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2016 Top 10 Photography Gifts

photographygifts

Still wondering what to get the photographer in the family?  With the holiday’s right around the corner, here are ten gifts for your photographer that will up their photography game. These gifts will be sure to wow and make them happy.

 


IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT INSTANT CAMERA


Top 10 Photography Gifts - www.robynaroundtheworld.com

Bringing the Instant Film Camera back to life! The 1st new instant camera in over 20 years! Cool new features allows you to remote control the shutter using a phone app and control exposure and all manual settings through the app too. Film is sold separately in packs of 8 sheets each.


GO PRO


Top 10 Photography Gifts - GoPro

 

On everyone’s list is GoPro’s latest Hero 5 which had a significant upgrade allowing it to shoot now in RAW. This is a game changer for post production editing.  Catering to every budget, the new Hero 5 Session starts at $299 with the older versions starting at $199. Sure to make every photographer in your family happy.

 


GORILLA POD


Top 10 Travel Gifts - Gorilla Pod

Not just for cell phones and selfies anymore, the Gorilla Pod makes a great accessory for any photographer! This tripod has a ball head that is still strong enough to support your DLSR and Mirrorless camera while having moldable legs.  Ideal for photographing sunrise, sunset, and long exposure pictures. It’s also perfect for getting the weird angle shots, without having to work within the constraints of a traditional tripod.

 

 


FLOATING HANDLE GRIP FOR GOPRO


Top 10 Photography Gifts - GoPro Float Stick

 

A must for the underwater photographer and water sports junkie. This Floating Handle Grip will ensure you don’t lose your GoPro underwater. If it slips out of your hand, the grip acts as a buoyancy device and your GoPro will float to the surface instead of deep into the sea.

 


CAMERA LENS MUG


Top 10 Photography Gifts - Camera Mug

 

A must for every camera nut! This super fun Camera Lens Mug is a useful novelty gift. Drink your morning coffee or tea out of your favorite lens. The inside is stainless steel with an outer plastic that looks like a real camera lens.  Perfect size that fits 13.5 oz of liquid.

 


POP-UP FLASH BOUNCE 


Top 10 Photography Gifts - Flash Bounce

 

Ever wonder how professional photographers get that soft lighting when using on camera flash?  They bounce their flash to diffuse the light and create soft light around them. You can now get the same effect by using this tool, Pop-up Flash Bounce, that was designed especially for the pop-up flash camera.

 


KEYBOARD SHORTCUT SKINS – PHOTOSHOP


Top 10 Photography Gifts - Photoshop Shortcut Skin

 

Having a hard time remembering all the shortcuts in Photoshop? The Photoshop Keyboard Shortcut Skins is the solution not to have to memorize them all!  This keyboard skin has all the shortcuts right at your fingertips. The skin is thin and washable so you can keep it clean.

 


PORTABLE PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO


Top 10 Photography Gifts - Photoshop Shortcut Skin

 

Getting ready to start studio product work? This Portable Studio is a great kit to help you practice your skills without having to buy all the expensive equipment that goes along with shooting corporate product photography. Kit comes with a 24x24inch box, spot lights, backdrops, and portable tripod.

 


CAMERA CUBE LEVEL


Top 10 Photography Gifts - Photo Cube

 

A great accessory to go with the gorilla pod. The Camera Cube Level attaches to your camera’s hot shoe and makes sure your camera is level with its 3-axis leveling. This level is easy to use, won’t break the bank and will assure your pictures are level. Take your photography to the next level. A great stocking stuffer!

 


BOKEH LENS KIT


Top 10 Photography Gifts - Boheh Lens

 

A game changer for your photography, these fun lenses let you create special effect images while you’re shooting without having to do the work in post-production. It comes with 21 pre-cut shapes and another eight uncut disks that you can create your own shape.


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7 Tips for Using a GoPro Underwater




Top 7 Tips For Taking Better Underwater Photos - Robyn Around The World

So you just got a new GoPro and can’t wait to take it underwater and take amazing pictures of what you see. Before you go here are some tips on how to set-up your GoPro and get better pictures underwater.

*All images taken with GoPro Hero4

7 Tips for Using a GoPro Underwater


GET EYE LEVEL


7 Tips for Using a GoPro Hero4 Underwater

The mistake some people make is shooting from the top down. If you do this, you’re going have a ton of pictures of fish backs and not the epic shots of them staring you in the face. Get on their level. Being at eye-level will allow you to get really great pictures of the sea life.




STEADY YOURSELF


7 Tips for Using a GoPro Hero4 Underwater.

GoPro’s aren’t known for their fast shutter speed so you’re going to need to steady yourself while getting the shot. Set yourself up and stabilize your buoyancy so that you’re still when you take the shot. If there’s a rock or sand by you use two fingers or a pointer stick to steady yourself while you take the shot. If you use your fingers fan the area with your hand to make sure you’re not putting your fingers on something alive and make sure your not grabbing onto coral, they’re living too.


BUY A RED FILTER


7 Tips for Using a GoPro Hero4 Underwater

When you go below 10 meters, you lose the color red. Getting a red filter will put the color back in your pictures and save you the headache of trying to correct it post processing later. You can get a filter for ~$30 through Amazon. Polar Pro makes some good ones.


SWITCH BETWEEN VIEWS


7 Tips for Using a GoPro Hero4 Underwater

Change your settings while you’re underwater. See a big school of fish? Change your setting to wide angle to get the best shot. See a cool Moray eel? Change it to medium view for a narrower shot. Play with the views underwater to see the difference the shot makes.




USE BURST MODE


Diving the Gulf of Thailand: Koh Tao

I set my GoPro to burst mode 10 pictures per 3 seconds. As much as you can steady your self, I still like to shoot in this mode, because it helps me set-up my shot. I press the button, and I have 3 seconds to make sure I get the best shot. I tend to grab one of the shots in the middle. Those are usually the ones that turn out best and are in focus.


USE PROTUNES


7 Tips for Using a GoPro Hero4 Underwater

Although you can’t change too many settings in the GoPro, you can change some using ProTunes. Here are the settings for my GoPro Hero4.  Check your manual for other models.White Balance is set to Auto. I set my ISO to the highest speed (800) and low light on so the shutter speed is at the maximum it can handle underwater.


BE PATIENT


7 Tips for Using a GoPro Hero4 Underwater

You’re taking pictures of wild animals. Being in the open ocean is different than being at an aquarium where the animals are confined to a small tank. These critters have miles and miles of water to call their home, so if they swim away from you be patient, there will be others. Take the time to look under rooks and in holes too, some cool eels and rays like to hide in there. Keep your eyes peeled. The perfect shot may be right in front of you.




10 Tips for Taking Better Travel Photos



10 Tips for Taking Better Travel Photos

We all want to take amazing pictures during our vacations. We see an amazing temple in Thailand or a gorgeous sunset in the Serengeti and want to capture it on film. These places look so beautiful in real life, but then when we look at the picture we took, it just doesn’t have the same feeling as when you were there. Is this you? Here are 10 tips to use on your next trip to take better pictures.


SET A PLAN


10 Tips for Taking Better Travel Photos

The best way to get the most out of your trip is to make a list of all the places you want to photograph before you go. Research where you want to go and note day and time they are open. The worst thing would be to show up at a place that is closed for a holiday. Also, if you’re going to a temple or place of worship, be sensitive to customs and dress appropriately.


ASK THE LOCALS


10 Tips for Taking Better Travel Photos

The first thing I do when I get to town or if I’m sitting next to a local on the airplane is to ask them where to go and what to do. They can recommend the places off the beaten path and restaurants where only the locals go. Instead of booking a group tour, talk to a Taxi or Uber driver, see if you can hire them for a few hours or the day to take you to places and be your private guide. When I was in Cameron Highlands, in Malaysia, I rented a taxi for $20, and I told him I wanted to go to the best places for photography. He drove me to the tea fields, and we climbed up roadside hills to get some amazing photos. He also knew all about how the tea is made, so he gave me some history on the tea plantations and how they make the tea.


KNOW YOUR GEAR


10 Tips for Taking Better Travel Photos

The worst thing is to be out and see an amazing shot then miss the moment because you don’t know your gear or how to use it. Before you head out, check your settings and what gear you need. What is your ISO? Are you shooting in the daytime? Change it to a lower setting. Are you shooting at night? Change it to a higher ISO. Which lenses will you need? Are you shooting animals? Long lens. How about temples and landscapes? Wide-angle lens. Which mode are you most comfortable shooting in are all your settings ready to go? Double check all your settings before you head out.


GO EARLY


10 Tips for Taking Better Travel Photos

I don’t like going to attractions in the middle of the day. They’re usually overcrowded and everyone wants to get pictures of everything. I’ve been heading out early not only to attractions, but I also walk the streets early in the morning. I get a different view of the city/town I’m in when I’m out before the crowds. At the temples, I see monks doing their morning prayers, I see townspeople setting up for morning market and waterfalls uninhabited by other tourists when I get there right when they open. Some of my best shots had been when I started my day early.


WALK AND GET LOST


10 Tips for Taking Better Travel Photos

When you’re driving around you, sometimes miss things because you’re concentrated on where you’re going. Ditch the car or motorbike one day. Park it, walk, and get lost. Bring your phone, so you have GPS to get you back. You’ll see a lot more things on foot than you will by taking transportation. When you walk, you can see everything around you that you might miss by driving around. Some of my favorite pictures I’ve captured are from just wandering around; you can see so much from kids playing on the streets to random architecture and street art.


TAKE YOUR TIME


10 Tips for Taking Better Travel Photos

Don’t just snap and go. Take in what you’re seeing and enjoy the moment. I’ve had to stop myself a few times. I remember being in Chiang Mai looking at this beautiful Chedi made of 15 life-size elephants. I stopped myself in the middle of taking the picture and said to myself “Can you just take in for a second that you’re in Thailand right now in front of a sculpture that’s over 700 years old?” Sometimes we go and get shots to mark them off the list of places and things we see, but don’t forget to take the time to take it all in too.


TRY DIFFERENT ANGLES


10 Tips for Taking Better Travel Photos

So you took a picture of a temple. Did you just stand in front of it and take the shot? Try a different angle. Tilt your camera up from the ground, take a picture with some plants or flowers in the foreground and your subject in the background. Take the same shot three different ways and see how it changes the mood of the picture. Don’t just take one shot and call it good.


EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED


10 Tips for Taking Better Travel Photos

Many things can happen unexpectedly while you’re out on a shoot. One morning, I decided to take a motorbike ride up Doi Suepth mountain to visit Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep and the plan was to get there before the tourists, so I left early. On my way, I ran into Almsgiving at the base of the mountain. Hundreds of monks were walking down from the temple to get their daily offerings. I pulled over for about 45 minutes. Those were some of my best pictures from the day. Learn just to go with the flow and you may be surprised at what you can capture.


SMILE AND SAY HELLO


10 Tips for Taking Better Travel Photos

A smile and a hello go a long way with getting a great shot. See kids playing on the street? Stop, say hello, and ask if you can take their picture. Kids are usually hams for the camera, so if you ask them instead of trying to get a shot without them knowing, they’ll be some of the best pictures you’ll get.


BACK-UP YOUR PICTURES


10 Tips for Taking Better Travel Photos

One fear is losing your pictures before you get a chance to do anything with them. Soon as you can get them transferred out of your camera to your computer. On the road, I have all my pictures backed up to an external hard-drive, but I also take it one step further. Once they’re edited, I also back them up to cloud storage. Amazon Cloud Drive has an unlimited storage for $30/year and includes all files. There are many out there, use a system that works for you.

There is no right or wrong gear to take with you when you’re traveling. Use gear you’re comfortable with. Here’s my current set-up and gear I travel full-time with.

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