Holiday Gifts for Photographers - Part II: Themed Gift - Strobist

An incredible gift for the experienced photographer

In my last article about choosing Christmas gifts for photographers I focused on small, little items for stocking stuffers - filters, lens caps, straps etc. This time I want to focus on one big, themed gift idea for the experienced photographer.

You might have known or have been living with an advanced photography enthusiastic for a number of years. They already have a bunch of camera and lens. So what to get them? Well this gift is designed to let the target individual take their passion to a whole new level. This gift will allow them to take all of their existing equipment and previous knowledge and start to explore the wonderful world of off camera flash or as its popularly called to become a "strobist".

First off are a few books on strobist or off-camera flash photography:


Items that make up the "Strobist Gift Set"

So beyond the "how to" books about off-camera photography you will need several strobes, some way to trigger the strobes from the camera and a way to diffuse the light for the best effects. You can also add a flash meter to the mix of equipment although a lot of photographers simply look at the LCD screen to judge their lighting set up.

If you have an endless budget by all means purchase Nikon Speedlights at $400 plus a pop and Pocket Wizard remote controls for another $400 but for the beginner a more basic set up can start with some inexpensive remote triggers and a basis flash unit like the Yongnou YN-560 listed below. Light diffusers and light stands are a nice extra and are not that expensive.

I've had great results taking professional food photos with just a single off camera flash like the Yongnou and a stand with a shoot through umbrella as listed below. The remote triggers are nice but a flash unit like the Yongnou can also be triggered using the cameras on board flash unit.

So for a great gift that will expand your photographers world and give them exciting new challenges get the following:

  • "Strobist" or off camera flash technique book(s)
  • An flash unit or speedlight like the Yongnou that has manual controls
  • Trigger or wireless controls
  • Diffusing items like shoot through or reflective umbrellas and stands.

Strobist 101

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