Aug. 28th – Sunday Sampler + Topaz Info

Summer is just about over…kids going back to school…Labor Day next weekend…heading into my favorite season…the cooler days of Fall! Bring on the Pumpkin Spice coffee!

This week’s Sunday Sampler is made up of textures from our trip this summer to the Strasburg Railroad in Lancaster, PA. The wood and rust textures have been modified with Topaz products (Impression and Simplify). The wood shot was taken indoors, hand held, and was a little blurry. Never fear – textures to the rescue!! I used Topaz Impression to blur it some more to turn it into a useful texture! The rusty ones weren’t blurry to start with, but I did soften the look – Simplify on one and Impression on the other. SO many possibilities!

And speaking of Topaz, if you haven’t yet grabbed the sale deal on TOPAZ GLOW 2, the sale ends Friday, Sept. 2nd. If you don’t already own the program – click HERE to go to the website, then use the code GLOW2 to save 30% (reg. $69.99, on sale for $48.99).

If you own the original Glow, this is a FREE upgrade – just log in to your account and go to the downloads page. I’ve been told that right now you will only see “Glow” on the downloads page, but if you download it you will get Glow 2.

Over 30 new presets – I’ve been playing quite a bit with them to create some new textures for the Peacock Studio — will be releasing some new items THIS WEEK! Watch for the update!


Our Facebook group, “Textures: Turn Ho-Hum into a Work of Art” broke the milestone of 500 members today! Woo hoo! There has been lots of great work being shared – if you haven’t joined us yet, please do – we’d all love to see what you’re working on!


If you didn’t see my Facebook post yesterday, this is an image I worked on last week. Used Topaz Simplify and Topaz B&W to soften the colors, my own texture in the background. I’ll be showing how I did this (along with some other projects) in my next Topaz Webinar on Nov. 15th. All of their old webinars (including mine from December, March and July) are on the website at:



If you are thinking about joining me and Dave for our Sedona Workshop, October 15th-18th, we have just 3 spots left! If you have never been to Sedona, you MUST see the beautiful Red Rocks – gorgeous! And if you have been there, you KNOW you want to return!! Click HERE for all the details!

Downtown Pano for canvas - 36 x 9


Aug. 21 Sunday Sampler, Upcoming Events, Tutorials


Happy Sunday! Our Sunday Sampler textures this week is a combination of two textures — wood and old paper. I then created three versions of the texture for you – greys, sepa, and grungy browns. I can’t wait to see your creations! If you haven’t yet joined our textures Facebook group, please do! And then post your creations with my textures or others!



Are you familiar with the Out of Chicago Photography Conference?  They’ve put together the most amazing, inspiring, and fun photography conference for 3 years now downtown Chicago.  It’s gone so well, they’ve decided to expand this amazing event by bringing it to New York City.

As the “Shooting-est Photography Conference on Earth”, not only will you learn in a classroom setting with photographers like Lindsay Adler, Bryan Peterson, Rick Sammon, Valerie Jardin, and MORE, but they’ll also take you on the streets of Manhattan to use what you learn!  One of the many reasons for its success is the smaller, more intimate class size.  You will be in a classroom with no more than 40- 60 people (other than the keynote speakers), and you will be able to interact with your favorite instructors!

Out of New York is set for Friday and Saturday October 14 and 15, 2016.  Included in your fee is 2 full days of classes along with many social photowalks to choose from.  There will also be opportunities for educational, smaller photowalks for an additional charge.  Check out the Sunday, full day on-the-street workshops too!  In honor of Hunt’s Photo as one of the sponsors, please use code Gary50 for $50 off the $299 price.  Sign up at or email for more information. The full schedule is about to be released, and if you sign up soon, you will be able to choose classes before it’s released to the public.

Here is what attendees from the summer Out of Chicago 2016 event had to say:

Attendee Jessica Zoller Kaplan posted in the 2016 Attendee Facebook group…

“As I continue to process the many amazing moments of this weekend, I’m feeling inspired, motivated and grateful to have been a part of something so special. Thanks to Chris, Malinda, Michelle and the whole team for your work on this incredible conference. (I’m already signed up for OOC2017 – are you?) Thanks in particular to Angie, Ron, Levi, Bryan, Valerie, Tim,Ken, Steve, Steve, Eugene, Corwin, James, Rick and Scott for your wisdom and encouragement. My feet and shoulders were aching last night, but the view from Maggie Daley Park made it all worth it.”

Per Bette J. Kauffman, “Thanks to Chris Smith and the ‪#‎OOC2016 team for a terrific experience.”

From Jim Jones

“HUGE thanks go out to Chris Smith and the entire army of volunteers and speakers – Out of Chicago 2016 was phenomenal! It was fun, educational and inspiring! Grateful to have met so many great people and to have learned from so many awesome photographers and instructors. You guys are awesome!!!”

We look forward to seeing you in New York City!!

Chris, Malinda, and Michelle, The Out of Chicago team



Also be sure to check out all of the classes, photo walks, and events at Hunt’s Photo –



I love to share cool sites and “stuff” that I find with all of you guys, and this bunch of tutorials is way cool! has a great bunch of 27 Photoshop tutorials sure to challenge your skills – check em out HERE! Be sure to poke around on the site – there are LOTS more cool things to discover.


And over on SpoonGraphics’ blog, he has posted a video of 25 Photoshop Tips Tricks & Shortcuts you probably didn’t know. Chris Spooner has a great blog – be sure to sign up for it as well.


Have a great week everyone!

Aug. 14th – Sunday Sampler

Hi everyone,

I’ve been hiding out indoors all weekend – it’s TOO hot/humid out there for me! Yep, I’m a wimp! But I have been working on some new goodies to be released soon! New textures, and some new brushes/overlays of Post Cards, Postmarks (early 1900’s) and more! Stay tuned!!

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of cracked and peeling paint from an old door, window and train car. Remember, if you like the texture but not the color, change the image to a B&W so you only get the effect of the texture.



On Friday I sent a post that Glow 2 would be available Tuesday — guess what? It’s available NOW! Be sure to grab your discount if you don’t already own the program – click HERE to go to the website, then use the code GLOW2 to save 30% (reg. $69.99, on sale for $48.99). The sale price runs through Sept. 2nd.

If you own the original Glow, this is a FREE upgrade – just log in to your account and go to the downloads page. I’ve been told that right now you will only see “Glow” on the downloads page, but if you download it you will get Glow 2.

I really like the new presets (over 30 new ones). Many of them are very subtle looks – that, of course, you can modify as desired.

Have a great week!

Topaz Glow 2 Update – Coming Tuesday!

Next Tuesday (8/16/16) Topaz will be releasing Topaz Glow 2, an updated version of their electric lighting and glow effect software, complete with new features. As always, the update is free to anyone who already owns Glow. And for those who don’t own it, Glow 2 will be on sale (30% off!) from August 16th – September 2nd. Click HERE to go to the website, then use the code GLOW2 to get the discount! Reg. $69.99, sale price $48.99.

New features in Glow 2 Include:
– Over 30 New Presets – That brings the total to over 100 included effects to amplify your images or give you a boost creating a personal look you love.
– New Masking Module -You no longer need a host editor like Photoshop to create masks on your images! Now, you can open Glow 2 and mask areas of your image directly from the application using luminosity, color selection, a spot mask, or a traditional brush mask, and yes it’s color aware🙂
– Unlimited Undo/Redo – That’s right! As long as you don’t close the program you can now undo or redo to your hearts content (as far as your system memory will allow.)
– Topaz Community Integration – Topaz Glow 2 is the 3rd of our products to include the Topaz Community, an easy way for users to search save and share custom made presets with other Glow 2 users around the world. Surf an ocean of hand crafted presets, then download and apply with a click. Or share your custom presets for other users to try.
– Automatic Preset Backup – as long as you’re signed into your account when you save a preset, that preset will be privately uploaded to the community then synced on any other machine you sign into.
Here are some images I created with the new software:

New York Central HDR+Topaz Glow 2-Wonderland-web

Sunflower Field-Glow II - Fur & Feathers II

AND…As I’ve demonstrated in my Topaz Webinars, you can take a texture and modify it with Topaz products as well:


Texture 1

With Topaz Glow > Afterglow > Darkening

Texture 2

With Topaz Glow > Afterglow > Wanderlust

Texture 3

You can continue to expand your library of textures by modifying with Glow, Impression, Texture Effects, Simplify and more!


There have been some compatibility changes to the program as well. Glow 2 requires Windows 7+, Mac OSX 10.9+, and a GPU with OpenGL 3.3 or higher (this replaces the older requirement for OpenGL 2.1). Be sure that your computer is able to handle these requirements so that the program will work!

Aug. 8, 2016 Sunday Sampler + Think Tank new products

Today Dave & I visited the Danbury Railroad Museum for their Railroad Days. We both love photographing trains, especially the older ones, and of course, rust and peeling paint! So this week’s Sunday Sampler is 3 textures from today’s shoot! Shades of blue – rust, scratches and flaking paint. The “scratched” image has some texture from Topaz Glow. And although we typically like even lighting when photographing textures, the Flaking Paint image shows that bright sun can create interesting shadows as well. Click here to grab this week’s textures.

Here is an HDR image from today as well – 3 bracketed shots processed in Photomatix Pro. I then took it into Photoshop and added Topaz Detail, masking it away from the sky so only the train and ground were affected.

New York Central HDR-web


New Gear from Think Tank Photo:

“Think Tank Photo to Release Complete Video Bag Line for ‘Run & Gun’ Assignments and Larger Video Productions

If you are a pro videographer who is tired of having to reassemble your video rigs between locations, Think Tank Photo has just released seven new professional video gear options.  In addition to being lighter weight and more features than traditional hard cases, the Video Rig Rollers enable you to hit the ground running by leaving your camera rigs fully assembled between shoots. For traveling videographers, the Video Transport Rollers allow you to carry on the maximum amount of gear on the plane with you.

Finally, designed for everyday use, the three new Video Workhorse shoulder bags are your on-the-go toolbox for professional video.  Don’t forget that with my special arrangement with Think Tank you receive a free accessory and free shipping with your orders of all of their gear.

Click HERE to go to their website check out all the goodies!

Video Rig

24 Launch Special at Design Cuts – 2 Lil’ Owls Textures!

Hi Friends,

Most of you know that I love the textures by Denise Love of 2 Lil’ Owls. Design Cuts has launched a new bundle of tons of NEW textures, borders, masks, and some tutorials — but the launch price of $19 is only good for 24 hours! Don’t miss this one!



Do you love textures?

Well it’s time to get excited, as you can now access the biggest ever collection from texture legend Denise Love, the mastermind behind 2 Lil Owls.

After months of preparation, the Totally Hand-Crafted Texture Toolbox is here – bringing you 400+ hand-made textures, tons of creative bonuses and in depth video workshops! You’ll learn exactly how to work with your new textures, and even how to create your very own from scratch!

To celebrate this launch, the Totally Hand-Crafted Texture Toolbox is available for 51% off for the first 24 hours only. After this, at 3pm GMT, August 3rd the price will return to $39. If these textures and workshops were sold at Denise’s usual price point, they would cost over $400!


July 31st Sunday Sampler + Sale Ending tonight!

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some concrete and rust – all taken at various train museums and historical sites. Click HERE!



Hopefully you were able to catch my Topaz Webinar this past Tuesday. If not, the recorded webinar will be posted soon on the Topaz website – I’ll let you know when it’s up.

If you are interested in purchasing any Topaz products – or completing your suite of products – there is an exclusive discount from my webinar that expires in just a few hours! Click this link to go to the page: and then use the code hazelweb3 at checkout to save 25%. 

To see what your upgrade to the full suite would be, log in to your account after going to the above page. You can then still use the code to save an additional 25%!

We’ve scheduled my next webinar for November 12th – stay tuned for details!



I’ve also been running a sale on my textures eBook and the new textures that I released with the opening of the “Peacock Studio”. The eBook is reg. $20, on sale for $15 (CD or digital), and texture bundles are reg. $6 on sale for $4 — just until midnight! Grab them now!


Have a great week! Can’t believe tomorrow is August already!


Sunday Sampler July 24th

Spent this hot summer day inside with the AC! Finished practicing for my Topaz Webinar on Tuesday (if you haven’t yet signed up, go here to join in: ). I’ll be demonstrating taking a texture and changing it with Topaz, then applying it to an image.

I then spent some time playing in the Peacock Studio with stamp pads, watercolors and spray stains to create some new textures – watch soon for new goodies in the store!

This week’s Sunday Sampler textures began with one Rusty Chevy – then with the help of Topaz products, it turned into two totally different looks. Click HERE to check them out!

1-Rusty Chevy


Till next week….stay cool!

July 17th – Sunday Sampler

Short post this week —

Just back from a fabulous weekend at the New England Camera Club Council Conference (NECCC) at UMASS, Amherst, MA! Always wonderful to meet up with old friends and make new – sharing the weekend with almost 1,000 other photography enthusiasts from New England and beyond!

In “honor” of the weekend, this week’s textures are images I took at the conference in the “Photo Ops” rooms – with a few modifications of course!

Click HERE for this week’s textures!

Downtown Pano for canvas - 36 x 9

If you are contemplating joining us for the Sedona Workshop in October – don’t delay – there are just 3 spots left (max 8).

Click here for all the details: 2016 Sedona Flyer

New Design Cuts Mammoth Bundle!

HI everyone,

Earlier today the cool kids at Design Cuts released their latest bundle — and I think this is a great one for photographers (and scrapbookers too) — The Mammoth Textures, Patters & Backgrounds Bundle.

“This new collection is the most extensive textures, patterns and backgrounds collection of all time! There are literally thousands of best-selling resources, created by some of the most talented designers in the world. Each one of these textures would take you hours of work to produce, and so having this vast library available whenever you need it is a life-saver for any designer! For a limited time only, you can get this entire collection for 99% off the regular price. Grab the bundle for just $29!!

Here’s why this bundle will prove invaluable for your regular design work:

  • The variety is huge! You’ll find everything including gold, marble, geometric patterns, wood, grunge, vintage, artistic surfaces, old-time maps, bold patterns, space images, chalkboard, papers, hand-drawn patterns, watercolours, bold modern surfaces, vector overlays, digital papers, 3D designs and more! Whatever design you specialise in, this bundle is a treasure trove of gorgeous items, designed to help your work to shine.
  • The quality is fantastic. These items were created by seriously talented, experienced designers. The surface textures have been professionally photographed, keeping them super sharp and high-res. The seamless patterns and digital papers have been beautifully hand-crafted with care and attention. The artistic textures have been carefully constructed and layered up to give the most stunning results possible!
  • This is an exclusive chance to own all of these incredible resources for a massive 99% off the regular price. You also get the best licensing available anywhere, through our extended license.”

I have several of the Design Cuts bundles and the quality is always top notch. This batch includes 7 sets from Two Lil’ Owls – and if you’ve been following my work, you know I love Denise’s textures (thanks to Design Cuts I own over 1,000 of them!).

This photo shows an overview of all the fantastic items included in this bundle, but CLICK HERE to go to the website and get all the details! Don’t wait too long to grab this deal – it expires in just over 20 days!