Gabriel Biderman's 2013 Holiday Wish List


Gabe’s dreaming of wonderful holidays.

To give:

Photo calendar  My wife and I started making calendars as gifts for our families several years ago, and now it is our most anticipated present. It’s a great way to relive and remind yourself to keep having good times! There are many online companies that offer this service, but I’ve been happy with the Apple calendars.

Aluminyze  Metal is the hot new way to make your prints really shine! B&H just started carrying Aluminyze kits that offer options to make your prints from 5 x 5” to 30 x 30”. Do yourself a favor and print big—get yourself a 20 x 24 to “float” on the wall.

"Night Photography, From Snapshots to Great Shots"  I’ll be giving away a few of these for the holidays.  It’s my book on night photography and is guaranteed to inspire you to take better photographs once the sun goes down.

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Lensbaby  This is a great gift for a budding photographer. You’ll need to find out what mount camera they have (Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc.) and then get them either the Spark or the Composer Pro. When they look through their camera with a Lensbaby, they will be seeing the world in a whole new way.

Fuji Instax  I brought one of these cameras to my nephew's first-grade class and when they saw the “instant” print pop out of the camera, it was like magic. It truly is the perfect gift, whether you are 8 or 80. Be the hit of the party by snapping everyone’s picture; I’ll be taking one on my trip to India to give away prints to the locals.

Luminair Intelli-Charger  This is the most universal charger that I have encountered. It will charge any type of lithium battery as well as two AA or AAA. The average charge time is less than 2 hours and I can power my phone, iPad, or anything that can be plugged into USB. It is the ultimate travel charger to bring with you, especially if you are going to be in areas where there are no guarantees that you will be able to charge up again. My runner-up is the Watson Duo LCD Charger, with which you can inexpensively swap out different plates and charge different lithium batteries. 

I thought I had enough flashlights until I read the InDepth article, "Flashlights You Never Knew You Wanted." My go-to flashlight for light-painting has been the Surefire E2D, but the Surefire Dual-Output P2X-B (15/500 lumens) or the Extreme P3X (15/1000 lumens) would take it up a notch.

B&H gift card  It really is the perfect gift to give—make them choose from the more than 600,000 items that B&H has in its inventory.

Gifts that are on my wish list:

The Fuji 23mm f/1.4 lens  I got to test-drive this lens the other day and I really wish I hadn’t. It is a game-changing lens for anyone who owns at Fuji X series camera. The focal length is wide with no distortion, it is super fast, and creates outstanding bokeh. Yeah, it quickly went to the top of my wish list.

Sony A-7  Why do they give me cameras to try out if they know I’m going to want them? The Sony A7 and A7r are groundbreaking cameras—the smallest full-frame cameras on the market. My only issue is that I haven’t decided which one I want, the 24MP A7, built for speed with 117 focal points, or the 36MP A7r. I'd better get more hard drives because, either way, I’ll be taking more shots soon.

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Has anyone ever seen me without a fedora? Well if you wonder where I get most of them, look no further than the fine haberdashery called Goorin. They sell gift cards—just saying.

One of the benefits of owning a smaller mirrorless camera is that you can adapt your older lenses to these newer cameras. There are lots of adapters out there, but the Metabones Speed Booster is a .71x wide-angle adapter. So a Nikon 50mm 1.4 lens on a Sony NEX 6 will be a 50mm 0.95! They also make adapters for some amazing old-school lenses from Leica, Contarex, Contax, and Alpa.

When our computers crash and hard drives fail, where will your prints be? In this digital age, it is more important to print than ever before. My favorite paper is Ilford Fiber Gold Silk. If you love black-and-white, Ilford has released a Monochrome version of that paper that has an incredible, rich tonal value.

Treat yourself to a trip with a friend or family member. Last year, I went to Scotland with my Mom, and this year I’m going to India with my Dad. These are the kind of trips that we will cherish forever and, of course, we'll take lots of pictures.

Take a workshop  There are lots of ways to educate yourself online, but nothing beats really being in the field and getting that hands-on experience. There are plenty of schools like Maine Media, RMSP, or Santa Fe that offer 2- or 3-day workshops. Or, if you have the time, take a 1-week+ workshop at a destination that you have always wanted to explore. 

Best wishes for the holidays,


Gabriel Biderman is the Brooklyn-based B&H Explorer of Night, workshop leader, and lecturer. His new book is "Night Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots." You can follow him at