'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.

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.

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.


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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

The new Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 prime lens...

Canon has released a new prime lens, the EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM lens.

This 28/2.8 prime has a simple design, will give you a crisp, sharp image and displays high contrast with minimal distortion.

But the real reason for this post is not to review the lens, but to let you know you can get it for only $349 (with free shipping) over at Adorama.

This price is about $150 less than B&H and $100 less than Amazon!

Please keep in mind you will only see the $349 price during checkout (not on the product page), but trust me you will, I tested it myself.

So, if you are in the market for a fast prime lens for your Canon, this new 28mm f/2.8 might just be the ticket.

Let's give some gear away...

In celebration of our one million YouTube views we are giving away a couple Flex Lens Shades!

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

So for you to have a chance to win you need to do the following three things:

1. Like us on Facebook and/or Google+ (if you've "liked" us for a previous contest, this requirement is waved)

2. Leave a comment on any of our blog posts or any of our YouTube videos

3. Upload any image that you shot to our Flickr group

If you are new to Flickr (or have never joined) you can get all the details on how to join the Weekly Photo Tips Flickr group here.

The giveaway starts right now and both winners will be announced on the blog on Friday November 29 (2013).

Good luck everyone, we always look forward to seeing your images and reading your comments.

Here is our YouTube video that includes the Flex Lens Shade.

Here is the small print (literally):

All rights and ownership of submitted images remain with the photographer who took it.

friend us once, then 1 image upload + 1 comment = 1 giveaway entry.

You can enter the contest as many times as you like, no limit.

Winners outside of the US will need to cover the cost of shipping their prize package.  

Veterans Day 2013...

There have been some pretty good posts for Veterans Day passed, if you would take a moment on this special day to give them a look it would be greatly appreciated.

Here's the list:

Veterans Day 2012

Veterans Day 2011

Veterans Day 2010

Veterans Day 2009

Veterans Day 2008

If you are a veteran (or you know one) there are restaurants tripping all over themselves to give you a free meal today, The Military Wallet has a pretty substantial list here.

For those of you old enough to remember there was a time when the brave men and women of our military did not have our support. They represented what many believed was a failed American policy and they bore the brunt of that.

The video below does a beautiful job demonstrating how some veterans, those of us from the Vietnam era, sometimes don't quite feel as "welcomed" home. But the best part of the video is it also shows it being overcome.

Happy Veterans Day to my brothers in arms.

When is it too much Photoshop?...

At what point does one step over the line and go from good photshop to BAD?

In my humble opinion, this is yet another example of Photoshop run far amuck.

It's one thing to "tweak" an image with Photoshop, it's another thing to hit it would a pound of C4!

This video is less than a minute, so please you tell me (leave a comment below), good thing or bad?

Today we turned 1,000,000 YouTube views...

The title pretty much says it all, today we rolled past 15,000 subscribers and topped 1,000,000 views on the Weekly Photo Tips YouTube channel!

I know there hasn't been a new video in some time, but know that there are more in the works even as I write this, so stop by our channel soon to see some new posting.

I big THANK YOU to all of you, our success is a result of you supporting this community.

Today is Stinky's birthday!...

Molly, the oldest of my Irish triplets turns 19 today. It's a very happy happy/sad day.... I love the woman she is becoming but I miss the little girl she was.

When she was really little Molly thought all the hoopla on Halloween was in celebration of her birthday, and of course I did nothing to dissuade her from thinking that. I still don't.

I think there is at least one story that shows who you really are as a person, please let me share two quick stories that demonstrates what kind of person my Molly is.

Story 1:

She was 6 at the time, had long hair, way down her back long hair, and one day came into the kitchen and announced to us that she wanted to have her hair cut off so she should could "donate to the company that makes wigs for sick kids", then she turned on her heals and walked away. Her mom and I just looked at each other until one of us finally said "where did that come from?".

Our plan was to just wait and see if it was something she still wanted in a few days. Well, by the end of the week she had bugged us so much that I was ready to let her shave her head, get tattoos, and pierce anything she wanted.

So down to the hair salon we want, off came her hair, and it was sent to Locks of Love.

Story 2:

We really get into Christmas at our house, especially when the girls were still "believers", for weeks we'd tell elaborate stories about what we want most and why, and one year I wanted a telescope. We had marked the day on the calendar when Santa was going to be at the fire station (he lands on the roof and comes down the big ladder to see the kids) and when the day finally arrived it was cold and the line was long, Santa long, so it took quite some time before we reached the big guy. When it was finally her turn with Santa he asked Molly what she wanted and without hesitation the first things she said was "I want you to bring my dad a telescope".

Ya, I was speechless.

Now she is taller than her mom, looks far more like a woman than I like, and I am no longer the coolest man she knows (I have been replaced by some guy named Jason Aldean).

This has been a busy year for her, she has graduated high school, started college, and now drives around in her own car (his name is Steve), but she still kisses me before she leaves the house, will sit next to me on the couch while we watch TV, will say she loves me in front of her friends, and is still the same caring girl who gave her hair away and used her time with Santa for the benefit of someone else.

Happy birthday Molly, I love you!

Win a Fuji x100s from 500px.com!...

500px is celebrating their 4th birthday and are doing it in style, they are giving away a Fujifilm X100S!

This is a great camera and don't take my word for it, check out what Dave Hobby, Zack Arias, and Ken Rockwell all had to say about it.

Dave Hobby - "As for myself, I am starting my 2013 round of HCAC assignments and many will be shot with this camera. It's that good" - read Dave's full review

Zack Arias - "The x100s is my desert island camera" - read Zack's full review

Ken Rockwell - "the world's best available-light camera" - read Ken's full review

You will find plenty of sample images Dave and Zack shot with the X100s that you will surely want to see, so be sure to check out their reviews.

Simply follow this link over to the 500px blog for all the details on how you can enter the contest.

Good luck!!!!

The secret to getting a press pass...

As a photographer, how many times have you gone to an event and thought how much fun it would have been to have unrestricted access to go back stage, behind the scenes, to places where the "normal public" simply is not allowed to go and take pictures?

Well, today I'm going to share with you a secret on how to get a press pass, the secret that I have used to get press passes to 9 out of 10 events that I request them for.

Are you ready?

I ask... yup, I ask, I find out who the public relations person is for the event and drop them an email requesting a press pass.

Okay, there is a bit more to it than that, but not much.

Make it easy for them to say "yes" to you, this can be done in a few easy steps:

Provide them with a business card and/or an online venue where they can view some of your photography (a website, blog, or an online portfolio on a site like 500px.com).

And because they are doing me a favor by providing unrestricted (and free) access to their event, I will say "thank you" by letting them know I am happy to provide a disk containing some of my images (usually 14-20 of what I consider to be my best from that day) for them to use for promotional purposes. I provide these images without a monetary charge, but I do request that they give me photographic credit (both name and website) each/anytime they use one of my images.

Another thing that will help them say "yes" is if you tell them you intend on sharing with your readers that you'll be photographing the event (assuming you have a blog), as this will give them a bit of free publicity prior to the event date. Free publicity to a PR person is pretty enticing.  ;)

Put all this information together in the first email you send requesting a press pass as these poor folks are pretty busy organizing the event and don't have time for a "back and forth" email conversation. I also recommend an email over a phone call as (again) they are busy and a phone call will interupt their day, where as an email can be dealt with at a time that is most convenient to them.

Not only have I had the pleasure of photographing fairs, festivals, races, museum exhibits, and other events I normally would have paid to see, I got to see them in a new, exciting way AND I get to combine it with my love of photography.... it really doesn't get much better than that.

It has been far too long...

Yes it has, it's been far too long since I last posted.

First let me say to all of the people who have reached out to me, emailed asking how I was, hoping all was well, and wishing me their best.... THANK YOU.

Since I started this blog waaaaay back in 2007 folks could expect to read at least 5 and sometimes as many as 7 posts a week, at least that was the case until this past August.

It was then that I felt as if I had finally been overtaken by the circumstances that life will sometimes throw at us. I will spare you the details but suffice it to say that I didn't feel like I was waiting for my ship to come in, or that it was here, it felt much more like I was watching it sail away.

But like they say "being defeated is a temporary condition, giving up is what makes it permanent".

So I wanted to let you know that I am still here and that you can expect to see more posts (starting now!), though they will probably not be as often as they used to be... at least not at first, it may take me awhile to work up to that, but that too will come.

So thank you for your concern and thank you for your patience.

I may not have fully realized what a phenomenal community had built up around Weekly Photo Tips, but I do now and I am truly appreciative of it.

Have a great weekend everyone, I'll see you next week.

Full version of Adobe Lightroom 5 just $99!...

Yup, you read that correctly, you can get Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 (while supplies last) for just $99.

 This is the full version, on a disk, and in a boxed version for both Windows and Mac (not a downloadable upgrade).

The display price you'll see is $149.99, but when you put in coupon code S987654321 during checkout you'll get the $99 final price.

And despite what the graphic says, even if you didn't buy a lens, camera, or computer you can still get the $99 price.

If you are wondering what is different in Lightroom 5 and should you move up to the latest version, Laura Shoe has put together an informative series of videos walking you through many of the new, improved, and different features you will now find Lightroom 5.

You can also check out Terry Whites video of his 5 favorite features in Lightroom 5.

Below is Laura's video review/over view of Lightroom 5, enjoy.

For those who received this post view email, you'll need to return to Weekly Photo Tips to watch the video as they are not pushed thought via email, sorry.

A bazillion DIY photography Projects...

Okay, maybe it's not a bazillion projects (it's more like 67), but listed here are plenty of low cost/no cost DIY photography specific projects that will keep you busy for quite some time (and also save you a dollar or two).

If you have a DIY project not listed here please let us know so we can add it to our list as we are going to maintain a "DIY Project" list that our readers can refer to.

If you complete one of these projects (or have done one in the past) we would love to learn how you did it and see pictures of the completed project, so please let us know about that too.

New, let the fun begin.

Adjustable Snoot

Backdrop Stand

 Beauty Dish

Beauty Dish for SB-800

Beauty Dish flash modifier

Beauty Dish (stainless steel)

Boom Arm Reflector Holder

Budget DIY Lighting System

Camera stabilizer for $15

Canvas Photography Backdrop


Cheapshott Collapsible Umbrella DIY

Digital White Balance Filter (like ExpoDisc)

Film Can Diffuser & Color Gel holder

Flash Diffuser (cigarette packet)

Flash Mini-Bouncer

Floor Light

Foldable Softbox

Free Printable Lens Hoods

Gary Fong Lightsphere

Gary Fong LightSphere II

Grid (gutter adapter & black straw)

Grid (Speedlite)


Large Softbox for Small Strobe

Light & Backdrop stand

Lighting Diagrams, Planning and Explaining

Light Tent

Macro Lighting

Macro Photo Studio (for $10)

Monopod (for $11)

Monopod (with ballhead)

Monopod (mini)

Monopod (telescoping)

Muslin backgrounds

Panoramic Tripod Head for $10

Pop-up flash diffuser

Pop-up flash diffuser (soft screen)

Ring Flash

Ring Flash

Ring Flash (disposable)

Ring Flash (square)

Shutter Release (Canon)


Softbox - Flash Mounted

Softbox Grid (under $10.00)

Softbox (for perfect portraits)

Softbox (using umbrella)

Softbox from an umbrella

Spiderlight Strobe

Spiderlight Softbox

Strip Light

Strip Light (cheap)

Studio Backdrop Mount

Studio Lights (under $20)

Tinker Tubes

Umbrella Softbox (aka Brollybox)

Vagabond power pack

Wired Remote (Canon)

The 2013 Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk...

Yup, it was just announced yesterday, that the 2013 Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk will be kicking off in October.

And yours truly will be leading the walk to be held here in Portland Maine. I have led this walk before and it has always been a great deal of fun, you get to make new (photography) friends, take some great shots, and fill your lungs with fresh air.

All good things.

The walk does not take place until October 5th, but your can reserve your seat today.

I really hope to see you there.

Gardens in Focus Photography Competition...

If you enjoy taking pictures of flowers (and who doesn't?), then the Gardens in Focus Photography Competition could be right up your alley.

One of the cool features about the competition is not only do you have the chance to win money, there is the opportunity (only if you want it) to sell prints of your photograph as well.

Here are a few of the details:


* Plants in a Botanic Garden (Amateur)
* Plants in a Botanic Garden (Professional)
* Creatures in a Botanic Garden (Amateur)
* Creatures in a Botanic Garden (Professional)
* Out & About in a Botanic Garden (Amateur)
* Out & About in a Botanic Garden (Professional)
* International Botanic Gardens (Open)
* My Secret Garden (Open)


The photographer of the overall winning image will be awarded the first prize of $2,000 in cash and will have their images displayed with the prestigious International Garden Photographer of the Year competition in the UK and published in the IGPOTY book.

Second prize - $1,000 in cash

Third prize - $500 in cash

Category prizes - $150 each category

People’s choice prize - $300 in cash

Plus all winning and grand finalist photographs are featured printed and framed under glass in an exhibition at the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney. Selected framed prints from the exhibition will be available for purchase (subject to the agreement of the photographer).

"Pic of the Month" - monthly prize

You can get the rest of the details here.

The father daughter dance...

Today (Saturday) is traditionally the day people get married, so I thought it would be appropriate to post this video of a touching, unusual father daughter dance.

If you didn't get the video with your subscription (and it's likely you did not), please return to Weekly Photo Tips to view it.

The Nikon D800, possibly the best camera Nikon makes!...

As a follow-up to our last post, here are a few things I wanted to share regarding one of the cameras we talked about, the Nikon D800 (a camera I own and LOVE).

Did you know that the video quality is so good that there are some TV shows that shoot exclusively with the D800? Check it out.

In my interview with Michael Clark, he said that some of the best video files he sees are coming out of the D800.

As many of you know, I shoot weddings with Stacey Kane, and she has become a huge D800 fan, having moved from the Nikon D3 to the D800 for one reason, image quality.

There is a reason those images look so good, according to organizations like DXO Labs, is that the D800 sensor is the best in the world.

Two very thorough, informative (and glowing) reviews you will want to read:

1. The first is the "Nikon D800 Review" from PhotgraphyLife.com - "I am very impressed... the Nikon D800 will become the camera of choice for my photography needs".

2. Is from Ken Rockwell, here is his review of the Nikon D800. "The D800 is the best DSLR ever made by anyone at any price".

Both of these reviews are phenomenally in-depth.

If you are seriously considering a new camera, you can not do better than the Nikon D800 and you can get it for $2700 with free shipping.

Lastly, if you own (or are expecting to own) this camera you can get an in-depth step-by-step tour of the Nikon D800 with John Greengo over at CreativeLive for just $49.