It’s that time of the year when we buy, make, and get presents. And everyone loves presents, right? Still, there are some that will make you put an awkward smile on your face, say “thank you,” but never use them in your life. Mark Denney has come up with a list of such presents for landscape photographers. So, here are the seven things he thinks you should never buy to a landscape photographer. Would you agree?
Mark has grouped the gifts according to their price, from the cheapest to the most expensive one. And while these items are not useless per se, they just could be useless for landscape photographers, or at least it was the case for Mark. So let’s get started.
7. UV filter ($20-$60)
UV filters are useful for film photographers to protect the film from UV rays. But digital photographers mainly use them to protect their lenses from scratches and other damage. There is quite a debate over the UV filters under our article that mentions UV filters as one of the things that you should never buy. Mark is one of those photographers who share the opinion, and I must admit I’m in this group as well.
6. Rain cover (around $40)
There’s no doubt that you should protect your gear when it starts to rain. A rain cover is a must, however, some of them are not as good as they may seem at first. They require too much fiddling around with them while the rain is falling all over your camera and lens. So, Mark suggests that a simple shower cap could be a much more efficient solution. Or a plastic bag, if you ask me.
5. Remote shutter release (around $30-$60)
Now, this is a tricky one, because there are landscape photographers who swear by the remove shutter release and those who never use them. Mark falls within the second group as he just uses the 2s timer to get his shots. I personally to that too, or rather use a wireless remote control which I find the most convenient. So, if you are gonna buy this for the landscape photographer in your life, make sure to find out if they use it or not.
4. Phone lens (Around $65)
There are many types of phone lenses and they vary in price, but Mark got a wide-angle one from Moment and paid it around $120 back then. It retails for around $65 now, but these phone lenses can be even more expensive. The thing is that most phones today already come with a wide-angle lens so you don’t need an additional piece of glass to add to it, therefore it’s usually pointless to get a smartphone lens.
3. DSLR holster (around $65)
The idea of a holster bag is to pack super-light. It fits more or less only your camera with a lens on it, and perhaps a few knick-knacks. But for landscape photographers, it can be practically useless because they usually need more than that. I have one and I find it useful when I want to pack light and only bring one camera and one lens (I used it when I traveled on a motorcycle to Zagreb). But for instance, it’s too small to fit my camera with the 18-35mm lens on it. So, while a small holster bag can be useful in some situations, it probably won’t be of use to landscape photographers in most cases.
2. Gorillapod (around $100)
Honestly, I found Gorrilapods to be pretty cool and I’d love to get one for Christmas just so I can play around with it. It lets you wrap it around a tree or a fence, it’s pretty compact and light… But then again, if you’re a landscape photographer, you’ll most likely be able to get the shot you want without wrapping your tripod around a tree. So the basic tripod should be just enough. In Mark’s case, he spent around $100 on a Gorillapod and almost never used it.
1. Drone (around $900)
Well here’s another gift that I’d sure love to get. Although, knowing me, I would be too afraid of crashing it so I’d probably never use it. Anyway, this is the most expensive gift on the list, and Mark paid around $900 for his DJI Mavic Pro. There are some cheaper models, like Mavic Mini or Mavic Mini 2, but this is still the most expensive gift on the list.
So, why is this a bad holiday gift? Well, the places where you can fly a drone are pretty limited. It’s usually not allowed in national parks for example, and many landscape photographers take their photos there. Also, aerial imaging could be just a phase, like it was in Mark’s case. He hasn’t taken a drone shot in almost a year.
Since this is a rather expensive gift, you should probably check with the landscape photographer in your life whether they want it or not. Or if you’re that landscape photographer, think whether you really need it for what you do.
Apparently, I don’t agree with all things on mark’s list, but we’re all different and that makes the world a fun place, right? There are some things on this list that I’d like to have, and one that I already own. But then again, I’m not a professional photographer, nor I only shoot landscapes. So I’m curious to hear from you: do you agree with this list? And what would you add to it?
[7 WORST Holiday GIFTS for Landscape Photographers! 2020 | Mark Denney]