Tutorial Thursday Jan. 23

Being Creative with Your Images

Sometimes for the Sunday Sampler I take one image and make several versions in post-processing. Today I’m going to give you an example of doing that with an image.

This is my original image of a swamp in Florida (we were on an airboat).

I had been helping a student the other day with a similar image, and we discovered if we applied the “Radiance” filter in Studio 2 (at a very low number), we could get a foggy/hazy look:

So then I started trying other effects. I started the original image and opened Nik Color Efex Filters > Midnight:

Still in Nik, I went back to the original and tried the Vintage Filter:

I then took my original from Photoshop into Topaz Studio 2, using a B&W preset:

Finally, I tried one in Smart Photo Editor and got this Faded B&W look:

I think this one may be my favorite!

So play and have fun with your images – you never know where software can take you!

WEBINAR!
“Topaz Studio 2 – Creativity Unleashed!”

This past Sunday I did a webinar for NPEG (National Photo Enthusiasts Group). Mark Perry, group founder, recorded the webinar and you can view it on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSKcpvGPgJQ&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0_TkIX2KmL1nrhgpR847STJphZFW3f59rfmbvHrQs20cxeFdGwahF1F5I

This webinar was geared towards a Studio “newbie” and reviews how to navigate around the program, save images, and some creative editing.

For more info on NPEG, check out their website at: https://www.npegroupusa.org/

Reminder – New Cosmos textures
are 50% off till 1/31/20!

I’ve added two groups of Cosmos textures to the Peacock Studio. These are large groups of 12 textures each, 15″ x 15″, 300 dpi. These were created on the iPad in Procreate!

Regular price $12 per set – on sale 50% off until Jan. 31, 2020 (midnight EDT).

GROUP 1:

GROUP 2:

Around the Web Jan. 21, 2020

PHOTOSHOP

On Photoshop Tutorials, “How to Add Photorealistic Puddles in Photoshop”

From Video Tutorials 411, “Simple Trick to Make Buildings Dramatically Taller!”

And on Web Design Dev, “Create Awesome Photo Effects with These 20 Amazing Photoshop Tutorials”.

From FStoppers, “Try These Creative Compositing Techniques”.

WEBINAR!
“Topaz Studio 2 – Creativity Unleashed!”

This past Sunday I did a webinar for NPEG (National Photo Enthusiasts Group). Mark Perry, group founder, recorded the webinar and you can view it on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSKcpvGPgJQ&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0_TkIX2KmL1nrhgpR847STJphZFW3f59rfmbvHrQs20cxeFdGwahF1F5I

This webinar was geared towards a Studio “newbie” and reviews how to navigate around the program, save images, and some creative editing.

For more info on NPEG, check out their website at: https://www.npegroupusa.org/

Introducing the
RETROSPECTIVE BACKPACK 15L
FOR DSLR & MIRRORLESS CAMERAS

Built for Backroad Adventure Travel
Whether bushwhacking through the outback or horse packing in the Wild West, the Retrospective Backpack 15 is built for back-road adventure travel.

This classic-styled rucksack features rugged yet form-fitting canvas that is treated with DWR to repel the elements. A zippered security flap under the lid tucks away to provide rapid top access, while the back panel offers full access to your gear, including a 15-inch laptop.

Superior construction, comfortable harness and legendary Think Tank quality inspires confidence so you can focus on the shot.

“The combination of photo and personal gear carry makes the Retrospective Backpack the perfect bag for adventure travel,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank CEO and Lead Designer. “It’s a natural addition to the Retrospective shoulder bag series, with all of the style and design details that have made the line so popular.”

CHECK OUT ALL THE DETAILS HERE!
And with this link you’ll receive free gear on purchases over $50 PLUS free shipping!

Barns & Back Roads Workshop Update!

I mentioned in my newsletter last week that I added one more workshop, May 2-5, 2020 — THERE IS NOW JUST ONE SPOT LEFT! If you are interested, sign up now!

Details on the website: https://www.meredithimages.com/product-category/workshops/

APRIL WILL BE HERE BEFORE WE KNOW IT!
Don’t miss out on the
4th Creative Photography Conference
April 25-26, 2020
MeadowView Resort & Conference Center
Kingsport, TN

TWO DAYS OF CREATIVITY!

Creative photography and post-processing techniques featuring: Creative Landscapes; Post-Processing (PS, Topaz, Textures); Creativity with Lens Baby Lenses; iPhoneography; hands-on photo-ops, and much more!

SPEAKERS:

Ken Sklute (AZ) – Canon Explorer of Light – Landscape artist, storm chaser, hot air balloonist

David Kelly (PA) – Topaz Instructor and Lens Baby creative

Cheryl Parris (GA) – Digital composite artist

Roni Chastain (NY) – Photoshop and photo walks

Hazel Meredith (TN) – Texture artist; iPhoneographer

Loretta Paul-Goldin (CT) – Creating textures with alcohol inks

REGISTRATION INCLUDES:

Sat. & Sun. seminars and photo-ops; coffe/tea & refreshments in the mornings; lunch both days; speaker notes on a flash drive; door prizes and a goodie bag with discounts and freebies! Also – vendor tables for your shopping pleasure.

HOTEL RESERVATIONS

We have a block of rooms reserved at $130/night. Link on our website.

PRE-CONFERENCE SESSIONS ON FRIDAY

If you’d like a hands-on, intensive session on “Creative Editing with Topaz” or “Working with Textures”, then come join David Kelly or Hazel Meredith on Friday from 1:00-4:30 pm.

DETAILS AND REGISTRATION ARE ON OUR WEBSITE AT:
https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/

Sunday Sampler Jan. 19

Happy Sunday! What a difference a week makes – last Sat. was 75 degrees, now we’re heading into the 30’s this week (average for this time of year is 45 in TN). Though I’m not complaining about a little chill – we’re not shoveling snow anymore!

Sunday Sampler 01-19-2020

This week’s Sunday Sampler takes one of the new Cosmos textures from last week and gives you 3 more versions created by hubby, Dave! He used various Topaz products (Impression, Precision Detail and some presets) to create these versions for you! Just a hint of the many things you can create from any texture! Enjoy!

And speaking of the Cosmos textures…

I’ve added two groups of Cosmos textures to the Peacock Studio. These are large groups of 12 textures each, 15″ x 15″, 300 dpi. These were created on the iPad in Procreate!

Regular price $12 per set – on sale 50% off until Jan. 31, 2020 (midnight EDT).

GROUP 1:

GROUP 2:

BARNS & BACK ROADS WORKSHOPS
UPDATE!

I mentioned in my newsletter this week that I added one more workshop, May 2-5, 2020 — THERE IS NOW JUST ONE SPOT LEFT! If you are interested, sign up now!

Details on the website: https://www.meredithimages.com/product-category/workshops/

And don’t miss out on the
4th Creative Photography Conference!

Details at: https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/

Tutorial Thursday Jan. 16

Using Cosmos Overlay to Create an Evening/Night Image

As I mentioned on Sunday, I took one of my new Cosmos textures and made multiple versions with Topaz ReStyle.

I used the “Muted Gray Walls” version over one of my barn shots to create the look of night.

I started with this original image:

I began with a Preset/Look in Topaz Studio 2 called “Striking Grit”, which I had used when I originally edited this photo.

I then brought in the Cosmos-1C-Muted Gray Walls texture above the other layers. I found the original sky to be “too much” when I blended the Cosmos, so I added layer masks to the original image and the Striking Grit layer to remove the sky. I then added a mask to remove most of the Cosmos texture from the barn and foreground.

Here is my final layer stack:

And the final image:

And speaking of the Cosmos textures…

I’ve added two groups of Cosmos textures to the Peacock Studio. These are large groups of 12 textures each, 15″ x 15″, 300 dpi. These were created on the iPad in Procreate!

Regular price $12 per set – on sale 50% off until Jan. 31, 2020 (midnight EDT).

GROUP 1:

GROUP 2:

REMEMBER…As I did with the texture in the barn image, you can use Topaz, Photoshop or almost any program to change the colors of the textures, desaturate to B&W, make them Impressionistic and so much more! The first texture in Set 1 (pink & blue) is what I changed to the colors for the barn image!

Around the Web Jan. 14, 2020

On Sunday I mentioned an image that I used a Sunday Sampler texture on – but forgot to add the photo! So here it is:

On Thursday I will show you how I did this!

PHOTOGRAPHY

From PictureCorrect.com, “5 Creative Composition Tips in Photography” and “Top 10 Sports Photography Tips”

FREEBIES

Some freebies from Pixelo:

Roastink Font – a casual script font (free for personal use)

Amaranthine Font – another script font (free for personal use)

And Aletcia Font – one more script (free for personal use)

BUNDLE DEALS

And if you haven’t enough fonts yet, Pixelo has a new bundle, “The Smashing Sans Serif Fonts Bundle”!

186 Fonts across 38 Font Families.

This bundle comes with a full license for personal or commercial use.

Just $29! CLICK HERE to grab yours!

APRIL WILL BE HERE BEFORE WE KNOW IT!
Don’t miss out on the
4th Creative Photography Conference
April 25-26, 2020
MeadowView Resort & Conference Center
Kingsport, TN

TWO DAYS OF CREATIVITY!

Creative photography and post-processing techniques featuring: Creative Landscapes; Post-Processing (PS, Topaz, Textures); Creativity with Lens Baby Lenses; iPhoneography; hands-on photo-ops, and much more!

SPEAKERS:

Ken Sklute (AZ) – Canon Explorer of Light – Landscape artist, storm chaser, hot air balloonist

David Kelly (PA) – Topaz Instructor and Lens Baby creative

Cheryl Parris (GA) – Digital composite artist

Roni Chastain (NY) – Photoshop and photo walks

Hazel Meredith (TN) – Texture artist; iPhoneographer

Loretta Paul-Goldin (CT) – Creating textures with alcohol inks

REGISTRATION INCLUDES:

Sat. & Sun. seminars and photo-ops; coffe/tea & refreshments in the mornings; lunch both days; speaker notes on a flash drive; door prizes and a goodie bag with discounts and freebies! Also – vendor tables for your shopping pleasure.

HOTEL RESERVATIONS

We have a block of rooms reserved at $130/night. Link on our website.

PRE-CONFERENCE SESSIONS ON FRIDAY

If you’d like a hands-on, intensive session on “Creative Editing with Topaz” or “Working with Textures”, then come join David Kelly or Hazel Meredith on Friday from 1:00-4:30 pm.

DETAILS AND REGISTRATION ARE ON OUR WEBSITE AT:
https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/

Sunday Sampler Jan. 12, 2020

Wow – I thought New England weather was fickle – the South is just as crazy! Yesterday was 75° out and gusty. A major line of storms came through in the evening (sadly with tornadoes in some areas), with crazy rain and some lightning. Although there were severe weather alerts in our area, it wasn’t too bad and we made it through just fine. I must say, having weather alerts set up on our phones is a good thing!

This week’s Sunday Sampler contains one of the Cosmos textures from my new releases coming out later this week! I took this texture and ran it through Topaz ReStyle (one of the older modules), and changed the color palette of the texture. Below is an example of how I used one of the versions in my barn image – in “Tutorial Thursday” I will show you how I did this! Enjoy!

APRIL WILL BE HERE BEFORE WE KNOW IT!
Don’t miss out on the
4th Creative Photography Conference
April 25-26, 2020
MeadowView Resort & Conference Center
Kingsport, TN

TWO DAYS OF CREATIVITY!

Creative photography and post-processing techniques featuring: Creative Landscapes; Post-Processing (PS, Topaz, Textures); Creativity with Lens Baby Lenses; iPhoneography; hands-on photo-ops, and much more!

SPEAKERS:

Ken Sklute (AZ) – Canon Explorer of Light – Landscape artist, storm chaser, hot air balloonist

David Kelly (PA) – Topaz Instructor and Lens Baby creative

Cheryl Parris (GA) – Digital composite artist

Roni Chastain (NY) – Photoshop and photo walks

Hazel Meredith (TN) – Texture artist; iPhoneographer

Loretta Paul-Goldin (CT) – Creating textures with alcohol inks

REGISTRATION INCLUDES:

Sat. & Sun. seminars and photo-ops; coffe/tea & refreshments in the mornings; lunch both days; speaker notes on a flash drive; door prizes and a goodie bag with discounts and freebies! Also – vendor tables for your shopping pleasure.

HOTEL RESERVATIONS

We have a block of rooms reserved at $130/night. Link on our website.

PRE-CONFERENCE SESSIONS ON FRIDAY

If you’d like a hands-on, intensive session on “Creative Editing with Topaz” or “Working with Textures”, then come join David Kelly or Hazel Meredith on Friday from 1:00-4:30 pm.

DETAILS AND REGISTRATION ARE ON OUR WEBSITE AT:
https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/

Tutorial Thursday Jan. 9

Creative Editing of Hawk Photo

A couple of Saturdays ago we had 2 red tailed hawks visit our property. They both landed at the top of a tree at the far end of our yard, about 200 feet away. The first one flew off pretty quickly, but the other stayed for quite a while. I had time to get my Sigma 150-500mm lens out and my tripod.

The hawk started to do lots of preening, and Dave actually got this shot (I had left everything set up when I went off shopping with a friend!). He kept taking shots for a while till the bird disappeared.

Even at 500mm on a crop-sensor Canon 70D (which makes the lens at about 800mm), you can see he or she was still very small in the frame in this original image:

So I brought it in to Photoshop, cropped it heavily, then brought it in to Topaz Studio 2. First I ran AI Clear (this filter adds sharpening, gets rid of noise and adds clarity all at once).

The vertical lines in the background are not caused by the software – they are there in the original – it’s other trees further in the background!

So while this was an OK capture – not competition worthy, but a decent “record” shot – I, of course, decided to add a little drama to it with some textures!

So I duplicated my layer in Photoshop and went back to Studio 2. I applied the look/preset Peeling Paint (one of my faves), and then added an additional grunge texture of my own. I also did a vignette in Studio 2 to darken the edges. I masked the look and texture off of the bird to keep him brighter. Here is the final image:

An option now would be to smooth out those background “lines” using the healing brush or clone stamp. But I think they’re a little less predominate with the texture and darker effect.

As photographers, we know the “rules” and that rules can and should be broken at times. Here is a good article about the “Living with (and Without) the Rule of Thirds” from PictureCorrect.com.

Around the Web – Jan. 7

Due to popular demand, I have added an additional “Barns & Back Roads Workshop”! The dates will be Sat. May 2nd-Tues. May 5th. There are two spots available, so act quick if you are interested!

Click HERE for details and to sign up!

Design Cuts just released their first bundle of 2020!

The Creators Diverse Design Collection

This bundle includes patterns/textures, Photoshop effects, hand lettered fonts, Procreate brushes, text effects and much more!

As always, it’s just $29 (a $1014 value). CLICK HERE to grab yours now!

FREEBIES

DID YOU KNOW…that Adobe offers creative freebies to customers? Items include textures, actions, brushes, templates, mock ups, graphic design items and so much more! CHECK IT OUT HERE!

AND…You can also create your own portfolio website for free with Adobe! Check out ADOBE PORTFOLIO.

PHOTOSHOP TUTORIALS

Like me, you may have heard of “luminosity masking” but didn’t really know what it was. I had a general idea, but hadn’t seen a tutorial that explained it clearly – until now! This one from Digital Photography School is pretty thorough. “How to Enhance Urban Night Photographs Using Luminosity Masks in Photoshop” is worth checking out!

Sunday Sampler Jan. 5, 2020 – Revised!

So as soon as I hit “publish” on the earlier blog post, I realized I forgot the links for the “Sunday Sampler”! While I revised it right away, the email of the blog post doesn’t have the live link. CLICK HERE for the updated blog post and link!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! Hard to believe it’s 2020!! Stay tuned to the blog regularly for all the new happenings at Meredith Images and the Peacock Studio this year!

This week’s Sunday Sampler has some dramatic sky overlays! Yesterday had the BEST skies – stormy and pouring to the East and clearing blue skies and puffy white clouds to the West! I took some shots of the edge of the storm system, and just as I was getting ready to post this blog, Dave noticed the great sun rays coming through the clouds – so I added one of those too!

This kind of texture/overlay is great when you have a really blah gray/white sky. Overlay one of these, mask if needed off of your subject, and voila, an interesting sky for your image. Here’s an example:

A shot of the Baltimore skyline from a water taxi:

While it wasn’t truly an overcast day, the day was hazy and lacked color.

There are two ways to use the overlay:
1) Lay the sky over the image, reduce the opacity so you can see the image below, and use a layer mask to mask the sky off the subject.
2) If you have lots of hard edges in your subject (like in this image), make a selection of your subject then hit Control+J to copy the selection to a new layer. Bring in the sky overlay between the two layers.

Screen shot of my layers.

Finished image – has much more “punch” than the original!

NEW SUNDAY SAMPLER GROUP IN THE PEACOCK STUDIO STORE!

Group 7 = 93 Textures & Backgrounds

You can always download at least 6 months of Sunday Samplers through the blog.

Once 12 months have passed, I bundle the oldest 6 months of Samplers and place them in the Peacock Studio for sale. This group is from Jan.-June, 2019. You can still download July-December 2019 through the blog posts.

Sunday Sampler Groups are regularly priced at $15 each, but you can grab the newest bundle for 33% off through Monday, Jan. 6th! CLICK HERE!

AND, if you are a new reader to the blog, you can grab an extra special deal – all 7 Sunday Sampler Groups, regularly priced at $90, also 33% off through Jan. 6th! CLICK HERE for the deal!

USE THE COUPON CODE
NEWYEARBUNDLES
at checkout to save 33%!

Sunday Sampler Jan. 5, 2020

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! Hard to believe it’s 2020!! Stay tuned to the blog regularly for all the new happenings at Meredith Images and the Peacock Studio this year!

This week’s Sunday Sampler has some dramatic sky overlays! Yesterday had the BEST skies – stormy and pouring to the East and clearing blue skies and puffy white clouds to the West! I took some shots of the edge of the storm system, and just as I was getting ready to post this blog, Dave noticed the great sun rays coming through the clouds – so I added one of those too!

This kind of texture/overlay is great when you have a really blah gray/white sky. Overlay one of these, mask if needed off of your subject, and voila, an interesting sky for your image. Here’s an example:

A shot of the Baltimore skyline from a water taxi:

While it wasn’t truly an overcast day, the day was hazy and lacked color.

There are two ways to use the overlay:
1) Lay the sky over the image, reduce the opacity so you can see the image below, and use a layer mask to mask the sky off the subject.
2) If you have lots of hard edges in your subject (like in this image), make a selection of your subject then hit Control+J to copy the selection to a new layer. Bring in the sky overlay between the two layers.

Screen shot of my layers.

Finished image – has much more “punch” than the original!

NEW SUNDAY SAMPLER GROUP IN THE PEACOCK STUDIO STORE!

Group 7 = 93 Textures & Backgrounds

You can always download at least 6 months of Sunday Samplers through the blog.

Once 12 months have passed, I bundle the oldest 6 months of Samplers and place them in the Peacock Studio for sale. This group is from Jan.-June, 2019. You can still download July-December 2019 through the blog posts.

Sunday Sampler Groups are regularly priced at $15 each, but you can grab the newest bundle for 33% off through Monday, Jan. 6th! CLICK HERE!

AND, if you are a new reader to the blog, you can grab an extra special deal – all 7 Sunday Sampler Groups, regularly priced at $90, also 33% off through Jan. 6th! CLICK HERE for the deal!

USE THE COUPON CODE
NEWYEARBUNDLES
at checkout to save 33%!