Mid-Week Updates – Sales & Freebies!

Hey everyone! I normally don’t post during the week, but I’ve gotten info on some new products and sales going on that I wanted to get out to everyone.


Think Tank Photo’s New “Signature” Camera Bag Series features Advanced Fabrics for a Modernized Classic Shoulder Bag

Santa Rosa, Calif. – The Signature Series from Think Tank is a modernized version of the classic shoulder bag. Whether one is a young urban professional or corporate photographer, the Signature shoulder bag is as fashionable as it is functional. Hand sewn, advanced fabrics blend weather protection and durability with the classic feel of fine wool. Genuine leather detailing and metal hardware add character and stand up to the rigors of daily use.

“The new Signature Series features a modern fabric that is soft to the touch and yet is durable,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo’s CEO and lead designer.  “In addition, the zippered flap provides full closure and security to the main compartment, or tucks away when not in use.  It is a next generation design for today’s discerning photographer.”

Visit their website HERE to check out all the details!


The gang over at Hunt’s have some great Spring deals for you! It’s the “Out with the Old, In with the New” Sale! Check out specials from Nikon, Canon, Tamron, Sigma, Sony, Manfrotto, Wacom and much more HERE!




Denise Love over at 2 Lil’ Owls is having a Spring sale with select collections for just $10! Use THIS LINK and then click the “Sale” tab.



Line 25 has a good article on the 20 Best Gothic Free Fonts and a link to 20 Beautiful Fractal Brushes.

Here’s a couple from Best PSD Freebies…Free “Ahoy There” Digital Papers and download a sampler of 5 Abstract BackgroundsThe full set of 504 is available for $20 at Creative Market.

And find some “Spring Season Photography Tips” at PictureCorrect.com.



And don’t forget to check out our new offerings in the Peacock Studio and save 25% on all electronic products and eBooks until March 31st. Use the code topaz25

And register for the Creative Photography Conference by March 31st and receive a $20 voucher for the Peacock Studio — combine discounts and save even more!!!


March 20th – Sunday/Monday Sampler + More News!

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the slight delay this week – was readying new products for the Peacock Studio Online Shop and preparing notes for our upcoming Creative Photography Conference!

Peacock Studio at Meredith Images

I added 5 new sets to the Peacock Studio – some nice soft Bokeh backgrounds and 4 sets of “Spirograph”-style shapes! These were very cool to make! These sets are PNG files with a transparent background so you can use them as overlays over an image or another texture, then change the blending modes and opacity to create a cool new look!

After I finished the sets I thought that these would also work well as brushes, so I’m going to add those to the sets. If you purchase a set before I do that, I will send you a link to the brushes as soon as they are ready – for the same price as the set of 12 spirals! Click HERE to check them out! The Spirograph sets also include instructions on how to apply them to your images and blend them with your other image or texture.


AND…since I’m doing my sixth TOPAZ WEBINAR tomorrow night (Tues., 3/21, 5:00 pm EDT), I will be offering a 25% discount on all eBooks and Textures in the Peacock Shop. Discount good till 3/31. Use the code topaz25. It’s not too late to sign up for the webinar – http://blog.topazlabs.com/webinars/, but if you can’t join us live, watch for the recording to be posted to their website.


This week’s SUNDAY SAMPLER gives you a sampling of some of the new store products. There is a green bokeh image (different than the ones in the Bokeh package); a watercolor texture with one of the Spirograph images used to create a new background, and also one of the actual Spirograph images for you to use in your own work. The possibilities are truly endless for what you can do with these overlays!



I’m very pleased to say these two great photographers have become friends over the past few years. I had the pleasure of meeting them when I presented at the Cape Cod Viewfinders and they were gracious hosting me in their home. “My room” is always waiting whenever I visit and I’m thrilled that they will be presenting a seminar on “iPhoneography & Creative Apps”.

“Husband and wife Michael and Suz Karchmer are Cape Cod-based photographers who use and appreciate both their traditional camera equipment as well as their iPhones. For the past five years, they have nurtured an interest in and a passion for iPhone photography. In March 2015, Cape Cod Magazine published their article, “The Camera in your Pocket: Mobile Photography on Cape Cod.” These days they share their love of iPhone photography by teaching and leading workshops. Michael likes his iPhone for documenting the people and places he comes across wherever he goes. Suz uses hers to find and capture moments of emotional and energetic exchange, whether in landscapes, travel shots, or intimate portraits.

As traditional photographers, they team together and specialize in theater and performance photography. They have been the company photographers for the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater (WHAT) for the past five years and at other theater venues on the lower Cape. Their theater images have appeared in such publications as the Cape Cod Times, the Boston Globe, the New York Times, Broadway World, and the American Theater Magazine. The main floor gallery at WHAT and the lobby gallery of the Academy of Performing Arts (Orleans, Massachusets) both have rotating exhibits of their production images.

Michael and Suz are members of the Cape Cod Viewfinders Camera Club as well as the iPhone 9, a group of nine Cape artists and photographers. This group was started more than 5 years ago to share skills and knowledge related to iPhoneography. The group often exhibits work together, most recently in Provincetown.

The Karchmers’ photos can be found in Cape Cod and Chatham Magazines and they regularly show their images at exhibits across Cape Cod and beyond.”

Contact Michael at michaelkarchmer@gmail.com (301-332-2106) and Suz at susan.karchmer@gmail.com (240-731-7331). Also, some of their work can be found at karchmerphoto.com.

Some of Michael’s Images:

Some of Suz’s Images:

Check out all the awesome Conference details HERE! And come join us for two days of creative inspiration at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center, Southbridge, MA. Registration fee includes all seminars, hands-on sessions, snacks and lunch both days, speaker notes, door prizes, vendors, and more! Just $225! AND, if you register by March 31st, you will receive a $20 credit to spend on electronic products in the Peacock Studio shop!

Check out all the details on our website at: http://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/Hope to see you there!

Have a great week!



March 13th – Sunday Sampler, Topaz Corner + Featured Speaker

Hi everyone,

Looks like Mother Nature will have the last laugh this week! A Nor’Easter heading our way! Yuck!!


This past week Topaz featured a tutorial of mine in their blog post – check it out HERE! In the tutorial I show you how to modify a texture to create new textures, and then how to apply to an image and jazz up a boring sky. There is a link in the tutorial so you can download the images and follow along, as well as screen shots and specific settings that I used. Here’s the finished image:


I also have another Topaz webinar coming up on March 21st at 5:00 p.m. EDT – SIGN UP HERE. If you can’t watch then, they will get it posted on the website (they’re running a little behind – my last one isn’t posted yet from Jan. – but it will get on the site!).


CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY CONFERENCE – Featured Speaker, Tony Sweet, Nikon Legend Behind the Lens

I am very pleased that the legendary Tony Sweet is part of the line up of talented, creative, photographers that is part of our Creative Photography Conference! Join us on May 20-21, 2017, in Southbridge, MA, for two very full days of seminars and hands-on sessions with all of our great speakers.

After successful careers as a jazz musician, educator, and professional magician, Tony settled on photography as his chosen means for personal expression. Beginning as a film photographer, Tony has become facile in image editing software and plugins and is an in-demand speaker throughout the United States and Canada on creativity in the digital age.

Tony and Susan Milestone conduct Visual Artistry photography location workshops in the United States, Canada, and Iceland. Tony maintains an active speaking schedule to photography organizations, industry trade shows and PPA schools across the continental United States and Canada. He also conducts an annual Visual Artistry Creativity Seminar series.

Tony’s photography is published worldwide in every medium and is represented by Getty Images. His iPhone photography is represented by Aurora Photos. Tony’s images are also used by Nikon, MacPhun, Singh Ray, Alien Skin, Topaz, Lensbaby and others for national ad campaigns. An interview with Tony on macro photography was published in The New York TimesTony has authored five books on the art of photography: Fine Art Nature Photography (’02), Fine Art Flower Photography (’05) Fine Art Nature Photography: Water, Ice, Fog (’07), Fine Art Digital Photography (’09) and HDR Photography (2011). He and Master Photo Workshops have co-produced four photography DVDs: Visual Artistry, HDR Made Easy, Visual Literacy and Flower Photography Artistry, as well as an iPhone instructional video series.”

Tony’s Saturday seminar will be “In-Camera Creative Techniques”, with demonstrations on how to create his signature looks using multiple exposures, long exposures, swipes, and more. Here are some examples of his beautiful work:

On Sunday Tony will lead groups with cameras in hand to get you trying some of these techniques.

So come join us for two days of creative inspiration at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center, Southbridge, MA. Registration fee includes all seminars, hands-on sessions, snacks and lunch both days, speaker notes, door prizes, vendors, and more! Just $225! AND, if you register by March 21st, you will receive a $20 credit to spend on electronic products (textures, brushes, eBook and more) in my Peacock Studio shop!

Check out all the details on our website at: http://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/Hope to see you there!



Think Tank Photo’s Airport Helipak V2.0 Backpack Upgraded to Fit the DJI Phantom 4 and Accessories

As quadcopter design continues to evolve, so does Think Tank Photo’s Airport Helipak V2.0 backpack for DJI Phantom. This newly updated backpack, renowned for its comfort, accommodates a DJI Phantom 4 and similarly sized drones. Its refined design is carry-on compatible for both U.S. domestic or international airline travel. Its custom divider set allows maximum room for extra accessories and gear, including a small camera kit, and features a dedicated 15” laptop compartment.

“We updated the backpack to carry a DJI Phantom 4, a 15” laptop, controller, GoPros, chargers, spare rotors, extra batteries, jacket, tools, and more,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo’s CEO and lead designer.  “The contoured adjustable harness with lumbar support, articulated air-channel, removable padded waistbelt, and height-adjustable sternum strap enable comfort for travel into remote areas.”




One of the companies out there that offer superb bundles of fonts, PS add-ons, brushes, textures, and much, much more at fabulous prices! Check out their latest deals HERE including the “1000+ Photoshop Resources” for $59 (worth $1522.00) and the “7750+ Mega Add-Ons” bundle with Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets for $49 (worth $1380.00)! There are also some freebies on the site for download!



We’ll make our own Spring this week with some greenery! Remember, you can use these as textures/backgrounds “as is” or blur them for a soft background or color overlay. Click HERE and enjoy!



We’re heading back to Sedona in October for another Workshop!

We had a great time last year, so we’re heading back! Join us for 3+ days of photography in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Gorgeous red rocks, animals at Out of Africa, rust and grunge at “Ghost Town”, and a couple of new spots too!

Just confirming dates and details will be posted shortly!

Stay Tuned!

March 5th – Sunday Sampler, Conference Schedule

Happy Sunday! March definitely “came in like a lion” this past week – very blustery and cold – after a week of temps way above normal! But Spring is just a few weeks away…we hope!

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of “cracked” things from the Scranton Lace Factory. It seems likely that demolition will begin there very shortly. Sad that it couldn’t be restored for the condos that are being planned.




I have the weekend schedule put together for our Conference, May 20-21, 2017. Saturday will be “classroom” seminars and Sunday will be small group seminars and hands-on photo ops. Check it out:


AND…if you register by March 21st, you will receive a $20 credit to the Peacock Studio at Meredith Images to spend on electronic products (eBook, textures, brushes, etc.).

If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact me at Hazel@MeredithImages.com or evenings at (203) 375-1039.

I sent a newsletter out today with sample images from all of our speakers. If you are not on that list, send me an email and I will forward you a copy! We have some VERY talented creative photographers ready to share their expertise with you!

Click HERE for all the other pertinent details!


More Background Textures

Inky Deals has a current bundle of “260 Gorgeous Backgrounds” for a mere $29! Check it out HERE!




A good site for some freebie resources is BestPSDFreebies.com. Here’s a link to their watercolor texture set freebie – search the site for MANY more!

COVERS (Essential Icons Vol 1)  Fonts Converted


Feb. 26th – Sunday Sampler, Conference Speaker & “I’m Curious”

Happy Sunday! Another week has flown by! This week’s SUNDAY SAMPLER consists of more textures from our upcoming Creative Photography Conference location at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center! There are SO many cool things to photograph here for textures!

And speaking of the Conference, I made a “flip book” so you can see just how cool this place really is! Click HERE to view the book and get more details on the Conference.

This week we’re featuring another of our Conference speakers – Gerri Jones from Western New York.

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 and iPhoneography.  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 reviews 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 the Twin Cities Camera Club.

Gerri resides in Wilson, NY with her husband Phil, son, and Basset Hound, Thurman. www.GerriJonesPhotography.com  Instagram: gerri.gjones

Come see how Gerri creates her own works of art!







A popular subject for nature photographers is photographing birds in flight. While exciting to capture that “perfect” image, it is a type of photography that results in more imperfect shots than perfect ones!

Here’s a tutorial I compiled on “10 Tips for Photographing Birds” that can help you get the desired results.







Spring is coming! New vibes and sunny deals await you. Be ready for all your upcoming projects with an extra 50% Off on everything you see on our website!

There is plenty to choose from. Big bundles, courses, fonts, WordPress themes, you name it, they have it. And even better, they are all up for grabs at half price!

All you have to do is CLICK HERE and use the following code at checkout: 50SPRING (can be used up to 3 times). Offer ends March 1st at 10 AM CST.

Feb. 19th – Sunday Sampler

Hi everyone – last weekend snow – this weekend 50+ degrees! Welcome to New England!

Today we were visiting the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center, location for our upcoming “Creative Photography Conference” in May. We took some more photos so we can show you all that this great location has to offer. I’m going to put together a “flip book” this week and will let you know when it’s ready and posted!

This week’s Sunday Sampler contains textures from the Conference Center as well. Curtains, wallpaper, fabrics – there are SO many things to photograph inside and outside of this location! We’ll be doing just that with some of our Sunday sessions. We took the back road out of there today and saw some great spots for rust, peeling paint and other great photo ops!

Click the logo below to go to our website for more details on the Conference! And watch for more info on our speakers and their programs very soon!


MAY 20-21, 2017

Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center, Southbridge, MA



Sunday Sampler + Topaz Corner + More!

Happy Snowy Sunday! After about a foot of snow on Thursday here in CT, we’re now getting a little more (just when the roads cleared up)! Luckily in my part of the state it’s supposed to turn to rain later today.


This week’s Sunday Sampler textures are from two botanical gardens. The ornament and snowflake were taken last month at the New York Botanical Garden during their holiday train show. The rain on glass is from the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Garden (the greenhouse is designed just like the one in NYC). See the Topaz Corner below for how I used Topaz to transform the rain on glass to something totally different!


In this month’s Topaz Corner I want to show you how you can take a texture that you photograph (or download), and turn it into something totally different. If you’ve watched any of my Topaz webinars you’ve seen a couple of example of this (if you’ve missed any of the four webinars you can find them at http://blog.topazlabs.com/webinar/. At the top of the page you can sort by presenter to find mine. The last one I did in January isn’t posted yet – should be soon! These webinars – by all of the presenters – are a great resource. You can search by product as well if there is something in particular you’d like to find out more about.

So for this demonstration, I will use the image of the Rain on Glass from this week’s Sunday Sampler. You can follow along if you have Topaz Impression.

Open the Rain on Glass image into Photoshop CC or Elements. Duplicate your background layer. Go to Filters > Topaz Labs > Impression 2 (if you have the original Impression, v.2 is a free upgrade).

In Impression we are going to the Painting group of effects and choosing Fine Brush Scumble III. I used most of the preset settings with these adjustments:

Brush 12; Stroke Color Variation .11.

Under the “Color” section (hit the down arrow next to Color), click on the Blue color button and increase the saturation to .09.

Under the “Texture” section, select Canvas VI. Make the texture strength .88 and the texture size .60.

Hit “OK” to apply and return to Photoshop. If you want to remember what you did on this layer you can rename the layer to Topaz-Impression-FineBrushScumble-III. Also, if you’d like to remove any of the little black spots, you can use the healing brush to do so.

Here’s the finished texture:


Don’t forget to experiment with some other presets – you’ll be surprised at the variety of effects you can create with just one texture!



I love having our images printed on canvas – they look quite elegant. My favorite company to use is Canvas on Demand. Their quality and customer service are excellent! I got an email this morning for a reminder of their current sale – 70% off! ENDS SUNDAY AT MIDNIGHT, so don’t delay. Link HERE and use code HEART70. They are not an affiliate so I’m not making any comission on this – I just think they’re the best around!

inkydealsA company that is an affiliate is INKY DEALS. If you’re like me and can’t get enough textures, brushes, fonts, clip art, etc., this is a cool resource for bundles of neat products. Right now they are having a 30% off anything on their website. Link HERE and use the code 30CUT at checkout (can be used up to 3 times per email address). Expires Feb. 15th at midnight CST.

Some other cool freebie finds from the web: Lighting Effects Pack – 50 Free Brushes & Images from Media Militia.

At Graphic Design Junction find new tutorials for 2017. 25 New Adobe Photoshop Tutorials to Learn Editing and Photo Manipulation.

And last but definitely not least…

I am often asked the easiest way to add a watermark to an image. While I “drag and drop” my logo over my image, a quicker way would be to create an Action (actions can be used in CC/CS or Elements, but only created in CC/CS). Online friend, Ken Fisher has some great tutorials on his YouTube channel – here’s the link to the one on creating a watermark actionBe sure to check out some of his other helpful tutorials as well.

Have a great week!



Feb. 5th – Sunday Sampler x 2 + more!

Happy Super Bowl Day!! Before we all gather round the TV for the Big Game, here are some new textures and other goodies!


Since I missed posting last week, this week you get SIX new textures to play around with! Click HERE to grab them! There are some various peeling paint textures, and one of ripples in the sand. I also took the sand texture into Topaz Glow and created something very different! Hope you enjoy! And don’t forget to share your creations in our Facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=textures%3A%20turn%20ho-hum%20into%20a%20work%20of%20art 



Registrations are coming in and we’re gearing up for our presentations – May 20-21st at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center, Southbridge, MA. Dave & I will be heading up there in the next week or so to get some more photos and video to show you all the amenities available. I hope you can join us – sign up on my website at: http://www.meredithimages.com/.

I’ll be featuring more details of our speakers’ programs and their bios over the next few weeks. If you missed it, check the Jan. 22nd post for info on Linda Szabo, and see some of her beautiful floral work.



52-week Challenge

We’re a week behind without last week’s blog post, so there are two ideas you can try this week. Week 4’s challenge was “Cross-Polarization”, a very simple idea you can do at the kitchen table. Week 5 is “Food Landscapes”, also a kitchen table project. Be creative and get the imagination wandering! Click HERE for the article and details.

And share your creations in the Facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1311524515525331/?fref=nf.



Design Bundles has a freebie just in time for sharing the love on Valentine’s Day. Check out this deal and their other freebies and items for sale HERE.


Have a great week!


Sunday Sampler – delayed!

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the late post. I’m going to delay this week’s Sunday Sampler and “double up” next weekend! It was a much busier weekend than planned, with some unexpected changes, and I’m way behind!

Have a great week and don’t forget to try the weekly activity in the 52 week challenge. This week it’s cross-polarization:

“This fun project exploits the effect that polarised light has on some plastics. You’ll need two polarising filters – ideally one of these should be a sheet of polarising film. You can pick up an A4 sheet of Lee 239 polarising film for £50 (try www.robertwhite.co.uk or www.pnta.com). The sheet of film should be placed on a lightbox or in front of the only light source. An iPad screen and most computer screens have a polarising filter built in, so if you don’t have a sheet of polarising film you can always experiment by creating a white document to fill the screen. Simply attach the circular polariser to the camera lens and rotate it to make the colours appear in clear plastic items.”

Check out the full article HERE.


Have a good week,



Jan. 22nd – Sunday Sampler, Webinar + Conference Info

Happy Sunday! This week’s SUNDAY SAMPLER consists of texture images from Cape Cod when we were there over the Thanksgiving holiday. I’ve taken these images and applied various presets in Topaz Impression to create some nice bokeh background images for you to use. Enjoy!


And speaking of TOPAZ, if you haven’t yet signed up for my webinar this week, there’s still time! Click HERE to go to the Topaz site and sign up – it’s FREE! And if you can’t make it on Tuesday, the webinar will be recorded and posted on their website for future reference (it usually takes a couple of weeks to be posted after the event).

I’ll be showing some of the techniques I use to modify textures and how I do some creative editing with the Topaz suite of products.





Linda’s session will be on “The Art of Flower Photography”, demonstrating various techniques in Photoshop that she uses to create her beautiful floral photographs. It will include using layers and masks in PS, Nik Filters, Topaz plug-ins and Textures. She will go into detail and show you how to “clean up” your image and remove unwanted features, and how to apply layer masks to isolate the filters and textures used to best highlight your image. This will also cover a discussion on blending modes and opacity of layers.

Linda has a passion for flower photography and post-processing. She has been a member of the Merrimack Valley Camera Club since 2010, and also a member of the Betterphoto.com online photography community for the past six years with a gallery of award-winning images.

Her work has been shown at The Rockport Community House, The Front Street Art Gallery, Hanover YMCA Laura’s Center for the Arts and The Lawrence Essex Arts Center. She attended Northern Essex Community College Photoshop Processing and on-line webinars for Photoshop Painting and Corel Painting.

Visit Linda’s website at: http://lindaszabophotography.virb.com/ and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/lszabo58?fref=ts.

Get more Conference details and sign up at: http://www.meredithimages.com/





There are a few companies that I have an affiliate relationship with. These are companies that I use myself and that I believe in their products/services and the quality they provide. INKY DEALS is one of those companies. The offer some incredible “bundles” of products for you to use in your work. Everything from brushes, fonts, textures, vector art, presets…the list goes on! Check out their latest deals at INKY DEALS. P.S. There are also some “freebies” available – check the tab at the top of the site!