June 10 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Finally had a non-rainy Saturday and actually went out to photograph! My hubby, Dave, loves trains, cars – anything transportation related (I do too) and yesterday those were combined at “Steel & Wheels” in Danbury, CT at the Danbury Railway Museum, where they had a classic car show!

Growing up my Dad like auto racing, and we used to spend many Saturday nights at the old Danbury Racearena – there was one of the old racecars there too – brought back lots of memories.

Taken on iPhone 8+. Edited in Snapseed and DistressedFX.

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler is a variety of textures from different places. The striped rust is from a train car yesterday – the Gray Brick is from Baltimore and the Waves is part of a statue! Enjoy!

I’m always on the lookout for cool things to share – freebies, tutorials, etc. Here’s a couple of good ones!!

From FreeWebTutorials, “101 Best Photoshop Tutorials for Beginner to Advanced”. There are some very creative tutorials for compositing and much more – check ’em out!

From PSD-Dude, “70 Amazing Free Textures for Commercial Use”. Some really nice textures. It is important to be sure you check the “Terms of Use” before using textures (or fonts, etc.) in a project you plan to sell. These state in the headline that they are approved for commercial use.

 

Last call to take our Survey! We’re looking at heading to Chicago in early Oct. 2019. Where else would you like to see us visit? While we can’t be everywhere, we are definitely going to be moving around the U.S. Suggestions welcomed!

 

Have a great week!

June 3 – Sunday Sampler

Happy June! Typical New England weekend – hot & humid yesterday, cool & breezy today!


This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of textures from the Southbridge Hotel where we held our Conference – rug, wallpaper, and some birch bark that was part of photo ops (thanks to Meghan Wakefield for sharing some natural goods from her Maine property).

And speaking of the Creative Photography Conference…

Our Spring 2019 conference will again be held at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center in Southbridge, MA.

Mark your calendars for May 18-19, 2019! And…we will be offering an optional buffet for dinner (no long waits in the lounge and great food like our lunches!)

AND…we will be holding a FALL Creative Photography Conference as well! Tentatively in early October – leaning towards the Chicago area for our first Fall conference.

If you haven’t yet taken our Survey to tell us where you’d like to see a future Conference held, CLICK HERE to voice your opinion.

 

My next Topaz webinar is coming up on Tuesday, June 19th at 5:00 pm EDT. Join me for some creative projects using Topaz Studio and more. Sign-up is on the TopazLabs.com website – they usually open registration about a week before the webinars.

 

I plan to have some new tutorials for you soon! And some new textures in the Peacock Studio. I’ve been busy with both our Creative Photography Conference as well as the NECCC Conference in July at UMass Amherst (getting brochures set up and printed). If you have never attended this Conference, you should check it out. It’s expanded this year to include more than 30 speakers (most of whom have never been at this conference before); more photo ops; hands-on sessions and much more. Check it out at http://www.NECCC.org.

Have a great week!

 

Jan. 28 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! As we head to the end of the first month of 2018, I hope you’ve had time to spend photographing and/or processing your images! I’ve been preparing for my next Topaz webinar (see below) and working on end-of-year accounting/taxes (not as fun as editing pics!).

So, if you haven’t signed up yet, CLICK HERE to join me for my next Topaz webinar this Tuesday, Jan. 30th at 5:00 p.m. EST. I’ll be working with Studio and Texture Effects – the latest module to be added to Studio!

If you already own the Texture Effects module, the update to Studio is FREE (just run the update to Studio and you’ll now have Texture Effects in Studio). If you don’t already have this awesome program, it’s on sale now at $20 off – just $49.97. CLICK HERE to get the discount!

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler is some more grungy textures from Eastern States Penitentiary – cracked paint and rock walls. Enjoy!

 

I have a fellow photographer who has a new studio space in Hartford, CT, and he wants to schedule photo sessions and workshops. I haven’t done a half-day hands-on workshop in a while so I’m looking to schedule something for late March/early April on a Saturday from 9 am-1 pm. Price would be $89 per person.

What topic would you like to see? Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, Topaz, Textures, Camera Basics 101, or something else? Give me your feedback HERE!

 

PictureCorrect.com has lots of great articles on photographing just about anything – and tips to photograph them well! This week learn “Frost & Ice Photography Tips” , “10 DSLR Camera Features You Should Know” and “How to Emphasize Your Main Subject”.

On Line25.com find “25 Free Watercolor Brush Sets for Skilled Digital Artists”. While these are geared towards digital painting, I love using brushes like this to create my own textures!

And on PhotoshopTutorials.ws, learn to “Create this Stylistic Mixed-Media Artwork in Photoshop”.

 

 

Dec. 17 – Sunday Sampler + Final Holiday Shopping

Yesterday Dave & I had the honor of participating in “Wreaths Across America” which lays a wreath on the grave of all of our veterans at Arlington and at Veteran’s Cemeteries across the U.S. We were at the CT State Veteran’s Cemetery in Middletown, CT where 10,000 wreaths were laid. There was a 45 minute ceremony before the wreath laying began. Quite moving including bagpipes playing Amazing Grace, taps, 21-gun salute, and an Air National Guard flyover. Next year we hope to go to the event at Arlington. Thank you to all who have served.

 

THE SUNDAY SAMPLER IS 2-YEARS-OLD!

It’s 2 years this weekend that I’ve been doing the Sunday Sampler – WOW! How time flies! This will be the final Sunday Sampler for 2017 – I’m taking the next 2 weekends off to relax a little (yeah right!), celebrate Christmas and New Year’s with family and friends, and get ready for 2018! Look for some new changes and features in the weekly blog!

 

SURVEY RESULTS

Thank you to all those who completed my survey and for the nice comments. It closes later tonight, so there’s still time if you’d like to complete it – just 10 quick questions! CLICK HERE!

The favorite topics for more tutorials are textures & Topaz! I am planning to do more on those in my own work as well as some tutorials for all of you! Stay tuned!!

 

LAST MINUTE SHOPPING!

Our friends at Think Tank Photo and MindShift Gear just let me know that they are offering free 2nd Day delivery through next Tuesday, December 19th, so that your gear arrives in time for Christmas. And, as my friend, you will be able to add a free gift to your order! Don’t hesitate to order the best rollers, backpacks, shoulder bags, and accessories for pro/serious photographers and outdoor photographers.

Click here for Think Tank Photo

Click here for MindShift Gear

 

FROM AROUND THE WEB

People are getting frustrated with Adobe and the way they have been updating programs (i.e., Lightroom) lately. I still haven’t loaded the latest version of Lightroom (2018) – don’t trust it yet! There was an interesting article on Peta Pixel  – “I Tested 10+ Photoshop Alternatives to See How They Stack Up”. Quite a good read! And might I add – Topaz Studio is another great alternative to Photoshop!

And if you missed my Dec. 12th webinar – and registered – you will have received the link to the recorded program! Enjoy!

I also gave webinar attendees a discount code to save 25% off all of my Textures and eBooks in the Peacock Studio through 12/23! Use the code TOPAZ25 at checkout and catch the deal!

From Spoon Graphics – 5 Dust & Scratches Textures for Photoshop & Illustrator

Tons of freebies on Free Creatives!

And on Line 25, 20 Brilliant Sci-Fy/Space Photoshop Tutorials.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

Have a beautiful holiday season enjoying whatever holiday you celebrate. Wishing you success and good health in 2018!

Thanks for supporting me and the Sunday Sampler!

 

 

12-10 Sunday Sampler, Topaz Webinar + Freebies!

Yesterday was our first snow of the year! Now it looks like Christmas in New England! Thanks to my wonderful hubby for shoveling this morning. Our neighbor does an amazing light display with music that you can tune in on your car radio. The lights looked especially pretty in the snow last night.

 

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

This week’s Sunday Sampler are more from our Sedona trip – brushed metal, copper ore rock and rusted blue metal building. Enjoy!

 

MY NEXT TOPAZ WEBINAR

I’ll be doing a webinar on Topaz Studio this Tuesday, Dec. 12th at 5:00 pm EST. Sign-up here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4675588921963542017.

Here’s a synopsis of the webinar:

“Join Hazel Meredith for this workflow and artistic effect based webinar as she shows us how she utilizes Topaz Studio and various Topaz modules to craft her creative images.

From soft florals to grungy old buildings, there are countless ways to craft a photo to your own vision. Hazel will demonstrate ways to combine presets and textures to help you create your own “work of art”.”

 

2018 PLANNING SURVEY STILL OPEN

If you would be so kind, please take just a few minutes of your time and answer a short 10 question survey about the weekly “Sunday Sampler”. This will help me plan 2018 and give you more information that you want and find useful. Thank you!

CLICK HERE TO TAKE SURVEY

 

FREEBIES

From WebDesignDev.com, a collection of Free Handwriting Brushes. I love using handwriting brushes and overlays in my texture work! Check em out HERE!

And from Line25.com, a collection of 40 Free Label Mockups (PSD & Vector). If you need to design a label or gift tag, this will give you a head start! Click HERE!

From PictureCorrect.com a timely article on Christmas Light Photography Tips. And another good article on The 10 Golden Rules of Wildlife Photography.

 

And don’t forget yourself this holiday season! Sign up now for our Creative Photography Conference, May 19-20, 2018! Expand your creative horizons with our great line-up of speakers including Tamron Image Master, Mike Moats, an awesome creative macro photographer; Anne Belmont, a Lensbaby partner; and many more!

Topics will cover a wide range of creative techniques – textures, Topaz, iPad and iPhoneography, in-camera techniques, other post-processing, many hands-on opportunities and much more!

We’ll begin posting details of the seminars and speaker bios after the new year, but don’t wait to sign up – you won’t be disappointed!

Click HERE to to go my website for more details and to read comments by some of last year’s attendees!

While the Pre-Black Friday specials were the very best pricing of the year, we will be doing GROUP DEALS so you can sign up with your friends and save some big $$$ ! Check out the details on the website!

 

Dec. 3 Sunday Sampler + 2018 Planning Survey, Topaz Webinar, Freebies

Wow – December already! Where did this year go? I know I’ve been super busy this year and the days and months have just flown by!

Hard to believe, it’s coming up on 2 YEARS that I’ve been doing the Sunday Sampler of free textures! That’s over 300 free textures – which are all still available if you click through the old blog posts!! CLICK HERE for this week’s textures – 3 warm images from our shopping visit to “Mexadona” in Sedona, AZ.

 

2018 PLANNING SURVEY

If you would be so kind, please take just a few minutes of your time and answer a short 10 question survey about the weekly “Sunday Sampler”. This will help me plan 2018 and give you more information that you want and find useful. Thank you!

CLICK HERE TO TAKE SURVEY

 

MY NEXT TOPAZ WEBINAR

I’ll be doing a webinar on Topaz Studio on Tuesday, Dec. 12th at 5:00 pm EST. Sign-ups should be posted shortly.

Here’s a synopsis of the webinar:

“Join Hazel Meredith for this workflow and artistic effect based webinar as she shows us how she utilizes Topaz Studio and various Topaz modules to craft her creative images.

From soft florals to grungy old buildings, there are countless ways to craft a photo to your own vision. Hazel will demonstrate ways to combine presets and textures to help you create your own “work of art”.”

 

FROM AROUND THE WEB

Found these cool FREE blended splatter brushes on WeGraphics.net

From CSSauthor, a collection of 75+ of the Best Photoshop Brushes (mostly free)

From PNGIMG.COM a collection of free PNG files of White Roses

And a couple from Pixel Buddha – If you use Procreate on an iPad, here’s a collection of free Galactic Lens Flare Brushes (only work in Procreate). Second, a collection of Sprayed Vector Textures.

And finally, from Oriana’s Notes blog, a collection of 50 Free Gorgeous Christmas Fonts to help you dress up your holiday correspondence.

Enjoy!

 

 

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!

 

52-WEEK PHOTOGRAPHY CHALLENGE

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!

 

im-curious

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:

1a-tybee-harbor-light-with-bordertype

2b-fall-final

3b-yellowstone-final

 

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!

Jan. 8th Sunday Sampler + Topaz Corner + More!

SUNDAY SAMPLER

This week’s Sampler consists of botanical textures from the Albuquerque BioPark. Nature provides us with some awesome textures – Enjoy! And don’t forget to share you creations in our Facebook Group “Textures: Turn Ho-Hum into a Work of Art”.

 

52-WEEK PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT

I had posted this article a couple of times to get you excited for a new challenge this year! 52 PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECTS in 2017 will challenge your photographic abilities and get you to try things you may not have thought about! Even if you cannot follow the project exactly, feel free to put your own spin on it!

And join our Facebook Group “2017 Photo Project a Week” and share your results: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1311524515525331/ or if you are not on Facebook, you can email your images to me at Hazel@MeredithImages.com and, with your permission, I will share some here in our weekly blog post.

This week’s topic is “Water Splash Photography”. Here’s an article that will give you some details on how to achieve the effect.

 

topaz-corner

In this first installment of my monthly column “Topaz Corner”, I will answer a question that is asked often. “What is the best order to use Topaz products in your workflow?”

When I am editing a photo, I do my basic adjustments in Lightroom, then bring the image into Photoshop to do the creative work. The Topaz products used depend on the “look” I envision for the image (and that often changes while trying things out). But typically I will use the products that are more “corrective” – like InFocus or DeNoise before moving to the photographic effects like B&W Effects, ReStyle, Adjust or Lens Effects.

Then I move to the more creative products like Simplify, Impression, Glow or Texture Effects. Typically my last step is using Detail for my final “sharpening” (I love Detail much more than unsharp mask or even the high pass filter which I used for years).

Topaz actually addressed this issue in a blog post back in 2014 when they only had 14 products. But it’s still a good reference diagram.

 

SHORT SURVEY

If you would like to help guide future posts, courses and store offerings, please take just a few minutes to take my online survey: 2017 SURVEYIt’s just 10 questions – I promise it won’t take long! I will close it out on Jan. 14th. A big THANK YOU to those who have already replied!

 

ONLINE FREEBIES

Creative Beacon had a post listing 20 Useful Free Photoshop BrushesIt includes everything from fur to grunge to smoke (P.S. you could use the smoke ones to create an image in Week 3 of the 52 Week Challenge!). These are 20 SETS of brushes – not just 20 brushes – so check em out!

 

Jan. 1, 2017 – Happy New Year! Sunday Sampler +

HAPPY NEW YEAR! May 2017 be your best year yet! Sending wishes for good health, prosperity and happiness to all!

happy-new-year-2017

 

SUNDAY SAMPLER

This week’s Sunday Sampler is some nice rusty grunge from Steamtown! Remember, you can always change the color of your textures with a Hue/Saturation adjustment, or change them to B&W to get the texture without the color.

 

52-WEEK PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT

I had posted this article a couple of times to get you excited for a new challenge this year! 52 PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECTS in 2017 will challenge your photographic abilities and get you to try things you may not have thought about! Even if you cannot follow the project exactly, feel free to put your own spin on it!

Feel free to join our Facebook Group “2017 Photo Project a Week” and share your results: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1311524515525331/ or if you are not on Facebook, you can email your images to me at Hazel@MeredithImages.com and, with your permission, I will share some here in our weekly blog post.

 

TOPAZ CORNER & “I’M CURIOUS” COLUMN & SURVEY

Next week will be the first of a new monthly column, “Topaz Corner”. I will share some tips on how I use the Topaz suite in my processing, and answer questions that readers have about the products.

The week after that I will debut “I’m Curious”, a general question and answer column about all things photography or software related.

If you would like to help guide the future of these columns as well as the blog and online store, please take just a few minutes to take my online survey: 2017 SURVEYIt’s just 10 questions – I promise it won’t take long!

 

CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY CONFERENCE – May 20-21, 2017

Stay tuned for more info on the conference. I will begin to feature work of our speakers and fill you in on all the extra goodies that will be included! Click here to sign up on our website!

conference-flier-fb