Be Humble For The Holidays

Be Humble For The Holidays

The upcoming holidays are expensive affairs – food, drink, decorations, housecleaning, etc. Whether you do it with a few people or a great many, you spend a lot of money, time, and effort to entertain and visit.

If you are trying to fly somewhere the local baggage handlers, airline pilots, or ground staff generally commence industrial action. This is also expensive in terms of bookings, accommodation, and nervous stress. But where would Australia be without a holiday tradition like this…?

However, the biggest impost upon us is generally the business of presents. We all expect to give them or get them…and Camera Electronic wishes to sell them…and we are frequently at a loss as to how to proceed. Do we give many presents to many people? Few to few? Expensive ones, and appear to be rich and powerful? Or cheap ones and appear to be poor? And who gets what?

Well, lie down on the carpet until the room stops spinning and think a little. If you know photographer friends you are in luck – they have an interest upon which you can batten. And their interest is served by a truly vast array of goods and services – and they are all pretty much legal and above-board. You don’t need a Police licence to buy cameras or memory cards and you don’t need to wrap anything in a plain brown wrapper. And with a bit of luck – you can cheap out without looking bad. Try these:

  1. The dear old-fashioned lens cleaning cloth. You can’t get much cheaper than these and the wise photographer has a fresh one in every camera and accessory bag they own. Buy a box of them and give them out everywhere.

2.   The cleaning kit. A step up, this, with cloths, swabs, and some form of cleaning fluid. This is generally a combo of denatured alcohol, distilled water, and some form of detergent. You’re never wise to squirt it directly onto a lens or camera but you can dampen the cleaning swabs or cloth with it and it will loosen a lot of contamination. The smart packagers of these kits also make it clear that they don’t intend you to use the goods on sensors. Be careful who you give these kits to so that they understand this.


3.  The grip/handle/holder/clamp or other camera accessory. If your camera has a 1/4″ tripod thread, you can be sure that someone, somewhere has made something that screws in there. It might be a tripod, a monopod, handles, grips, rigs, lights, or a drink holder. It might be plastic, metal, wood, or rubber. Heck we used to sell designer-made bags of beans with a tripod screw on the top.

The point is, you can screw something onto the camera. Whether this makes the camera steadier, safer, and more useful…or not…is a moot point. As a gift giver you score credit for delivering the novelty and after that you’re absolved of all responsibility. If it unscrews and drops on the user’s foot you’ve still done your holiday duty.


4.   Film.  In the olden days ( Elvis, dinosaurs. ) you could give 35mm colour film with the reasonable assurance that it would be welcome, and used. If you gave Ansco 500 or Perutz or Ferraniacolor you had several weeks to effect your escape before the results came back from the lab and the recipient came looking for you. If you gave Agfa CT 18 then, most of the evidence has vanished by now…If you think David Janssen was The Fugitive you should have seen what they did with German colour dyes…

A modern day equivalent would be extremely No-Name cheap memory cards got off eBay. But they are a lottery – they might work well for years, and then where would you be? I should give San Disk or Lexar cards as gifts and just accept the fact that people are going to be happy in spite of your efforts.

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