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The first part of this gift guide for photographers is by Derrick Story, Derrick is one of those people that I always look to for all things photography, specifically for the folks who are in the DIY world like makers… Check out what he has for you and read on for some additional photo gear from the editors at MAKE! (Pictured above: A shot from the MAKE: Strobe photography pool!)

OK, so you know what you’re favorite photographer would really like: a Nikon D90 DSLR, or maybe that fast f2.8 70-200mm zoom lens. But that ain’t gonna happen, especially this year. So instead, impress him or her with your photo cleverness by giving something utterly cool (and totally affordable).  The following list of suggestions are all priced at $50 or less… sometimes way less. So onward with our six goodies. And remember, you can add these to your gift list too.

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The Super-Secret Spy Lens – $50 US: Designed to fit the end of your Digital SLR’s zoom lens, this nifty accessory has a cut-out on the side with a mirror assembly inside. By rotating the Spy Lens, you can shoot left, right, up, or down, even though you’re pointing the camera straight ahead.


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Joby Gorillapod Flexible Tripod – $21.95 US: The Joby Gorillapod makes taking digital photos more fun than ever. Designed with self-timer photography in mind, the Gorillapod lets you mount your camera just about anywhere you want so that you can include everyone in your automatic shots. This model is for compacts, but they also make larger sizes for all types of cameras (or MAKE your own!).


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Dynomight Bottle Cap Tripod – $9.95 US: Now you can have a quick and convenient tripod ready for use on your next trip. This convenient bottle cap tripod has a universal camera mount with an adjustable angular design. The cap mounts to any standard bottle top and can easily be dismounted and unscrewed quickly to store in your bag. A fun stocking stuffer! (Or MAKE your own!)


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Morris Mini DC Slave Flash II with PC Cord – $31.95 US: Lets you put a little extra light just about anywhere, yet it fits easily in your pocket. Inclues PC cord, tripod mount, and slave that triggers the flash with the flash on your camera. Very handy for the photographer who likes to add a little sparkle to their indoor shots.


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The Digital Photography Companion – $16.49 US: The Digital Photography Companion gives you creative tips and technical advice for taking top-notch digital photos in a wide range of conditions. Fits easily in your back pocket or backpack. Covers camera controls and pro techniques. The official guide for The Digital Story Virtual Camera Club. Perfect for the beginning photographer or owner of a new Digital SLR.


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National Geographic Tundra Monopod with Head and Quick Release Plate – $42.00 US: The NG Tundra Monopod provides support when you can’t use a tripod. Simply attach your camera directly to the top platform and begin shooting. To make the monopod more compact, the ball head can be removed. This also allows you to attach the camera directly to the monopod. It only weights a pound, but extends to 61.4″. Almost any photographer would appreciate this gift.


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ProdMod NightVlogger 160 Kit
Add some light to your tripod, get one assembled or as a kit!
Price: $35.00


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Photo Block Kit
Photo Blocks are one of the most simple and elegant photo gifts. This all-inclusive kit includes everything you need to create two beautiful sets of photo blocks right at home. Just add your 4″x6″ photos! (You’ll need scissors and a ruler. But we think you probably have those already.) The kit makes a great gift for anyone who loves to make stuff, whether they’re a kid on the outside or just on the inside. And the blocks you’ll make are a great gift for just about everyone
Price: $16.95


9780596006662 2 MAKEs Gift guide for photographers!
Digital Photography Hacks
Going beyond the standard fare of most digital photography books, Digital Photography Hacks shares the knowledge that professional photographers have learned through thousands of shots’ worth of experience and years of experimentation.
Price: $16.25


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High-Speed Photography Kit Version 4
As seen in MAKE Vol 4. Take “impossible” pictures, leaving everyone wondering “How did you do that?” Capture high-speed events — A splash. Popping balloons. Breaking glass. Use your imagination!
Price: $125.00

Kit includes a high-speed flash, disposable camera, flash controller and fully assembled flash controller that synchronizes the high-speed event and the flash.

Also included is a 6-ft cable connects your high-speed flash to the flash controller, and all the tools needed to precisely time your high-speed picture . Flash controller is adjustable, so the flash can be triggered by soft sounds, loud sounds, a laser pointer, or a flashlight. Flash controller also includes digital output that can trigger other external flashes, such as the SnapShot II strobe light.

Check out what you can do with it!

New Features for the Photographer:

  • 2 Adjustable Gain Ranges
  • 2 Adjustable Delay Ranges (0-10ms, 0-0.5sec)
  • Improved Battery Life
  • Increased Output Voltage: Drives up to 4 Snap Shot II’s
  • 3 sec Blanking or 0sec Blanking (how long until next allowed flash.)

New Features for the Hacker:

  • Based on PIC Microprocessor (PIC16F616)
  • Includes Programming Connector for In-Circuit Programming
  • Available Schematic
  • Available Printed Circuit Board Layout
  • Available Firmware Source

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Stereo Pinhole Camera Kit
Create your own retro pix in “stereo” with this cool 35mm pinhole camera. Instructions are in Japanese but  features highly detailed assembly pictures, sorry no English translation at this time. Easy to build. Made of high impact plastic.
Price: $49.95


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Make, Vol 12 features our special section on digital arts and crafts called “Upload,” where you’ll learn how to take infrared photographs.
Price: $14.99


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Volume 11 – We’ll also show you how to make a remote control bird feeder to take amazing photos of birds.
Price: $14.99


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We leave no stone unturned in our quest for the bizarre in Volume 09, the Fringe issue. Learn how to photograph the luminous auras around everything.
Price: $14.99


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Volume 04 – high-speed flash photography.
Price: $14.99

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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