A photographer’s Twelve Day of Christmas

I like Christmas. I like the music, the bright festive lights and decorations, and all those people, like me, that are in a Christmas mood. Yes, I like this time of year.

I have a friend that I call a rabid photographer; no, not avid, as rabid better describes his lust for picture taking. I never see him without a camera in his hand or a bag over his shoulder.  And yes, he creates lots of pictures, but more than that he is constantly buying camera equipment. He likes purchasing new photography gear as much as he likes using it. So, here is a made up version of what this year’s “Twelve Days of Christmas” might be for him.

On the first day of Christmas he bought himself another digital camera that will shoot with a high ISO for situations when the light is low, and that has a video mode that will be great for his family’s Christmas celebrations.

On the second day of Christmas he purchased a couple of 16GB memory cards so he’ll have lots of image space to hold picture files of “everything” during the holidays.

On the third day of Christmas he acquired an 18–200mm zoom lens.  This popular lens is neat and advantageous for when he’s on the move and it converts to approximately a 28-300mm lens when taking digital format into context.

On the fourth day of Christmas he obtained a roller camera pack.  Shoulder packs and backpacks are common for carrying equipment, but the new packs on wheels are super convenient for those times when he wants extra stuff.

On the fifth day of Christmas he purchased a big telephoto lens.  Yahoo!  I know he has wanted a super telephoto lens for years. Long telephotos are heavy and demand a good tripod, but now he’ll be out photographing wildlife with the rising sun.

On the sixth day of Christmas he obtained a compact point-and-shoot camera.   Sometimes a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) is too big and a small pocket camera is better. His only criterion for the little camera is that it has a viewfinder. A viewfinder lets him hold it close to his eye instead of shakily extending arms and squinting to see the image as the sun reflects off the LCD.

On the seventh day of Christmas he bought himself a carbon fiber tripod.  He wanted a strong lightweight tripod for hiking with his new telephoto lens.  A lightweight, carbon fiber tripod that weighs less than his old aluminum one is just right.

On the eighth day of Christmas he procured a set of wireless senders and receivers to use as a portable studio. The days of only using heavy, bulky studio lighting are gone, and anyone with three or four hotshoe type flashes can set up a multi-light studio anywhere.

On the ninth day of Christmas he bought a battery grip for the camera from the first day of Christmas. The grip increased the camera size and makes it more comfortable to hold horizontally or vertically.

On the tenth day of Christmas he got himself a new computer loaded with the latest image enhancing programs.  Although today’s cameras are amazing, he knows that to make his pictures all they can be, he will need to spend time in postproduction and what better way to do that than with a new computer.

On the eleventh day of Christmas he purchased himself a computer tablet so he can easily show everyone his excellent scenic and wildlife photographs.

On the twelfth day of Christmas he registered for a photography seminar and expedition to be held in Iceland next April. My friend knows one of the best ways to improve his photographic skills is to join a seminar or workshop. The Iceland itinerary includes the Fjallabak Nature Reserve and Sveinstindur by the Vatnajokull glacier. He is unfamiliar with those locations, but will come back with a new understanding of photography, lots of great pictures, and several new friends interested in photography.

That’s my imaginary list for him of the Twelve Days of Christmas. It has been fun and who knows how close I have been?

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