10-15 Sunday Sampler +

Happy Sunday! It hasn’t felt very much like Fall so far this October! Warmer and more humid than normal for CT! Guess we should enjoy it while we can before our next season comes barreling through!

Yesterday Dave & I went to an Fall Festival at the New Pond Farm in West Redding, CT. A smaller event, but the feature was a birds of prey demonstration. Beautiful birds!

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So this week’s Sunday Sampler consists of textures from the Farm – freshly shorn sheep’s wool and straw from a newly made broom! Enjoy!

We’ll be heading out later this week for our Sedona Workshop – can’t wait to get back to beautiful Red Rock Country. Bet you can guess where next week’s “Sampler” will be from!

 

FREEBIES FROM AROUND THE WEB

I found these 20 cool text effects on Inspiration Hut.

An awesome resource for all kinds of textures and more is LostandTaken.com. Check it out!

And check out these Tips on Photographing Fall Foliage from PictureCorrect.com

 

Have a great week!

10-8 Sunday Sampler +

Feeling more like Aug. than Oct. these past few days! Can you say “HUMID”? Guess we shouldn’t complain – it will be Winter before we know it!

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of textures from Maryland – a brick floor and wall from Ft. William Henry and a cane seat from the B&O Railroad Museum. Enjoy!

 

UPDATE TO TOPAZ DETAIL

In case you missed my mid-week post, they have released an update to Topaz Detail. If you don’t already have Detail — you SHOULD! Topaz Detail is my “go to” last step for “sharpening” my images. I no longer use any of the PS settings for sharpening. I think Topaz Detail gives me much better results and greater control over each area of my image.

Topaz Detail is now accessible from with Topaz Studio (a free download). Click HERE to get the special sale pricing on Detail! Save 25% on Topaz Detail Pack (normally $39.98, now just $29.99) in the Topaz Studio store through Friday 10/19/17. You do not need a coupon code for the promo, just click on the link above.

In order to access Topaz Detail in Studio, users will need to download the Topaz Studio application, which you can get here: https://web.topazlabs.com/downloads/

There are no need for license keys Detail in Studio, all licenses are synced through your account automatically when you sign in. As always, previous Detail plugin owners also get this new Adjustment for free as part of the free upgrades for life program, you just need to sign into Topaz Studio with the account you purchased Detail with to receive this automatic upgrade.

ABOUT DETAIL:
Designed to give you crystal-clear sharpness from real image details. Sharpness is the first thing you experience in a photo. And when you see an image where it’s done really right… it’s shockingly beautiful. It’s almost surreal. Because that’s something that we don’t see everyday: a photo where every single detail jumps out at you, grabs your attention, and never lets go. Most image sharpeners apply global sharpening to the entire image, causing undesirable halos and other side effects. Topaz Detail is different. Detail identifies small, medium and large structures in the image, and allows you to manipulate their sharpness separately, with no halos or artifacts. The result? Naturally sharp images other photo editors can’t reproduce, and the ability to completely change the style of your image.

GRAB YOUR COPY OF TOPAZ DETAIL TODAY!

AND…MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR MY NEXT TOPAZ WEBINAR – TUES., DEC. 5TH AT 5:00 PM Eastern Time.

 

FREEBIES!

Check out this awesome post from SuperDevResources with more than 350 free blurred backgrounds. HINT: Check the Google suggestions at the bottom of the page for more free resources!

 

CALENDAR 

I’m getting ready to place my order for calendars this week. My 2018 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 – be sure to hit “apply” after entering the code). They will be shipped by the end of October. Thanks!

 

Have a great week!

TOPAZ DETAIL UPDATED!

I don’t normally do mid-week posts, but this update to Topaz Detail went live today and I didn’t want you to miss out!

If you don’t already have Detail — you SHOULD! Topaz Detail is my “go to” last step for “sharpening” my images. I no longer use any of the PS settings for sharpening. I think Topaz Detail gives me much better results and greater control over each area of my image.

Topaz Detail is now accessible from with Topaz Studio (a free download). Click HERE to get the special sale pricing on Detail! Save 25% on Topaz Detail Pack (normally $39.98, now just $29.99) in the Topaz Studio store through Friday 10/19/17. You do not need a coupon code for the promo, just click on the link above.

In order to access Topaz Detail in Studio, users will need to download the Topaz Studio application, which you can get here: https://web.topazlabs.com/downloads/

There are no need for license keys Detail in Studio, all licenses are synced through your account automatically when you sign in. As always, previous Detail plugin owners also get this new Adjustment for free as part of the free upgrades for life program, you just need to sign into Topaz Studio with the account you purchased Detail with to receive this automatic upgrade.

ABOUT DETAIL:
Designed to give you crystal-clear sharpness from real image details. Sharpness is the first thing you experience in a photo. And when you see an image where it’s done really right… it’s shockingly beautiful. It’s almost surreal. Because that’s something that we don’t see everyday: a photo where every single detail jumps out at you, grabs your attention, and never lets go. Most image sharpeners apply global sharpening to the entire image, causing undesirable halos and other side effects. Topaz Detail is different. Detail identifies small, medium and large structures in the image, and allows you to manipulate their sharpness separately, with no halos or artifacts. The result? Naturally sharp images other photo editors can’t reproduce, and the ability to completely change the style of your image.

GRAB YOUR COPY OF TOPAZ DETAIL TODAY!

 

Oct. 1 – Sunday Sampler +

Happy October! I LOVE Autumn and it’s beautiful colors. Must be cause I’m a November baby!

Yesterday hubby and I visited the New York Botanical Garden to catch the Chihuly glass exhibit before it ends on Oct. 29th. If you are in the area and haven’t been yet, make it a point to catch this display! We saw his work at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix a few years ago – still beautiful!

 

So I took small parts of some of the “blocks of ice” sculpture for this week’s Sunday Sampler! Remember, you can always change the color of your textures with a hue adjustment or a color overlay, or turn the B&W to get the texture effect without the color. Enjoy!

 

FACEBOOK GROUP HITS 1,000 MEMBERS!

I was super excited to see our textures Facebook group hit over 1,000 members this past week (we’re already at 1036!)! To celebrate the milestone, we gave away some prizes!

50 members will each receive an electronic copy of my 2nd eBook when it is published in the Spring; 25 members received a $40 credit to the Peacock Studio; and two lucky people received a complimentary registration to the 2018 Creative Photography Conference – CONGRATS TO Lorraine Cassista and Kathy Detweiler!

If you are not already a member of “Textures: Turn Ho-Hum into a Work of Art”, go HERE to join us! And check the pinned post to see if you are a prize winner.

 

FROM AROUND THE WEB

I had a discussion at a camera club this past week about “back button focusing” – what it is and how do you do it. Here’s a good article by Cole’s Classroom that gives you the details: HERE

From Photoshop Tutorials comes a cool composite of a “Dazzling Dancer”.

 

 

 

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!

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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 WEBINAR COMING THIS TUESDAY!

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.

 

HOW-TO’s

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!

 

LAST CALL FOR SEDONA!

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!

Hazel

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!

https://meredithimages.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/meredith-images-sunday-sampler-logo-layered-tan-textures.jpg

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!

 

REVIEW IN PSA JOURNAL OF MY eBOOK

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!

 

EXHIBIT OF MY PHOTOS

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”!

 

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS & SEMINARS

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”

 

TUTORIALS

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!

 

TOPAZ CLARITY UPDATE

CLARITY PROMOTION STARTING NOW!

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.

 

MIND SHIFT GEAR

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.”

KEY ADDITIONAL FEATURES
• 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!

MATERIALS

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!