Photographers can definitely be hard to shop for. Cameras are expensive, lenses can be even MORE expensive, camera bags are such a personal choice, etc, etc…
Here are five things that (in my opinion) every outdoor photographer can use. Some of these are not your usual photography accessories, so you may even be able to surprise the outdoor photographer on your list. Everything on the list is less than a hundred bucks!
1)Graduated ND filter. An ND filter is a must for getting those silky-smooth waterfall photos. These filters allow you to create long exposures even in bright light. I like the Variable ND filters for their versatility and ease of use.
Tip: get a large filter size like 77mm, then get step-up rings to fit the filter on your smaller lenses. This way you don’t need a different filter for each lens.
2)NEOS Overshoes. Overshoes may seem like a strange “photography” accessory, but they sure do come in handy. When you’re shooting around water it’s nice to be able to walk THROUGH the water instead of around it. There are a lot of my favorite shots that would not have been possible without my waterproof NOES overshoes. They pack really small too, so they are easy to travel with. I have the “Adventurer” model, but I would probably recommend the taller “Trekker” model.
3)Better Beamer. You can really kick your wildlife photography up a notch by adding a little flash. The flash can help colors and details pop and it adds that little sparkle to the eyes. The Better Beamer flash extender allows you to use your hotshoe flash with 300mm lenses and longer. Great for the bird photographer on your list, they’re easy to carry and cheap too 🙂
4)Aquatech Sensory Gloves. If you make photos in nature, chances are you’re going to encounter some less-that-hospitable weather. It’s relatively easy to dress warmly, but not always so easy to access your gear. These clever gloves from Aquatech have little “ports” on the index fingers and thumbs so you can get your digits out and work your camera. When your fingers get cold you just pull them back into the gloves. These gloves work great. I have personally tested them in a snow storm at the Grand Canyon and they performed beautifully.
5)Memory Card Wallet. I consider these little stocking stuffers indispensable. I like these memory card wallets from Think Tank Photo. They hold a ton of cards, but they fold up into a tiny package. For an even better gift pack the wallet with a couple of memory cards, just be sure you find out if the photographer on your list uses CF or SD cards 🙂