10 Gifts for the Landscape Photographer on Your List - 2023 EditionNov 28, 2023
Here we are again! Another holiday season is upon us. I'm not sure about you, but I love seeing warm smiles when someone opens up a gift I've thoughtfully sourced for them. I'm a practical gift giver and want my gifts to be helpful to the smiling owner! I've found that photographers do enjoy our gadgets and gizmos. I know that I'm always looking for ways to infuse a little ease or comfort into my life, and these things usually make it to my favourite things for the landscape photographer's list. Check out this year's list and discover the perfect gift for the landscape photographer on your list.
1. Gina and Dan's Winter Wonderland Landscape Photography Workshop in Banff
Shameless plug here! Consider an in-person landscape photography workshop if you want the ultimate landscape photography gift. A few spots are left in the Winter Wonderland Workshop in Banff in January 2024. Dan and I pride ourselves on taking photographers to the best locations in the Canadian Rockies and teaching and inspiring you to create technically strong images filled with your vision. Our workshops focus on your experience and learning.
Here's what one of our November 2023 workshop participants has to say after spending a week learning from us.
"I want to thank Gina and Daniel for a wonderful week of learning and discoveries. I loved every minute of the time spent with you. This was not my first photography workshop, but it was the best by far. I am grateful for all the personal attention you gave to every attendee. You are great teachers and were very helpful every step of the way. I recommend your workshop to anyone that seeks to improve their technical skills and photographic vision. You are the best of the best." -Claude Parent-
Awww! Thanks, Claude. We really enjoyed the week with you!
ISO 800, 14mm, f9, 1/4 second
2. Luminar Neo
Luminar Neo came into my post-processing workflow earlier this year. As a loyal Lightroom and Photoshop user, I wasn't sure what role Luminar Neo could have in my already established workflow. However, after an initial skeptical exploration of Luminar Neo, I discovered that being open to new possibilities in my post-processing workflow can open up my creative options and speed up my workflow. I'll always have a fondness for Lightroom for its role in cataloging and organizing my files and Photoshop for the power it has in helping me bring my images to life. However, I've quickly found Lumniar Leo to be my favoured choice for editing techniques like quick time-saving HDR merges, focus stacking, GenErase, and other editing applications like Sky AI, Noiseless AI, Erase, Relight, Atmosphere, and Sunrays. Best of all, I can easily use Luminar Neo as a Plugin in Photoshop streamlining my workflow process.
You can check out my affiliate link HERE.
3. Leofoto Urban Tripod
For years, I've been searching for the perfect tripod. What I've discovered is that no such tripod exists. Serious landscape photographers really do need two kinds of tripods. I have, however, found one tripod that I deem perfect for hiking and travel. The LX-254CT Urban Series Carbon Fiber Tripod from Leofoto is lightweight, weighing only 3.11 pounds. It's versatile with an extendable center column when you need a little more height or removable for those ultra-low compositions. The tripod also comes with a low-profile ball head, which is easy to use, even when wearing winter gloves. It's super study for a travel tripod, which has been my main critique of many other travel tripods like the Peak Design Travel Tripod. Best of all, it's affordable and gentle on the wallet; well, as gentle as photography gear can be!
4. Memory Card Case
I've always stored my memory cards in soft cases. Several months ago, I noticed some memory cards were cracked and breaking apart. Thankfully, I avoided disaster and saw the damaged cards before losing any images. A friend gifted me a hard case memory card holder, and I love it! It keeps me organized and, more importantly, keeps my cards safe and dry with the hard case cover. B&H sells the Ruggard Leda Memory Card Cases.
5. Mini Flashlight
You probably received a mini flashlight if you've ever attended an in-person landscape photography workshop with me. Why? Well, they are super helpful to have tucked into your camera bag. Mini flashlights are fantastic for helping shine a little light in those deep, dark corners of your camera gear bag for that one item you need. Before sunrise and after sunset, when you've forgotten your headlamp, these little lights are great at illuminating your path. Out capturing the stars? Headlamps can ruin the exposure of others around you, and fumbling around with your smartphone in the dark, potentially dropping it, is frustrating. These little mini lights offer excellent illumination when changing a lens or battery in the dark without disturbing your photographer neighbours. Tip: Attach your mini light to a lanyard so it's easy to find and use in the dark.
A circular polarizer and a neutral density filter integrated into one screw-on filter? Yes, please! For those of you who are familiar with my style of photography, you'll know that my preference in filters is the slide in neutral density and graduated neutral density filters. However, my preference for slide-in can cause challenges when I want to use a polarizer. The solution? Polar Pro's Polarizing Neutral Density Filters! These filters are available in various thread sizes, and ND stops. I highly recommend them for their ease of use and quality.
I meet many photographers who do not back up their images in multiple places (insert mind-blowing emoji). Hard drives (both internal and external) are convenient and easy to use but are not fail, theft or natural disaster-safe. Backblaze is my number one recommendation for unlimited cloud backup of your image files and the rest of your precious data. Once installed, Backblaze runs in the background of your operating system, quietly scanning and backing up new data securely. If most of your data is stored on external hard drives, like me, then all you need to do is plug in your hard drives occasionally to ensure Backblaze scans them. For less than $100 per year, Backblaze will give you priceless peace of mind with the knowledge that your data is encrypted, safely stored and easily recoverable if the worst happens.
Want to try a free-no-obligation month of Blackblaze? Click HERE! (If you subscribe, I thank you because I get a free month too!)
8. Ultrasonic Diffuser
Photographers spend a lot of time behind a computer screen. In this small space, we infuse our final vision for our images and bring them to their full potential. If you're like me, you can sometimes take days carefully editing and fine-tuning your photos, so why not fuel your creativity naturally?
I'm a huge fan of Saje natural wellness products. The Saje brand's mission is that their "100% natural products for mind, body and space are designed to fit seamlessly into your routines, celebrating your well-being every day." Saje has a great lineup of diffuser products, which are my favourite, but also offers natural remedy blends for ailments like headache, pain relief, sleep, and cold and flu.
My two personal favourite diffuser blends are Liquid Sunshine and Into the Trees. Liquid sunshine is the perfect aroma for a cheery editing session, and Into the Trees is excellent for boosting creativity when editing your landscape images.
Early mornings are not my favourite time of the day. Good coffee helps. I am a bit of a coffee snob, and hotel room coffee rarely meets my expectations. I recently discovered Copper Cow Coffee. One of my workshop participants gifted me a package of single-serve pour-over lattes, and I was thrilled with my first sip of Copper Cow Coffee. It's delicious, and it is so easy to make! All I need is hot water. Coffee will be ready in 90 seconds, and Copper Cow promises you'll have the perfect pour every time. Their latte creamers have no preservatives, no additives and no artificial flavours. Now, this is my cup of coffee perfection. The only drawback is that this company does not ship to Canada. Thankfully, I have a few American-based friends!
10. All Trails
If you know me, you know I love to hike. Getting out into nature, away from cell phone service, to explore and photograph beautiful things is my peace and happiness. However, all that delight and rejuvenation is bound to evaporate on a forest wind if I get lost. All Trails is my go-to app for every hiking trail and even some non-trails. This app has many great features, like distance and elevation gain, images, trail preview, reviews, live trail mapping, waypoints, and more. If you enjoy hiking and want the security of an informed and planned hike, then you must add All Trails to your favourite apps.
There you have it, photographer! My ten recommendations for the landscape photographer on your holiday list - 2023 edition! (Which also happen to be some of my favourite things!) Wishing you the best of the 2023 holiday season.