Around the Web – Sept. 24

FREEBIES & A NEW BUNDLE FROM PIXELO

I’ve often mentioned Pixelo’s fabulous bundles of goodies. But they also offer some cool FREEBIES on their website as well! CLICK HERE to check them out!

One of the new freebies is this cool font called “Fitamint”

And if you want to build up your font library even more, check out their newest bundle, the “Mix Fonts Bundle” – 88 fabulous fonts! There are still a few other active bundles on the site, so poke around while you’re there!

GENERAL INFO & TECHNIQUES

From PictureCorrect.com – “Photography Composition Essentials: Depth or Perspective”. It never hurts to review the basics of photography!

And also from PictureCorrect.com – “13 Habits of Highly Effective Photographers”.

BACKGROUNDS

Over on Design Your Way, “Fall Background Images That You Can Use in Your Designs”. The article also includes a tutorial on “How to Create a Realistic Fall Background in Photoshop”.

And free from MochiDeals, “75 Premium & Abstract Gradient Backgrounds for Your Projects”.

VECTOR ART

From DesignerCandies.com, some spooky “Halloween Vector Illustrations”. And while you’re on the site, check out the Free Textures & Backgrounds HERE

NEW PRODUCTS

Weighing only 7.5 lbs. (3.4kg), the Airport Advantage XT rolling camera case from Think Tank Photo meets increasingly restrictive International airline requirements, yet still provides the ample quality and protection you’ve come to expect from Think Tank. The Airport Advantage XT fits two gripped DSLR camera bodies and several lenses, enabling traveling photographers to carry the maximum amount of gear on the plane.

The Airport Advantage XT is available in Black and a proprietary two-tone “Graphite” fabric — giving the case a stylish look that doesn’t proclaim that it’s a bag full of expensive camera gear.

“The weight of rolling camera cases is always a challenge when flying
internationally,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank CEO and Lead Designer. “The Airport Advantage XT delivers the carry capacity and protection you’ve come to depend on from Think Tank, but now at a fraction of the weight.”

Mo DeLong with the Airport Advantage XT at the San Francisco Airport.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Specially designed interior to maximize gear for carry-on. Meets most U.S. and International airline carry-on requirements
  • Ultra-lightweight design weighs only 7.5 lbs. (3.4 kg), keeping your bag under weight restrictions
  • Front pocket fits up to a 17” laptop and 10” tablet
  • Custom designed retractable handle with inset channel on aluminum tubing adds strength and durability
  • Side pocket for tripod mount (additional straps included for larger tripods)
  • Extra tall handle height keeps the bag away from your feet when rolling
  • YKK® RC Fuse zippers, and closed-cell PU foam are the highest quality materials in the industry
  • Fits up to two gripped camera bodies with lenses attached
  • Lockable zipper sliders (lock not included)
  • Interior zippered pockets for batteries, CF cards, filters and accessories
  • User replaceable retractable handle, wheels, wheel housings, and front foot
  • Custom-designed, high-performance, 80mm super quiet wheels with sealed bearings
  • Seam-sealed rain cover included
  • Grab handles on three sides for lifting bag into the overhead bin
  • Closed-cell foam dividers support heavy gear and maintain strength over time
  • Hypalon reinforced rear corners increase durability
  • Business card holder on top for identification

WHAT FITS:

  • Ex. 1: Two Gripped DSLRs with lenses attached, plus 5–8 additional lenses
  • Ex. 2: Mirrorless video kit with lenses, batteries, DJI Ronin-S and DJI Mavic Pro
  • Up to a 17” laptop

For more info and to purchase, visit www.ThinkTankPhoto.com

June 30 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Half the year is over already – Yikes! Our Tennessee plans are shaping up – we have closed on both pieces of land – just about ready to order our modular – land work to start soon! Can’t wait till we head South to stay!

This week’s Sunday Sampler has six textures (since we didn’t post last week). I started with an image of wallpaper that had a nice texture to it, and created five more variations with adjustments in Topaz. Enjoy!

At then end of every six months, I create a new bundle of Sunday Sampler Textures (you can still download Jan. 2019 to current). I posted the new bundle in the Peacock Studio today! This bundle of 88 textures originally appeared in blog posts from July-Dec. 2018.

The Sunday Sampler Bundles are Regularly $15. But you can grab Bundle 6 – or any of the other five bundles – on sale for 25% off ($12 each) until July 31st.

AND if you are new to the blog and wish to get all six bundles (a total of 468 Textures & Overlays), there is an extra special discount – Reg. $80 for the 6 bundles, now on sale for just $60 until July 31st! SAVE 33% off the price of individual bundles!

CLICK HERE to go to the Peacock Studio and check them out!

My friends at Pixelo have set up a special discount just for my readers! You can save an extra 10% off the already hugely discounted bundles with the code meredith10 at checkout.

Their current bundle is the beautiful “Incredible Watercolor Designs Bundle” that contains 100+ design sets with over 2500 unique elements – watercolor illustrations, clip-arts, patterns, textures, brushes & more!

These are great for business cards and invitations, scrapbooking, web design and so much more. Check it out HERE – Value $2655 – now just $29 – and don’t forget to use the discount code meredith10 to save an extra 10%!

Just in time for July 4th fireworks shows, is an article on PictureCorrect.com on “How to Photograph Fireworks”.

This is a photo of 3 individual bursts combined in Photoshop. These 3 images were also part of the Sunday Sampler last July. Next weekend I will do an “Inside the Peacock Studio” tutorial on how I merged these in PS.

This is another merged shot of mine:

The folks at ThinkTank Photo have released a new holster bag – the Digital Holster 150.

This bag can handle your BIG lenses. It’s designed to offer quick access and transport for your super telephoto zoom lenses. With the versatility of a 150–600mm, you don’t need a backpack full of lenses to shoot wildlife or sports photography. Instead, a camera holster dedicated to a single DSLR body with a 150–600mm attached is an ideal solution.

The Digital Holster 150 is a top-loading solution that minimizes the weight and bulk of bigger bags so you can focus on the action. Wear the holster comfortably on a belt or over the shoulder, so you’re ready to shoot at a moment’s notice.

Visit their website HERE! AND, get free gear and free shipping (on orders over $50) when you use my code 141200.b44092 in the Affiliate Box at checkout!

May 5 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Cinco de Mayo! If the rain would ever stop it might actually feel like Spring! Pretty flowers are in bloom, however. Hope you have time to get out and do some photography!

Last weekend I was teaching at the CanAm Photo Expo in Buffalo. While we were driving to Buffalo the Wed. before, an inspection was being done on a house we were hoping to purchase in TN. Unfortunately, there were some structural issues and we decided not to proceed.

So…we decided to make a bonsai run to TN when we left Buffalo on Sunday! We got to Charleston, WV Sunday night. Then drove to Greeneville, TN on Monday morning arriving just before noon to meet up with our realtor. Spent about 3 hours looking at 3 properties, then hit the road to start home! Stayed in VA and got home early afternoon Tuesday! LOTS of driving for sure! We thought we had a property and then found out they don’t have access to high-speed internet — which, of course, is critical for me!

Sigh…the search continues!

Since there wasn’t a blog post or Sunday Sampler last week, this week we have six textures included – various types of surfaces I’ve been photographing over the past few weeks. Enjoy!

Thank You!

To all those who completed my survey! The results were clear on topics that you want covered – Topaz was a resounding first, with Textures & Overlays a close second. Photoshop techniques – compositing, layers & masks and using brushes were all pretty much tied for third.

The types of photography that you want to learn more about – Flowers/Gardens and Landscape/Nature were almost tied for first; Still Lifes and Abandoned Places 2nd and 3rd respectively.

The majority chose extended videos (10-30 minutes) as the preferred format, with live webinars a close 2nd.

So…stay tuned for some upcoming tutorials! I’ve decided to add a new column to the blog – “How I Did That” (or similar name) – starting in a week or two. I’ll take an image I’ve posted on social media and give you the details of how I did it!

I am also planning some upcoming videos, so you’ve all helped with the direction that those will take.

Just 2 Weeks Away!

May 18-19 is our 3rd Creative Photography Conference! Don’t miss out! Check out all the details on our website at:
https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/

LOTS of great info for you this week. There are some Freebies and tutorials as well as some great bundle deals and new products.

1. From WebDesignDev.com – two articles. While there are tons of apps available for iPhones, it’s harder to find good editing apps for Androids. “20 Best Photography Android Apps to Create Awesome Photo Effects” gives you some good ideas. And “Create Awesome Photo Effects with these 20 Amazing Photoshop Tutorials” will get your creative juices flowing! Don’t forget to check out their “Freebies” tab as well!

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2. From PhotoshopSupply.com – a free “Photo to Line Art” conversion action.

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3. An awesome new bundle from Design Cuts – tailored to photographers! “The Totally Eclectic Photography Bundle” contains TONS of presets, overlays, textures, styles and more! A $900 value for just $29!

CLICK HERE to check out this great deal.
Expires in 8 days!

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4. And from my friends at ThinkTank/MindShift, a couple of new products.

The BackLight Elite 45L joins the BackLight line up as a larger backpack for those longer hikes into the back country.

Get deeper into the backcountry with the BackLight® Elite 45L backpack. 45 liters of available space provides ample room for both camera gear and adventure equipment, such as a length of rope, ice axe, snowboard/skis, laptop, tablet, and of course, a tripod.

Weather-resistant zippers and materials protect your gear when trekking in the elements. And like the other BackLight backpacks, rear-panel access adds security when traveling since your camera gear is protected behind your back.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Storm proof construction with YKK® AquaGuard® zippers and waterproof/tearproof Sailcloth
  • Superior Fit: Robust lumbar padding, hip-hugging waist belt, quick-dry back panel, and foam ridges for increased ventilation
  • Back and top panel access to all of your camera gear, allowing you to work out of your bag without getting your harness dirty or wet

CLICK HERE to check out this bag and the full line of BackLight products.

And for a smaller bag, the Stash Master 13L. A travel cube that enables you to expand the photo gear capacity of any large backpack/roller/duffel, or increase personal gear space in the MindShift® Backlight Elite 45L for multi-day excursions.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Padded insert allows you to use your own bag or increase personal gear space in the MindShift Backlight Elite 45L
  • Water resistant fabric and DWR coating keeps your gear protected
  • Sized to fit pro gear including a gripped body attached to a 70–200mm f/2.8

CLICK HERE to check out the Stash Master!

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5. And one more bundle offer! From Pixelo, “Mega Illustrator Brushes Bundle”.

NOTE: This bundle is ONLY for ILLUSTRATOR, NOT PHOTOSHOP!

But if you’re an Illustrator user, you can grab over 3200 brushes to help with your design work. Value $600 – for just $29!

CLICK HERE for this awesome bundle!

March 24 – Sunday Sampler

I think Mother Nature forgot to change the calendar to SPRING! It’s been chilly here in CT this week. Some areas had quite a bit of snow and tragic flooding in the mid-West. Stay safe everyone.

This week’s Sunday Sampler is an assortment of textures – a green grungy cracked wall, wet gravel on a trail, and wood grain door. Enjoy!

NEW TEXTURES – SALE ENDING TONIGHT!

Don’t forget to grab your copy of my 3 new texture sets – Bokeh 2; Galaxies 2; and Grunge 1! Reg. $6 per set – on sale till midnight tonight EDT for $4.50 per set! CLICK HERE to visit the Peacock Studio!

Design Cuts released a new bundle this week, the “All Purpose Creative’s Design Kit”. I started playing around with some of the new fonts and illustrations, and came up with the birthday card below. After I did one with the watercolor splashes in the background, I tried it with an old paper texture that I created – I think I like that one even better!

Check out the bundle HERE! It expires in just 8 days, so don’t miss out! Just $29 for $1510 worth of resources! See below for a preview of all the goodies!

Another cool bundle of goodies from Pixelo – the “Ageless Vintage Bundle: 55 fonts and 100+ Designs”.

Check out the goodies:

This bundle is also Just $29 (for $1299 worth of products). It expires in 27 days. Check it out HERE!

If you are a studio photographer who also shoots on location, you know what a pain it is to haul around light stands. ThinkTank has come up with a new bag just for you!

Think Tank Photo has just released their Stand Manager 52 rolling case, and it’s an ideal solution for storing and transporting stands of any kind. The case holds up to 4 turtle base C-stands, multiple traditional light stands, or modifiers up to 52” long. It features multiple tie-down straps to secure your stands inside, oversized, shock-absorbing wheels, and rear skid rails which allow you to load in and out of your vehicle with ease.

Click HERE to go to the website for all the details!

Freebies & Finds!

On WebDesignDev “20+ Free Design Goodies” includes fonts, textures, mock ups and more.

And from PictureCorrect.com, “7 Tips to Make Your Photos Stand Out”

Have a great week!

March 17 – Sunday Sampler

When we’re all “Irish for a Day”! Enjoy the festivities!

For this week’s Sunday Sampler, I took a colorful sunset reflected in water and created three more versions that will make great overlay/textures for your photos. And remember, you can change up the colors or even use as B&W to just get the effect of the texture. Enjoy!

3 NEW TEXTURE SETS!

I JUST added 3 new texture sets to the Peacock Studio store. Bokeh 2, Galaxies 2, and Grunge 1. These 3 are on sale for 25% off for one week only, till next Sunday 3/24 (no code needed).

These will make great backgrounds or texture overlays to your photos, for scrapbooking or other digital creations.

Check them out on our website HERE!
(Just click on the Textures group)

And don’t forget – the “pre-sale” of “Working with Textures & Overlays: Turn Ho-Hum into a Work of Art – Book 2” ends tonight at midnight EDT. Save $5 with the code preorder5. And if you still don’t have Book 1, you can also save $5 on that one with the code firstbook5 (you can use both of these codes at checkout).

If you order the electronic version of book 2 I will send the link by return email. If you order the DVD, those will be shipping right around the end of March (they are in production now).

Think Tank Photo’s New “Vision” Shoulder Bag Series Blends Form with Function

Great Photography Begins with a Vision. The ability to visualize a picture
before you release the shutter is essential to getting that perfect shot. With the Vision Shoulder Bag Series, you can get all the right gear to the right place, so you can turn your vision into a great photo.
Sized for professional lenses, the Vision Shoulder Bag Series is designed not only for capacity but also for security. With its zippered top closure, your gear will stay safe and in place.
This Internal zippered flap also provides a secure closure for additional weather and theft protection, and tucks away when not in use.
The Vision series fits wide variety of DSLR and Mirrorless camera kits in a customizable padded divider system, providing ample room for pro-sized lenses and hoods. The shoulder bags also feature dedicated pockets for smartphones, 10-inch tablets, and laptops up to 15 inches (Vision 10 = 10” tablet only, Vision 13 = 10” tablet + 13” laptop, Vision 15 = 10” tablet + 15” laptop). All three shoulder bags offer tripod attachment straps, which attach to web loops on the bottom of the bag.
A luggage handle pass-through and reinforced top grab handle make the Vision a versatile traveling companion when attached to your roller. Other standout features include a comfortable shoulder strap, waterproof tarpaulin bottom, expandable water bottle pocket and a rain cover.
Constructed with durable yet stylish weather-resistant materials, the Vision offers access, security, and the quality you’ve come to expect from Think Tank.
“Great photography begins with a vision,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo’s President and lead designer. “The Vision shoulder bag series is designed to fit DSLR and Mirrorless camera gear with pro-sized lenses and hoods, making an ideal carry solution for professional and aspiring photographers alike.”

GEAR CAPACITY
Vision 10: Fits one standard size body with a wide or short zoom plus 1–2 small extra lens, 10” tablet. Fits 24–70mm f/2.8 detached. OR fits a Mirrorless kit with 3-4 lenses including the 50-140mm
Vision 13: Fits one standard size body with a 24–70mm attached + 1–3 extra lenses, and a 10” tablet. Accommodates 70–200 detached.
Vision 15: Fits one standard size body with a 24–70mm attached, 2–4 extra lenses, flash, a 10” tablet and a 15” laptop. Accommodates 70–200mm detached.

Click Here to visit ThinkTank’s website for all the details!

Don’t Miss Out!

May 18-19, 2019
at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center, Southbridge, MA

The clock is ticking! This is our last New England Conference!
And our hotel room block is only guaranteed until mid-April – the Brimfield Antiques Weekend is the same weekend as our event this year and the hotel will sell out!

Read the bios and see examples of wonderful photographs by our talented line-up of speakers over on our website.

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

Special offer! I gave each speaker a discount code to use on social media and at other events they teach at. MY code is Meredith25 – save $25 on registration. This code expires March 31st and will not be extended! Take advantage to save some $$.

An interesting and helpful article over on Picture Correct: “Polarizing Filters: What They Are and When They Can Be Used in Photography”

FREEBIE ALERT! I get an occasional newsletter from Designer Candies where they share some cool Freebies! This week’s newsletter included: “Free Seamless Grass Patters and Textures”. Also available are Concrete Textures and Animal Pattern Textures. Check the website for lots of other goodies.

And over on Media Loot, “21 PSD Blackboard and Effects” (scroll through – some are for purchase and some are free).

And, one more Freebie! From Web Design Dev, “20 Free High Quality Brush Sets”.

Sept. 30 – Sunday Sampler

Happy End-of-September! Another busy month flown by! Pulled out most of our veggie garden this morning – sad face! Did leave the grape tomato plant – still producing fruit!

This week’s Sunday Sampler is 4 versions of one texture – a texture I photographed in the restroom at the location of my workshop last weekend in Troy, NY!! I told everyone they needed to take some pics (and I did see a few doing so)! Textures are found EVERYWHERE! This was some great painting techniques on the wall.

#1 is the original with Clarity and Detail; #2 is Topaz Impression Cave Dweller; #3 is Simplify-Buzz Sim Split Toned I; and #4 is #3 with a hue/saturation adjustment to make it green (great for a background on flowers). Enjoy!

 

Released this week – A.I. Gigapixel 2.0!

• Using GPU mode is now 5x faster! With some optimizations to the GPU processing in A.I. Gigapixel, we’ve improved the speed of processing by around 5x on full-size images (it scales based on the size of your image, so a small image might be 3x) with the same 1-2 million calculations per pixel and the same amazing results.

And don’t forget about all the powerful updates from A.I. Gigapixel 1.1 released earlier this month.
• Expanded system compatibility with a CPU mode, which allows more users without a robust GPU to run A.I. Gigapixel on their machine.
• 6 new Artificial Intelligence models for different scaling (200%, 400%, 600%) across three settings for input image quality:
– None – For high-quality images without noise, results in much better detail retention
– Medium: Improved versions of the included enhancement models
– High: For images with lots of noise and artifacts, produces a smoother artifact free enlargement while retaining and enhancing perceived details in the image.
• Resolved issue with not retaining DPI sometimes
• Resolved sizing issue with size not passing through correctly sometimes

Click HERE to check out all the details of the amazing product. Reg. price $99.99 – save 15% when you click on THIS LINK and use the code MeredithImages at checkout.

Here is one of my images that I processed – the original was sized 4″x6″  – I enlarged it 600% to 24″x36″ – the detail is amazing!

You can batch edit, as well as process single shots. One more amazing product from the folks at Topaz Labs!

 

From Creative Bloq – the 29 best iPhone AppsA few of these I have – a few I’ll be checking out!

The gang at Design Cuts is turning 5 this week! This is one of the best companies for bundles of goodies – textures, fonts, clip art and much more! Bundles sell for a reasonable $29 for TONS of great products. They also have a marketplace where you can find individual products. Watch for lots of freebies and special deals during the Birthday Bash!

Their latest bundle is “The Deluxe Textures and Patterns Bundle” – $2321 value for just $29! Check it out HERE!

 

And a couple of new product releases from ThinkTank Photo.

Emergency Camera Rain Covers

With Think Tank Photo’s new Emergency Rain Covers, photographers need no longer be caught off guard by bad weather. The Emergency Rain Covers are a simple, compact solution for protecting photo gear from sudden downpours or dusty conditions. These seam-sealed rain covers can be quickly and easily deployed when outdoor conditions change.

The covers are designed to fit both DSLR and Mirrorless cameras and are available in two sizes to accommodate a range of full-frame lenses. The Emergency Rain Cover – Small protects a 16–35mm f/2.8, a 14–24mm f/2.8, a 24–105mm f/4, or a 24–70mm f/2.8 lens. The Emergency Rain Cover – Medium protects a 24–70mm f/2.8 or a 70–200mm f/2.8 lens.

“When compressed, the Emergency Rain Cover fits into a small pouch, so it’s easy to bring along even if rain is a distant concern,” said Think Tank’s President and Lead Designer Doug Murdoch. “It takes up so little room in your bag, yet could save your gear when a sudden downpour or dust storm hits. Every photographer who shoots outdoors should keep one tucked one away in their camera bag.”

Features include:
• Seam-sealed for extreme protection in downpour or dusty conditions
• Compresses into an included compact carrying pouch
• Oversize window to view your LCD and controls
• Ability to access your camera through one cinchable sleeve
• Mountable to tripod or monopod
• Dual viewing configurations for varying conditions
• Hot-shoe mount keeps cover secured to camera during use
• Non-slip, adjustable strap attaches directly to the lens hood
• DWR coating for an extra layer of protection

CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE DETAILS ON THEIR WEBSITE

AND…

New “Lens Case Duo” Provides Enhanced Camera Lens Protection

Being a photographer is about getting to the right location at the right time — which can often be challenging.  To help photographers protect their lenses from the rigors of travel, Think Tank Photo has just released the Lens Case Duo series of six quick-access, dual-opening padded lens cases.  A zippered lid and side opening is a unique feature compared to other lens cases.

With the Lens Case Duo, photographers can protect their delicate lenses while transporting them in rolling cases, backpacks or shoulder bags.  These cases can then be converted into a modular system for quick access in a bag or on a belt.  A shoulder strap is included for the six larger sizes: Lens Case Duo 5, Lens Case Duo 10, Lens Case Duo 15, and Lens Case Duo 20, Lens Case Duo 30, and Lens Case Duo 40.  Two exterior stretch pockets provide space for a lens cap or a cleaning cloth. Soft zipper protectors and a plush lining protect sensitive and expensive lenses from scratches.  All sizes come in black and green.

“The Lens Case Duo should be used by every photographer concerned about protecting their lenses, especially while in transit,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo’s President and lead designer.  “While our roller and backpack dividers provide ample protection, the Lens Case Duo provides just that extra protection layer that could help prevent damage in unforeseen circumstances.”

GEAR CAPACITY

  • The Lens Case Duo 5 holds a Canon/Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, Canon: 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6, Canon/Nikon 50mm f/1.4, Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6 AF-S, or Olympus: 12-40mm f/2.8, 40-150mm f/4-5.6
  • The Lens Case Duo 10 holds a Canon 55-250mm f/4-5.6, Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6, Tamron/Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3, or Sony 16-35mm f/4
  • The Lens Case Duo 15 holds a Canon/Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6, Canon/Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6, Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3, Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6, Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, Canon/Nikon 24mm f/1.4, Canon/Nikon 35mm f/1.4, Canon/Sony 100mm f/2.8, or Nikon 105mm f/2.8
  • The Lens Case Duo 20 holds a Canon/Nikon/Sony 24-70mm f/2.8, Canon 24-105mm f/4, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, Sony 85mm f/1.4, Canon/Sony 100mm f/2.8, or Nikon 105mm f/2.8
  • The Lens Case Duo 30 holds a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8, Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8, or Canon 11-24mm f/4
  • The Lens Case Duo 40 holds a Canon/Nikon/Sony 70-200mm f/2.8, Canon/Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6, or Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6

CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE DETAILS ON THEIR WEBSITE

 

Sign-ups have begun for our 3rd Conference, May 18-19, 2019! Our Early Bird pricing is the best deal there will be on this Conference – Now through Nov. 30th! Don’t miss out!

Check out the website for all the details: https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/

In next week’s blog, I will begin featuring our fabulous speakers! They will each have a page on the website as well. Stay tuned!

 

 

May 6 – Sunday Sampler

Happy May! Finally had some spring (almost summer-like) weather this past week! Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo and Kentucky Derby Day rolled into one – Mint Juleps & Margaritas!!


This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some “Dramatic Skies” from our TN trip – the first two were taken by me, the 3rd one is Dave’s (thanks Dear!). We had lots of cool skies – dark and foreboding as well as low clouds on mountains, sunny – we had the whole range of light that week. Enjoy!

 

We’re down to the last few day of the 40% site-wide at Topaz! Now’s a great time to grab any missing pieces to your Topaz Collection.

Sale ends tomorrow, Monday May 7th Click here to go to the Topaz Labs Store. At 40% off you can save about $200 off the Complete Plugin Collection, and over $100 off of the Go Pro Adjustment Bundle in Studio for a limited time!

CLICK HERE  – You do not need a coupon code, the 40% will be automatic on checkout.

 

So You Want To Be a Judge/Commentator

Attend this biennial judging workshop for all photographers
with CCAC Juried Master Artist/Fine Art Photographer and judge/commentator Bob Singer 9:00am-3:30pm, Saturday, August 25, 2018 at Cape Cod Art Center in Barnstable Village, MA
Fee: $50 (advanced registration is required; there is a small amount of pre-workshop prep.)

Whether you aspire to become a judge/commentator or would just like to better understand what makes judges “tick,” this one-of-a-kind, one-day judging/commenting workshop will prepare you for the judge’s seat, build your confidence with a live, real-time scoring/critiquing experience and provide you with fresher, deeper understanding of how judges should “see” and think. Led by CCAA Juried Master Artist and Fine Art Photographer Bob Singer who has been a judge/commentator at PSA international salons, NECCC salons, camera clubs, art galleries and magazine competitions for over thirty years, this unique one-day workshop interactively involves you as it polishes your judging skills, understanding and insights.

Workshop size is limited so register early on Cape Cod Art Center’s website:
https://capecodartcenter.org/shop/august-25-so-you-want-to-be-a-judge-commentator-or-better-understand-them-w-bob-singer/

 

From INKY DEALS (one of my affiliates), a great bundle of cool textures! 360 Textures for $27! Click HERE to grab this deal. (Expires in 8 days)

 

We’re less than 2 weeks away from the start of the Creative Photography Conference! There are a few spots left – don’t miss out on this weekend full of creativity!

We have 11 sessions scheduled over the two days – both lecture-style and some hands-on computer time and photo-ops.

In our vendor area will be Hunt’s Photo, Tamron, and added this week – Olympus will be joining our vendor area on Saturday. On Sunday we will also have Ray Nason from the MAC Group (suppliers of MeFOTO tripods, Benro, Induro, Phottix, Tenba bags, X-Rite and more).

Included in your registration are all sessions/photo-ops; snacks both mornings; lunch both days; goodie bag; lots of door prizes; and time to socialize Sat. night.

Don’t miss out! Click HERE for details and to sign up!

April 15 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Wild weather across the country! From blizzards to tornadoes; from hot to cold! Yesterday was 70 here in CT; today in the upper 30’s! Be safe if you are in severe weather.

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler is made up of some peeling paint from an old theater shoot that we did a while back. Some friends went there yesterday, so it got me thinking about my shots again. The one called “Peeling Paint – Film Look” reminded me of an old filmstrip – I thought it was a neat look. Enjoy!

 

Our friends at MindShift Gear (part of ThinkTank Photo), have release several new products designed for active photographers.

The first is the “Exposure” Shoulder Bags that offer the ultimate in durability and weather protection for outdoor photographers.

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. MindShift Gear’s new Exposure shoulder bags are storm-resistant carrying solutions for the active photographer in virtually any outdoor environment. Built with high performance waterproof sailcloth panels, strategically placed storm flaps, water-repellent DWR fabric, and a sturdy Tarpaulin bottom; the Exposure protects camera gear from the elements and withstands the rigors of adventure photography. And, with its cross-body stabilizer strap, the Exposure moves with you while you’re active or is removable for more causal environments. A waterproof rain cover is included when it’s time to put the camera away and hunker down.
Exposure shoulder bags come in two models, the Exposure 13 and the Exposure 15, and in two colors, Black and Solar Flare. The Exposure 13 fits a 13” laptop; the Exposure 15 fits 15” laptops. A 10” tablet fits in zippered pocket.

Click HERE for all the details on their website.

 

The second new product is an 18-liter version of its popular BackLight series, the BackLight® 18L rear-panel backpack.

This smaller version offers a lightweight daypack that enables photographers to access gear without taking off the backpack. They can change lenses or just snap a quick photo simply by rotating the bag to the front while the waist belt is still secured. Rear-panel access also adds security when traveling since camera gear is protected from behind.
This back-panel access allows photographers to work out of the bag without getting the harness dirty, wet, muddy, or icy. It features dedicated compartments that fit up to a 13” laptop and a full-size tablet. As a daypack, its front pockets total 5 liters in personal gear carry for a day’s outing, such as extra layers, a light jacket, food, and more. It is available in two colors, Charcoal and Woodland Green, and meets most international and U.S. airline carry-on requirements.

Click HERE to find all the details on their website.

I have a couple of ThinkTank bags and can attest to their durability and quality.

 

Some more free brushes! This week, I found this on Designmodo – 30 sets of Watercolor Free Brushes. Watercolor brushes are useful for lots of things – I like to use them to create textures (of course!).

 

We’re just over a month till our Creative Photography Conference! If you haven’t signed up yet, now is the time! We have an awesome line-up of speakers. Below is our expected schedule. Check out the details of the sessions and speaker bios on our website at: http://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/.

Registration includes all classes, hands-on sessions, photo-ops, lunch and snacks both days, LOTS of door prizes, goody bag, vendors and more! Don’t miss out!

 

Feb. 11 – Sunday Sampler

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some images that will make nice backgrounds. I took grasses and flowers and blurred them a bit (you can always blur more with a Gaussian Blur adjustment). The third image is silhouetted branches against a pale sunset. Enjoy!

 

This week we are featuring speaker, Anne Belmont, who hails from the Chicago area.

As a nature photographer specializing in flower photography, Anne’s greatest passion lies in seeing and capturing the beauty of flowers and other botanical subjects up-close. It is the small, often unnoticed details that draw Anne to her subjects. It is her belief that if we slow down and look at nature in a more contemplative way, we will find subjects that convey impact and emotion, causing the eye to linger a little longer. A life-long involvement in the arts and a first career as an art therapist have shaped the way that she views art and the creative process and have reinforced her belief in the healing power of both art and nature in our lives.

On any given day you will find her in her favorite place to photograph, the Chicago Botanic Garden, a place with bountiful subjects and an ever-changing palette of color and light. She was commissioned by the Garden to do a solo exhibition of her orchid photography, displayed in 20 larger-than-life panels during the 2015 – 2017 Orchid Shows. Anne is a staff member and presenter for Out of Chicago Photography (outofchicago.com) and partners with Lensbaby to spread the love and creativity of their lenses.

Anne’s Conference Programs

Unleash Your Creative Spirit: Creating Beautiful Flower Portraits with Lensbaby

Learn to see and photograph flowers in a whole new artistic way. We will explore ways to unleash the creative spirit, find a vision and style in photography, and follow your heart in shooting in a way that brings joy. Anne will share her unique way of looking at flowers, helping you to see and isolate beautiful, interesting and often unnoticed details. Along with learning some tips and tricks for capturing flowers, we will also explore ways to create more artistic images through the magic of Lensbaby lenses, creating evocative and beautiful portraits of flowers.

Hands-On Sessions – Shooting with Lensbaby

Bring your Lensbaby and learn from a pro how to get the creative effects you desire! I’m trying to get some loaner lenses from Lensbaby as well – stay tuned!

Lensbaby has donated a “Composer Pro II with Sweet 50” as a door prize!

 

If you don’t already own Topaz Adjust (one of my favorites), it is on sale through tomorrow, Monday, Feb. 12th. Save 20% (Reg. $49.99, on sale for $39.99).

This is NOT a Studio addition – at this point – but a chance to grab this great program on sale. And when it does move to Studio, you will be able to get that upgrade for free.

“With Topaz Adjust you can give your images the soul and character you envisioned in the field! Unlike our eyes, a camera lens can’t compensate for all the tonal values we see right in front of us. If you shoot something bright, you’ll lose all the details in the shadows. If you shoot something dark, the highlights will be blown out. You can try to correct contrast, details, and vibrancy yourself, but it’s difficult to make images pop like you want.

“Topaz Adjust is designed to enhance three characteristics: contrast, detail, and color. Specializing in producing vivid images, Adjust uses Topaz’s adaptive exposure, adaptive saturation, and even includes our cutting-edge detail enhancement algorithms to give you the secret “oomph” ingredients that make your images stand out.”

CLICK HERE TO GRAB ADJUST AT 20% OFF!

And watch for a post on Tuesday about the next Topaz deal!

Next week I will answer a few more questions from the webinar!

And…if you missed the webinar a couple of weeks ago or want to watch it again, it is now posted on the Topaz YouTube Channel:

We’ve scheduled my next webinar for Tuesday, March 27th. I’ll be showing more advanced techniques with masking and compositing multiple images in Studio! Stay tuned for sign ups!

 

There is SO much great info on the web! I’m always stumbling across awesome tutorials!

From SmashingMagazine.com – a post from 2008 had “50 Excellent Digital Photography Photoshop Tutorials”. While they may be older, I think they still have great info. There are LOTS of links on the site to many other tutorials – take a look around!

Have a great week!

 

75% OFF TOPAZ + other Black Friday Deals – STARTING NOW!!

If you have been to any of my recent seminars, I’ve been saying that Black Friday is typically when Topaz has their best deals of the year. Well…this year they have outdone themselves! Not 50% off – but a HUGE 75% OFF sale! It starts today, 11/21, and runs through 11/28! You DO NOT want to miss out on this one!

So here’s the scoop…

This awesome sale applies to the full Topaz Plugin Collection as well as the newest technology in Topaz Studio with the Topaz Studio Go Pro Pack. Whether you want to achieve stunning photography enhancements or apply artistic effects, either option has you covered.

The plugin Collection includes 17 Topaz Products including the Topaz Studio versions of Impression, Clarity, Detail and Simplify (worth over $1000 individually!) for ONLY $249.99! As an added bonus you receive a few pro adjustments in Topaz Studio from Impression, Clarity, Detail and Simplify as well!* CLICK HERE to go to the Topaz site.

(*Note that this discount does not apply to individual plugins or adjustment purchases, which are sold at full price.)

Users can also save on the updated Go Pro Pack with all 20 currently available Pro Adjustments (over $450 individually) on sale for just $113.75!

The savings aren’t just for new purchases either. Owners of the older Topaz Collections or older Pro Packs can take advantage of the savings as well! They will just need to log in to their accounts, then add the collection to their cart to claim their unique upgrade price for additional savings on the Collection or Go Pro Pack!

The coupon code ‘BLACKFRIDAY17’, will be auto applied in either store when you add the Pro Pack or the Collection to your cart.

YOU CAN SAVE EVEN MORE BY BUYING BOTH!

If you already have some of the Topaz plugins, be sure to log in to your account after clicking THIS LINK and you will get your special pricing to complete your Topaz Collection.

SO…

If you are looking to purchase both items, here’s how to get the most bang for your bucks!

FIRST, purchase the Topaz Collection (or upgrade your current collection) – and check out. You will now have all of the Topaz Collection. The site will tell you how to redeem your free Studio Pro Adjustments for Clarity, Impression Detail & Simplify. THEN, after redeeming the freebies, go ahead and purchase the rest of the Go Pro Adjustment pack at your reduced price (remember to be logged in to your account).

A little bit of work, but you will save a bundle of cash!!

 

PEACOCK STUDIO AT MEREDITH IMAGES

Peacock Studio at Meredith Images

From now until midnight 11/27 (EST), save 50% off all texture packs in my Peacock Studio! Use the Coupon Code 50Textures at checkout. Click HERE to go to the Studio!

And…Save 25% off my eBook (on CD or digital), “Working with Textures & Overlays: Turn Ho-Hum into a Work of Art”. No coupon needed.

And…The Creative Photography Conference is still 25% off until 11/27! Check it out! No coupon needed.

 

THINK TANK PHOTO AND MINDSHIFT GEAR

MindShift Gear’s BackLight 36L Outdoor Photography Backpack Offers Expanded Capacity

Our friends at MindShift Gear have just launched a new version of its popular BackLight backpack series. The BackLight 36L is 10 liters larger than its predecessor, thus allowing you to access even more gear with its back-panel opening. It provides 11 liters of daypack capacity for personal gear, including separate dedicated compartments for a 10” tablet and 15” laptop. Even with its increased size, the backpack meets most International and U.S. airline carry-on requirements. It holds two gripped DSLRs with lenses attached and four to six standard zoom lenses, plus a flash, or two gripped Mirrorless bodies with lenses attached and six to eight lenses, and up to a 600mm f/4 lens detached from the camera body. And don’t forget that when you use my URL link HERE, you will receive free gear and free shipping with your orders from MindShift.

 

2 LIL’ OWLS

If you’ve seen my work, you know that I use – and have – tons of textures from 2 Lil’ Owls!

Now through Nov. 27th, Denise is offering 50% off all textures with the coupon code black50CLICK HERESo, and grab some great new texture packs (excludes Texture Club memberships).

 

TOTALLY RAD!

Totally Rad is another great software and texture vendor! They have software like the Rad Lab, Amped Lightroom Presets, Pro Retouch 2.0, Tra1 & Tra2 – Photoshop Presets; and my favorite – Dirty Pictures which has some awesome textures! There’s even a few more – check out the WEBSITE HERE and grab the 50% off deals now through 11/24 at midnight. Use the coupon code HOLIDAY2017

 

HUNT’S PHOTO

As always, Hunt’s Photo has some great holiday deals! Check them out HERE for savings on Nikon, Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Tamron, Sigma and much more!

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING & HAPPY SHOPPING!