Jan. 15 – Sunday Sampler + More!

Happy Sunday! This week’s Sunday Sampler contains more “natural” textures from our visit to the New York Botanical Gardens yesterday. These green leaves are great for hiding a busy background behind a flower or other subject. You can always add a Gaussian Blur to these to soften the effect. And don’t forget about changing blending modes and opacity! Enjoy!



Week 3 – Smoke Art. This week’s is a little less complicated than the last two! This week you actually have several options. While the instructions in the challenge article have you photographing smoke, you can actually also create some creative images using smoke BRUSHES! Scroll down on the link page for more free smoke brushes.

Here are some wildly creative ideas to get you thinking!


THANK YOU to all of those who completed the survey!

I appreciate your time and comments. Overall, you guys like the blog and its content, including the “Sunday Sampler”! In our upcoming “Topaz Corner” columns you’ve stated you would like info on how to use specific Topaz products – so I will be giving you some info on that. I will focus on how the plug-ins work, as well as how you can “stack” them to obtain different effects. I will also give you some ideas as to how I decide which plug in to try on which type of image.

In the “I’m Curious” columns (which start today), you primarily want info on Photoshop & Lightroom, with maybe a little bit on “general” photography. So I’ll keep this column moving between topics and give you info on various subjects, including some of the ones asked for in the comments section of the survey.

In the Peacock Studio shop, you’ve asked for more textures, brushes and word art – a product that I will feature soon. I’ve been working on some great word art for you to utilize in your images. I am also developing more brushes.

In the “I’m Curious” column I will also talk about how to best use the products from the shop!

For the topics of upcoming online tutorials, overwhelmingly you asked for sessions on “working with Topaz products”, and second most popular, “working with textures” – both near and dear to my heart! I will work on those, and in the meantime my next Topaz webinar is in a couple of weeks on Jan. 24th. Sign up over on the Topaz website at: http://blog.topazlabs.com/webinars/. If you can’t make it on the 24th, they do record the webinars and post them on their website.

And remember, any time you have a question, suggestion or comment, I would love to hear from you. Email me at Hazel@MeredithImages.com. Thanks again!



In this first of our new monthly column, I’m going to answer a question from the survey. A reader stated they were having a difficult time understanding how to apply a “crop shape” or “clipping mask”. This PDF of instructions is what I wrote and include with the “Crop Shapes” for sale in the Peacock Studio.

Click HERE for the instructions.

Anything can become a clipping mask – a shape or even words can be used – like these:





Next week I will begin featuring the work of my speakers for the “Creative Photography Conference”, May 20-21, 2017. I hope you can join us!

Have a great week!

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