April 22 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! This will be a very short post this week – we’re on vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I’ll double up on textures next week.

I just wanted to share the upcoming Topaz special sale!

Next Week, from Tuesday April 24th through Monday May 7th, they’re offering 40% off STOREWIDE in the Topaz Labs Store. That’s about $200 off the Complete Plugin Collection, and over $100 off of the Go Pro Adjustment Bundle in Studio for a limited time!

CLICK HERE ON TUESDAY – You do not need a coupon code, the 40% will be automatic on checkout (but it will not work until Tuesday!).

See you next Sunday!

April 15 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Wild weather across the country! From blizzards to tornadoes; from hot to cold! Yesterday was 70 here in CT; today in the upper 30’s! Be safe if you are in severe weather.

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler is made up of some peeling paint from an old theater shoot that we did a while back. Some friends went there yesterday, so it got me thinking about my shots again. The one called “Peeling Paint – Film Look” reminded me of an old filmstrip – I thought it was a neat look. Enjoy!

 

Our friends at MindShift Gear (part of ThinkTank Photo), have release several new products designed for active photographers.

The first is the “Exposure” Shoulder Bags that offer the ultimate in durability and weather protection for outdoor photographers.

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. MindShift Gear’s new Exposure shoulder bags are storm-resistant carrying solutions for the active photographer in virtually any outdoor environment. Built with high performance waterproof sailcloth panels, strategically placed storm flaps, water-repellent DWR fabric, and a sturdy Tarpaulin bottom; the Exposure protects camera gear from the elements and withstands the rigors of adventure photography. And, with its cross-body stabilizer strap, the Exposure moves with you while you’re active or is removable for more causal environments. A waterproof rain cover is included when it’s time to put the camera away and hunker down.
Exposure shoulder bags come in two models, the Exposure 13 and the Exposure 15, and in two colors, Black and Solar Flare. The Exposure 13 fits a 13” laptop; the Exposure 15 fits 15” laptops. A 10” tablet fits in zippered pocket.

Click HERE for all the details on their website.

 

The second new product is an 18-liter version of its popular BackLight series, the BackLight® 18L rear-panel backpack.

This smaller version offers a lightweight daypack that enables photographers to access gear without taking off the backpack. They can change lenses or just snap a quick photo simply by rotating the bag to the front while the waist belt is still secured. Rear-panel access also adds security when traveling since camera gear is protected from behind.
This back-panel access allows photographers to work out of the bag without getting the harness dirty, wet, muddy, or icy. It features dedicated compartments that fit up to a 13” laptop and a full-size tablet. As a daypack, its front pockets total 5 liters in personal gear carry for a day’s outing, such as extra layers, a light jacket, food, and more. It is available in two colors, Charcoal and Woodland Green, and meets most international and U.S. airline carry-on requirements.

Click HERE to find all the details on their website.

I have a couple of ThinkTank bags and can attest to their durability and quality.

 

Some more free brushes! This week, I found this on Designmodo – 30 sets of Watercolor Free Brushes. Watercolor brushes are useful for lots of things – I like to use them to create textures (of course!).

 

We’re just over a month till our Creative Photography Conference! If you haven’t signed up yet, now is the time! We have an awesome line-up of speakers. Below is our expected schedule. Check out the details of the sessions and speaker bios on our website at: http://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/.

Registration includes all classes, hands-on sessions, photo-ops, lunch and snacks both days, LOTS of door prizes, goody bag, vendors and more! Don’t miss out!

 

April 8 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Mother Nature is still playing games with us here in the Northeast! Had some snow on Friday (which then turned to rain). But it’s quite chilly for this time in April!

This week’s Sunday Sampler has some pretty marble textures and a beautiful window with a nice design. These are from Our Lady of Victory in Lackawanna, NY.

 

If you watched my last Topaz webinar, you know we had some technical difficulties. Yesterday I recorded a short video on the “Rooster Project” that I didn’t finish in the webinar. It shows you how to use two AI ReMix presets on one image. Check it out on my YouTube channel HERE.

 

NEW ONLINE CLASS COMING SOON!

I’m working on my first Skillshare class! It will be the first in a series titled “Photoshop: Creative Enhancements with Textures”. I will take you step-by-step in creating the project shown above and provide the images and textures needed to follow along with the “You are my Sunshine” project. You can check out the outline HERE.

 

I love sharing cool resources that I find – there is SO much great info out there! Here are some freebies that you may like – enjoy!

From Inspiration Feed – 4000+ Free PS Brushes! They have links to lots of great brush resources. As always, check the terms of usage on items (especially if you plan to use for commercial work).

From Creative Pro – Oodles of Free PS Brushes! There is also good instructions at the beginning of this article on how to install brushes in PS.

Have a great week!

April 1 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday – Happy Easter – Happy Passover – Happy April Fool’s Day!! And it was a full moon this weekend – whew! It’s a busy weekend for sure. Enjoy the holidays if you celebrate.

 

Dave & I attended a workshop yesterday at an abandoned brewery – it’s only been closed for a little over a year, so there is tons of “stuff” everywhere! Of course, you know I was shooting textures…this week’s Sunday Sampler consists of 3 variations of some blue cracked paint.

 

Thanks to everyone who watched my webinar this past week. Unfortunately we had a few technical glitches (getting knocked offline a couple of times and I messed up one project)!
Here is the edited video on YouTube minus the hiccups! For the Rooster project that I did not complete in the webinar, I will be doing a separate video this week and will post it soon! Enjoy!

 

And here are the answers to a couple of questions that were typed in the chat box during the webinar:

Q: How do you open 2 images into Topaz Studio?

A: Go to File > Open Image or Project and do this as many times as needed to open your images. They will all show up in the area beneath the workspace.

Q: Would I print an image that I have applied a Digital Frame to?

A: I would print it with the frame if I wanted an image to look nice that I did not plan to put a “real” physical frame on. You could make a print and mount it on foam core for a simple presentation. If I planned to actually frame the image, I would use the “mat” part of the feature and print it. I’ve been doing pseudo mats on my images for a few years — much less expensive than matting a bunch of images for a display!

Q: What is the difference between AI ReMix and Topaz Impression?

A: Lots! Impression is an auto-painting technology, while AI ReMix is a style-transfer technology.

Q: A non-Topaz question – Are you calibrating your computer screen? If so, what method?

A: Yes, I work with 2 monitors so I calibrate them to keep them matching (and accurate). I use the Spyder Elite 5 — the Elite version also lets me calibrate the projector I use when I teach live seminars.

I’ll answer more questions in future blogs.

Have a great week!

 

Don’t miss out on the event of the year! 

Join us for the 2nd Creative Photography Conference

May 19-20, 2018

Click here for all the details!

 

March 25 – Sunday Sampler

Spring has “sort of” sprung! We had another NorEaster this week, but it turned out to be nothing for CT – about an inch of snow where we are on the coast. But across Long Island Sound on Long Island, they got 16″+! Go figure! This week is supposed to get closet to 60, so maybe Spring will actually be here soon!

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of textures taken yesterday at Automotive Restorations here in Stratford. They had an open house to show off some beautiful machines – some completed, and some in-process. Enjoy!

 

Join me this Tuesday, March 27th, 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, for a Topaz webinar. Sign up here: http://blog.topazlabs.com/webinars/I will be working in Topaz Studio and demonstrating ways to layer two or more images to create a composite, among some other creative techniques using ReMix and the new Digital Frames! Sign up even if you’re not available at that time and you’ll get a link emailed after the webinar to watch the replay.

 

This week’s featured speaker is ME! Most of you know my background, but here’s a brief bio:

Hazel Meredith, APSA, MNEC
Meredith Images

Hazel is involved with the photographic community on local, regional and national levels. She is currently a Vice President on the board of the New England Camera Club Council (NECCC), secretary of the Connecticut Association of Photographers; and a member of the Greater Bridgeport Camera Club. She is also active in the Photographic Society of America (PSA).

Her photos have won many awards and competitions in both local club competitions and international salons and she has had several public showings of her work. In 2008 she received an honors distinction of Master Member of the New England Camera Club Council (MNEC) during its annual conference and in 2012 received the PSA Service Award. In September, 2013, she was awarded the distinction of APSA from the Photographic Society of America at their annual conference.

Hazel teaches at many New England camera clubs as well as photographic conferences and events throughout the U.S. She offers workshops and travel photo trips through her company, Meredith Images, and is a regular webinar presenter for Topaz Labs. She released her first eBook, “Working with Textures & Overlays: Turn Ho-Hum into a Work of Art” in October 2015, and is currently working on the sequel!

Hazel enjoys being active in the photographic community and helping others find the joy and satisfaction in taking and perfecting beautiful images.

 

Conference Programs

I will be doing two hands-on sessions this Conference: “Creating Art with Topaz” and “Processing with Photomatix, Smart Photo Editor and more”. So bring your laptops – or just follow along – and see how I utilize various software to “Turn Ho-Hum into a Work of Art”!

DON’T MISS THE CHANCE TO SAVE $$ on Conference Registration! Individual and Group Discounts ALL END MARCH 31st!

Individuals – use the coupon code Courtesy25 at checkout to save $25. Groups – info is on the website (contact me if you have a group of a different quantity). Click HERE for all the details and to sign up. 

The latest schedule (still tentative but close to finished):

 

A couple of new sites where I found some great freebies! (As always, check the terms of use before using in commercial work.)

https://www.pixelsurplus.com/freebies/ – Fonts, brushes, textures and more!

http://mixclipart.com/category/photoshop-cs-brushes/ – Brushes, textures, vector art and more!

 

Topaz Studio — Digital Frames are Here!

In my last webinar I did a demo from the Beta Version of Topaz Studio showing the upcoming Digital Frames.

The new Digital Frames adjustment in Topaz Studio lets me add a custom mat and frame to an image quickly and easily. Not only can you utilize the textures built in to Studio, but you can add your own textures making for endless mat and frame combinations. This is a nice way to display an image on social media and make it stand out from the crowd

I tried the updated version last night and created these:

Topaz has done a great job of perfecting the this awesome Studio Adjustment! Click here to grab your copy for just $14.99!

 

March 18 – Sunday Sampler

Happy day after St. Patrick’s Day! Hope you all celebrated appropriately! We stayed home all day – been working on some images for my next Topaz Webinar – March 27th 5 p.m. EDT. Sign ups should be open shortly! http://blog.topazlabs.com/webinars/

This is one of the images I will demonstrate:

I’ll be showing you how to do composites and manipulate your textures in Topaz Studio, including how to apply two presets to different parts of an image! Come join us!

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler was inspired by my hubby, Dave. He was editing an image from Tucson in Topaz Studio. I said, “hmmm…..that would be a cool texture”! So I applied the preset he created to one of my similar images, cropped smaller selections and applied a slight Gausian blur. Enjoy!

 

DON’T MISS OUT ON YOUR CHANCE TO SAVE $25 ON CONFERENCE REGISTRATION! All discounts and group rates expire on March 31st! Use the code Courtesy25 at checkout or see the website for group rates and save even more! http://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/

 

This week’s featured speakers are husband and wife duo, Suz & Michael Karchmer from Cape Cod, MA. I met them several years ago when I first judged at their camera club, and we’ve become good friends since. They are awesome photographers and quite creative with their iPhones.

Come join them for two fabulous sessions and learn how they utilize their iPhones with some very creative apps – including ones that let you create RAW files on your phone! Check out all of the details and their bios on the website at: http://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/2018-conference-speaker-michael-suz-karchmer/

 

I’m always looking for cool tutorials and freebies to share with all of you! This week, from Hongkiat.com comes an article with “80 Best Photo Effects Photoshop Tutorials”

One of the best sources for Photoshop Brushes to create some awesome artwork is GrutBrushes.com. Nicolai spends a lot of time creating his beautiful brushes that help you create digital paintings – or like I do, use them to create awesome textures! Grut Brushes is also a sponsor of our Creative Photography Conference and will give each attendee a set of free brushes as well as a discount on the rest of the site. He also has some new textured papers that I’ve had a chance to try out – amazing! With most digital papers, the color is hovering over the paper. With these, you can actually see the texture of the paper through the color for true digital painting. Try them out! His prices are very reasonable and he also does have some Freebies at: https://www.grutbrushes.com/free-photoshop-brushes/

March 11 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Hopefully you all have power (and heat) today! We lost power Wed. night into late Thursday afternoon – got a little chilly, but luckily it came on just as I got home from work!

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler takes an image of old cracked paint, and presents it 3 ways – the original and two versions that I edited in Topaz Studio with multiple presets to create a whole different look! Remember, you can always change the colors of a texture by using a hue/saturation adjustment or pick up the texture with no color by turning it into a B&W image. Enjoy!

 

Pixel Surplus has some cool freebies – sign up to get emails of new freebies. Here’s a link to the current ones: CLICK HERE

One of my favorite sites for brushes is Brusheezy.com. Saw this pack of free Butterfly Brushes that I thought were pretty cool! You can find just about any kind of brush you need here! And their sister site is Vecteezy.com for all your clip art needs.

 

Conference Speaker KJ (Kelli) DeWaal is an artist/photographer who has been involved in creative endeavors throughout her life. She found herself becoming more interested in photography several years ago and set about learning all she could about all types of photography. She has received an Advanced Diploma in Photography, an Advanced Diploma in Photoshop, a Diploma in Smartphone Photography, and a Diploma in Lightroom, all from Shaw Academy. She has also taken photography classes from Jim Montanus, a well renowned photographer in her area.

Kelli enjoys photographing still life, landscape, macro and life style images, which have won numerous awards in photo contests and have been very well received. She is also an avid digital artist creating art on the go using her iPhone X and iPad Pro. She teaches in-person and online workshops throughout the year and there is information available on her website regarding these at https://kjdewaal.com.

Kelli currently resides in Western NY with Doug, her husband of 30 years. They have 2 grown children. Now that they are empty nesters, Kelli and her Mr. enjoy traveling, camping, hiking, and antiquing. This provides many photo opportunities along the way and even inspires original artwork as well.

Kelli’s Presentations are:

“The Creative Art of Still Lifes”

This presentation will encompass a look at different styles of her still life work and the stories they convey. She will continue with a look at how she creates the set-ups, and how you can replicate it in a very small amount of space. She will give you ideas on how to set up a scene and the types of items you may wish to use. The session will wrap up with a demo of her post-processing workflow and the different creative avenues for editing the various styles of still life images. She will use Lightroom, Photoshop, and Skylum’s Luminar (formerly MacPhun).

“Creating a Digital Art Piece on the iPad”

Bring along your iPad (and iPencil or stylus) or join in and watch Kelli demonstrate the creation of a digital art piece. She will utilize several apps (list will be provided prior to the start of the Conference – she’s still creating!).

“Altered Books – Creating Your Own Photo Props”

Kelli will demonstrate the step-by-step process to create your own “altered book” including info on how to find supplies and ideas for using them in your photos.

Click here for a video of Kelli’s presentations

 

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ONE OF OUR REGISTRATION DEALS (ALL DISCOUNTS EXPIRE 3/31/18)

 

GROUP REGISTRATION SPECIALS:

OPTION #1 – BEST DEAL – BUY 5, GET 1 FREE! = $208.33 per person (save $41.67 each)

All six people must sign up on one purchase (see registration page for details).

OPTION #2 – 4 PEOPLE FOR $880 = $220 Per person (save $30 each)

All four people must sign up in one purchase (see registration page for details).

 

INDIVIDUAL REGISTRATION SPECIAL:

INDIVIDUAL ATTENDEES – SAVE $25 (code: courtesy25)

(only one discount per person – discounts may not be combined!)

 

REGISTER AT:

http://www.meredithimages.com/product-category/creative-photography-conference/

Questions?

Contact us at Hazel@MeredithImages.com or (203) 375-1039

 

March 4 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Hopefully you have power and are reading our post today!

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some cool images from one of our workshops to an old Chevy “parts yard” (another word for “junk yard”)! A little different than the rusty ones I’ve done in the past. Enjoy!

Two upcoming events to tell you about — not really formal “workshops”, but interesting none-the-less!

My hubby, Dave, is heading to Cass, WV, to the Cass Railroad over Memorial Day weekend. This is not an instructional workshop, but a gathering of some like-minded photogs! Join the fun.

Here’s the details:

What we’ll do
Leave on Thursday for Friday arrival at Cass Railroad. We’ll be staying in a “company house” on the property (5 bedrooms/2 bathrooms). We will check out on the 28th to head home. We will take a ride on the steam train to the top of Bald Knob as well as photograph other things in the area.

What to bring
Cameras (accessories, etc.), tripods, rain gear, food (we will be able to cook at the house – not much in the area to eat out at).

Important to know
Tickets for train ride approx. $59 (2017 price). Cost for house will be split by number of people attending. There is no fee for the event itself – not a formal photography workshop, just a group heading to a great location!

HOWEVER, IN ORDER TO SECURE A SPOT FOR THE ROOM, YOU WILL NEED TO PROVIDE A $150 DEPOSIT TO US BY EITHER CHECK OR CREDIT CARD. Email Dave@MeredithImages.com for further instructions.

LINK TO COMPANY HOUSE WE’LL BE STAYING AT:

http://www.inntopia.travel/aspnet/09/product.aspx?supplierid=7817024&productid=13&salesid=7816916&language=EN 

And a flyer with the details too:

Contact him at Dave@MeredithImages.com if you are interested. He needs to have enough people by March 15th for the trip to run.

 

And on Saturday, May 5th, the Connecticut Association of Photographers is having a dinner meeting/program featuring Ron Rosenstock, “Photography as a Spiritual Experience”. See flyer below for details. You do not need to be a CAP member to attend.

 

Our Conference is filling nicely! Don’t miss out on this fabulous weekend of Creativity!!

This week’s featured speaker is Gerri Jones.

Gerri became interested in digital photography in 2000 as a creative outlet. She soon discovered that Buffalo/Niagara was a great area to photograph any subject throughout the year with seasonal interest. She enjoys photographing all subjects and the challenge of new ways to see through the creative use of Lensbaby lenses. This past year she has concentrated her work indoors due to a foot injury and discovered the joy of still life and food photography setting up a small studio indoors. She also enjoys using her photographs and Photoshop to create new works of art with the application of textures.

Gerri’s images have been featured in several publications including, Nature’s Best Magazine, Erie Canal Statewide Photo Calendars, tourism guides, The Discover-Buffalo Niagara Calendars and several local commercial proposals. Her image of Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse on Lake Ontario, won a national grand prize for the Great Lakes Photo Contest and her work is used to promote the lighthouse through “Friends of Thirty Mile Point”. In addition, Gerri participates in several online photo contests and has won numerous awards including “Photographer of the Year”.

Besides macro photography, she enjoys photographing local architecture, landscapes and occasionally small wedding venues. She also has reviewed several photography books for development by Focal Press Publications. Gerri has served as assistant organizer of the Buffalo Photography Meet-up Group to lead many members on photography tours as well as a member and presenter Niagara Frontier Regional Camera Clubs.
Gerri resides near Buffalo, NY with her husband Phil and Basset Hound, Thurman. http://www.GerriJonesPhotography.com Instagram: gerri.gjones

See more of Gerri’s work on the Conference page of our website at: http://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/

 

From Line25.com – 25 Brilliant Sci-Fi/Space Photoshop Tutorials. Create some “out of this world” effects!

Not a freebie, but a great deal! From Inky Deals – 330 Photoshop Brushes for $22! (This is an affiliate link.) They have tons of great deal bundles – check ’em out!

 

Have you checked out Topaz Studio AI ReMix yet?? Wow! At first look the effects seem “over the top”, but as with any preset, you can adjust to your taste. Here’s a before and after I did this week. And it’s still on sale 20% off till March 10th!

A blah pic of a hanging lantern:

Edited in Lightroom/Photoshop, then in Studio with AI ReMix (and a couple of other adjustments in Studio):

The radiating lines in the background is a leaf that I processed with Topaz during my last webinar! Here is that image:

Have a great week!

Feb. 26 – NEW FROM TOPAZ – “AI ReMix”!

Wow! I can’t wait to get this downloaded and start playing! The folks at Topaz keep outdoing themselves with all the creative options they are releasing.

This newest part of Topaz Studio – Artistic Intelligence ReMix is the first desktop application that uses the power of Artificial Intelligence to transform your image’s style to recreate contemporary and classic artistic styles with the click of a button.
More than the typical use of AI, it’s the first of Topaz Studio’s ‘Artistic Intelligence’ adjustments.

Dozens of Unique Styles.
Over 30 unique artistic styles created to mimic realistic works of Classic and Contemporary artwork, trained to produce a huge variety of inspired dramatic styles personalized for each image you apply them to.

With even more styles coming soon!

The Only Desktop Application for AI Styles.
AI ReMix is the first and only desktop application that uses a custom AI model to quickly reproduce a wide variety of creative classic and contemporary styles customized to match the contours and content of your images.

Enhanced with the Power of Topaz Studio.
Take AI ReMix even further with the full range of free tools, features, and adjustments available in Topaz Studio. With features like integrated masking, over 20 blending modes and opacity controls, toning and color controls, unlimited undo/redo, and much more.

AI ReMix will normally be $49.99 – save 20% and get it now at the special price of $39.99 till March 10th (no coupon code needed). CLICK HERE TO GRAB THE SAVINGS!

You can even try it for FREE for 30 days – just install Topaz Studio (if you don’t have it yet – it’s free too!) or update your Topaz Studio to the latest version – 1.8.