Wednesday, February 26, 2014

We need our readers help identifying a font....


One of our readers recently wrote in with a question hoping that one of you good folks might be able to answer it.

Would anyone out there by chance know the name of the font in the picture below.


If you know it (or think you do) please leave your answer as a comment to this post.

My money is betting we will have the correct answer in no time.

Thanks everyone.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Nikon announces the new D4s!...


Today Nikon announced a new flagship camera, the Nikon D4s.


The D4s is a speed demon shooting 40% faster than the D4.

Here are a few more of the differences:

Image Processing Engine D4S: EXPEED 4 30% faster Increased number of shots Higher video quality at high ISO Supports 1080 60p More shots per charge
(D4 Processing Engine EXPEED 3)

ISO Sensitivity Range: 100 to 25,600 Lo1 (ISO 50) to Hi4 (ISO 409,600)
(D4 Range is 100-12,800 ISO)

RAW SIZE S: 12-bit uncompressed
(D4 no)

Advanced Scene Recognition System: Group Area AF added

Face Priority analysis for viewfinder shooting: On/Off possible with custom setting
(D4 Always On)

Spot White Balance when using Live View
(D4 No)

So if you have a spare $6500 you want to spend, or simply want to read more about the D4s and drool just follow this link.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Review of the Ruck Strap camera strap from HoldFast...



It seems like forever ago that I did the "unboxing" of the Ruck Strap camera strap from the good people (Mathew Swaggart) over at HoldFast.

And I have never done a joint review before, so today will be our first.

The UPS truck often stops at my front door, dropping off boxes of very cool camera gear, and never before has one of my daughters shown an interest in any of it (actually just the opposite, their eyes glaze over, a bit of drool from the corner of their mouth), but as soon as Katie saw the Ruck Strap her eyes shot open and she started asking questions, ending with "can I try this", to which I said "sure, but you have to write something about it".

So here is Katie's review of the Ruck Strap (and I will follow with a few words of my own).

"This camera strap is not only the coolest looking, but it is extremely comfortable too! It has two pockets in the front for my memory cards and two elastics in the back for extra batteries, it attaches to your camera by adjustable leather straps and heavy metal buckles. It is so perfect for me (or any photographer) so my pockets aren’t full of and I'm not fumbling for batteries and memory cards. Which is great so I don’t have to carry my camera bag around. By just attaching the strap to the camera you can tell it is made out of quality and extremely durable materials (canvas, leather, and suede). 

I think another of my favorite things about the strap is the soft suede backing against my neck, not the silicone, which I understand is supposed to keep the strap (and my camera) from sliding around but really it just makes my neck sweaty (gross!) and pulls my hair. The Ruck Strap is perfect for any photographer."


It's a good thing I got to handle it first, because Katie is NOT giving the Ruck Strap back to me.

As I said during the unboxing, both the packaging materials and the care with which it was all put together were both amazing, I have never been more impressed with all of the thought and care that went into preparing a single item for shipping. 

I concur with Katie regarding the quality of materials used in this camera strap, I seriously doubt you will see it matched by other products... based strictly on quality, it it is one of the best things ever sent to me for review.

Combine that with the thoughtful design and clever layout (where you can carry your batteries and memory cards) and the Ruck Strap is clearly a winner.

Lastly, I shoot weddings with a Nikon D3, so we are talking a very long day with a heavy beast of a camera, and the Ruck Strap was just as comfortable at the end of the day as it was in the beginning. And you will NEVER have to worry about your strap coming loose from your camera.

So what do we have here, a camera strap that is comfortable (with even long use), you have camera security, you have useful functionality... what more can you ask for, seriously?

The Ruck Strap is not the least expensive camera strap you will ever buy, but in my humble opinion it will be the best one you ever attach to your camera.



Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New year, new gear...




Nikon has just announced the new D3300, a camera that will produce stunning 24.2-megapixel photos and let you shoot 1080p Full HD videos with tack-sharp details. You can shoot at 5 frames per second, create high-resolution panoramas, and so much more. You can get the new Nikon D3300 along with a 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II Lens for just $646 (with free shipping). It is available in your traditional black, or the stunning "arrest me red".




Another new release from Nikon is the 35mm f/1.8G AF-S ED Nikkor Lens, for $596.



And one last new release from Nikon is the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR II Lens, for $196.



Not to be outdone, Canon has released a slew of new Powershot Cameras this morning and you can find them all at this link.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

'Twas the night before Christmas...


It's Christmas Eve, have been listening to Christmas music for weeks (the classics like Johnny Mathis and Bing Crosby), our Christmas tree has filled our living room (so big that we have to look at it from outside), has soooo much tinsel on it that it could be confused with a space ship (nope, my girls are not big into being subtle), and I'm really waaaaay more into Christmas than photography at this very moment so thought I would share my "top five all time" Christmas movies of all time.


Number one on my list is "The Bishop's Wife" with Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven. It's the story of an Episcopal Bishop who is losing sight of his family and why he entered the church as he becomes far too engrossed in having an elaborate cathedral built, that is until an angel (Cary Grant) enters his life and helps him refocus on what is really most important.


Second on the list is "A Christmas Carol"... don't really think I have to tell anyone what this movie is about. There are soooooo many versions, but for me it's a tossup between 1999 version with Patrick Stewart or the 1938 version with Reginald Owen and I am only slightly embarrassed to admit I have every version that has been filmed on DVD. A great "modernization" of this classic tale is "Scrooged" with Bill Murray (VERY funny).


Third is "It's a Wonderful Life", a story about how George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) spent his entire life trying to get out of Bedford Falls but for one reason or another never succeeds. Feeling his life has been a waste he has the rare opportunity to see what the lives of those people he has touched would have been like had he never been born, it's then that he realizes that he truly is the richest man in town.


Fourth is "The Family Man" with Nicolas Cage and Tea Leoni, this funny, touching story is about redemption, second chances and family. It looks at what life would have been like had Jack Campbell (Nicolas Cage) chosen a mini van and diapers over a Ferrari and (equally) fast women.



Fifth, and last on my list is "The Shop Around the Corner", another movie with Jimmy Stuart and is less a Christmas movie and more a movie that takes place at Christmas time. If you've seen the movie "You've got Mail" you already know the plot line.

These are my favorites because they beautifully demonstrate love that we (should) have for each other and that demonstrate the better side of mankind. If you like sentimentality at Christmas (like I do) you just can't go wrong with any of these movies, if you haven't seen them (or it's been some time) I would strongly encourage you to give them a try.

Please, please please, I would love nothing more than to hear what movies have made it to the top of your Christmas movie list.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Our review of the MeFoto travel tripod...


Today we have the pleasure of a review of the MeFoto tripod from long time friend of Weekly Photo Tips, Paula Apro. Paula is a digital artist with an affinity for cameras, yoga, bikes, greyhounds, and traveling.

I know personally she never had a good thing to say about a tripod, that is until she got her MeFoto travel tripod.

Here is her review, enjoy.

My Love/Hate Relationship With Tripods


There is no question that I sometimes love and hate tripods and I admit... it's has been mostly hate. Well, I should say it has been mostly hate up until this year. I even pride myself on the reputation that I've built up over the years at photo workshops. At first the instructors would work very hard at convincing me that I MUST use a tripod. They'd preach endlessly about the importance of using one until finally they would come to the realization that they are wasting their time and their breath. Not only was I stubborn and stuck to all the reasons why I don't like using them, but in the end my creativity of my images would almost made them re-think their own strict rules on using what I refer to as "those creativity stifling devices." Pretty soon I became known as that "rogue photographer" or the "the anti-tripod" and although the jokes were many, the preaching has since stopped. I proved that I was good at hand holding a camera.

Just to be clear, my flat out refusal to use a tripod doesn't apply to conditions that truly warrant needing one, i.e., shooting a long exposure. There is a time and place for everything and when the real need arises I would comply and (grudgingly) use the proper tools, but I can't remember a time when I was happy about doing it. Taking a tripod out of the bag was soon followed by a bit of grumbling and maybe even a non family friendly word (or two). There has even been a time when actual tears where involved - when my heavy 70-200mm pivoted on the bullhead and came crashing down, pinning my finger between the lens and the tripod. This example pretty much illustrates a typical day using a tripod for me.

I also felt that using a tripod was work, so much work in fact that it would cause me to quickly lose interest. This is why I was so surprised and delighted when I discovered a tripod that I not only didn't dread using, I enjoyed it!

This year I bought a new MeFoto travel tripod for a recent trip overseas. I guess you can say that I downgraded from a carbon fiber Manfrotto to a much less expensive ($189) aluminum MeFoto. As I REALLY needed a tripod for this trip I decided to give it one more try, plus the darn thing was just too good looking to pass up. It comes in a variety of beautiful anodized colors (mine is blue) and packed into the smallest tripod bag I ever saw (just over a foot). The most brilliant part of this design over my old travel Manfrotto is the fact that the legs fold up backwards so you no longer have the big bulky head sticking out beyond the length of the collapsed legs. It's hard for me to believe that it took tripod manufacturers this long to come up with such a brilliant idea.



The other thing that I love about this tripod is just how "buttery smooth" the ballhead is. Now please keep in mind that I wasn't moving from a cheap no-name tripod. I had been using a top of the line carbon fiber Manfrotto and the smoothness of the MeFoto ballhead simply blew away my Manfrotto, even made it feel "sticky". I think the "sticky" ballhead issue alone is why I always disliked using tripods. It was always a struggle for me to get the adjustment just right. I would loosen the ballhead and either push too much or not enough. That is NOT a problem with my MeFoto.

It's got all sorts of cool features, like the different leg angle positions and 360 panning, but the thing that excites me the most is the fact that I can put my hand over all four extension tubes at once and in one single twist of my wrist either loosen them all up or tighten them all back down. These tubes are similar to the Gitzo style tripod and very different from the individual knobs on my old Manfrotto. I have 4 sections on three legs that need to be loosened and then tightened with every use. You do the math. That's a lot of time wasted twisting knobs. And when your assistant insists on over-tightening all of them, well it gets old and frustrating really fast.

I didn't think there was a tripod out there that could make me anything but cranky when attempting to use it, but this cute little number has done the trick, to the point where I see more long exposure photos in my future.

In closing let me say you get three important things with the MeFoto travel tripod, functionality, affordability, and portability. Okay, make that four things, because it is an extremely good looking tripod as well.



Friday, December 6, 2013

Selling food photography...



Not all photography is sellable directly to the public and food photography is a good example of that.

If you are a food photographer THE place to sell your images is StockFood.com.

Why?

Glad you asked, because they care about their photographers and one of the ways they prove that is by consistently paying the highest percentage of each and every image sale right back to the person who created that image, you the photographer.

Another way they invest in our success is by letting photographers know what kind of imagery clients are looking for. No sense in shooting food images that are not currently being supported in the market place, so before setting up a shoot you can check out the Stock Food image wish list which will increase your chance of sellability.

You can also significantly improve your chances of success by understanding and following their well documented submission guidelines.

So if you photograph food, please check out StockFood.com, it's the only stock food agency I am registered with.


Selling your photography online commission free...



There are a lot of places online where you can sell your photography, but the vast majority take a hefty percentage of each and every sale... but there is one place you can avoid being gouged and that's over at Pixels.com.

And not only can you sell your work commission free, you can also join Pixels.com for free as well.

So if you are looking to sell your work I would suggest you head over to Pixels.com and take their tour, find out for yourself if their market place is right for you.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday deals on photo gear...


Here are just of the few deals available for you that will save you a boat load of cash (and FREE shipping).

You might want to forward the list to Santa.

This first one is my favorite (just ordered one):

Glow HexaPop 20" for portable off camera flash - $109

This softbox kit comes with everything, softbox, hot-shoe mounting bracket, heck, it even comes with a storage/carry bag!



Toshiba 8GB FlashAir Wireless SD Card - $18.85


Lexar 16GB Class 10, Professional 400x SDHC UHS-I Memory Card, comes as a two Pack - $32.95


If you want faster try this two pack of Lexar 16GB CLASS 10, Professional 600x SDHC UHS-I Memory Cards - $57.95


Lexar 16GB Professional 800x CompactFlash Card - Two-Pack - $75.95


SanDisk 32GB Class 10, Extreme Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Memory Card, 45mb/second - $24.95


Save $450 on a Nikon D5200 24.1 MP DX-Format DSLR Camera Kit with an AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens - $946


Save $250 on this Canon EOS Rebel SL1 DSLR Camera 3 Lens Kit with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens, EF 75-300mm F/4-5.6 III Lens, and EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens - Bundle - with Flash, Camera Bag, 16GB SDHC Card, USB Card Reader, Tripod, and Adorama Memory Card Case - $899


You can also parooze Flashpoint Cyber Monday Deals, Nikon Deals and Canon Deals.

Happy shopping!


Saturday, November 30, 2013

And our giveaway winners are...



First let me thank everyone for participating in our latest giveaway, as usual there was a phenomenal response.

Now, our two winners, drawn at random from all of the qualifying entries are... drum roll please...
Dennis Gingerich and Linda Montemarano!

Congratulations Dennis and Linda, all you need to do is email us with you snail mail address and we will get your Flex Lens Shades right out to you.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday with Scott Kelby at Kelby Training...



Without a doubt one of the best (if not THE best) online educational resource for photographers can be found over at Kelby Training.

And between now and December 2nd you can save some serious coinage on their annual subscription, you can get 12 months of unlimited access for just $159 (a $40 savings)

What that will give you access to is over 800 hours of training representing more than 7,000 lessons, and if that's not enough for you don't worry, because new lessons, tutorials, and trainers are added on an almost daily basis!

If you aren't ready for a long term commitment you can get one month for just $14.95 (a $10 savings).

Be it for a month or a year, your time at Kelby Training will be time well spent.


Our giveaway is still going on!...



You have until the end of today to toss your name into the hat for a chance to win a Flex Lens Shade!

It's in celebration of our one million YouTube views and we are giving away two so your chance of winning are even better.

Get all of the details on how to enter our giveaway right here at this link.

You can read more about the Flex Lens Shade and see a few "example" images in our post "Shooting Into The Sun", our check out our YouTube video.

Stop back this evening when we announce the winner.

Good luck!


Thursday, November 28, 2013

A happy and blessed Thanksgiving to you...



Yet another Thanksgiving is upon me, the older I get the faster they seem to come.

This is a day that I truly ponder the things for which I MUST give thanks, but not to worry, I won't bore you with the list, but as blessings go I feel like a very wealthy man.

The one thanks I will share is the thanks for this blog, the people I have had the good fortune to know from all over the world is amazing.

And because you are a part of this community hundreds of pounds of food are delivered to two food pantries and a soup kitchen here in southern Maine every Monday morning all year long. The need has become so great that we are now giving 100% of every affiliate sale to this cause, and because you use our affiliate link it really is you that makes the magic happen... and you get the recognition, when I drop off the food I say "I'm just the delivery man, it's my friends who made these donations possible".

So THANK YOU my friends.

I hope that today (and every day) you are surrounded by those you love and who love you, that you feel blessed and rich in spirit, and that you carry hope and charity in your heart.

There are many of you who are struggling in these troubled economic times I hope even more for you... that people reach out to support and comfort you, that your burdens become lighter, that you never feel alone, and I pray that in the days to come you can worry less, love more, and that when strangers see you on the street they wonder what you are smiling about.

Let me leave you with a few words from people waaayyyyyy smarter than I:

Thanksgiving, to be truly Thanksgiving, is first thanks, then giving. ~ Unknown

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others remains and is immortal. ~ Albert Pine

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~ Thornton Wilder

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. ~ William Arthur Ward

Grace isn't a prayer you say before receiving a meal. It's a way to live. ~ Jackie Windspear

We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love. ~ Mother Teresa

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, that is the true measure of our thanksgiving. ~ W. T. Purkiser


Happy Thanksgiving everybody.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The best deal for photographers this year...



We have been a huge fans of Jed & Vicki Taufer over at V Gallery Haven for quite some time.

You can read some of our previous blog posts like an outstanding tutorial on how to overcome photographing people who wear glasses, their "unleashed" product which is both a great marketing tool as well as a way for photographers to help support the community, and they even had the Weekly Photo Tips product of the year.

Jed and Vicki are talented artists, have great products, but most important is they are wonderful people who care.

There latest sale is an example of their generosity to the photographic community as well as those in need.
 
From now until December 3rd you can get EVERYTHING in their store for just $69!!! Not only are you getting a couple thousand dollars worth of products for this ridiculously low price of $69, but you are helping others as well because 20% of every single sale will be donated to the victims of those horrific tornadoes in Illinois on November 17th.

Even if you're not in the market to buy something be sure to head over to VGallery because you will find free actions, free holiday card templates, free video tutorials, and soooooo much more.