Photos are important! They document the most important moments of our lives and if you’re a blogger they illustrate the story that you’re trying to tell your readers. But getting a photo to look just as you want can be quite another story altogether. The right equipment is vital to producing the best result. Unfortunately the ‘right’ equipment doesn’t always come cheap, so today I’m posting up my basic photography wishlist for bloggers looking to improve their photographic skills.
1. First on the list has to be the all-important camera! Don’t make the mistake of jumping the gun and investing in a DSLR unless you have some idea of how to control it manually. Mirrorless cameras often produce fabulous results. Consider video quality too if you don’t want to carry a separate camcorder. A good all-rounder for all skill levels would be something like the Panasonic Lumix GH4 4K camera, it’s even sealed against water and dust (yey for those used to the British weather!)
2. Get ye a decent camera phone! Trust me when I tell you that this is an important step. No matter how often you take your camera with you there’ll always be that perfect moment/picture that gets missed if you don’t have a viable alternative at your disposal. As most of us carry our phones at all times it makes sense to pick a model with a decent camera. Earlier this year Tech-Advisor did a great run down of the best models currently available, so pick one that meets all your phone needs.
3. Software! We all love producing amazing photos but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Maybe the sun disappeared just as you pressed the shutter button, perhaps artificial lighting or flash washed out all the colour. Whatever your photographic ailment the right software can help. Start out by using a free software such as PicMonkey and see just what an improvement you can make. The skies the limit in terms of what you can achieve (and the money you can spend!) so make sure you trial any paid software before committing. Adobe offers trials on some of their most popular photo editing software and they are definitely worth a play with.
4. A fast SD card. If you want to take a quick succession of pics or even a video then you need to invest in some decent SD cards. Consider both speed class and transfer rate. This is one area were skimping on a cheaper card will cost you in the longer term. Take a look at Alphr.com for a more thorough explanation.
5. Accessories!!! Have some fun with your new kit and invest in some fun and functional new accessories like a fabulous new camera bag or phone case.
I think men are harder to buy presents for than women or children, partly because so many ‘manly’ gifts (tools, socks, aftershave etc) are boring and uninspired. As a general rule I want my recipient to know that I’ve considered their tastes and hobbies whenever I give a gift. With that in mind I’ve created this short gift guide full of ideas for that chap you know but can’t think what to gift.
For the outdoors man
For the man who likes to spend time outdoors roaming the countryside or tinkering with the car I don’t think you can go wrong with a really great pair of boots. I think this is the kind of gift which is often appreciated more during use, especially if you can find a stylish yet comfortable pair. I found these Timberland boots online at Cockney Rebel Fashions, they even have a few reduced pairs at the moment.
For the Gardener
Tools which lighten the load and make gardening more pleasurable can really be appreciated. I particularly love this Golden Gark Multi Purpose Lightweight Garden Rake from QVC. The ability to lift and scoop makes chores like mowing and leaf raking significantly easier.
For the creative man
Give your chap a brand new hobby! I really like this jar and bottle cutter from Supermarket USA on Amazon, it could be used to turn bottles into vases or drinking glasses.
For the smartphone fan
Smartphones are great until you get a call on a cold day and have to pull your gloves off to get the screen to respond. With these Mujjo Touchscreen Gloves from Firebox your guy can keep his hands toasty warm
You could even go a step further and nab these whimsical Bluetooth gloves also from Firebox, although the question of whether you might look slightly mad talking to your fingers still remains.
I hate to say it but it’s that time of year folks, Christmas is on the horizon! My kids are already telling me their marvellously long present lists while I secretly hope they’ll forget most of it. Christmas visit negotiations are in full swing, who is going where and at what time, it’s like a jolly festive puzzle where everyone feels it must be…. Perfect!
Present choices aside Christmas always causes major furniture reorganisation in our house, the chair in the corner has to go so the tree can stand there, then the table has to move for the chair etc etc. Plus I have a dog who possesses an uncanny knack of shedding fur all over the place just when visitors come to call! Obviously Christmas shouldn’t be this stressful, it should be a time of peace spent with your loved ones. But unless you’re some kind of zen master (if you are I salute you and can I have some tips?) then the festive season is going to cause a few emotional ripples. So this year I’ve decided to change the format, I’m going to write a Christmas Wish List, all those little pieces that might make my life a little simpler if I could but fit them in the loft.
Abi’s Christmas Wish List
- Some kind of house expansion tool so that I can expand all the rooms just a little to accommodate extra festive paraphernalia (this is a wish list after all!)
- A new sofa. Something comfortable, easy to clean and capable of seating several people at once. I’m a bit in love with these striped ones (Trafalgar) from Duresta.
- In fact I want that whole room complete with a self cleaning chandelier and robot hoover!
- A butler, he’d have to be called Jeeves and solve all my last minute emergencies like fictional butlers of the past always do.
- A chef to cook the meal while I eat gourmet chocolates and macaroons.
- Crackers that actually contain something worth having (I think this is almost as far fetched as the room expanding device!)
- Some kind of machine to gather up the wrapping paper and check that no one has put their brand new toy car under the pile.
- A temporary car park for guests.
- Taps containing mulled wine, eggnog and spiced berry punch.
Just these small and easily achievable details 😛 would make my Christmas perfect!