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Christmas gift ideas, discounts, gear reviews & another awesome photography tutorial. 
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Merry Christmas! 

We hope you'll enjoy this second e-newsletter from Chris Bray Photography, filled with great Joby giveaways, gear reviews, Christmas gift ideas, discounts, and another awesome photography tutorial - this time on 'Painting with Light'! Have a wonderful Christmas, a suitably productive start to 2013, and thanks very much for your support!
Painting With Light: Light orbs, fire wheels, light drawings, 3D light extrusions and more - they're all heaps of fun, super creative and surprisingly easy to do! There's no hard and fast rules for how to do them, but here's what works well for me! All you need is your DSLR, a tripod, some kinda light, maybe some string, and if you're up for some real excitement, then bring some sparklers, or better yet, some steel-wool and a lighter!
Read my step-by-step guide! 

Previous tutorial: How to shoot star trails.
GEAR TEST - The Joby UltraFit Sling Camera Strap: Packing for Galapagos I remembered the sore neck I got last year from having my camera & 100-400mm lens around my neck all day, and so my friends at Joby kindly sent Jess and I the first two pre-release issues in Australia of their fancy new comfy camera strap system for us to try out. It's not only that the strap itself is comfy, but it's got a brilliant auto-extending/retracting system that lets you walk around with the camera snugly 'cinched' close to your body, but as you pull it up to your face, the strap lengthens to give you complete freedom and reach, then shortens up again as you lower the camera. It's cool! Also as it attaches with a pivot to the bottom of your camera (or lens foot) I found the camera hangs more conveniently, rather than having to point lens-outward like a normal strap. It comes in men's and a woman's versions, shaped to ensure comfy fit! I think they're great - about the only drawback is having to unscrew it if you want to use a tripod, but for me, I'm happy to pay that price. Speaking of price, they retail at $49 from DCW and are out now! In fact, we're giving one away further down this e-newsletter!
JOBY ULTRAFIT SLING CAMERA STRAP GIVEAWAY! We thought we'd share the love, and give you the chance to win one of these handy, comfy camera straps that our necks enjoyed so much in Galapagos for the last few weeks! To enter the competition, all you have to do is enter is visit our Facebook page and click on the 'Win Camera Strap' tab/button at the top. Thanks very much to Joby for giving us this strap to give away! Merry Christmas & Good Luck!
Top-10 Photography Christmas Gift Ideas: It's hard to figure out what to get some people for Xmas isn't it! To help you out, we've compiled a list of photography-related things that your friends or family might like (or perhaps that you could add to your own wish list!)

1) Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 - $200 - In my opinion THE BEST program around for efficiently organising, storing and adjusting all you photos. Mac or PC. You can purchase directly from Adobe and download  but if you purchase from DCW you get the CD to wrap up and put under the xmas tree.

2) Carson Stuff-it Lens Cloth - $10 - These are so unbelievably handy that we've actually bought a pile of them to give out at the start of each of our photo safaris. Simply clip this onto your camera strap, and then whenever you want to clean your lens, you'll have a lens cloth handy! Conveniently pulls/stuffs back into it's little neoprene pouch to keep it clean & tidy. I love these!

3) Canon-Style Lens Coffee Mugs - $30 - Once the disappointment of realising that you've NOT actually given them a real Canon lens wears off, these amazingly realistic mugs are a lot of fun. "Catch this for me?" 

4) Giottos Rocket Air Blower (for cleaning your DSLR sensor) - $21 - I think these are great, and have used mine to clean spots of dust from my DSLR's sensor for years. A must-have for any keen photographer's camera bag!

5) Photon Micro-Light II - $20 (only through me!) - As explained in my new 'Painting with Light' tutorial, these awesome little LED lights are perfect for light drawings, creating orbs of light, etc. They feature a convenient squeeze/release ON/OFF switch for easy 'drawing with light', and also a separate permanent ON/OFF switch for things like 'light orbs'. They retail at about $35 AU (eg here), but I've actually bought a whole stockpile for you for Christmas, and I can sell them brand new in the box for just $20 (+$3 postage and handeling, to Australia)! Good times! They are available in Blue, Green, White, Red and Yellow, and are so reliable that they've been selected for NASA misions! If you'd like to get one (or more), please email with the colour and qty BEFORE 10amEST Friday 14th Dec, and we'll email you a bill which you can pay online, and post them out on 18th Dec. No orders after this time as we'll be in Kenya by then, and so you certainly won't get them by Christmas!

6) Joby GorillaPod SLR Zoom Tripod - $65 - Able to support a DSLR weighing up to a hefty 3kgs, this ugly, contorted, space-age tripod is actually very useful. Adjust it to hold your camera level, pointing anywhere, from any surface - even wrap it around and let it hang from branches etc.

7) Gift Certificate for our 1 Day Photography Course - $480 - Held at zoos and other amazing venues all around Australia, our 1 day photography courses are the fastest way to understand the incredible creative potential of a DSLR camera. Composition, Aperture, Exposure Compensation, Lighting, Lenses, Histograms - everything you need to know! They make a very special present that will be remembered and enjoyed for the rest of their lives! Read our gift certificate details or book online HERE.

8) Lowepro flipside Sport 15L AW Camera Backpack - $179 - As reviewed in our previous e-newsletter, this bag is awesome, and I use it all the time! The perfect size and design for at lot of photography.

9) GoPro HD HERO3! - White $269 AU, Silver $359 AU, and Black $469 AU (Although 'Black' is not due in till early 2013, so you'd have to buy 'Black' direct from GoPro and add $85 postage, not sure if it'll be here by Xmas). Prices above are from DCW.  As detailed below, GoPro's are very awesome little action cameras for anyone doing anything cool. You can read and compare the specs online here, but basically, HERO3 is pitched as being 'twice as small, and twice as powerful' as their already groundbreaking HERO2. White, Silver and Black all come with inbuilt Wi-Fi allowing you to live-view & control the camera from your smartphone, can do interval-shooting for timelapses, waterproof to 60m, records to Micro SD cards (no longer uses SD cards) etc. If you have not seen their totally mind-blowingly awesome promo video, then you MUST click here

10) Joby UltraFit Sling Camera Strap - $49 (men'swomen's). As reviewed in our gear test above. Comfy and convenient!

COME TO KENYA IN 2014: We're SOLD-OUT for both our 2-week photo safaris to Kenya this Dec/Jan, but we've just announced dates for our next batch, in January 2014. 5th Jan - 18th Jan 2014, and 19th Jan - 1st Feb 2014. Book in early to avoid disappointment - the second trip (starting on the 19th Jan 2014) already has ONLY ONE SPOT LEFT!!!!! Read all about this unforgettable experience here, or watch our kenya video!
USEFUL CAMERA COMPARISON WEBSITE: Well respected photography review website now has a pretty useful tool on their website letting you compare, side-by-side, various different camera model specifications. For example, click HERE to compare the Canon 600D, 60D, 7D and the 5D mk III, which, incidentally, are currently the set of cameras we recommend people to select from, based on their budget & use.
GALAPAGOS WAS AMAZING: We just got back a few days ago from running another of our sold-out 2-week photo safaris to the Galapagos Islands. Snorkelling with sea lions, turtles and rays, photographing iguanas, giant tortoises, frigate birds and more - as you can see in our Facebook Photo Album, we had an amazing time and got some killer photos! What an experience! Thanks to everyone who came along and helped make it such a great trip! We've already only got THREE SPOTS LEFT for this trip next year (11th-24th Nov 2013) if anyone's keen, book in ASAP! Watch our Galapagos safari promo video!

Don't forget we're also heading to Tasmania for a week in March, and there's still a couple of spots left there! Oh, and Patagonia too next year!

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