Do you live on the side of a steep hill? Then what could be more useful than a little spirit level for your camera’s hot-shoe to prevent those embarrassing slanty landscape shots?

A must have?

I’ll tell you what is more useful – using the hotshoe (or “accessory shoe”) for the purpose it was intended: attaching lighting! What do you need a spirit level for? God gave us Photoshop to correct minor wonkiness if necessary but if you can’t tell if your shot is wonky without a spirit level, perhaps photography isn’t the hobby for you.

If you want a funky little photography-based trinket, then maybe you’d be better off with the £12.99 Camera Lens Cup from which bears an uncanny resemblance to a real Canon EF 24-105mm lens. Take care not to confuse this with your real lens of course as hot Bovril can have a detrimental effect on most photographic equipment. If you have a Nikon, then this confusion may not arise although you might resent being seen with a faux Canon product in your mitts. If you have a Sony – why on earth do you have a Sony?

More like it.

  • Just imagine having a sexy, fashionable item of clothing that has enough pockets for all those photographic knick-knacks and which is not only warming but also conveniently coloured so as to minimise detection by skittish wildlife. I refer of course to the veritable totty-magnet we know as the Photographer’s Vest.

Mmmm Who could resist?

Don’t even think about it! Unless, that is, you have a penchant for resembling a sort of fat, khaki advent calendar and in the habit of finding yourself fumbling in your trouser pockets for a AAA battery whilst stalking a pine marten . The very pinnacle of naff.

Save your vest cash and invest instead in a subscription for Silvershotz magazine (£39 from ). Inspiration and mind-broadening with every issue and you won’t look like a pillock.

  • Get yourself along to Calumet and splash out your sweat-earned readies on that photographic gizmo, you or your snap-happy chum has been hinting about since the royal wedding, right?

Wrong! Go somewhere else and buy two. Calumet only recently stopped wearing masks and sporting flintlocks as corporate uniform.

  • Fancy setting up a little studio in the loft? What you need is a nice white (well, nearly) muslin background as available on leading international auction sites at suspiciously reasonable rates.

…And then spend a large percentage of 2012 ironing the damn thing in the vain hope of minimising the inevitable creases. On the plus side, you’ll be getting lots of photoshop practice as you laboriously remove each crease and manually whiten the creamy coloured backgrounds in every single shot.

Instead, peruse the range of Philib‘s funky frames from I mentioned these once before when their new Hipstamatic frame was still in development and being offered at a knowck-down price. These glassless frames rely on powerful magnets and are ideal for iphoneography or Lomo square images. I have one (in white) and love it! But there are others in the range. A very contemporary (and easily changeable) way to present your images.

The Philib Hipstamatic frame system

That’s all for the moment, but I may add more as the inspiration takes me, or the bile overcomes me. Any offence was purely intentional.


3 responses

  1. nigal

    excellent gift advice…

    December 1, 2011 at 7:45 am

  2. oh, I like the lense/mug!

    December 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm

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