Sunday, March 31, 2013

This is just a little embarrassing...



I know I'm going to take more than a little ribbing for this, but I am going to admit right here, publicly that yes, I LOVE Duck Dynasty.

And it appears I am not the only one, because in 2012 they were mention on Facebook more than any other show on television.

If you want to be entertained (without having to think very hard), if you are looking for something you can watch with the entire family (because there's no killing, bad language, sex, etc.) then Duck Dynasty is an outstanding option.


There is nothing like...


A soldiers homecoming... and the family reunion that follows.

Enjoy this one minute video.




Friday, March 29, 2013

There's just 2 days left...


You have just two days left to enter our contest and have the chance to win these three very cool prizes, all of the details on how to enter can be found right here.


This is an all metal Quad Shoe Flash Bracket that mounts on to any light stand.


Here is "any" light stand that you'll get for mounting that quad shoe flash bracket on.


And finally, you'll also get the photography book, "Lighting for Digital Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots" by professional photographer and lighting expert Syl Arena.

 If you would like to see our quickie reviews/demonstration of the first two prizes you can watch the quad flash bracket video here, and the directly light stand video here.


Why North Korea is so scary...



No, I am not talking about their crazy, out to lunch leaders, nor their arsenal of weapons (both real and fake), I am talking about the fact that it appears that in a country with a population of over a 24 million people the North Korean regime cannot find a single person that can use Photoshop.

The latest example is from yesterdays news of their practice invasion.

Their fakery is not limited to Photoshop, they also specialize in fake missile launching, and of course you can't have a fake missile launch without making a few fake rockets.

Here are a few more images that demonstrate the North Korean governments mastery of Photoshop.

A few missing pixels, a shadow that does not line up, and blended that, well... blending is overrated.

Not enough goats? No problem, just add a few.

Lets see, take out the camera crew, check, make the snow whiter, check, and add a few more peple, DONE!

Wait a second, how come the water isn't wicking up their pants?

If you follow this link to YouTube you will see a funny North Korean Photoshop tutorial, I went back and forth about embedding it into this post (as we usually do) but there is one (slightly) risqué part, so I decided against it.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Another way cool Kickstarter project...



If you are into video, or think you will be moving into video, you really need to check out the "Red Rocket Travel Slider" project over at Kickstarter (not to be confused with the Red Ryder from Christmas Story).

The Red Rocket Travel Slider is the brain child of Zeke Kamm, a longtime friend of Weekly Photo Tips (you may remember him from our reviews of his Trade Secret cards here, here, and here). A really good guy with great ideas.

I could ramble on and on about what the Red Rocket will do for your video productions but the best thing is to watch the 2 minute video below for a stunning demonstration.


If you received this post via an email subscription you'll need to return to the blog or head directly over to the Red Rocket Kickstarter page to watch the video.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Our biggest Flickr Wednesday ever!...


Today's featured Flickr Photographer is Ken Rowland.

Now, there are more images posted than usual because Ken has uploaded a bunch of really good stuff to our Flickr group and I was having a hard time narrowing it down to just one or two.

Then I realized "hey, it's my blog" and I could post as many images as I want!

:)

Click on any of the images below to view larger.

"The Chair By The Window"

Taken at Antioch Baptist Church near Crawfordville, GA.

"Roller Coaster"

Taken at SunTrust Plaza in downtown Atlanta.

"Birch Path"

Taken along the Jessup Path in Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, Maine.

"Bass Harbor Lighthouse"

Bass Harbor Lighthouse taken at sunset.

A big thank you to Ken and everyone else who have honored us by being part of Weekly Photo Tips.

If you would like to see more of Ken's work (and why wouldn't you) check out his Flickr stream and his website.

If you are not currently part of our Flick group we would love for you to join us, you'll find all the details on how to join right here.


The smartest, prettiest girl at the party...



You know the girl I'm talking about, she's the center of attention, the one most of the other people are hoping to spend some time talking with.

The new Fujifilm X100S has become that girl.

There are three photographers that I trust completely, Dave Hobby, Zack Arias, and Ken Rockwell. If they told me the world was flat I would start looking for the edge.

In the last week all three of them have raved about the new Fujifilm X100S and what it can do.

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



Both Zack and Dave have plenty of sample images they shot with the X100s that you will surely want to see.

You can follow this link to the "official" Fujifilm X100S page and check out all of the features, specifications, and more.

The Fujifilm X100S is under $1300 and can be pre-ordered now. I have had my order form filled out for a few days now and the only thing that has kept me from hitting the "finalize purchase" button is the fear of what my wife might do, she is not real fond of me talking to other pretty girls.

:)



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A light stand we like and you can have it!...



Here is a really nice light stand that we are adding to our latest contest, because really, what's the point of having a great 4 flash bracket if you don't have a light stand to put it on.

This Flashpoint 4 section light stand that folds down to just 19.5 inches for easy portability and will extend to a total height of 6 1/2 feet.

Another thing we like about this light stand is that the legs can go flat on the floor for maximum stability while reducing the chance that someone tripping over it.

The contest ends this coming Sunday so get all the contest details here, or check out the other prize we added to the contest here.

Here is a quick 2 minute review/demonstration, enjoy.


Should you not be the contest winner but still want one of these light stands you can get it for $34 (with free shipping).

If you received this post via email you'll need to return to the blog to view the video as it is not pushed through with your subscription (sorry about that) or you can head directly to our YouTube channel to watch it, your choice.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

This weekends feel good story...


This weeks "feel good" story comes from a grandmother, her name is Mary Lake, a retired grandmother who makes (on average) a dress a day for little girls who are either in foster care or living with people other than their parents.

As if that alone wasn't amazing enough, Mary sews those pretty little dresses on an antique manual Singer sewing machine (meaning no electricity, you operate it by a treadle using your feet).

Mary remembered how good she felt as a little girl when she got a new dress and wanted other little girls who were having difficult times to know that same warm and happy feeling.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--NHDZKIOMX0/Tv9CB2V_c4I/AAAAAAAAD5M/WBilsL2Yc-c/s1600/MaryLake.jpg
"A Mary Original"

Since the first time I posted about Mary back in 2010 we have been in touch on a few occasions, through telephone calls and that old fashion thing called "snail mail". She continues to make dresses on her grandmothers manual sewing machine and folks who have read about her exploits continue to support her with gift cards, material, and sewing supplies.

About a year ago she sent me a note along with two of her beautiful little handmade dresses, each complete with a match purse, as a "thank you" for telling her story. As my girls were deep into their teenage years I spent a couple months looking for that "special" home for these dresses.

We ended up donating them to raise money for a very ill local boy, because of the quality of her work and the story behind the dresses they ended up being a "top seller" at the fund raiser.

Enjoy the video below (sorry if you have to sit through a commercial first), it's a great example of how one person with an old sewing machine, a kind heart, and a little effort can positively impact the lives of (so many) others.


You can read the previous posts about Mary and her dresses here, here, and here.

Subscribers (and you know who you are) will need to return to the blog or follow this link to see the video as it isn't pushed through with your subscription.

If anyone out there is interested in supporting Mary's dress project just send us an email and we will forward her mailing address to you.

Finally, If you know of a "feel good" story please let us know so we can share it on the blog.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Contest reminder & an additional prize!...



Just wanted to remind everyone we have just over a week left in our latest contest, where you can win a "quad shoe flash bracket".

And to sweeten the "prize pot" we are going to throw in a photography book, "Lighting for Digital Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots" by professional photographer and lighting expert Syl Arena.


To enter (along with the rules) are pretty darn simple and you can get all the detail right here.

Here is a video on the bracket you will win:


Should you not be the contest winner but still want one of these flash brackets you can get it for $39 (with free shipping).

If you received this post via email you'll need to return to the blog to view the video as it is not pushed through with your subscription (sorry about that) or you can head directly to our YouTube channel to watch it, your choice.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Performing CPR on a drowned camera...



Peter Hill over at RedBubble put together a post on the steps you need to take should you suffer the horrible misfortune of dropping your camera in water (I am assuming the same would apply if you and your camera are inadvertently caught in a downpour).

It's titled "How to perform CPR on a drowned DSLR" and this is really REALLY important stuff, so once you get there don't just read it, bookmark it and print it out because if the circumstances arise that you need the information you don't want to be fumbling around searching the web for this post.

And after you are done with the article you might want to check out some of Peter's photography, they will blow your socks off, seriously, I am sitting here sockless.


Canon announces new gear!

Just a few hours ago Canon announce the addition of some new gear to their lineup and we are lucky enough to be able to share their announcement with you. Follow the links below for ALL of the technical data and pricing info.


Canon EOS T5i, body only, with the new 18-55 lens, or the 18-135 lens

* 18.0 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor, 14-bit A/D conversion, ISO 100-12800 (expandable to H: 25600) for shooting EOS-a Body from bright to dim light and high performance DIGIC 5 Image Processor for exceptional image quality and speed.

* High speed continuous shooting up to 5.0 fps allows you to capture all the action.

* 9-point all cross-type AF system (including a high-precision dual-cross f/2.8 center point) for exceptional autofocus performance when shooting with the viewfinder and Hybrid CMOS AF increases autofocus speed when shooting photos and movies in Live View.

* EOS Full HD Movie mode with Movie Servo AF for continuous focus tracking of moving subjects, manual exposure Interface Cable control and multiple frame rates (1080: 30p (29.97) / 24p (23.976) / 25p, 720: 60p (59.94) / 50p, 480: 30p 25p), built-in stereo mic, manual audio level adjustment, and Video Snapshot with editing for flexible options.


Canon Eos Rebel SL1, body only or with the new 18-55 lens listed below

* Compact and lightweight DSLR featuring a newly-developed 18.0 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor, ISO 100–12800 (expandable to H: 25600) for stills and ISO–6400 (expandable to H: 12800) for videos for shooting from bright to dim light, and high performance DIGIC 5 Image Processor for exceptional image quality and speed.

* High speed continuous shooting up to 4.0 fps allows you to capture all the action.


Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Auto Focus Lens

* High magnification, compact and lightweight EF-S standard zoom lens with Optical Image Stabilizer for up to four equivalent stops of shake correction.

* Supports Canon EOS Movie Servo AF feature for smooth and quiet continuous AF during movie shooting by utilizing a new six-group zoom system plus a stepping motor and focus mechanism.

* One UD lens and one high-precision aspheric lens reduce chromatic aberration throughout the zoom range for excellent image quality with high resolution and contrast.

* Dynamic IS (Movie Shooting Mode only) delivers a wider image stabilization correction range, ideal for shooting while walking.


Canon PowerShot SX280 Digital Camera available in red or black

* Built-in Wi-Fi technology allows you to wirelessly transfer your images to social networking sites through Canon iMAGE GATEWAY#; to a PC or upload virtually anywhere on your iOS or Android device with the free download of the Canon Camera Window app.

* Canon's powerful 20x Optical Zoom and 25mm Wide-Angle lens with Optical Image Stabilizer delivers stunning images from up close or at a distance.

* 12.1 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor combined with the new DIGIC 6 Image Processor creates the Canon HS SYSTEM for improved low-
light performance up to ISO 6400 and enhanced image quality.

* Capture 1080p/60p Full HD video for high-quality capture of moving subjects.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

It's Flickr image Wednesday...


It's the day of the week when we share an image or two (or sometimes three) that have been posted to the Weekly Photo Tips Flickr group by one of our talented readers.

I LOVE balck and white images, and this week we have two from Laurens Kaldeway.

You can see more of his work by jumping over to his Flickr stream.

Click on any of the images below to view larger.

"Fiona" 

"Josiah"

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

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Seriously??!!...



Today is the last day of winter, a winter that has given us well over 100 inches of snow.

But obviously that was not enough for mother nature because as I write this she is whipping up yet another blizzard outside my window, and by the time it ends later tonight it will have added another foot and a half of snow to our winter total.

So tomorrow we'll be celebrating the first day of spring with a whole bunch of shoveling (and maybe just a few choice words for mother nature).

:)



A big price drop on the Nikon D90...



You can now get the Nikon D90, with a 12.3-megapixel DX-format CMOS imaging sensor and the world’s first D-SLR with an HD movie mode at Adorama for just $599, with free shipping.

This is not a refurbished or grey market camera, it's a brand spankin' new camera body.

If you wonder how good a deal this is, the "other" big camera store in New York is selling the exact same camera for $783.

So if you are in the market for a new camera you can check out all of the features, technical specification, and price for the Nikon D90 right here.



Boudoir Photography webinar with Christa Meola...



This evening Peachpit Photo Club will be hosting a free webinar with Christa Meola, who will be discussing her approach to boudoir photography, this webinar will be beginning at 8pm eastern/5pm pacific.

Christa will cover some of the topics from her book "The Art of Boudoir Photography: How to Create Stunning Photographs of Women".

Learn how to bring out the best in every woman in order to capture her successfully while sharpening your photography skills at the same time. This event is for photographers with varying levels of experience and will help you to appreciate and embrace boudoir photography, enhance your understanding of what it is, what it can do for women, and most importantly, how to have fun with it!

Space is limited to so follow this link and signup.




Sunday, March 17, 2013

Our feel good story of the week...



Just in case you missed it, we've decided to post a "feel good" story on the weekends, our effort to show (and share) that there is good out there.

Today I want to share with you something I don't often talk about, as I don't do it for credit or recognition.

It's how my simple question changed the life of people I don't know and likely never will.

For those of you who don't live here in New England, Kittery Maine is known as "Outlet Central", you name the store and I am absolutely sure you'll find it in Kittery.

As I often travel between Maine and Boston I'll stop at the Pepperidge Farm store in Kittery to bring home my families favorite food group... cookies, specifically Milano's!

One day as I was paying for my cookies I asked the lady behind the counter "what do you do with the stuff you don't sell?" and the answer was "throw it away". Without even thinking I blurted out "would you consider donating it?" and just as quickly her response was "sure".

I had no idea where, or even if there was a food pantry near me... nor had I ever done this kind of work, the question just came out and their answer got the ball rolling.

Fast forward a few years and these humble efforts have grown to many stores and individuals who now donate (who are far more important and deserve way more credit than I), it blows me away how many people want to help, because of them it has become a significant part of my life.

There was one event that drove home the importance of what I was doing. Most often I drop food off before the pantry is open, but one day I was running late and I walked in to find the room was packed full of people, all holding bags of food, but not leaving. I heard someone yell out "the bread guy is here", a little cheer went up and folks starting walking by, getting bread and heading out for home.

As I drove away it hit me just how many people depended on the food I delivered.

So on days that I really don't feel all that good, don't want to go out in the cold, or drive in the snow, I do it anyway... because I'm the "bread guy".


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's time for Flickr image Wednesday...

It's the day of the week when we share an image or two that have been posted to the Weekly Photo Tips Flickr group by one of our wonderful readers.

Today we have two images from Bao Loi from Houston Texas.

You can see more of Bao's work on his Flickr page, on 500px, or over on Tumblr.

"Galveston, Texas"

"Perth, Australia" 

Click on either image to view it larger.

Great images Bao, thanks for being part of our 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.


Great camera bag at an outstanding price...



You can get the Vanguard Up-Rise 34 Sling Bag (usually priced at $100) for just $59 with free shipping!

This sling style bag will hold one DSLR camera with an attached lens, 2 additional lenses, a flash, and accessories (like batteries, charger, filters, etc.).


You'll have fast retrieval of your gear via multiple zippered access points.

Other features include a completely customizable large interior, a removable rain cover, a limited lifetime warranty.

So if you are in the market for a quality, customizable sling style bag, take a look at the Vanguard Up-Rise 34.



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Want a free Quad Shoe Flash Bracket?...



Because we have a brand spankin' new one and are giving it away.

This is an all metal Quad Shoe Flash Bracket that mounts on to any light stand.

The four cold shoes (allowing you to mount up to four Speedlights) secure your flash(es) with oversized thumb screws and will keep them where they are supposed to be, there is a center hole for mounting an umbrella of any size, and the entire bracket can angled into the position you need via a secure saw tooth pivot joint.

Check it out on the video below for more details.

So how do you win it? As usual are contests are super simple and easy to get in on, here are the details:

1. This contest theme is open, so any of your images will work

2. Like us on Facebook (if you've "liked" us for a previous contest, this requirement is waved)

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

4. Upload your image(s) 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 contest starts right now and ends March 31st, the winner will be announced on the blog Monday April 1st (2013).

Good luck everyone, as always we are looking forward to seeing your images and reading your comments.

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 contest 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. 


Here is our (quick) video review:


Should you not be the contest winner but still want one of these flash brackets you can get it for $39 (with free shipping).

If you received this post via email you'll need to return to the blog to view the video as it is not pushed through with your subscription (sorry about that) or you can head directly to our YouTube channel to watch it, your choice.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

I am soooooo tired...


Tired of what I see on the news, tired of reality shows that focus on the absolute worst people have to offer, tired of the people behaving badly held in front of my face.

Because I don't think it's truly representative of who we are.

Only occasionally do I post on weekends, and when I do it's usually an interesting, positive story (way off the topic of photographic). My plan is to post more regularly on weekends, to share the good, the kind, the heartwarming story.


This week I want to share the story of Jack Potter (no relation to Harry), and his wife Phyllis who have been married for over 70 years.

Sadly, 5 years ago Phyllis was moved into a long term care facility because of her worsening dementia.

But since that day (and everyday since) Harry has visited Phyllis and reads to her from the diaries he's kept since 1938.

Here is his diary entry from when they met on October 4th 1941:

"Very nice evening. Danced with very nice girl. Hope I meet her again".

You can read the story of Jack and Phyllis Potter here.

We are not changing the focus of the blog, we simply are going to do a bit more of what we are already doing on weekends.

If you have a positive, uplifting story that we can share with our readers please email it to us.


Friday, March 8, 2013

We are giving it ALL away...



Everything good about this blog starts with one thing... YOU!

Because many of you have been purchasing gear using our Adorama affiliate links you've helped support two food pantries and a soup kitchen here in southern Maine.

We've been giving 50% of each affiliate check to support these great projects, but as of today we are upping it to 100%.

So if you are looking for gear could we humbly suggest that you consider using our Adorama affiliate link, you'll get great gear at the best price and at the same time help to feed the hungry.

Whether you use our links or not, a big THANK YOU you to every person who takes the time to stop by Weekly Photo Tips and for making us the blog we are.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It's another Flickr Wednesday...


It's "Flickr images of the week Wednesday", when we feature photographs uploaded by our readers to the Weekly Photo Tips Flickr group/page.

Today's images come courtesy of "psyco_babble". Please be sure to check out more images from their photostream, and thank you psyco_babble for being one of our contributors and sharing your work.

"East Coast Adventure" 

"Lighthouse"

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

Here is a bunch of great gear that's on sale...


And not only is all this gear on sale, it all comes with free shipping too!


Gary Fong Lightsphere Universal System Cloud - $33.55

The 1/2 (Half) Cloud versions is also $33.95

The Cloud model gives a slightly softer and warmer light, perfect for close-up portraits. The Half Cloud model will give you a flattering light at a greater working distance.




Expoimaging Rogue FlashBender Small Positionable Reflector - $31.46

The Rogue FlashBender can be used either as a reflector to bounce light onto a subject, as a flag to keep it off, or as a small snoot. Its size allows it to fit nicely into your camera bag, making it very portable.



ExpoImaging Rogue Grid 3-in-1 Honeycomb Grid - $44.96



ExpoImaging Rogue Portrait Lighting Kit - $134.96

This kit includes:

* Large FlashBender Reflector
* Large Diffusion Panel
* Bounce Card/Flag
* Universal Gel Kit with Gel Band
* Gel Kit Wallet
* 3-in-1 Honeycomb Grid with Rogue Tension Strap
* Honeycomb Grid Pouch



Sunpak PZ40X II, Power Zoom Digital Flash for Nikon - $69.95 (this is $110 off!)

This power zoom digital flash will work with all Nikon TTL, D-TTL and i-TTL Cameras. Yup, a TTL flash for under $70.

There is a Canon version which sells for $115


Here are a couple camera options that come with instant rebates:


Option 1: Nikon D600 Digital SLR Camera Body 24.3 Megapixel, FX Format (body only) - $1996

(comes with a $100 instant rebate and a free Nikon ME-1 Stereo Microphone)

Option 2: Nikon D600 Digital SLR Camera Kit with a Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S VR Lens - $2496

(comes with a $200 instant rebate and a free Nikon ME-1 Stereo Microphone)



Option 1: Canon EOS Rebel T4i Digital SLR Camera Kit with Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens - $749 

(comes with a $150 instant rebate)

Option 2: Canon EOS Rebel T4i Digital SLR Camera Kit with a Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens and a Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Lens - $899

(comes with a $300 instant rebate)



Just in case you are an early shopper and are wondering what you could get me for Christmas Nikon has just announced a new mac-daddy lens, it's the Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G AF-S VR ED Lens - $2696