And the best camera to take pictures with is...


1. a sentence or phrase expressing a popular or common thought or idea

2. a stereotype

3. an overused remark or opinion of little import; lacking originality or freshness

Sometimes sayings become cliché because they are so obviously true, just the act of verbalizing it makes it redundant (and goes without saying), as is the case with what I am about to say.

So here goes (insert drum-roll), the best camera you can possibly shoot with is the one you have with you. Yup, you can't get much more of a cliché than that!

You can have the stunning Nikon  D850 but if it's sitting in your camera case at home at the moment you see something that you'd like to capture it just ain't a very good camera!

I'm not sure if there's a person in America who doesn't own a phone with a camera, heck, even my 80-year-old mom has a smartphone with a camera.

And it doesn't have to be the latest and greatest model to be able to take a decent shot, I own an iPhone 7 (which puts me a couple "generations" behind) and despite being an "older" model (like me) it still takes some pretty darn good images!

I consider myself very fortunate to live just a few houses from the beach here in Maine and we hardly ever walk it without me breaking out my phone/camera and grabbing a few shots, here are several iPhone 7 images I've taken on our walks:

(click on any image to view larger)

So next time you see an image that you'd like to capture "on film" don't lament the fact that your DSLR is at home (or that you don't even have one), just reach into your pocket, grab your phone and shoot away!

7 smartphone photography tips & tricks...

Who doesn't have a smartphone phone?


Everyone is the correct answer, most of us really need to stop taking boring images with it, so watch this 3-minute video that has 7 of the easiest tips for shooting very cool images on any smartphone.

Thanks to the folks from COOPH (cooperative of Photography) for putting this video together, and be sure to check out their YouTube channel as they have a ton of other very informative videos that will do nothing but improve your photography (smartphone and DSLR).

Our free actions are still available...

For those of you who use Photoshop and like the "gritty Dave Hill look" or the look of a tilt-shift lens that we have the free actions (and tutorials) for you!

First, we have two versions of our Dave Hill action, the first is simply a "one-click" and the action is applied, the second has stops at each stage of the effect that will allow you to "tweak" it to your personal taste.

You can get a few more details on this action by following this link.

If you want more control with applying the Dave Hill look you can follow this link for our step by step tutorial.

And next is our "Tilt-shift" action.

Below is a "before & after" so you have an idea of its capabilities and feel free to follow this link for a bit more info.

And like the action above, if you want to have more control regarding how your tilt-shift looks just follow this link for our step by step tutorial.

To get either of these free actions is simple, all you need to do is drop us an email to request the tilt-shift action, or an email requesting the "Dave Hill" action, and we'll send the action of your choosing (with instructions) to anyone who wants it (or them).

And if you want both that's fine too, you don't have to send us two emails, just let us know in your first email.

To get a better look at how the actions look feel free to click on any of these images to view larger in a new window.

Weekend deal on the Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm...

There is a great deal this weekend on the Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR Lens - Refurbished by Nikon - it's just $149.95!

Some important things to keep in mind:

1. This is a GREAT outdoor lens but is really too slow for shooting indoors or under low light (I know, I've owned it).

2. Because it is so good outdoors I considered it my "vacation lens" as its wide range allowed me to cover so many scenarios.

3. It is refurbished (not new), but was refurbished by Nikon and does come with their warranty.

4. It is DX format (NOT full frame).

All that being said its great glass for not a lot of money.

Have a great weekend!

The rules of Weekly Photo Tips moving forward...

They really are simple (and not that many):

1. If I write a post Monday-Friday it will (almost) always be about photography.

2. If I post over the weekend (or on a holiday) it will very likely be "off topic" (something positive, touching and/or a human interest themed post).

3. Should I write about someone (photographer, vendor, etc.), I'll drop them a note telling them I've done so, not because I'm looking for something in return, it’s just the courteous thing to do, to let folks know when you’ve been talking about them.

4. I plan on having the "rhythm" of at least one post weekly (hence the name "Weekly Photo Tips")

5. If I am going to miss blogging for an extended period (like for vacation) I'll let you good folks know so you won't be wondering if I've dropped off the edge of the earth (because it is flat you know).

6. If I post an image that is not mine (even when I say "here is the work of...") I will ALWAYS put their copyright information right on the image myself. I want it absolutely clear to whom the image belongs.

7. I will ALWAYS give credit where credit is do. If I come across some other peoples cool ideas or techniques that I share on the blog I will make sure to give the appropriate credit (and links) to the person who deserves it.

8. I write like my mom or my children will be reading the post.

9. The theme of this blog matches our review policy, I try NEVER to be or speak negative, and I have no tolerance for internet bullies. Too many folks online emulate the bad examples we see in "reality" TV and I just don't have any desire to participate in that kind of behavior.

That's it, just wanted you to know the rules and standards I hold myself to moving forward and please, feel free to hold my feet to the fire.

It’s been awhile… Too long... Part 2

So, why did I fall off of the radar?

It was kinda the “perfect storm” of events.

First, my 3 daughters (that I’ve shared on the blog here, here and here) graduated from high school  (all within 12 months) and not only was I extremely unhappy about how my role as a dad changing, I also had done next to nothing to come to grips with that change and start the transition from the "old" dad into that "new" dad role. It was hard going from being an integral part of my girls lives every single day to just a sidebar.

I would give anything to have to drive them to soccer today.

Shortly after this, my 24-year marriage came to an abrupt end. Obviously, I knew things weren’t going well, but that point was driven home hard one day when I was served divorce papers in a parking lot. So, I went from having a minimal family role to no role at all. I went from living in a house with a gaggle of girls to living alone with my dog Bonnie.

After this, to be honest, I was not the happiest guy in the world, there seemed to be more rain than sunshine. There were days I never left the house (heck, there may have been weeks that I didn’t leave), but slowly things seemed to work back to a semblance of “normal”.

Then last year, just when things seemed to back into a good place my girl Bonnie left me. I think only dog owners will get what follows so the rest of you can skip ahead (kidding). When I posted about my dogs I would often include "A Dogs Ten Commandments” and when Bonnie got sick it was time for me to walk the talk, I had to obey commandment #10 (When it's time for me to “go on ahead”, please stay with me. Don’t say “I can't bear to watch” because I won’t want to face it alone. Everything is easier for ME if you are there because I love you so.). And it was truly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Bonnie was my first dog (EVER), had been with me for 15 years and it felt like she was the last thing I had that still represented us as a family, of who we used to be... and now she was gone.

Its been almost a year and I think of her everyday… But now I smile more because she was here than cry because she is gone, though I haven’t been able to bring myself to put her dog tag on my keychain yet, but I think I will soon.

But that was then.... and this is now.

So…. Moving forward what can you expect from me?

You can expect one post a week on the blog, a video (or two) a month on our YouTube channel and one interview a month on our podcast.

I already have an armful of products to review (software, gear, and videos) and once the reviews are done we will be running contests to give it away to you, our phenomenally loyal readers!

Again, thanks for being here and see you next week!

It's been awhile… Too long... Part 1

Yes, it's been awhile... almost 4 years since I've written something here on Weekly Photo Tips.

In "the day" I was posting (almost) daily, on occasion I would even have multiple posts in a single day, not only was there a huge following... heck, there were even multiple publications and websites that listed Weekly Photo Tips as a "must visit" photography blog, once we even made it inot the top 10!

Then suddenly and without warning, it all came to an abrupt end.

No explanation and no hint as to why... the only thing clear was that life had come to a completed halt here at Weekly Photo Tips.

And it wasn't as if this was a fly by night blog, I had been faithfully writing for 7 years. Between the time of my first post in 2007 until I dropped off the map in 2014 I had written almost 1,400 posts (1,386 to be exact), had two and a half million views (along with another couple million our our YouTube channel and our podcast) and (most importantly) had developed relationships with so many kind readers, the type of people who would always send birthday wishes and even the occasional gift (one year I even received a beautiful lens for my birthday from a very generous reader).

But know it wasn't just here that things stopped, dust collected on my camera gear, software became outdated, I stopped shooting weddings and turned down any of the photography jobs that came my way. Bottom line, photography died for me.

But it wasn't just photography, a lot of the things that had been an important part of me, that defined who I was were no longer part of my life.

The folks who had followed this blog for so long (and remarkably after years of absence still do) deserve at least a modicum of an explanation.

They also need an apology, as many people had left comments on the blog and others emailed me directly to check on me, wanting to make sure I was OK, and asking if there was anything they could do for me. Sadly their very thoughtful outreach went unanswered and that was rude of me, ignoring the kindness of others is not how my mother brought me up.

So to everyone who attempted reached out to me I'M SORRY, to everyone I just left hanging I'M SORRY... truly I am... and thank you all for your thoughtfulness and you deserved better, I should have responded to your kindness.

In the next post, I will share a bit about what transpired, why I'm back and what you can expect at Weekly Photo Tips going forward.

Thank you for reading this, thank you for being here.