Everyone says, “It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer,” but come on. Most photographers have some pretty fancy toys to supplement their expertise. Why? Because it makes their photos look better.
If you just want to take snapshots that look a little cooler, these simple tools will let you experiment without investing thousands in a new DSLR.
1. Mirror Angle Scope, $44
camera lens that lets you take sneaky shots to the side instead of
straight ahead. Take photos of strangers without fear of being caught,
your brother without one of his crazy camera faces, or window displays
without being lectured.
2. The Perfect Pano, $17
this little guy onto your tripod. Every 30 degrees, it clicks into
place, giving you perfect panorama shots every time. A little bit of
Photoshop stitching, and you have yourself the perfect Grand Canyon
3. GorillaMobile Kit, $30
are my favorite compact tripods. The wiggly arms let you settle your
camera securely on almost any surface, or they’ll wrap around tree
limbs and whatnot to help you get your shot. This mobile kit lets you
use your Gorillapod with an iPhone, smart phone, or video camera.
4. Diana Starter Kit, $90
plastic Diana cameras date back to the early ’60s, and are coveted by
photographers for their dreamy, lo-fi effect. Originals are becoming
increasingly scarce. Fortunately, the camera has been reissued (with a
few upgrades) as the Diana+. If you know nothing about cameras, but
need a gift for someone who’s into photography, this is a pretty good
5. Manfrotto Modo Pocket, $20
tabletop tripod that folds down to half the size of a business card in
length and width — which means you can carry a tripod with you
anywhere by slipping it in your wallet.
6. Jelly Camera Phone Filters, $5
They pop on over your camera phone to give you three distinct effects. Your Twitpics dominate.
Related: Fun Gift Ideas for the Shutterbug
What additional tools do you suggest?
Maggie Mason is the author of No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog, publisher of Mighty Mighty Media, and a Twitter power user (@Maggie). Her personal blog, Mighty Girl was recently nominated for a SxSW Lifetime Achievement Award, and she was named one of Silicon Valley’s Top 50 Influencers by Now Public.