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Creative Moms Deserve the Best Tech Tools

Whether your mom is a designer, a photographer, artist or moviemaker--the right tools are often the best gifts

As a mom myself, I generally don't recommend getting tech tools as Mother's Day gifts. Seriously, unless mom specifically requests a new vacuum cleaner, socket set or ironing board, she want gifts that are more personal and less task-oriented. Giving her a present that allows her to further her skills, or discovering new means of expression can be the most meaningful gift you can give.

There are many non-technical tools that can help her develop her creative side, of course (flowers and a card), but as more and more artistic expression is digital, giving the right gift means looking to technology. Here are some great ideas for creatives of all sorts--mom or not.

For the Photographer

While a digital SLR would be an ideal gift for someone who has moved beyond simply taking snapshots and wants to move to higher qualitiy photographs, the choice of a camera is often a very personal, and expensive, one. It would be like buying a car, with no one car being the best for all people. Concentrate instead on quality accessories.

Photographers know that lighting is the key to great photographs, perhaps an LED light ring or a flash designed to work with their camera. The other key to taking great photographs is to simply take lots of them so Class 10 SD memory cards are great affordable gifts as they provide speeds of up to 10 MB/ second when transferring files. Consider software such as Photoshop. While professional versions are quite price-y, many photographers would be smart to start with Photoshop Elements or Premiere Elements which is available from many online retailers for under $100.

For the Moviemaker

What is a great movie without great sound? Perhaps a microphone that connects with your digital SLR to capture sound such as this one from Nikon or a pro model that is designed to work with high-end digital video cameras? Again software might be the right answer once movie makers have moved beyond the free options from Windows or Microsoft, consider Avid Studio for pro-level quality. If your mom is more of an animation aficionado, consider Anime Studio Debut or Pro that can open up the field of animation to even beginning filmmakers.

For the Artist

While paints, pencils and clay are still essential elements to artists, even the most accomplished traditional visual artists will want to explore the digital side of contemporary art. No longer does the term computer art mean working with mice and clunky input devices, as modern tablets use styluses and touch input technology recreating the experience of more traditional tools.

If your favorite artist has never used a tablet or has played with an iPad and wants to create with more control, consider an an inexpensive starter tablet such as the Monoprice 10 x 6.25 graphics tablet or something from the Bamboo line of entry-level tablets from industry-standard Wacom. If your mom is a professional designer or serious artist, the Intuos line includes essential software, offers greater sensitivity, programmable buttons and many other pro-level enhancements.

Have fun this Mother's Day and we hope she likes her present!

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