AdamBarkerPhotography Top 10 Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for that perfect something for that special someone who has (almost) everything? Look no further! These items are not only some of my favorite, they are the items I use most in my daily routine of office work, shutter clicking and adventuring (with a couple of token ABP gifts thrown in for good measure!). They run the gamut from inexpensive to rather hefty. But hey–it’s the Holidays! Splurge a little! (listed in no particular order–items are linked at heading)

Full Disclosure: Many of these items are from my sponsors. I promote what I use, and I don’t use it if it hasn’t performed for me in a consistent manner. These brands have been integrated into both my workflow/routine and my promotional agenda because they produce legit goods that perform under pressure. Plus, they’re a 10 on the “cool” scale! Have a read…

1. Mountain Khakis Flannel-lined Original Mountain Pants: And you thought sliced bread was grand…check out these comfy duds that will stand up to the abuse of even the heartiest outdoorsman. It’s like wearing your favorite sweats everywhere, only you don’t look like the guy that just rolled out of bed at 11:30 am.

2. Arc’teryx Sabre SV Jacket: Through the roof on both the steeze and functionality scale. This is my jacket of choice for shooting and shredding both in and out of bounds. In a word??? BOMBER. The folks at Arc’teryx have it allllllll figured out.

3. Suunto Elementum Terra Steel: It’s James Bond meets George Clooney. This watch is at home on the hill, or accepting that much sought after award at the Black Tie gala of the year for “Man of the Hour, Every Hour”. Yes, it will set you back a pretty penny, and it’s worth every, last, one.

4. AdamBarkerPhotography Flyfishing Tryptich: The perfect wall hanger for that angler in your life. Three 5 x 7 prints encompassing the flyfishing experience,  double matted and framed in an elegant dark wood molding. This is a limited edition of just 100–so get your order on!

5. Singh Ray LB Warming Polarizer: Hands down my most used and trusted filter for landscape and active lifestyle photography. Read through my blog archives or head over to the Singh Ray Blog if you’re not familiar with this filter.

6. Kinesis Gear Grad ND Filter Pouch: Most likely the most cost-effective piece of gear I own. It’s super nice to have your full quiver of Grad NDs right at your finger tips when conditions are going off. And it’s very affordable, to boot!

7. AdamBarkerPhotography Instructional DVD: Completing Your Outdoor Photography with Landscape Filters: I’ve received countless emails from photographers noting this DVD has helped them take their outdoor photography up a notch or twelve. It’s a 4-hour workshop that you can attend as often as you like! Also available on iTunes!

8. Subaru Outback 3.6R: Ok–so I have a vehicle on my top 10 list. But really, you never know what Santa might be shopping for. This is a lean, mean adventuring machine. Forget the station wagon of yester-year, this “cross-over” has more clearance than a Jeep Grand Cherokee and mine even sports wi-fi. If you’re on the hunt for a new whip, you’d be crazy not to give this bad boy a serious look. Give the fine people at Mark Miller Subaru a visit–they will get you taken care of!

9. Clik Elite Escape Backpack: My go-to pack for both wandering the local trails and traveling the world. This pack is large enough to fit a serious load of gear, yet it wears comfortably and fits in most overhead airline compartments.

10. Salomon Rocker 2: . The Rocker 2 is the ultimate pow-schralping machine! When it’s over head and you’re under gunned, strap this baby on your feet and let the good times roll.

Long Lens Morning: Cascade Peak & Middle Provo River

Winter image of Cascade Peak and Middle Provo River by AdamBarkerPhotography

Banger morning. Middle Provo River. Cascade Peak.

The quick and dirty:
Perfect comp for a long lens shot with engaging elements from front to back of the frame. Think of your photographic frame in three-dimensional terms as a loaf of bread. Long lenses squish that loaf of bread, putting the back slice right up against the front slice. Additionally, this was shot at exactly 90 degrees to the sun, allowing me to utilize the Singh-Ray Filters LB warming polarizing filter to the fullest, deepening the sky, and giving the snowy peaks extra pop.

AdamBarkerPhotography Top 10 Gear List from Asia Workshop

The Bayon at Twilight, Angkor Thom, Cambodia

The Bayon at Twilight, Angkor Thom, Cambodia

Having just spent nearly three weeks traveling across the world, I became very well acquainted with the gear I chose to take. Putting equipment through its paces on a consistent, daily basis really allows the cream to rise to the top. The standouts perform, and the rest gets tossed. Below is a list of the gear that was essential in capturing unique imagery while far away from home in a different climate and environment. Some were obvious producers from past experience, some were new found favorites! (all listings are linked for easy access–just roll over with your mouse cursor)

MGCC_swatch1_Ash1. Mountain Khakis Granite Creek Convertible Pant. I typically steer clear of pant/short combos cause it seems like very few actually look moderately normal. Read: I feel goofy in them. Not so with the MK’s. Light and comfortable, these convertible pants are extremely functional, and look great too. My favorite part? Zippered pockets that keep your valuables safe (passport, wallet, memory card wallet, etc.)

small_CLIK_Escape_gray2. Clikelite Escape Photo Pack. I spent nearly 17 days straight with a backpack on for at least 8 hours a day. Make no mistake, I’ve now reached “BFF” status with the Escape. It’s small enough to travel well, yet packs a load of gear and wears comfortably. It’s also super handy to open the entire pack, clam shell style with one pull on the dual zippers in hurried situations. Next year’s version has some small, but worthy improvements. Should be out soon!

warmpolinhand3. Singh Ray LB Warming Polarizer. In a word? Indispensable. We were consistently shooting in wet or hazy conditions. The LB Warming Polarizer helped to take the sheen off of foliage or reflective tile or other materials. It also helped to cut down on the haze for longer lens shots. I can’t tell you how many times I reminded the photo tour attendees to put on their polarizing filters if they hadn’t already done so. It hardly ever leaves my lens.

79495_4934. Patagonia Men’s Drifter Gore Tex Hiker. Like the rest of the gear listed on here, I used these nearly all day every day on tour. In short, they were a bear and a fluffy pillow all at once. Handled the mileage with aplomb, and kept my feet happy and comfortable. Gore Tex is essential to keeping feet dry, and the capilene liner wicked moisture from the inside. Believe it or not, even in 100 degree heat for two weeks plus, my feet never felt sweaty. Sweet!

unnamed5. Lacie Rugged 500 GB Portable Hard Drive. These puppies travel with me everywhere. Tried and trusted, they are fast (Firewire 800) and reliable. I took two to Asia, partitioning one into two 250gb drives and having another as a second and separate backup.

11009_0826. Patagonia Capilene 1 Silkweight T-shirt. Light, well-fitting and incredibly comfortable. This shirt looks snazzy, wicks moisture extremely well and dries in a hurry. It also packs super well. Take a half dozen on your next hot weather journey–you won’t regret it.

mbp7. 13″ Macbook Pro. Small enough to work on comfortably in tight spaces (read: airplane), fast and functional. I’m a Mac snob, but I can’t imagine anyone ever passing up this sexy beast. It’s the perfect companion for any photographer looking for the primo travel laptop. It should be noted that due to general color and accuracy discrepancies on laptop screens, I typically just edit on my laptops and do very minimal processing other than for blog posts or Facebook updates.

chatingmail8. Google G-Chat Video Chat. What I can say? Even when on the road, I’m a bit of a home body. G Chat is super easy and quick–there’s nothing better than saying hello to my wife and boys to start the day off on the right foot.

41cff4ywuWL._AA300_PIbundle-1,TopRight,0,0AA300_SH20_

9. Canon 5D MkII and 24-105mm 4.0L IS. A lethal combination in terms of image quality, usability and versatility. The full frame sensor and 21 mp output on the 5D MkII produces images unrivaled in the 35mm digital SLR realm (according to this photog). The 24-105mm is as good a one lens wonder as there ever was. Wide enough to be wide, and long enough to be moderately long, it is extremely sharp edge to edge, and the image stabilization is an added bonus.

buystrip_ipad_2010022510. iPad. It’s a life saver on long flights, bus rides and even longer layovers. It also works incredibly well as a visual aide when teaching to small groups. I used it repeatedly in the van on the way to different shooting locations, and even at dinner when reviewing the day’s teaching points, or discussing the next day’s photographic goals. I should also mention it’s a fantastic piece for showing your work quickly and efficiently.