9-24 Sunday Sampler, 2018 Calendar, Topaz, Tutorials, Sedona

In the midst of a few very busy weeks – lots of seminars, an exhibit, judging and more!


Since I didn’t get a “Sunday Sampler” out last week, this week’s Sampler is SIX textures! These were taken on some of my recent trips – wallpaper, rugs and painted walls in hotels and restaurants! I always said textures are everywhere!


I’ve been asked over the past few years why don’t I create a calendar for sale – so for 2018 I have! This Creative Photography Calendar contains 12 of my “creative” images with textures even on the calendar pages (so the bottom of the calendar is not plain white!). They are on heavy stock and wire bound. And $3 of every sale will be donated to the Nutmeg Clinic here in Stratford, a low-cost spay & neuter clinic who have taken care of our “Kitty Klan”! I’m taking pre-orders on my website. Calendars are $25 each with free shipping (use the code calendar free ship at checkout). They will be shipped by the end of October. Thanks!



Topaz has a new webinar this week – Crafting Your Images with Topaz Studio by my friend, John Barclay. John is an excellent instructor and has done MANY webinars for Topaz. Click HERE to sign up for this free webinar. He will be featuring the DeHaze and Clarity pack in Studio.



I always tell my students to take pictures of great skies! Not only are they beautiful on their own, it’s great to have a library of skies to drop into an image with a boring sky. Here’s some good tips in this article on PictureCorrect.com.

And over on PhotoshopStar.com, there’s a cool tutorial on creating a marble text effect. Check it out!



Our Sedona Workshop is coming up quick – Oct. 20-24. We still have a few spots if you can join us! Click image below for details and itinerary.


Sunday Sampler – postponed!

Hi there!

It’s been a busy weekend at the Durham Fair Grounds with print drop-off day on Sat. and judging on Sun. Plus my 40th (yikes) high school reunion on Sat. night!

Tonight I’m teaching a seminar in Long Island (HDR/Topaz/Textures) and tomorrow night we need to hang and label prints at the fair which opens on Thursday.

So….I’m going to not do a regular Sunday Sampler this week, but I’ll add some extra goodies for you next weekend.


If you’re in CT next Sat., Sept. 23rd, I am having an artist’s reception from 2-4 p.m. at the Bethel Public Library, 189 Greenwood Ave., Bethel. I have 20 images on display this month, and I will have cards, bookmarks and some of my new 2018 calendars available! Stop by and say “hi”!


Thanks for being a part of my community!


Sept. 10 – Sunday Sampler + Click! 2017

On this beautiful weekend in New England we are praying and hoping for the best for all of our friends in Florida.

We spent a couple of days on Cape Cod – I was honored to judge Thursday night at the Cape Cod Art Association competition. SO many beautiful images! Congrats to all of the winners!


This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of “modified” images from some past trips to Cape Cod. Enjoy!

Our Facebook group is growing – we hit 911 members today!! Join us and share your textured work on Textures: Turn Ho Hum into a Work of Art!


CLICK! 2017 Photography Conference

Join the Cape Cod Art Association/Photography Center of Cape Cod for their Click! 2017 conference on Sat., Nov. 4th, 2017.

Keynote speaker is the wonderful Kathleen Clemens who will be presenting three programs. Check their WEBSITE for all the details and on the flyer below.


Sept. 3 – Sunday Sampler + Exhibit + Seminars + Tuts

Happy September! Where did the summer go?? Every month flies by these days and Sept. & Oct. are exceptionally busy for me this year!

Yesterday we headed to Scranton, PA to Steamtown National Historic Site for “Railfest 2017”. We weren’t going to go this year, but when they added a Night Shoot, well, we were IN!

Unfortunately we had some rain to contend with, but got some cool shots. Here’s one of my faves – those white dots are not stars, but raindrops!

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of – what else?  – but rusty textures from some of the old trains in the rail yard. Next to the steam engines, my favorite part! Enjoy!



The columnist for the PSA book review column had asked for my eBook to review about a year ago. It takes a while for reviews to be scheduled into the Journal, and I was surprised to see my eBook in this month’s column – and in a nicely accented boxed format! Thanks Marie!

I am planning to have the “sequel” done by Spring!



Yesterday morning before heading to Steamtown, we hung 20 of my “creative” images at the Bethel Public Library, 189 Greenwood Ave., Bethel, CT.  I’m having an artist’s reception on Sat., Sept. 23rd from 2-4 p.m. I will also have cards, bookmarks and my eBook for sale at the reception. Please stop in and say “hi”!



I have several camera club seminars scheduled for Sept., Oct. & Nov. If you are in the area, please stop by! Even if you are not a member of the club, guests are welcome!

Sept. 6 – Greater Bridgeport Camera Club, Stratford, CT – “Getting Started with ProShow Gold”

Sept. 18 – Island Photo Group, Farmingdale, Long Island, NY – “HDR/Topaz/Textures”

Sept. 27 – Merrimack Valley Camera Club,k Andover, MA – “Calibrating Your Monitor”

Oct. 17 – Castle Craig Camera Club, Meriden, CT – “Photoshop Elements Basics”

Oct. 21-24 – SEDONA, AZ – Our Workshop! See http://www.meredithimages.com/workshops/ for more info!

Nov. 18 – Bronx Photographic Society, Bronx, NY – “Textures & Topaz”



Some cool techniques – 20 Double Exposure Tutorials

And on Light Stalking, 30 Photography Tutorials and Links that You Will Love


Have a great week!

Mid-Week updates on Topaz & Mind Shift Gear

Hi gang!

Just wanted to send out some timely info on a Topaz Clarity update as well as a bag back in stock at Mind Shift Gear!




August 29, 2017 – September 12th, 2017

Topaz Clarity is now a part of Topaz Studio! With improvements to the Precision Contrast and HSL Adjustments, combined with selective masking, blending, and other tools available for free within Topaz Studio, now you can access the power of Topaz, faster than ever!

– Included as Studio Adjustments – Going forward, you can access Topaz Clarity from the Studio application directly. That means Clarity can now be accessed without a paid host editor!
– Faster Processing and Startup Speed – New GPU processing utilizes the powerful rendering capabilities of your graphics card to exponentially increase your workflow speed. More creating and less waiting.
– Improved contrast separation algorithm for unique independent control of targeted contrast, lighting and color manipulation.
– Use all the powerful masking, healing, correction and other tools within Topaz Studio for free, instantly accessible when you open Clarity in Topaz Studio

See all the new features and changes HERE!

To celebrate, we’re giving a 30% discount on the on the Clarity Pack in the Topaz Studio Store, now just $34.99 through September 12th 2017, no coupon code needed, the price is automatically discounted in the store.



GOOD NEWS!  Our friends at MindShift Gear have let us know that they are back in stock on their extremely popular new PhotoCross sling bags.  The first shipment of these bags sold out in about a week, so grab one while they’re available.  They feature weatherproof zippers and abrasion-resistant materials, plus a carrying system for tripods or jackets. They come in two sizes and colors, Orange Ember and Carbon Grey.

The PhotoCross 10 fits an ungripped DSLR and one to two lenses, plus a 10” tablet, or a Mirrorless body and three to five lenses, plus a 10” tablet.  The PhotoCross 13 fits an ungripped DSLR, two to four lenses, including a 70–200mm f/2.8, and some 13” laptops.  And don’t forget that when you use our special URL (CLICK HERE) you will receive free gear (such as a memory card holder or GoPro pouches) and free shipping with your orders of PhotoCross and all MindShift Gear (co-founded by ThinkTank Photo).




Aug. 27 – Sunday Sampler, ThinkTank New Release, Tutorials

After a stunningly beautiful weekend here in CT, we send our thoughts and prayers to those in Texas who are inundated with flood waters and still a long way to go till it ends.

This week’s Sunday Sampler begins with an image of red and black rust that I then took into Topaz Impression and then changed up the color palette in Topaz ReStyle. Enjoy!


Our friends at ThinkTank Photo have released the new Spectral Shoulder Bags featuring one-handed gear access and increased protection from theft and the elements.

“With Think Tank Photo’s new Spectral shoulder bags, photographers can remain inconspicuous while shooting, knowing their valuable cameras and lenses are safer from theft and the elements. A magnetic Fidlock clasp enables quiet, one-handed access to gear — and then locks automatically when closing the flap. An additional zippered closure gives peace of mind while traveling and can be tucked away when actively shooting. Constructed with durable yet stylish materials, the Spectral Shoulder Bag offers Think Tank quality and ingenuity at a reasonable price.

The Spectral 8 fits one standard size DSLR body with a wide or short zoom, a 24–70mm f/2.8 detached, plus one to two small extra lens, and an eight-inch tablet. Or, it fits a Mirrorless kit with three to four lenses, including the 50–140mm. The Spectral 10 fits one standard size DSLR body with 24–70mm attached, a 70–200mm detached, one to three extra lenses, and a 10” tablet. The Spectral 15 fits one standard size DSLR body with 24–70mm attached, a 70–200mm detached, two to four extra lenses, flash, a 10” tablet, and a 15” laptop.

“For pro and serious amateur photographers who want to upgrade their camera bodies and lenses, selecting an appropriate shoulder bag is not a light decision. While they may be taking their first forays into professional-level glass, they also are monitoring their funds,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo’s CEO and lead designer. “We designed the Spectral series with them in mind. It integrates our history of innovation and dedication to sourcing the highest quality materials, while being sensitive to a photographer’s budget.”

• 15” Laptop compartment (Spectral 15 only)
• Tablet pocket (Spectral 8: 8”, Spectral 10 & 15: 10”)
• Phone pocket sized for today’s large phones
• Tripod attachment points and straps
• Highest quality materials (metal hardware, YKK RC Fuse zippers, 420D velocity nylon) and the highest quality construction
• Luggage handle pass-through
• Comfortably padded non-slip shoulder strap for all day comfort
• Customizable divider layout with dividers for stacking short lenses
• Internal pockets to hold batteries, card wallets and other accessories
• Water bottle pocket
• Seam-sealed rain cover included

While maintaining our commitment to using the highest-quality materials available, we were able to bring the Spectral 8 in for under $100!


Exterior: All fabric exterior treated with durable water resistant coating while fabric underside is coated with polyurethane for superior water resistance. The bag also has YKK® RC Fuse (abrasion resistant) zippers, 420D velocity nylon, double PU coated P600D, heavy-duty nylon tarpaulin, UltraMesh pockets, antique plated metal hardware, Fidlock® mangetic buckle, 350G 3D air mesh, 3-ply bonded nylon thread.

Interior: PE board reinforced removable closed cell foam dividers, 200D liner, PU backed nylex liner, 2x PU coated nylon 210T seam-sealed taffeta rain cover, 3-ply bonded nylon thread.


Topaz Studio 1.1 has been released! Download HERETopaz continues to make upgrades and fix issues. Studio is a great way to use all of your Topaz Products in one handy place in addition to doing all of your basic editing (no Photoshop needed!).

Check out the webinar I did for the National Photography Enthusiasts Group (NPEG) a couple of weeks ago on Topaz Studio: Click HERE. And if you’d like more info on NPEG, go to their website at: http://www.npegroupusa.org/


80 Free Photoshop Typography Tutorials

I love type (I used to be a typesetter in the pre-desktop days). And I love to see what creative designers come up with for cool text effects. Some of these are simple – some more complex. But articles like this are also a good source of inspiration to come up with other ideas of your own.

Also be sure to check out the links to the right of the webpage – there are free fonts, brushes, textures and more! Enjoy!


8/20 Sunday Sampler + Recorded Webinar

Happy Monday!

Sorry I’m late this week! Was away in PA this weekend at “Bead Fest”! One of my other hobbies is making jewelry. Took some classes and learned new techniques plus did a LOT of shopping!

Hope you had a chance to view the eclipse today! Here in CT we weren’t in the path of totality, but some of us went outside at work and did the pinhole in the plate technique and someone let us all borrow their glasses to get a direct glimpse. Cool!



This week’s Sunday Sampler is textures from “Victory Theater” in Massachusetts that we visited in 2015. Old buildings are GREAT for textures!

No one guessed the answer to last week’s “what was this original image”! The original was a quilt of fabric circles found hanging on a wall in an antique consignment store! Here’s the pic:

So those who guessed a rug weren’t TOO far off the mark!


NPEG Topaz Webinar — it WAS recorded!

Last Monday I did a webinar for NPEG (National Photograpy Enthusiasts Group) that they graciously let me invite my readers to. I didn’t think it would be recorded, but it was! So if you missed the live event, here is the link to watch on YouTube: http://bit.ly/2impNoC

Thanks to Mark Perry for having me do another webinar for NPEG and for allowing us all to watch and share.

If you’d like more info on NPEG, here is their website: http://www.npegroupusa.org/



The months keep flying by and before we know it, it will be October and time for our Sedona Workshop! It’s not too late to sign up – 3 spots available. Click on the flyer below for all the details!

I also have several camera club seminars scheduled for the fall – click HERE to go to the full list. If you’re in the area feel free to stop by – camera clubs always welcome guests!



8/13 Sunday Sampler + Webinar + Tuts

Happy Sunday! Hope you are enjoying this beautiful day!

This week’s Sunday Sampler is something a little different. I’ve given you some images you can use to replace or blend with a blah background, especially florals. BONUS! If you are the first one to email me this answer — what was the “Soft Floral Bkgd” original image? Hint – no it’s not flowers! Send the correct answer and win a set of textures from my online shop, the Peacock Studio!


Some of you have downloaded the free Topaz Studio, but may not be sure of what it can really do. Or if you don’t have it yet, why should you get it? What does it do? Does it work with Lightroom? Is it compatible with the rest of the Topaz Suite?

Tomorrow night, Monday, Aug. 14th, 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, I am doing a live webinar for NPEG – the National Photography Enthusiasts Group – and they have graciously allowed me to invited you, my dear reader! It is FREE to register.

Click here to register:

I hope you can join me as we explore a little bit of what Studio does and how I use it in my workflow. (This is a one-time presentation and will not be recorded.)

From Lightstalking, “5 Freebies to Help You Get Creative with Your Photography”.

From DIY Photography – an article on a subject my students ask about all the time. What is the best way to format your memory cards? (And, what else to do or not do with them!). Check it out HERE.

And from Ken Hubbard at Tamron, a good article on “How to Photograph Night Skies in the National Parks”.


Aug. 6th – Sunday Sampler + More!

Happy August! Wow, summer is just flying by! Today is a beautiful day in CT – 70’s and a nice breeze with low humidity! Love having windows open instead of the air conditioning!

Yesterday my hubby, Dave, and I visited the Danbury Railway Museum in Danbury, CT, for their annual “Rail Days”. He signed up to do a “hands on the throttle” session where he was able to actually control a train within the rail yard! He had great fun!

So this week’s, Sunday Sampler consists of peeling wood from some of the old rail cars in the museum.



Denise is retiring some of her collections to make room for new items! You can grab one or more of these collections for just $8 (originally $24 or more) but only until Tuesday when she changes her website page!!! So don’t wait – head over there now to check them out! Click HERE to visit the site and add to your collection (or start a new collection!).



I always like to share resources that I find – especially freebies – and PhotoshopCafe.com offers some great tutorials and videos on techniques in Photoshop, Lightroom and more. Check it out HERE!



And over at PhotoshopTutorials.com, you can download “18 Electrifying Lightning Strikes”! They also have a package of 180 different ones for just $5 (scroll to the bottom of the article). Be sure to click on the downloads at the bottom of the article and not the advertisments to the right (not for the freebies!).



I’m excited to announce that Tamron Image Master, Mike Moats, will be joining the line up for the Creative Photography Conference, May 19-20, 2018 at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center!


July 30th – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! We got back this afternoon from a nice trip to Upstate/Western New York! Stopped the first night in Ithaca and on Fri. morning went to Taughannock Falls – beautiful and BIG! You can see in this pic with hubby just how small he looks next to the falls! I didn’t get the “silky” water look in this shot – didn’t think I’d be doing much photography this weekend and didn’t bring a tripod for the long exposure. But this shot actually shows the power of the water better!


This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of textures from this weekend’s adventures – cool tree bark from the trail to the Falls; a blue table top from a 1950’s table at “Found” Antiques in Ithaca; and a ceiling tile from our hotel room! Yep – textures are EVERYWHERE!! 🙂 Remember, you can always use a part of the texture or change the color with a hue/saturation adjustment.



Hard to believe we’re heading into August in just a couple of days – our Sedona Workshop will be here soon! Join us in this most gorgeous location for a variety of photographic opportunities. Click the flyer image below to get all the details!



It’s official – I signed the contract on Thursday! Our 2018 Conference will be May 19-20 at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center in Southbridge, MA! Mark your calendars and stay tuned for details on our speaker line up! We’re planning to add even MORE seminars and hands-on sessions!