Our last Flickr Wednesday...

We will be "retiring" our "Flickr Wednesdays", at least for awhile. That does not mean we are retiring our Flickr group, oh contraire.

Our Flickr group will forever be a part of Weekly Photo Tips, and a big "THANK YOU" to all of you photographers who have been kind enough to share your work with the group.

Please enjoy this last Wednesday group, click on any any of them to view larger.

If you are going to upload images, be sure to put your name (and if you'd like, your website URL) on them, it will make it easier for folks to find you (and see more of your work).

If you are not already part of our Flickr group we would love for you to join us, you can get all the details on how to join right here.

Tiffen Dfx Essentials Filter Software...

For under $10 ($7.95 to be exact) you can get a full version of Tiffen Dfx Essentials Digital Filter Software for Win/Mac!

Here's some of the features:

* 37 individual filters and effects
* Hundreds of built-in presets
* Create multiple layers
* Color, clone, red-eye removal and paint tools
* Preview effects before applying
* Create and save custom setups
* Import most file formats (camera raw, Kodak Cineon, dpx, tif and jpg)

So if you have a spare $7.95 (it comes with free shipping) you'll have some robust editing at your fingertips.

Next assignment, Portland Maine...

This is a second in a series of self assignments to "shoot local", today it's Portland Maine.

Portland really is a pretty cool city, it has a small, warm, welcoming feeling while at the same time it has great diversity, restaurants, and entertainment.

I hope if you are ever visiting New England you make Portland Maine one of your stops.

Click on any image to view larger.

There are lots and lots of shops.

Cobble stone streets.

You'll find more mural covered walls than any other city.

Lobsters, yup, more lobster shops than you can shake a stick at.

And of course there are the boats, small ones and big ones.

I think it's about the only city I know that can successfully combine pirates and ice cream.

So, I'm not sure if they don't want you to dump anything, or just those pesky lobsters.  :)

I also hope that you have accepted my challenge to photograph the areas close to you and if you have, please share them on our our Flickr group.

If you are not already part of our Flickr group please join us, you can get all the details on how to join right here.

More free Photoshop actions...

I am a big fan of Kevin Kubota and the tools his company provides photographers, especially his Photoshop Action Dashboard.

Well, you can now get the Dashboard AND 50 Photoshop actions for free, Nada, zip, nothing!

Follow this link to learn more about, then download your Dashboard and free Photoshop actions.

Once you have your Dashboard installed head over and watch the videos on batch processing with the Kubota Dashboard.

The list of things to do "Before I die"...

I thought this subject dovetailed nicely with yesterdays post, it's a world wide project called "Before I Die", which invites everyone to stand before "the wall" and think... think about their lives, think about their hopes, think about their dreams... and then write at least one of them down for the entire world to see.

Before I Die was the brainchild of artist Candy Chang who created the first one on an abandoned house in her New Orleans neighborhood after losing someone she loved.

As there is a "wall of hopes and dreams" here in Portland (Maine) I decided to head over yesterday and grab a few photographs.

It was really pretty cool to see and hear peoples reaction, so even after I was done "clicking away" I just sat on the bench and did some people watching.

And speaking of clicking, you can click on any one of these images to view larger.

Didn't we just talk about this yesterday, living without regrets?

Building a treehouse really would be pretty darn cool!

And so would hugging Taylor Swift!

You know what they say, if you write it down it becomes more real, less of a dream and more of an attainable goal. With that in mind I encourage you (please, please, please) to head over to the Before I Die website and see if there is an installation close to you, and if there is, sure grab a photograph or two but more importantly, write down one thing that you are going to do before you die.

If you live here in Southern Maine you can head over to Flatbread Company in Portland to write down your dream (and have some really good food too).

Regrets, sadly we all have them...

Yesterday I was reading a story over at Money Talk News, "Top 6 Regrets of the Dying", and for me it was an eye opener. Some of those regrets hit just a little too close to home.

Here is the list:

1. ”I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. “I wish I didn’t work so hard.”

3. “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”

4. “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”

5. “I wish that I had let myself be happier.”

I am 57 and have been going through some unexpected and unpleasant life changes, all the more reason I do not, no... will not tolerate these regrets.

So I printed out the list and pinned it to the wall right next to the bathroom mirror, then I walked down stairs, grabbed the phone and started calling some friends that I haven't talked to in far too long and started making some "reconnection" lunch dates.

It is my hope that reading the list will spark something in you as well, that if you carry some of these regrets that you'll cast them off and move forward as a happier person, living a fuller life, a life that has fewer regrets.

Because we deserve it.

To read the entire story (and find out what number 6 on the regrets list is), you can head over to Money Talk News.

Free templates, free actions, free presets, & free money...

Okay, there is no free money, it was just a shameless ploy on my part to get you to continue reading.


But seriously, here are resources that will provide you some very cool, very useful free tools that will help you do the things you do even better.

We have five resources for you today, each with multiple resources and tools, so it may take you a while to work your way through all of them, and as you do know that they all have the Weekly Photo Tips "wicked good" stamp of approval.

1. The CoffeeShop Blog. You'll find actions, presets, templates, textures and a whole lot more.

2. Pioneer Woman. Get yourself a copy of  "The Pioneer Woman Actions".

3. Heather Green. Heather is giving away a Google plus template, a Flickr cover template, a re-size and sharpen for Facebook Photoshop action, along with Nik Silver Efex preset.

4. MCP Actions. Not only will you find free actions and free presets, you'll also have access to some pretty cool tutorials.

5. Amy McMaster. Like the previous four resources you'll find some good stuff here as well, like Sharpen This!, Facebook & Blog resize and sharpen actions, and Basic Clean Edit (and more).

You will surely like what you find on these sites, so crank up the bandwidth, you've got some downloading to do!

I usually don't "forecast" upcoming blog posts, but... as most of you know if we post on weekends it's usually (way) off the topic of photography and I have two posts planned for this weekend that I think you'll enjoy, at the very least it will cause you to pause... and think (I hope).

See you tomorrow.

A fantastic and free photography resource...

It's said that knowledge is power, if that's true then the magazine Behind the Shutter will make you feel pretty darn powerful.

It's a free, online monthly publication geared towards professional photographers, but fret not, if your only interested is in taking a better picture, Behind the Shutter is a good resource for you as well.

Here is a screen shot of this months index (click to view larger).

Every issue brings you stunning imagery, great tips, and insight on posing and lighting, and lots about how you can run a more profitable photography business as well.

Here are a few articles from this months issue you will find interesting:

So head over to Behind the Shutter and signup today and let the learning begin!

This is a camera bag that I use...

This is a camera bag that I bought and love, it's perfect for those quick trips to go out to take pictures when you want to bring just the essentials, not necessarily everything you own.

And every time the Lowepro SlingShot 102 is on sale I let folks know because I am not the only one really fond of this bag.

Right now you can get the  Lowepro SlingShot 102 for just $49, almost half of what everyone else is selling it for, AND it comes with free shipping.

Be sure to use the coupon code "S4595955" during checkout to get this great price.

Another Flickr Wednesday...

Here are more outstanding images uploaded by our readers to our Flickr group.

Click on any one of the images to view larger.

If you are going to upload images, be sure to put your name (and your website URL) on them, it will make it easier for folks to find you (and see more of your work).

If you are not already part of our Flickr group we would love for you to join us, you can get all the details on how to join right here.

Here's your next assignment...

For whatever reason I have not done a very good job documenting the area I live in "photographically" and have decided that this summer I am going to change that.

So this past weekend I picked my first victim and headed off to photograph the town next door, Old Orchard Beach (Maine).

The population explodes between May and September as Old Orchard Beach is most definitely a tourist town, it has a kinda "carny" town feel to it with all the rides, games, and pier, it also has some of the nicest beaches in Maine.

Here are some images that represent a typical Saturday night in OOB.

Click on any image to view larger, especially the one of Elvis!

Lots of rides...

And you can't throw a rock six feet in any direction without hitting a pizza place....

The best part of Saturday night is that I can now say, "I SAW ELVIS!"

Yes, despite those occasional potholes and bumps in the road, life is very good.

Now your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to go someplace close to you, that you may have been to a bazillion times but never really photographed and do just that, capture it like you wanted to tell a story. Then (please) upload an image of two to our Flickr group.

If you are not already part of our Flickr group we would love for you to join us, you can get all the details on how to join right here.