Sunday Sampler July 5

This week’s Sunday Sampler is by my hubby Dave! He took some sunrise photos this morning, then took one and blurred it and created several versions. These blurred colors will be great overlays for backgrounds, or to add color to another sky image! Enjoy!

TEXTURE SALE
ENDS TODAY!

LAST CHANCE! The sale on the newest texture sets ends today at midnight EDT!

There are THREE sets of sky textures — Puffy Clouds, Stormy Skies and Sunrise-Sunset. I also created a new set of overlays that work great with these skies. The overlays are 3 versions each in Gold, Silver, Rose Gold and Copper. They will let you warm up or cool down your images (examples below).

Be sure to read to the end, however! There is also a special bundle deal on all 4 products!

Who doesn’t love a sky filled with puffy clouds! These 12 give you a variety from cotton candy puffs to wispy streaks and more! CLICK HERE for the product page!

Dramatic stormy skies, the edges of storms, and rain with a rainbow edge! CLICK HERE for the product page!

Gorgeous sunrises and sunsets! Stunning colors from pastels to bold to make your images glow! CLICK HERE for product page!

Metallic overlays – gold, silver, rose gold and copper. A great way to warm up or cool down your image! CLICK HERE for product page!

These four textures are regular $12 per set. On sale through July 5th for $9 per set. BUT…if you want to grab all 4 (a $48 value), you can get this special bundle for just $27! That’s only $6.75 per set!! CLICK HERE to get the bundle!

Here’s a barn image (but of course) with a blah sky:

I masked out the old sky and brought in one of the Puffy Clouds skies:

I added one of my bird brushes to add even more drama:

Then I used the Gold Canvas Texture to give it a golden hour glow:

I then tried an even more dramatic sky from the Stormy Skies collection:

I think that is MUCH better than the original, don’t you??

NEXT WEBINAR JULY 14th!

Join me for all-new projects as I demonstrate some creative post-processing. I will be using Photoshop and Topaz as well as some Nik and Luminar! You’ll be AMAZED at Luminar’s AI Sky Replacement! Game changer! See the before and after below!

I will post the sign-up link in Thursday’s blog. See you on July 14th at 4:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time.

BEFORE (original sky)
AFTER (Luminar AI Sky Replacement)

Enjoy the rest of your Independence Day weekend!

Tutorial Thursday – July 2

It’s been another busy week (luckily)! I’m working on some new images for the next webinar (July 14th), so I’m re-sharing this first Tutorial Thursday post from last August.

Here is my original image – I did basic corrections in Lightroom:

The little bit of sky showing was kind of blah, so I replaced it with some clouds. I didn’t get too fussy about it as I knew I would be applying textures later on. I duplicated the background layer (turn off visibility of the bottom layer), then I used the Magic Wand tool to select the sky and expanded the selection by 2 pixels (Select > Modify > Expand). Once selected, hit the delete key to delete the old sky.

I then brought in my cloud image – this one happened to be taken on the same day! I opened the cloud image as you would a texture, then moved the cloud layer between the two barn layers and positioned like this:

My next step was to bring the image into Topaz Studio 2 to add a preset and some textures. First, I need to have both the sky and the barn on the same layer for Studio to “see” it all. I created a merged layer by the keyboard shortcut Control+Alt+Shift+E. This keeps the layers you already have, but gives you a merged layer above them.

In Studio 2, I used the preset Peeling Paint (one of my favorites!). This is the image after that preset:

With the way that the preset darkened the upper right where the clouds are, I probably could have not bothered replacing the sky!

Next I added two Meredith Images textures (included in Studio 2) to the image. Select the Category > Meredith Images to narrow down the texture selection. First I applied Frosted Almond, changing the blending mode to Soft Light and the opacity to 50%.

Next I applied Meredith Images Russet – blending mode Overlay and opacity 40%.

There are some white specular highlights on some of the blades of grass – I just used the healing tool in Photoshop to fix those.

And that’s our final image!

So, don’t be afraid to try different presets and then modify them further with additional textures or other filters! Have fun!

Texture Sale ending on 7/5

Don’t miss out on the new skies and overlays collections! All sets are on sale plus there is the special bundle deal on the 4 sets (it’s like buying 3 on sale and getting one free)!

Click here to Check the blog post for all the details!

Or CLICK HERE to go to the Peacock Studio Store to grab the deals!

SALE ENDS JULY 7TH!

Topaz has released an update to Gigapixel AI. This update includes a model improvement for better results, a new single-image preview view, new zoom options, and the new “man-made” mode to better enhance the details in cityscapes, typography, and other images with clear outlines and sharp edges.

If you already own Gigapixel AI, this is a Free update! Log in to your account on the Topaz Labs website, go to the downloads page, and update from there.

If you do not already own Gigapixel AI, it is on sale through July 7th for $79.99 (reg. $99.99). Gigapixel is what you need to upsize a small image to anything up to poster sized! I also use it to upsize textures if I’ve cropped a small section from an image or I’ve scanned in textures I created with inks or watercolors. Those usually start around 4×6″ and Gigapixel lets me create a large image to be used as a texture. CLICK HERE to go to the Gigapixel AI page on the Topaz website.

They also have the Utility Bundle on Sale, which includes Gigapixel AI, DeNoise AI, Sharpen AI, and JPEG to RAW for $195.75 (reg. $249.99). Also on sale till July 7th. CLICK HERE to check out the bundle deal!CLICK HERE FOR THE TOPAZ DEALS!

Around the Web June 30

Hard to believe we’re at the end of June already! Enjoy your upcoming Independence Day celebrations in whatever form they may be this year!

PHOTOGRAPHY

“Dog and Puppy Photography Ideas”, “How to Use Depth of Field”, from PictureCorrect.com.

“Photographing Birds in Flight” from Outdoor Photography.

FREEBIES

“4 Free Spray Paint Photoshop Brushes” from Creative Nerds. There is also a handy “how-to” on installing brushes into Photoshop. Plus lots of other freebies on their site, so poke around!

“10 Free Lightroom Deep Duotone Presets” (LR only, not for PS). From PhotoshopTutorials.

Topaz has released an update to Gigapixel AI. This update includes a model improvement for better results, a new single-image preview view, new zoom options, and the new “man-made” mode to better enhance the details in cityscapes, typography, and other images with clear outlines and sharp edges.

If you already own Gigapixel AI, this is a Free update! Log in to your account on the Topaz Labs website, go to the downloads page, and update from there.

If you do not already own Gigapixel AI, it is on sale through July 7th for $79.99 (reg. $99.99). Gigapixel is what you need to upsize a small image to anything up to poster sized! I also use it to upsize textures if I’ve cropped a small section from an image or I’ve scanned in textures I created with inks or watercolors. Those usually start around 4×6″ and Gigapixel lets me create a large image to be used as a texture. CLICK HERE to go to the Gigapixel AI page on the Topaz website.

They also have the Utility Bundle on Sale, which includes Gigapixel AI, DeNoise AI, Sharpen AI, and JPEG to RAW for $195.75 (reg. $249.99). Also on sale till July 7th. CLICK HERE to check out the bundle deal!

This image was sized to 4″x6″ for posting on social media…

I enlarged it 600% (to 24″x36″) – this is a close up of the detail – better than the original! Gigapixel not only enlarges the image, it improves the clarity and sharpness!

NEW TEXTURE SETS!

Last week I released 4 new texture sets! I have THREE sets of sky textures — Puffy Clouds, Stormy Skies and Sunrise-Sunset. I also created a new set of overlays that work great with these skies. The overlays are 3 versions each in Gold, Silver, Rose Gold and Copper. They will let you warm up or cool down your images (examples below).

Be sure to read to the end, however! There is also a special bundle deal on all 4 products!

Who doesn’t love a sky filled with puffy clouds! These 12 give you a variety from cotton candy puffs to wispy streaks and more! CLICK HERE for the product page!

Dramatic stormy skies, the edges of storms, and rain with a rainbow edge! CLICK HERE for the product page!

Gorgeous sunrises and sunsets! Stunning colors from pastels to bold to make your images glow! CLICK HERE for product page!

Metallic overlays – gold, silver, rose gold and copper. A great way to warm up or cool down your image! CLICK HERE for product page!

These four textures are regular $12 per set. On sale through July 5th for $9 per set. BUT…if you want to grab all 4 (a $48 value), you can get this special bundle for just $27! That’s only $6.75 per set!! CLICK HERE to get the bundle!

Here’s a barn image (but of course) with a blah sky:

I masked out the old sky and brought in one of the Puffy Clouds skies:

I added one of my bird brushes to add even more drama:

Then I used the Gold Canvas Texture to give it a golden hour glow:

I then tried an even more dramatic sky from the Stormy Skies collection:

I think that is MUCH better than the original, don’t you??

ThinkTank has extended their “Stimulus Sale” of 20% off EVERYTHING until July 5th! Use THIS LINK and the code THINKTANK20 at checkout!

They also just released two new bags – the Freeway Longhauls! These bags can hold everything you need! Check em out HERE!

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated
if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Thanks!

Free Textures, New Products and Sales!

This week’s Sunday Sampler started as a motion blur image taken on the Verde Valley Railroad train outside of Sedona in Cottonwood, AZ. If you are ever in that area, it’s a beautiful ride – we’ve done it twice. Here are 5 versions of the texture – enjoy!

You get a seat inside, but we usually spend the time outside in the open-air cars for photos! The train moves slowly so you can enjoy the scenery. This was our second trip, which was a few years ago in December.

NEW TEXTURE SETS!

You took the survey and I listened! The number one choice for new textures was clouds and skies! Luckily, I had been working on some and we get such great clouds here in Tennessee! (The second choice was watercolors – watch for those soon!).

I have THREE sets of sky textures — Puffy Clouds, Stormy Skies and Sunrise-Sunset. I also created a new set of overlays that work great with these skies. The overlays are 3 versions each in Gold, Silver, Rose Gold and Copper. They will let you warm up or cool down your images (examples below).

Be sure to read to the end, however! There is also a special bundle deal on all 4 products!

Who doesn’t love a sky filled with puffy clouds! These 12 give you a variety from cotton candy puffs to wispy streaks and more! CLICK HERE for the product page!

Dramatic stormy skies, the edges of storms, and rain with a rainbow edge! CLICK HERE for the product page!

Gorgeous sunrises and sunsets! Stunning colors from pastels to bold to make your images glow! CLICK HERE for product page!

Metallic overlays – gold, silver, rose gold and copper. A great way to warm up or cool down your image! CLICK HERE for product page!

These four textures are regular $12 per set. On sale through July 5th for $9 per set. BUT…if you want to grab all 4 (a $48 value), you can get this special bundle for just $27! That’s only $6.75 per set!! CLICK HERE to get the bundle!

Here’s a barn image (but of course) with a blah sky:

I masked out the old sky and brought in one of the Puffy Clouds skies:

I added one of my bird brushes to add even more drama:

Then I used the Gold Canvas Texture to give it a golden hour glow:

I then tried an even more dramatic sky from the Stormy Skies collection:

I think that is MUCH better than the original, don’t you??

ThinkTank has extended their “Stimulus Sale” of 20% off EVERYTHING until July 5th! Use THIS LINK and the code THINKTANK20 at checkout!

They also just released two new bags – the Freeway Longhauls! These bags can hold everything you need! Check em out HERE!

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated
if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Thanks!

Around the Web June 23

PHOTOGRAPHY

“Aperture In Photography”, “Depth of Field in Portrait Photography”, “Cat Photography Ideas”, and “Sunset Photography: Great Light and Great Color” from PictureCorrect.com.

PHOTOSHOP

“How to Match Colors Perfectly when Compositing Photographs” from fStoppers.

FREEBIES

My wonderful hubby, Dave, wants to give you a free texture! He was playing around in Topaz, like he is known to do, and took one of his cloud shots and did LOTS of things to it! He came up with this cool Zoom Blur effect.

If you would like a copy, just shoot him an email at Dave@MeredithImages.com and he will send it along (of course, without the watermark)! Show him some love!

NEW TEXTURE SETS!

You took the survey and I listened! The number one choice for new textures was clouds and skies! Luckily, I had been working on some and we get such great clouds here in Tennessee! (The second choice was watercolors – watch for those soon!).

I have THREE sets of sky textures — Puffy Clouds, Stormy Skies and Sunrise-Sunset. I also created a new set of overlays that work great with these skies. The overlays are 3 versions each in Gold, Silver, Rose Gold and Copper. They will let you warm up or cool down your images (examples below).

Be sure to read to the end, however! There is also a special bundle deal on all 4 products!

Who doesn’t love a sky filled with puffy clouds! These 12 give you a variety from cotton candy puffs to wispy streaks and more! CLICK HERE for the product page!

Dramatic stormy skies, the edges of storms, and rain with a rainbow edge! CLICK HERE for the product page!

Gorgeous sunrises and sunsets! Stunning colors from pastels to bold to make your images glow! CLICK HERE for product page!

Metallic overlays – gold, silver, rose gold and copper. A great way to warm up or cool down your image! CLICK HERE for product page!

These four textures are regular $12 per set. On sale through July 5th for $9 per set. BUT…if you want to grab all 4 (a $48 value), you can get this special bundle for just $27! That’s only $6.75 per set!! CLICK HERE to get the bundle!

Here’s a barn image (but of course) with a blah sky:

I masked out the old sky and brought in one of the Puffy Clouds skies:

I added one of my bird brushes to add even more drama:

Then I used the Gold Canvas Texture to give it a golden hour glow:

I then tried an even more dramatic sky from the Stormy Skies collection:

I think that is MUCH better than the original, don’t you??

ThinkTank has extended their “Stimulus Sale” of 20% off EVERYTHING until July 5th! Use THIS LINK and the code THINKTANK20 at checkout!

They also just released two new bags – the Freeway Longhauls! These bags can hold everything you need! Check em out HERE!

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated
if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Thanks!

Sunday Sampler June 21

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there!

This week’s Sunday Sampler began as a scratched and rusty old car. Modified three ways for you to use in your grungy projects! Remember, use a hue/saturation or B&W adjustment to modify further. Enjoy!

I’ve been doing the Sunday Sampler for 4 1/2 years! Wow!! There is always at least six months of Sunday Sampler textures available for downloading for free through the old blog posts. At the end of each six month period, the files are removed from Dropbox and bundled into a new set of textures for sale.

So, the Sunday Sampler Group 8 is now available in the Peacock Studio store on the website. This Group contains 89 textures from July-Dec. 2019.

The groups regularly retain for $15 each. Group 8 is now on sale for just $10 (through June 30, 2020). CLICK HERE to go to the item in the web store.

And, if you are new to the blog and wish to purchase all of the past Groups, you can save even more with the bundle of ALL 8 GROUPS!

If purchased individually, it would be $120 for 8 groups. The regular group bundle price is $95 (saving you $25). Until June 30th, you can grab this huge bundle of 650 textures for just $70, and saving you $50!! CLICK HERE to get the BIG BUNDLE!

All New Mini Bundle from
Design Cuts – Textures!

On Thursday we released the latest Design Cuts Mini Bundle containing five awesome products I selected just for my readers.

There is a huge selection of textures for your projects: Vintage Distress = 30 textures; Noisy Grunge = 40 textures; Studio Portrait = 42 textures; Painted Paper Storm = 40 textures; and Ink Washes = 20 textures as brushes, JPG, PSD and TIF files!

I recorded a video of how I’ve used these products with my own images. Click on the image below – the video is at the top of the product page.

CLICK THIS IMAGE FOR VIDEO

To see the details of each product in this bundle, click on the product image above or the link below and it will take you to the full product page where you can check out each product.

THIS BUNDLE IS SPECIALLY PRICED AT 50% OFF!
JUST $24 FOR ALL FIVE AMAZING PRODUCTS!
CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR COPY!

WEBINAR RECORDING

My webinar for the Maryland Photography Alliance is available for replay or to watch if you couldn’t join us live. CLICK HERE for the video.

The notes (which include the PDF notes as well as all images and textures used in the projects) are available HERE in the Peacock Studio (click on Webinar Notes category).

My next webinar will be
Tuesday, July 14th at 4:00 pm EDT!
I will post the sign up link the week prior.

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated
if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Have a good week!

Tutorial Thursday June 18

All New Mini-Bundle from
Design Cuts – Textures!

I chose this group of textures just for you, dear reader! There is a huge selection of textures for your projects: Vintage Distress = 30 textures; Noisy Grunge = 40 textures; Studio Portrait = 42 textures; Painted Paper Storm = 40 textures; and Ink Washes = 20 textures as brushes, JPG, PSD and TIF files!

I recorded a video of how I’ve used these products with my own images. Click on the image below – the video is at the top of the product page.

CLICK THIS IMAGE FOR VIDEO

To see the details of each product in this bundle, click on the product image above or the link below and it will take you to the full product page where you can check out each product.

THIS BUNDLE IS SPECIALLY PRICED AT 50% OFF!
JUST $24 FOR ALL FIVE AMAZING PRODUCTS!
CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR COPY!

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated
if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Around the Web June 16

RESOURCE

**I was compensated for this post. This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

I’ve mentioned 123RF to my readers before, but I wanted to share the current promotion with you so you can save 20%!

123RF was founded in 2005 and has grown to become one of the world’s largest digital stock agencies. They help all sizes of companies, from freelancers to Fortune 500, find the assets needed to complete their projects.

They have an awesome selection of Clip Art, Photos, Footage and Audio available for any project. I have found great clip art for logo design (including the peacock and feather for my own new logo) as well as projects for others.

And, if you are looking for copyright-free music for a slide show, they have an amazing selection! And if you do commercial projects, you can find images and video footage too.

Their prices are the best around! You can purchase single images, however, the best deal is on packages of “credits” – the smallest package is 40 credits for $45 (what I usually purchase). You use them for products depending on the size you need. Example: for clip art/images, you can purchase 5 different sizes – the larger the image the more credits, with the average being 4 credits for a Medium Image at around 2200 x 1800 pixels or a Large Image at approx. 6000 x 5000 pixels for 6 credits. For audio and video the prices vary depending on the length of the piece. You have one year to use your credits purchased (and they remind you if you are nearing expiration).

If you use a lot of stock images there are larger packages available as well as yearly subscriptions.

You can use my 123RF affiliate link HERE and save 20% through 6/30/20. Use the code SAS20 at checkout!

PHOTOGRAPHY

“Low Key Photography Tips”, “Aiming for Simplicity in Photography”, “Photographing in Dark Indoor Settings” and “Learning to See in Black and White” from PictureCorrect.com.

PHOTOSHOP

“20 Amazing Surreal PS Tutorials” from WebDesignDev.

“Advanced Color Matching in PS” from PixImperfect (video).

From PhotoshopTutorials, “How to Create a a Double Exposure Effect in PS”, “Create a Night Fairy Tale of a Mysterious Girl in PS”.

“The 20 Best PS Actions for Creating a Dispersion Effect” from speckyboy.

FREEBIES

“High Resolution Photoshop Splatter Brushes Free Download” from cssauthor.

“Free Dark & Moody Lightroom Presets for Classic” from psdstack.

AND…THIS IS A BIG ONE!
I have a freebie on the Pixelo site – and there’s lots of others you can download too!

I’m listing these freebies here one more time in case you missed them!

CLICK HERE to grab my set shown below. This free set is NOT available in my web store – only through Pixelo.

And keep reading for more awesome freebies – just click the photos to go the product page. You will put items in a Cart, but the price is $0!

PIXELO FREEBIE!
DELFINA MODERN FONT
NATHAN MODERN VINTAGE SCRIPT FONT
LOVE AND ROMANTIC PATTERNS
ANIMATED GLITCH EFFECT
THE UNUSUAL 2020 STYLES
GOSHBE BRUSH FONT
BLACK CLIFFS FONT
SUBTLE SOCIAL MEDIA BANNERS

And if that isn’t enough freebies for you, CLICK HERE to check out more on Pixelo.com!

On Thursday I will have a new Design Cuts Mini Bundle with some great textures and backgrounds. I’ll have a video tutorial to show you how I used the products in my own work.

Mark your calendar for July 14th for my next webinar with all new creative projects to inspire you!

Sunday Sampler June 14

This week’s Sunday Sampler is part of a clay flower pot with a leaf design from the Buffalo & Erie Botanical Garden. I created several versions in Topaz Texture Effects and Smart Photo Editor. Enjoy!

WEBINAR RECORDING

My webinar for the Maryland Photography Alliance is available for replay or to watch if you couldn’t join us live. CLICK HERE for the video.

The notes (which include the PDF notes as well as all images and textures used in the projects) are available HERE in the Peacock Studio (click on Webinar Notes category).

My next webinar will be
Tuesday, July 14th at 4:00 pm EDT!
I will post the sign up link the week prior.

Next Texture Sets

Thank you to all who took the survey on the types of textures you’d like! I have been working on some new products and should have some ready later this week!

I will also have a new Design Cuts Mini Bundle with a video tutorial on Thursday.

Have a good week!

Tutorial Thursday June 11

The week is flying by so fast! I didn’t even realize I didn’t post and “Around the Web” on Tuesday! I’ve included some of my finds below!

PHOTOGRAPHY

“How to Photograph Children Indoors: 8 Tips” and “At Home Pet Photography Tips” from PictureCorrect.com

PHOTOSHOP

From ShutterMuse.com, “An Easy Trick to Remove Lens Flare from Your Photos”.

From DesignShack.net, “20+ Stunning PS Photo Effect Tutorials”.

FREEBIES

“Photoshop Smoke Brushes You Can Download Right Now” from DesignYourWay.net.

TUTORIAL

I posted this image on Facebook the other day. I took it last week while we were in Cade’s Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We were driving along Sparks Lane when this little guy landed on the fence wire and stayed for quite a while. Since we were looking for bears and wildlife in the Cove, I had my camera on the floor next to me with my Sigma 150-500 lens on. I grabbed it and started firing off shots!

Since I had a long lens it naturally blurred the background, so I didn’t need to do anything there. I didn’t crop very much either – just enough to get the bird off-center.

The birds’ body was very sharp but the head was a little “soft”. So I first took the image into Topaz Studio and ran AI Clear (as I normally do). Then I used Topaz Sharpen on the Stabilize setting (since it was hand-held) and it crisped up the shot nicely. However, the body was now a little TOO sharp, so I used a layer mask to remove the sharpening from the main part of the body.

The image is fine as it is, but of course, I want to add my own touch. I thought it could use a border, so I brought in the PNG of the Sketchy Frame from the Grunge Border Brush Collection (includes brushes, PNG’s and JPG files). I changed the blending mode to Soft Light and left the Opacity at 100%. I added a layer mask to remove the center texture from the bird and a little off the center background.

And that’s the finished image! A very simple way to add some drama and uniqueness to your images.

P.S. The Grunge Border brushes, Grunge Overlays and Bird Brushes are still on sale at 50% off through tomorrow!

WEBINAR RECORDING

The recording of Tuesday’s webinar is now available! CLICK HERE to watch the replay or if you were unable to join us Tuesday!

As I do for my webinars, the notes are available in my webstore for just $5. It includes the notes plus the images and textures used in the projects so you can follow along. CLICK HERE to go to the Peacock Studio store.

My next webinar will be on
Tuesday, July 14th at 4:00 pm (EDT).
I will post the sign-up link the week prior.