Santa Was Kind to this Photographer

Look, a “free day” post!

If you had looked at my Amazon wishlist before Chirstmas, you would have seen a list with no novels – a first for me. I have a zillion books I haven’t read and little room for more. So this year I asked for camera goodies. And my generous family made me a happy little photographer on Christmas morning.


My dad got me my “nifty fifty” prime lens: Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S NIKKOR FX Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras. I have been lusting after one of these and I am not disappointed at all. It lets in so much light that I can even take photos inside my house now. And the depth of field is amazing. I can now create those creamy bokeh shots I always dreamed of.

And then I bought myself another lens with a little Christmas bonus money: a Sigma 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM.  I needed to get off the kit lens both because I’ve outgrown it and also because I dropped it a few times. This one is off-brand because Nikon lenses are so pricey. But it had good reviews and everyone says it’s a good walkaround lense. Plus it does macro. I’m still testing this one out but so far it is defintitely a huge improvement on my kit lens and it zooms to 250mm (my kit lens only went to 55).


Believe it or not, I spent the last year editing all of my photos with Google Picasa.  Needless to say, I’ve outgrown that as well. My mom got me Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 which should be perfect for a just-for-fun photography hobby. I don’t need full Photoshop and although Lightroom sounds nice, I thought this was the best place to start. It involved updating my macbook to Mavericks and I figured I may as well set up our new wireless hard drive before really diving into edits so I haven’t played around much. But I am looking forward to spending hours and hours editing with it.


Since I have no idea how to USE Elements, my mom also got me Photoshop Elements 12: The Missing Manual.

Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera is the photography book that everyone has recommended to me, including the photographer who shot our family photos this year and Kailana. It looks much more accessible than I was expecting. I can’t wait to dive in.


I also got a few accessories from Ben:

52MM Reversible Flower Lens Hood

AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag

Professional Cleaning Kit for DSLR Cameras (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony) – Includes: Lens Cleaning Pen System + High Quality Lens Brush + Air Blower Cleaner + 50 Sheets Lens Tissue Paper + Handy Empty Spray Bottle + 3 Premium MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

A few things to keep me from despising my flash so much:

LumiQuest SoftScreen LQ-051M

Professor Kobre’s Lightscoop Standard Version Bounce Flash Device

And one more thing I bought myself. This is how I was able to create the Christmas Eve time lapse below.

Polaroid Shutter Release Timer Remote Control For Nikon 

3 thoughts on “Santa Was Kind to this Photographer

  1. Kailana January 7, 2014 / 12:27 pm

    Lots of goodies! I love Bryan Peterson. That book is actually basically the course that he charges a few hundred dollars for. You just follow it and all you are missing is him critiquing your pictures. I have all of his books now and it is awesome. If you Google him there are also videos and things online. When I am looking for a specific idea I tend to look for books published by the same company that publishes his books.

    I went with Lightroom, bought a handy dandy book to explain it all to me… Haven’t used it. Just have too much else going on and photography definitely started taking a back burner. I toyed with getting Elements and my deciding factor was this awesome sale and timing.


  2. Anita January 7, 2014 / 2:53 pm

    I had to check twice, yep this post was in English…ha ha. I wish I knew more about photography, but I really don’t. I appreciate what others can create, but my iPhone apps are about as fancy as I get these days…:(. Enjoy your new toys. You have the perfect subject to capture…Evan!!


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