THE SIMPLE LIGHT
$498, estimated street
Unlike strobes, which make it hard to tell how your lighting looks until you take the picture, tungsten lights are constant -- easy for studio newbies to finesse until they get the look they want. Interfit's new three-head tungsten kit, which packages all of the basics together, is a great place to start. Hot: Three SXT3200 heads with 500-watt bulbs, stands, umbrellas, background cloth, a bag to carry it all in, and a DVD to teach you how to use it all. Not: The lights get very hot, and they're not as bright as strobes, which help you freeze motion.
$200, estimated street
We hate to break it to you, but those shaky home movies aren't arty -- just sloppy. Manfrotto's new 585 Modosteady can help. It gives you three ways to stabilize smaller video cameras and point-and-shoots. Hot: A quick-release plate lets you switch easily between the shoulder support, videocam stabilizer, and tabletop tripod. The device folds flat and small for travel. Not: It's not sturdy enough for DSLRs, and you might look a little dorky.
$100, estimated street
Some camera bags seem to scream: "Steal me! I contain thousands of dollars of photo equipment!" But Tamrac's Aero 80 Photo/Laptop Backpack plays it cool in plain clothes, so you don't look like a walking target. Hot: Adjustable dividers for a DSLR, lenses, flashes, and more; padded laptop slot; large separate section for everything else. Not: Accessories such as tripod straps and quick-access battery and phone pouches are not included.
Make your photos stick with FotoStick.com, which prints vinyl pics that cling to any smooth surface.
Make a music video by uploading some shots to Animoto.com, and you'll end up with a killer slide show.
Filter out the trash with onexposure.net, a photo community that weeds out the bad shots so you don't have to.
Make your child famous at Flattenme.com, where you can turn a photo of your kid into an adventure storybook.
Have Brad Pitt's baby when you combine your photos at Morphthing.com.
Wear your pixels by strapping Go Pro's waterproof 3MP digital camera on your wrist. Check it out at www.goprocamera.com.