Sept. 23 – Sunday Sampler

Hi everyone! I missed sending out a post last week as I was in TEXAS! Check off another state from my list. It was hot, hot, hot! Austin & Dallas.

Got to visit my friends at Topaz Labs and meet them in person! Keep reading for some great info!

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler is some textures from my hotel rooms! Rugs, wallpaper, tile – they all make great textures! There are six instead of three since I missed last week. Enjoy!

 

Some exciting news that I can share – and some that I can only tease about!

We scheduled my next Topaz Webinar for Tuesday, October 30th – watch for some Halloween-themed projects!

Yes, Heath is a real person! It was wonderful to meet him, Joe, Rose and Alan, the founder of Topaz. Great bunch of people!

A.I. Gigapixel Updated! A great product is even better! It has faster processing, new settings for even better results – it is amazing to watch the programmers in action (with their PhDs!).

STAY TUNED….for a new Studio Release soon with a feature I’ve been hoping for — can’t tell you yet, but you will love as much as I am going to!

 

I will send another post during the week with some other cool things from “Around the Web”. Preparing this on Sat. and heading out to do my all-day workshop tomorrow at PPSNYS in Troy, NY!

Have a great weekend!

Sept. 9 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! FINALLY feeling a little like Autumn today!

For today’s Sunday Sampler, I took an ordinary image of some Sedona Red Rock gravel, and modified it 3 ways in Topaz. An example of how you can take a texture and create MANY other textures from that one image. You can also change the color palette, blur it more, etc. Enjoy!

 

A.I. Gigapixel 1.1 Update –
Smarter, sharper, resizing, made even better.

With the latest update to A.I.Gigapixel™ the first and only intelligent image resizer for your computer just became even more powerful. With additional options for image enhancement, 3 sets of new Artificial Intelligence models to resize high-quality input images or even images with a lot of noise. We also refined the A.I. in the existing models to produce even more accurate results.

If you had trouble running the application before, we’ve just added CPU processing so A.I. Gigapixel can now run on most computers!

If you already own A.I. Gigapixel, of course the upgrade is free. If you haven’t purchased yet, CLICK HERE to head to the Topaz shop and save 15% with the code MeredithImages at checkout.

P.S. the black & white bird shot in the store and video is one of mine! I was amazed at how well A.I. Gigapixel enlarged a 4×6 photo 600% with even more detail than the original!

 

TWO fun items this week!!

This past week I taped a TV show with local host and friend, Jan Doyle, who does the show “Wyse Talk” on Branford Community TV. We talked about photography and the upcoming Creative Photography Conference! You can watch the show on Jan’s YouTube Channel HERE! Jan will also be one of our presenters at the May, 2019 Creative Photography Conference, “Using Your Photos in Creative Projects” and “Get Your Name Out – Free Publicity with YouTube”.

 

And, I will be doing another webinar for LayerCake software, creators of Studio Magic. Their latest release (coming very soon) is “1200 Epic Location Sets”. Save time creating background for your studio shots – you can place your clients almost anywhere in the world with this HUGE collection!

Sets will include:

America on Location: Scenic America; Route 66; The Wild West

Scenic Europe

Doorways to the World

Urban Chic

Africa on Location

and tons of creative ideas – before & afters (check those out HERE)

Registration will be open soon – plan to join me on October 18th at 5:00 pm Eastern Time!

Stay tuned for more details and registration info!

 

 

From PixelBuddha, a free Photoshop Action – Warfighter!

And from Creative Nerds, a free Watercolor Brush Set

I purchased this great bundle from Pixelo this week – the “Mighty Design Bundle” with 51 Font families; 67 PS Actions; 500 Premium Backgrounds; 512 Textures; 681 PS Brushes; 70 Text Styles and more! 4932 resources for just $39!

And, if you are a graphic designer or do scrapbooking, there is a great new bundle of resources also available on Pixelo – the “Gigantic Vector Graphics Bundle” – 9229 vector resources for just $39!

And they also have a bunch of freebies available – scroll to the bottom of the web page and click on “Freebies”!

 

 

 

9-2 Sunday Sampler – Part 2!

Hi again folks!

Forgot to add something to this week’s Sunday Sampler!

On Sunday, Sept. 23rd, from 9 am – 5 pm, I am doing an all-day hands-on Photoshop Intermediate/Advanced workshop at the Capital Champlain Section of PPSNYS in Troy, NY.

We have a few seats left – you do not need to be a member of the group to attend. They have extended the early bird pricing until Sept. 4th, so don’t wait if you want to attend! $70 for non-members for an all-day workshop is a bargain!

I will be supplying images so we can work together on projects, so bring your laptop! Lunch and door prizes included too!

See the flyers below and their website for more info: http://capitalchamplain.com/

Hope to see you there!

9-2 Sunday Sampler

Happy September!! This summer was exceptionally hot and humid here in CT (as this coming week will be too). Can’t say I like that kind of weather – Fall is definitely my favorite along with Spring – nice to be outside when you can breathe and enjoy nature!

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some subtle wallpaper textures. These are wallpaper from a place we had breakfast while on Cape Cod last year. I must confess – they were taken in the ladies room!!! Your cellphone is your friend when you need a camera! I liked the way these looked like coffee stains – very subtle! Enjoy!

 

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!

JOIN US FOR THE 3RD CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY CONFERENCE!

MAY 18-19, 2019

Click HERE to go to our website for all the details!

 

From Line25.com – 20 Free Texture Tutorials! I see some cool ideas I have to try myself! Create some of your own textures, see how to utilize them in your work…lots of good stuff!

And from MediaLoot.com – 19 Free Brick TexturesOne can never have too many textures!!

And from JixiPix – a free app for iPhone users -Panographic Photo – quite cool! Check it out HERE!

Inky Deals has some great specials for the holiday weekend. Click HERE to visit the site, then use the code LABOR30 to save 30% on all deals! (Affiliate)  Also check out the Freebies!

If you’ve every thought about printing your photos on canvas, I highly recommend “Canvas on Demand”. I’ve used them for MANY canvas printings – their quality is fabulous, turn-time is quick, and the one time I had a problem (was mounted crooked), they reshipped immediately and I didn’t have to return the old one. I’m not an affiliate – I just love their products! They OFTEN have sales – I got an email this morning for 85% off Premium Gallery Wraps – CLICK HERE to check it out! Most of mine are the 16×20 size, but the prices are great on all sizes with the sale.

 

Have a great week!

Aug. 26 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Finally, a gorgeous weekend and not humid! Of course this week is a different story (90’s+ and humidity returning), but I’m happy for 2 beautiful days. We had a neighborhood picnic yesterday at our house – so much food left we’re doing lunch again today!!

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of brick textures from Fort McHenry in Baltimore. A great place to visit when you’re in the area.

 

CAMERA CLUB SEASON IS ALMOST HERE!

Most camera clubs meet from September through May/June and are busy setting up their schedules for the upcoming 2018-2019 season. I’ve been asked to speak at several clubs already this year, with a couple more pending. If you’re club (or group) is looking for speakers, let me know!

Confirmed at: 

Oct. 25 – Judging at Cape Cod Art Association (MA)

Nov. 4 – Webinar for NPEG “What’s New in Topaz”

Nov. 7 – Southeastern CT Camera Club (CT) – “Topaz & Textures”

Nov. 12 – Charter Oak Photographic Society (CT) – “What’s New in Topaz”

Jan. 2 – Judging at Stamford Camera Club (CT)

Feb. 13 – Milford Camera Club (CT) – “What’s New in Topaz”

March 5 – North Haven Camera Club (CT) – “Advanced Techniques in Lightroom & Photoshop”

April 1 – Greater Lynn Photographic Society (MA) – “Creativity with Textures”

April 6 – Judging at Bronx Photographic Society (NY)

May 18-19 – Creative Photographic Conference, Southbridge, MA

 

From WebDesignDev.com – 350+ Free Handwriting Photoshop Brushes and with the Fall season coming, 20 Creepy Halloween Photoshop Tutorials (VERY creepy!)

On DealJumbo.com they have tons of bundles of textures, fonts, mock-ups and more at very reasonable prices. Check it out HERE!

 

Have a great week!

 

Aug. 19 – Sunday Sampler

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some colorful blurs – a method I learned way back when from the master, Tony Sweet. Swiping the camera as you shoot – fall color makes some interesting swipes! You can always use Gaussian Blur to soften these even more, or use a product like Topaz Impression to create a totally different look! Enjoy!

As I get further on down the calendar, I create “bundles” of previous Sunday Samplers for purchase at a modest cost. I just packaged up Bundle 4 which consists of textures from July-Dec. 2017. There are 76 textures, all at the 4500 pixel size. And, all four bundles are on sale until 8/31 for just $10 each (reg. $15 ea.). Since these files are so huge, I will email the link to download within 24 hrs. after purchase. Check it out in the Peacock Studio HERE! (Just click on Peacock Studio Textures once in the store.)

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED THE POST ON THURSDAY!

Introducing A.I. Gigapixel

Topaz A.I. Gigapixel is a standalone application only (it does not work as a plugin or Topaz Studio adjustment) made for batch resizing your images. It uses the power of Topaz’s proprietary Artistic Intelligence engine to make sharper and clearer upscaled images than traditional upscaling tools.

A.I. GigaPixel is the first desktop application to use the power of Deep Neural Networks to realistically enlarge your images, up to 6x. Traditional up-scale methods use “interpolation” (bi-cubic, Lanczos, fractal, etc.) to create higher resolution images.
These traditional methods produce images that are blurry, unrealistically painterly, and lack the details that are present in real high-resolution images.

The unsurpassed quality of A.I. Gigapixel can enlarge full-size Raw images to over a gigapixel in size. it can also enlarge thumbnail images to create full-size versions that are practically identical to original high-resolution photos. Can you tell which image is the original and which was upscaled from a thumbnail?


We scaled the original image down to 16% of its original size then used A.I. Gigapixel to enlarge that thumbnail 600%

This is the eye from the thumbnail.


This is the output from A.I. Gigapixel on the left, and the original full-size image on the right when zoomed to 150%.

 

I had a chance to try out the program myself – VERY cool! I took an image that I had sized as a small jpeg (4″x6″) for a Facebook post, then blew it up 600% (24″x36″) – WOW! Have a look:

Original 4″ x 6″:

Cropped in area of 24″ x 36″:

This is WAY better than any other resizing program available!

Topaz A.I. Gigapixel is available as a standalone batch processing application only. It is compatible with 64-bit Windows 7+ and Mac OS X 10.11+. It also requires a GPU with OpenGL 3.3 or later (Intel HD5000 or better, Nvidia GTX 760 or better, AMD R9 280 or better. You can take advantage of a free 30-day trial with A.I. Gigapixel, through the main application when you download.

A.I. Gigapixel™ is available for $99.99. AND you can save 15% with my code: MeredithImages at checkout.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE TOPAZ WEBSITE AND CHECK OUT THIS FABULOUS PROGRAM!

 

My favorite program for creating HDR images has always been Photomatix (by HDRsoft). They just released an update – version 6.1. If you have a recent version, it will be a free upgrade.

If you don’t have and would like to check it out, they offer a 30 free trial. The price is $99 for Photomatix Pro – but you can save 15% with my code meredithimages at checkout, making the price $84.15. Click HERE to go to the website.

HDR is a great way to capture the full range of light in an image – it does NOT have to be the “over done HDR look” – I’ve used it on flowers and architecture equally as well and kept the “natural look” – like this:

This is 5-shots merged in Photomatix 

This is 7-shots merged in Photomatix

 

You may ask “Why use Photomatix when Lightroom offers HDR?” Lightroom’s HDR Merge offers just one HDR style (somewhere between realistic and artistic) which may not always give the effect you were aiming for.

With Photomatix Pro, you can choose between 6 HDR styles, so you can find the options that give the best results from any photo. The HDR styles include Exposure Fusion, which is unbeatable for natural-looking results.

Additionally, Photomatix Pro offers batch processing, advanced options for removing ghosts, plus you can blend a source exposure into your final image using a Brush Tool.

If you are serious about HDR, it’s likely you will quickly find Lightroom’s HDR feature too limited.

Note that Photomatix Pro includes a free Plugin for Lightroom. You can use the Plugin to select your photos in Lightroom, process them in Photomatix Pro, then import back in Lightroom!

 

 

Aug. 16 – New Topaz Product! + Sunday Sampler

 

Introducing A.I. Gigapixel

Topaz A.I. Gigapixel is a standalone application only (it does not work as a plugin or Topaz Studio adjustment) made for batch resizing your images. It uses the power of Topaz’s proprietary Artistic Intelligence engine to make sharper and clearer upscaled images than traditional upscaling tools.

A.I. GigaPixel is the first desktop application to use the power of Deep Neural Networks to realistically enlarge your images, up to 6x. Traditional up-scale methods use “interpolation” (bi-cubic, Lanczos, fractal, etc.) to create higher resolution images.
These traditional methods produce images that are blurry, unrealistically painterly, and lack the details that are present in real high-resolution images.

The unsurpassed quality of A.I. Gigapixel can enlarge full-size Raw images to over a gigapixel in size. it can also enlarge thumbnail images to create full-size versions that are practically identical to original high-resolution photos. Can you tell which image is the original and which was upscaled from a thumbnail?


We scaled the original image down to 16% of its original size then used A.I. Gigapixel to enlarge that thumbnail 600%

This is the eye from the thumbnail.


This is the output from A.I. Gigapixel on the left, and the original full-size image on the right when zoomed to 150%.

 

I had a chance to try out the program myself – VERY cool! I took an image that I had sized as a small jpeg (4″x6″) for a Facebook post, then blew it up 600% (24″x36″) – WOW! Have a look:

Original 4″ x 6″:

Cropped in area of 24″ x 36″:

This is WAY better than any other resizing program available!

Topaz A.I. Gigapixel is available as a standalone batch processing application only. It is compatible with 64-bit Windows 7+ and Mac OS X 10.11+. It also requires a GPU with OpenGL 3.3 or later (Intel HD5000 or better, Nvidia GTX 760 or better, AMD R9 280 or better. You can take advantage of a free 30-day trial with A.I. Gigapixel, through the main application when you download.

A.I. Gigapixel™ is available for $99.99. AND you can save 15% with my code: MeredithImages at checkout.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE TOPAZ WEBSITE AND CHECK OUT THIS FABULOUS PROGRAM!

 

And…here is the delayed Sunday Sampler! These are a few textures of wallpaper from our hotel in Tennessee! Enjoy!

Aug. 12 – Sunday Sampler – Delayed

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the delay this week. Last Monday we made a quick decision to take a run to Tennessee this weekend!! (it’s a 12 hour drive each way from CT!) We’re looking for property there – planning to move in 2020!

I will send this week’s Sunday Sampler on Thursday. There is a big announcement coming from one of my favorite companies on that day too!! 😉

Talk to you soon,

Hazel

Aug. 5 – Sunday Sampler

Happy August! Hard to believe we’re heading in the waning months of Summer – though I won’t mind when this humidity goes away! It’s been an exceptionally muggy Summer in CT. And sending our prayers to those in California and the West affected by the awful fires. One of my school friends lives very near the Carr fire. He’s been ready to evacuate for over a week.

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of rocks from the caverns under Lookout Mountain in GA. We visited there a few years ago to see Ruby Falls – an underground waterfall as well a Rock City, a beautiful garden at the top of the mountain. Worth a visit if you are in the area.

 

A friend of mine (that I’ve known since grammar school!) is opening a shop in town – Connecticut Band Instrument Services – and I’ve created some digital pieces that have been printed on canvas and will hang in the store. There are some music quotes, and photos. And one of the pieces (shown below) can be customized with the instrument, school colors and name, etc. I’ve set up a page in my Peacock Studio online store. If you or someone you know someone who is musically inclined, check it out HERE! Click on Digital Art.

 

Over on inSight Designs, Free Texture Grabs LOTS of different items! As always, check Terms of Use before using in commercial pieces.

From PictureCorrect.com, “5 Easy Ways to Start Photo Editing in Lightroom”

From ImprovePhotography.com, “11 Ways Landscape Photographers Can Monetize their Portfolios”

And a couple more great font bundles from Pixel Surplus (affiliate link)

The REFINED FONT BUNDLE – 29 fonts for $29

And the HAND DRAWN FONT BUNDLE – 29 fonts for $29

Save even more if you purchase both bundles for $54!

 

Have a great week!

 

 

 

July 29 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Hope you had a great week!

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some floral images that you can use for backgrounds. To soften the effect you can blur them (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur > amount you desire). Enjoy!

 

On Thursday, I did a seminar for StudioMagic (by LayerCake), demonstrating how I’ve used some of the functions of the program. If you didn’t sign up and missed the webinar, here is a link to the recording: http://www.photoeffects.biz/hazeledit/hazeledit.mp4

You can also still take advantage of the special pricing – they’ve let me extend the offer until Monday evening – check it out here: https://store.layercakeelements.com/gav/webdeal.htmlYou’ll save 85% on the deal of StudioMagic I & II, plus 500 skies and cloud overlays – for just $95!

Here’s one of the projects I did in the webinar:

 

And another great deal just released this week – Lightroom Presets & Brushes package – contains 200 LR Presets and 30 LR Brushes – Save 80%, just $59! BUT…at checkout use the code HAZEL35 and save another 35% making the package total price just $38.35!

Check it out here: https://store.layercakeelements.com/gav/lightroom.html

Here’s a couple of before-and-after examples:

 

Free Textures & Brushes! Shadowhouse Creations is one I had come across in the past. It appears the blog hasn’t been active in a few years, however, there are a TON of textures and brushes you can still download. Check it out HEREAnd, you can use them for personal or commercial use with no attribution.

From Pixel Surplus – a great deal on their “Summertime Font Bundle” (affiliate link) – Just $29 for 29 high quality full license fonts. Check it out HERE!

And they also have some great freebies on their site – check em out!

From Picture Correct – Still Life Photography Tips & Tricks and Sunrise Photography Tips for Beginners.

 

Have a great week as we welcome August!!