Feb. 17 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday & Daytona 500 Day if you like auto racing as we do! Looks like some Winter weather finally moving into our area this week. In Southern CT we’ve been pretty lucky so far. Most storms were rain or a mixture. Not much snow (which is fine by me!). Stay safe out there.

This week’s Sunday Sampler is some nice bokeh images of morning dew on grasses. I took these a couple of years ago when I was in Florida teaching at the Spacecoast Birding Festival. These were taken near this Great Blue Heron who was fishing for his breakfast! There were some razor sharp teeth on the alligator gar fish he caught! Taken hand-held with my Canon 70D and Sigma 150-500 at just over 400mm. 800 ISO helped as did Topaz AI Clear!

Organizing Design Assets

A comment and question was posted on last week’s blog about using all of the fabulous resources that are available in the bundles that I mention here. Mainly, how to utilize them, and even more importantly, how to organize and find all of the items! It’s definitely something I’ve been trying to work on.

I’ve started some new files by category for all of the Illustrations-Vector Art. These are mostly items I have downloaded from various web sources. This is what I’ve come up with:

I still have many “Zip” files to open up and save in appropriate folders. I add folders as needed.

My textures folder needs some work! Right now I have a main Textures & Backgrounds folder, then some are by the company purchased from (like Design Cuts, 2 Lil Owls, French Kiss, etc.). Other miscellaneous textures are filed by style (Bokeh, Chalboard, Concrete, Metal, Grain, etc.) like this:

My biggest issue right now is I’m not sure if I want to keep, say, Design Cuts all in that folder, or separate the items into easier-to-find folders! I may keep the original folders and copy items into other folders by subject. It is a hugely time consuming project since I have so many assets and have not kept up with sorting as I purchase more. So if you are in the same boat, you’re not alone! It will be an ongoing project for sure.

Upcoming Event

I’ve been invited to speak at several conferences around the U.S. this year. First up is the CanAm Photo Expo in Buffalo, NY, April 26-28. The event will be held at the Buffalo Grand Hotel, which is completing renovations and will be a beautiful new facility.

They are keeping me very busy that weekend. I will be doing two sessions on “HDR-The Natural Look”, two sessions of “Creativity with Topaz & Textures” plus a Topaz lecture in the Macro Lab on Friday afternoon as well as some hands-on photo ops in the Macro Lab on Sunday morning. Whew!

They have various options for registration – you can check the details on their website at: https://www.canamexpo.com/

I mentioned above about filing your design assets. Here’s another big bundle that you’ll need to file!

From PIXELO, the Mighty Design Bundle, 4900+ Design Resources! Value $2521 if purchased individually, just $39 for the bundle!

What’s included in this bundle?
* 51 font families with 87 unique fonts
* 67 mind-blowing Photoshop actions;
* 19 Photoshop mockups; 9 Photoshop tutorials;
* 500 premium backgrounds;
* 2987 unique vectors; 70 beautiful text styles;
* 512 textures; 681 Photoshop brushes;
* Commercial License;
* Lifetime download access;
* Unlimited and quick response.

Check out the details of all the cool products included HERE on the website.

And from Light Stalking, “Our 113 Most Useful Links for Photographers”

They have a really good list of all kinds of topics. Tutorials, Magazines, eBooks, Software, Buying Gear Online, Social Media sites to follow, and much, much more.

Have a great week!

Feb. 10 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday!

This week’s Sunday Sampler is crumpled paper that has a subtle pattern on it. There’s the original and three versions – one creates a nice background bokeh, one is grungy and one is painterly with a light green color. Enjoy! And remember to share your creations in our Facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/texturesturnhohumintoaworkofart/

Don’t Miss Out! Last New England Conference!

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

Join us for the 3rd Creative Photography Conference!
We have EIGHT wonderful speakers
covering a variety of creative topics:

Anne Belmont (Chicago) – Lensbaby Specialist
John Barclay (PA) – “Creativity with Topaz” & “Dream, Believe, Create”
Mark Bowie (MA) – “Envision: The Art of Seeing Creatively” &
“Multiple Exposures for Maximum Landscapes”
Betty Wiley (Cape Cod) – “Get Creative with LR”, “Creative PS” & “Luminar”
Hazel Meredith (CT) – “Textures: Turn Ho-Hum Into a Work of Art” &
“Creating Your Own Textures in PS with Brushes featuring Grut Brushes”
Jane Driscoll (CT) – “iPhoneography + Apps” & “iColorama”
Loretta Paul-Goldin (CT) – “Create Your Own Textures with Alcohol Inks”
Jan Doyle (CT) – “Creative Projects with Your Photos” &
“Get Your Name Out – Free Publicity with YouTube”

ADDED FOR 2019…

Friday – 2 Pre-Conference Hands-On Workshops
Join either John Barclay or myself for an afternoon of hands-on learning. Bring your laptop (or follow along if you prefer) and work along with John (Topaz) or me (Textures). We will provide images so we can work together. These sessions are limited 24 people each. $69 for either session. (You must be registered for the Conference to attend these sessions.)

Friday & Saturday Nights – Optional Dinner Buffet
Southbridge is a small town – why wait somewhere for dinner? Join our speakers and other attendees for an expansive dinner buffet. Sit, relax and chat a while! $20

Special Offer! 

While our Early Bird pricing was the best deal for our Conference – and we did say there would be no further discounts – we added a special code for students and friends of each of our speakers (including me). Save $25 on your registration with the code meredith25. This code expires on March 31st and will be your last chance to save $$ on registration.

GO TO OUR WEBSITE TO SIGN UP!
https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/

Workshop Sign-Ups Continue

I still have some spots available for the upcoming new Hands-On Workshops that begin in March on Sunday afternoons. They will be held at a local spot here in Stratford and limited to a maximum of 6 people.

They will feature training on Photoshop, PS Elements, Lightroom, Topaz, Textures and possibly more. There will be PS & Elements sessions for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced levels (each of these is a separate subject/class). Watch for a schedule to be posted in next week’s blog!

And, if you’re not in CT, remember I have online training available as well! We screen share and can work on any subject you wish – Photoshop; Elements; Topaz; layers/masks; whatever you need help with! You can do a couple of hours or if a package of 10 hours. Email me for more info or go to my website to sign up: https://www.meredithimages.com/product-category/tutoring-sessions/

I’m always on the lookout for freebies and great deals to share with my readers. Here’s what I’ve found this week:

The “original” Bundle Company – Design Cuts – has some great things going on! Their new offering is “The Designer’s Textures & Patterns Collection” – value $2436 – for JUST $29! Check it out below:

CLICK HERE to grab this great deal (Expires in 8 days)!

Design Cuts also has some great tutorials on their site like this – “How to Demystify the Photoshop Mixer Brush”. Check the “Learn” tab for lots more!

And if you work with Procreate on an iPad, they also have an all-new section with Procreate products! CLICK HERE!

Note: Some links above contain affiliate links. Thanks!

Have a great week!

New Workshops Announced!

Today I posted six new hands-on workshops to be held here in Stratford, CT.

* Elements Beginner
* Elements Intermediate
* Photoshop Beginner
* Photoshop Intermediate
* Creativity with Topaz
* Textures and Composites

They will be held on Sunday afternoons 1-4:30 pm beginning in March. Each workshop is just $69 per person. LIMIT 6 Students per session!

Bring your laptop and work along with me! Details on each workshop and registration links can be found on the website: https://www.meredithimages.com/product-category/workshops/

New eBook “Working with Textures & Overlays: Turn Ho-Hum Into a Work of Art – Book 2”

The new book is progressing on time for an April 1st release! Thank you to those who have already pre-ordered their copy!

If you haven’t pre-ordered yet, take advantage of this opportunity to SAVE $5 when ordering the CD or Electronic version of the new book.

Use code PREORDER5 at checkout. Expires midnight 2/15/19 EST.

Head to: https://www.meredithimages.com/product-category/ebooks/ to place your order.

This eBook has lots of useful information for working with textures, overlays, compositing and more. Review blending modes; learn to create your own brushes then create textures of your own; composite several images into one new project; and twelve projects to practice your skills. Included are all of the images, textures, and brushes to complete all of the projects as well as some bonus goodies!

Don’t miss the last Conference in New England!
Join us May 18-19, 2019
at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center in Southbridge, MA,
for the 3rd Creative Photography Conference!

Join me and 7 other creative photographers to learn creative landscapes & multiple exposures; post-processing with PS, LR, Topaz & textures; iPhoneography/Apps; Lens Babies; plus: loaner lenses; shopping with Hunt’s Photo; hands-on photo-ops; lots of door prizes; a goody bag and MUCH more!

JUST ADDED – On Sunday we will have two photo walks with one of fabulous Tamron Tech Reps! Borrow a Tamron lens and do some shooting around the beautiful hotel grounds.

New for 2019 are two options for pre-conference hands-on workshops (John Barclay teaching Topaz and me teaching Textures); and optional Fri. and/or Sat. night buffet dinners.

Visit: https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/ for all the details and to sign up! We’re over half-full already!

Feb. 3 – Sunday Sampler

Happy February! Hope you’re staying warm through the cold spell that has been gripping the nation! Last week in CT we were in negative numbers – Tuesday will be mid-50’s!! Crazy!

For this week’s Sunday Sampler I took a texture of Rust and made five additional versions of it using Topaz and Smart Photo Editor. You can create even more versions of your own with various software. Enjoy!

Last Monday Topaz announced the new JPEG to RAW AI. I’ve seen some questions online about how/what it can do. Here’s some more info for you.

“What is the difference between AI Gigapixel and JPEG to RAW AI? What is the appropriate workflow?”  

“Gigapixel is trained to fill in believable pixels for enlarging photos. If you think about the actual process of creating 6x the amount of pixels from an image, the main problem the software needs to solve is how those pixels should look. The format, color space, dynamic range, etc. will generally not change when you use Gigapixel. Generally you’d want to use Gigapixel as the last step before printing (or as the first step as you’re importing stock photos or similar). JPEG to RAW is trained to improve the format of the image by expanding color space/depth, improving dynamic range, and recovering detail. Sometimes it won’t even explicitly improve how the image looks immediately and might look the same! However, you’ll really notice the difference when you edit the photo – you’ll see less banding and artifacts. You would typically use JPEG to RAW before doing anything else with your JPEG.

“Here is the recommended workflow: First, run your JPEG photo through JPEG to RAW AI. Take the resulting .TIFF or .DNG into Topaz Studio and edit it in Topaz Studio or your preferred photo editing platform. Then, take your final product into AI Gigapixel for enlargement! The resulting image will be massively improved from the compressed JPEG you started with! “

There is also a great blog post on PetaPixel by Dr. Yang (founder of Topaz) that goes into great detail of the “how” of JPEG to RAW AI – CLICK HERE

I’ve tried it on several older photos (back when I was shooting in JPG) and I am quite impressed with what the software does. I get much better color and detail throughout. In the pics below, the first one is what I previously edited in Photoshop:

Photoshop Edit

For this copy, I took the original JPG file, ran it through JPEG to RAW, then processed in Studio using AI Clear to sharpen. A much better result in my opinion.

After editing with JPEG to RAW

What I also love about AI Clear is that it intelligently sharpens what needs sharpening but smooths out the background (as in this image) and gets rid of any noise. No masking of the background needed as I did when sharpening in Photoshop.

Until Feb. 8th you can save $20 on this new software – regular $99.99, now $79.99. Click HERE to go to the Topaz site and save!

One other Topaz note. Most of you know Heath Robinson of Topaz from listening to webinars or talking to him online. Unfortunately, he has left Topaz and moved to Colorado for his wife to take a great new job.

Earlier this week there was a fire at his family’s home in Texas. They’ve set up a GoFundMe page. If you are so inclined, they are grateful for any assistance you can give. Check it out HERE. Thank you.

Workshops to begin in March

I am setting up some new Hands-On Workshops to begin in March on Sunday afternoons. They will be held at a local spot here in Stratford and limited to a maximum of 6 people.

They will feature training on Photoshop, PS Elements, Lightroom, Topaz, Textures and possibly more. There will be PS & Elements sessions for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced levels (each of these is a separate subject/class). Watch for a schedule to be posted in next week’s blog!

And, if you’re not in CT, remember I have online training available as well! We screen share and can work on any subject you wish – Photoshop; Elements; Topaz; layers/masks; whatever you need help with! You can do a couple of hours or if a package of 10 hours. Email me for more info or go to my website to sign up: https://www.meredithimages.com/product-category/tutoring-sessions/

I’m always on the lookout for freebies and great deals to share with my readers. Here’s what I’ve found this week:

From Pixelo – a very cool bundle for photographers, the “Unique Photoshop Plug-Ins Bundle”. This bundle includes: PS Plug-Ins; Actions; Add-Ons; Layer Styles: 643 Brushes; Swatches; Overlays and more! A total of 5500 unique products, and it comes with a commercial license so you can use it in images you sell. Value $2370 – now just $29 (expires in 15 days). CLICK HERE for this great deal and check out their other bundles too!

A good article on PictureCorrect.com – “Tips for Flower Photography”

And on Pixel Surplus, some other great bundle deals to expand your font library and freebies too! Check them all out HERE!

Note: Some links above contain affilate links. Thanks!

Have a great week!

Jan. 27 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! The first month of 2019 is almost over! Less than two months to Spring – Yippee!

This week’s Sunday Sampler will show you how something so “ordinary” can become a texture! Last year we did a photo shoot at an abandoned brewery. Near the end of the day I found this pile of broken plastic pieces, and of course, I photographed it! I took the image into Topaz Studio and created several versions of the image which brought out amazing color! Shots 3a and 3b are the same except that for 3b I applied a layer of white over the image and lowered the opacity to give it a more pastel look. Remember, you can always create new textures from any image by applying various filters and effects – have fun!

On Thursday Topaz released an update to A.I. Gigapixel, improving an already amazing piece of software.

“With the latest update to A.I.Gigapixel™, the first and only intelligent image resizer for your computer just became even better. The latest update includes a brand new interface, a redesigned user experience, and many under-the-hood improvements!

“Your lives are fast-paced and busier than ever, so there’s never been a better time to get image enlargements handled for good. Let A.I. Gigapixel help you save time while giving you more detail in your images for a sharper and more impressive result.”

If you haven’t yet purchased, you can go to the store HERE and grab it for $99.99. Use my code MeredithImages at checkout and SAVE 15%, making it just $85! If you already own AI Gigapixel, download the update by logging in to your account and going directly to the downloads page.

Other Topaz News!

Shhh….I can’t reveal it yet, but stay tuned for a special blog post Monday afternoon revealing a NEW PRODUCT!

Do You Need a Logo?

Some of you may know that my previous background was as a graphic designer and typesetter (in the pre-desktop days). Since I am now working Meredith Images as my full-time job, I’ve started doing some designing again. I recently completed a logo for a gal I met at the travel writer’s workshop I attended in September. She needed a logo for her upcoming website and blog – The Seasonsed Sojourner. Check it out:

I am taking on new jobs, so if you need a logo designed for your photography biz – or any other business venture – I’d be happy to work with you! I have some simple templates for watermark signatures or can create a new look from scratch as I did with the above. Email me and we can figure out the best look for your business!

And my travel blog…

I’ve started my travel writing blog as well – The Traveling Peacock! Follow Pete the Peacock and me as we travel and review places to visit, eat and rest your tired bones! Yesterday we visited a new-to-us restaurant that I reviewed. Check it out HERE – and sign up for our blog updates! And yes, I also designed this logo to tie in with my Peacock Studio theme and logo.

Freebies! Pixelo is one of my affiliate companies that offers some great deals – but they also have some Freebies available! Click HERE to check them out – fonts, templates, text effects and more!

And I found some cool “60-Second Photoshop Tutorials” as well as “99 Best Advanced Photoshop Tutorials” over on TutsPlus.

Have a great afternoon – don’t forget to watch for a special blog post tomorrow on the new Topaz product!

Jan. 13 – Sunday Sampler

This week’s Sunday Sampler are some “grassy” shots to make us thing of Spring! The original image was taken in Savannah, GA, as we walked around Fort Pulaski. I suppose it could have been taken anywhere, but this was where I happened to take this shot! I modified it three ways in Topaz Impression. These will make great backdrops to other images. Enjoy!

Thank you to everyone who watched my Topaz webinar on Tuesday. I appreciate the kind words through email and Facebook. If you missed the webinar, the recording is posted on the Topaz YouTube channel HERE. You can also find it on the TopazLabs.com site under the “Learn” tab > Webinars. Just scroll down to the recordings.

And, if you’d like my notes from the webinar PLUS all the images I used, PLUS some bonus textures, you can find them for just $5 in the Peacock Studio store HERE.

Topaz also has a 20% discount code for the webinar – hazelweb14 – good until midnight tomorrow, Monday, on anything in the Topaz store. I also have a code on my eBooks and textures (also in the Peacock Studio) for 25% off until midnight Tuesday 1/15 EST.

We always have so many questions during a webinar that we can’t get to answer all of them, so I’ll be answering some here in the “Topaz Corner” over the next few weeks. If you have a question on Topaz that you’d like answered, email me at Hazel@MeredithImages.com and I will try to include it.

Q: In several of my projects I used a border texture rather than a regular vignette and someone asked why.

A: It’s truly a matter of personal preference, however, I often use the borders instead of a vignette if I want a more subtle edge-darkening. The borders also tend to be “irregular” shaped, and I often like that look.

Q: Do you always work in jpg when editing in Topaz?

A: No, usually I’m importing a RAW or tiff file. I use jpgs for the webinars because they are smaller and process faster.

Q: Where can I find more of Hazel’s work with tutorials and how long has she been working with layers and textures and creating such amazing works?

A: Thank you for your kind words! I’ve been working with textures and such for about 9 years. I’m not positive how I really started – I’m sure I saw something online or at a camera club and just started playing around! You can find more of my images on my website http://www.MeredithImages.com or on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MeredithImages/

I’ll be answering a few more questions next week.

A few items I found this week:

From Light Stalking, “The Coolest Photography Links of the Week”.

Design Cuts has a FABULOUS Vintage Bundle (I’m going to be getting this one myself)! $1780 worth of delicious vintage goodies for just $29! Check it out HERE! Retro fonts, beautifully preserved illustrations, vintage papers, effects, textures and so much more!

Ending with some sad news…

Some of you may know Joe LeFevre, a fabulous photographer, gifted teacher and gentle, sweet man, who taught at many camera clubs and conferences around the country. Sadly, Joe passed away this week. He will be missed by so many in our photographic circle. Godspeed, dear Joe.

The Adirondack Photography Institute, where he taught many workshops, posted this on Facebook yesterday.

It is with deep sorrow that we relay the news of API instructor Joe LeFevre’s passing, on Thursday, January 10th. Joe was a beloved and gifted photographer, consummate teacher, public speaker, and our great friend. He was a devoted family man and a man of great faith. We will miss him dearly. Joe is survived by his immediate family, wife Linda, sons Robert and David, and daughter Joanna. We offer them our continued love and prayers.

As a photographer, Joe was renowned for his compositional skills, and for readily incorporating cutting-edge digital technologies in his imagery. He had a special affinity for creating panoramas, and shooting time-lapse sequences and video. He created instructional DVD’s on numerous photographic topics and a DVD showcasing the Adirondacks.

Joe also cherished sharing his love and knowledge of nature photography through workshops. We know he felt blessed by the many friendships he made through them, and the wonderful experiences shared. To all those he touched, our sincere condolences. One aspect of his enduring legacy will be that he not only made us better photographers, but better people.

We love you Joe.

Jan. 6 – Sunday Sampler

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and a joyous New Year! We had some quiet holiday time just the two of us at home. Nice to just relax a while. I made it to midnight on New Year’s Eve, but hubby did not! We got up early on the 31st and did a sunrise shoot with about 20 other photographers at the beach. It was a beautiful morning – great sunrise and not too cold either. Dave left to go off to work and I joined the group for breakfast. Good times!

For today’s Sunday Sampler I took the barn wood image from last week’s Sampler and ran it through some presets in Smart Photo Editor. This is a very cool little program (and inexpensive – just $29.95!). There are THOUSANDS of presets you can apply to your image, mostly contributed by users of the product. So everytime you log in there are new presets that get added to the library! I first saw this software at a seminar that macro photographer, Mike Moats did. He uses it all the time. Check it out at: https://www.smartphotoeditor.com

I’ve had several requests for private tutoring from those outside of my local area. However, I CAN tutor you ONLINE! We’ll use GoToMeeting and we can screen share so I can help you learn new techniques or assist with issues you may be having with software! Call or email me to discuss or if you’d like to review what you want to learn.

My next webinar is this Tuesday, January 8th at 5:00 Eastern time. Click HERE to sign up! I’ll be showing some various creative techniques using Studio, Texture Effects, Impression, and will do a short demo on AI Gigapixel and how I use it to enlarge my images. See you there!

Upcoming Seminars/Workshops

The new year starts a new schedule of seminars at camera clubs and conferences. If you’re in the area, join me at one of the following club seminars:

  • Feb. 13 – Milford Camera Club (CT) – “What’s New in Topaz”
  • March 5 – North Haven Camera Club (CT) – “Advanced Techniques in Lightroom and Photoshop.
  • April 1 – Greater Lynn Photographic Society (MA) – “Creativity with Textures”
  • April 12 – Westchester Photographic Society (NY) – “Topaz & Textures”
  • June 20 – Photographic Society of Chattanooga (TN) – “Topaz & Textures in Photoshop & Topaz Studio”

CONFERENCES:

  • April 26-28 – CanAm Photo Expo, Buffalo, NY – https://www.canamexpo.com/
  • And, of course, I will be a speaker at our Creative Photography Conference, Southbridge, MA, May 18-19. Join me and seven other talented speakers for a great weekend of creativity and learning! Details and sign-up on our website HERE.
  • July 26-28 – Southwestern Michigan Council of Camera Clubs Conference, Hope College, Holland, MI. https://www.swmccc.org/. They haven’t posted the 2019 info yet, but you can see what last year’s conference offered!
  • Oct. 19-20 – And speaking of Mike Moats, I’m pleased to say I will be one of the speakers for the 5th Macro Photo Conference, in Cleveland, OH. I was a speaker at the first conference in Seekonk, MA – it will be fun to visit a new location and meet some other speakers that I haven’t worked with before. There are seminars as well as lots of photo ops with all the speakers assisting. The conference is $199 and limited to 100 people. They always sell out early, so don’t delay signing up. Check it out HERE!

With the new year comes photo “challenges” – 365 days; 52 weeks, etc. While I don’t know that I will complete one myself, this article from the Photo Argus has a 52-week challenge with some great ideas and info even if you don’t do it weekly.

Photographing the moon can be tricky. Here’s a great article with helpful info from Light Stalking.

Have a great week!

Nov. 25 – Sunday Sampler

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving! We were in Buffalo this week – at Niagara Falls on Thanksgiving Morning at 19 degrees! Wasn’t too bad until we walked out on the observation deck over the river and the wind kicked in – Yikes! Wasn’t out there very long! 

On Friday we went to the Buffalo & Erie Botanical Garden. It was designed as a replica of the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. This was the first day of the poinsettia and model train show. Not quite as elaborate as the NYBG, but pretty nonetheless. 

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some textures from the botanical garden – flower pots and tree bark! Enjoy!

Black Friday, Cyber Monday & other special deals continue!

A recap of the past week’s posts in case you missed them!

Pre-Order my 2nd eBook at 40% off!

In last Sunday’s post I released the pre-order for my 2nd eBook, “Working with Textures & Overlays: Turn Ho-Hum into a Work of Art, Book 2”! Save 40% – reg. price $25, pre-order price $15! Click HERE to go to the Peacock Studio and order! (Extended through 11/30 at midnight EST.)

I also released 3 new texture sets at 25% off. Use the code HOLIDAY2018 to save 25% on any of my texture sets or first eBook. EXTENDED THROUGH 11/30! Click HERE to go to the store.

Topaz Specials

The great Topaz deals END MIDNIGHT CENTRAL TIME MON., NOV. 26TH! Don’t miss out! Click HERE to go to last week’s blog post and all the details!

Think Tank Photo Camera Bags

Deals run till Dec. 2nd. Click HERE to go to last week’s blog post and all the details!

Grut Brushes

Fabulous brushes for digital painting AND for creating textures! Sale expires Monday midnight (UK time). Click HERE to find the details.

Design Cuts

I ordered my deal today! Don’t miss this one! FIFTY fabulous products for just $99! I love, love, love Design Cuts. I’ve gotten lots of great bundles from them – fonts, textures, brushes and much more. Their regular bundles are $29 and a great deal too! But this special Black Friday Bonanza is totally amazing. One product has 150 textures! That alone is worth the $99! Lots of great fonts, more textures, brushes, mock-ups, and more. CLICK HERE!

Layer Cake/Studio Magic – Coming Up!

They are putting the finishing touches on a great deal for my readers! I’ll email as soon as it’s live!

Don’t Miss Out on Early Bird Pricing!

The Early Bird Pricing ends midnight Nov. 30th (EST). Save $61 on registration and reserve your seat for our fabulous line-up of creative speakers. 

Join us on May 18-19, 2019 for the 3rd Creative Photography Conference. Speakers include:

  • John Barclay (Topaz webinar presenter)
  • Anne Belmont (Lensbaby specialist)
  • Mark Bowie (creative landscape photographer)
  • Betty Wiley (creative techniques in Lightroom & Photoshop)
  • Jane Driscoll (iPhoneography/apps)
  • Loretta Paul-Goldin (creating textures with alcohol inks)
  • Jan Doyle (creative products with your photos and using YouTube for free publicity)
  • and ME – (textures!)

We will have multiple events simultaneously and will have the photo-ops room open all weekend (practice flower photography with Lensbaby loaners and your macro skills with many tabletop set-ups). 

NEW FOR 2019:

On Friday there will be two pre-conference sessions. One with John Barclay and one with me. (Additional fee)

Also new this year will be buffet dinners on Friday and Saturday nights. Don’t wait in a restaurant – join us and socialize with other attendees and our speakers! Just $20 per dinner.

And, as always, included is all Sat./Sun. sessions; lunch both days; coffee “and” in the mornings; speaker notes on a flash drive, a goody bag with discounts and other items; and LOTS of door prizes. Hunt’s Photo will also be here again for your shopping pleasure!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

I know I’ve mentioned Canvas on Demand before. I use them for all my canvas prints. I got an email today – good only till tonight – but if you have something ready to print, you can get a 16×20 canvas for just $20!! Code: JXBV60 at checkout. I’m not an affiliate for them – I just think they’re fabulous! https://www.canvasondemand.com/

DEALS FROM PIXELO! Another great “bundle” company. If you like using Photoshop add-ons (plug-ins, layer styles, brushes, swatches and more), then you’ll love this one! 5500 Unique Add-Ons for $29!  

AND until tomorrow night you can save 20% off that great price … go to the top of the page and enter your email and you will get a coupon code to use!

They also have several other bundles available on the site (CLICK HERE)

Stay tuned for more deals this week!

Nov. 4 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday and a warm welcome to all of the new subscribers! Thank you for watching my Topaz webinar this past week. It was fun doing some Halloween-themed images! We had lots of great questions as well. I printed out the chat so I can answer more of the questions here in the Topaz Corner (see below). We try to cover a LOT of information during the webinars – I know for some people it seemed to go too fast – but that’s why they record the webinars so you can go back and watch again!

The “edited” webinar is not posted yet, but you can get to the unedited copy by clicking HERE. And if you haven’t gotten them yet, I have the notes for this webinar for sale in my online store for just $5! This gives you all of the images that I worked on during the webinar, the notes with the settings that I used, AND a bonus set of textures (these textures are not available anywhere else – they will be part of some upcoming sets in the store). Click HERE to go to the web store and then select “Topaz Notes” (the notes for my last webinar are also still available).

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler started with a shot of tree bark that I took on my jaunt this week to Southford Falls State Park in Southford, CT. I then did a couple of variations using AI ReMix in Studio.

The recent rains and pretty fall color made for some nice images:

After editing these leaves, I added a preset in Topaz Studio to give them some added “punch”.

I’ve been totally amazed with the quality of AI Clear. It really makes my images look great! I did mask it off of the water a little so that they wouldn’t be overly sharp.

NEW WEBINAR NOTE!

If you’d like to see some more of “What’s New with Topaz Labs”, I will be doing a webinar tonight at 7:00 pm Eastern Time, for NPEG (the National Photography Enthusiasts Group). They have allowed me to open up registration to you as well! Click HERE to sign up! I’ll be covering Topaz Studio and some of the Pro Adjustments that have been added since the Summer when I did my last webinar for them.

 

So as I mentioned above, I printed the chat log from Tuesday’s webinar so that I could answer questions we couldn’t get to during the presentation. I love reading all the “hello’s” when people log on and seeing where everyone is from (all over the world!).

A couple questions from the first project, the “haunted” house and graffiti overlay.

Q. How did she unlock the ratio?

A. After adding the 2nd image layer, you will see a “Lock Aspect Ratio  Yes  No” under the image – click on NO and you will be able to resize the image without maintaining the original aspect (see screen shot below)

 

Q. Where did she get the clip art? Where did she get the lightning?

A. The graffiti shot I used was from Layer Cake’s “Epic Location Sets” (Urban Chic set) and the lightning was from their Studio Magic plug-in program.

I recently did a webinar for them utilizing these new Location Sets. They are also the makers of Studio Magic, an awesome plug-in to Photoshop (I have done a webinar on this as well). You can save 90% and get Studio Magic, free sky overlays and the 1200 Epic Location Sets for just $125 HERE. Or just the 1200 Location Sets and Skies for $99 HERE.

The other clip art I showed (spider web, pumpkin, ghost), I downloaded from Brusheezy.com. They have TONS of free brushes, clip art and more (also Vecteezy.com for graphics).

Also watch the blog for “Around the Web” links to other great resources.

Q. How do I import textures into Studio?

A. I put together a tutorial sheet on how to do this with screen shots. Click – How to Add Textures to get the pdf file!

Q. How did she get two different textures to apply? When I do that, the second will override the first!

A. Once you have applied your first texture, you need to then click on Adjustment again and select texture to open a 2nd dialogue box and add a 2nd texture without deleting the first one. So you’re pallette will look like this:

 

I will answer some more questions next week!

 

Just a reminder…the Early Bird pricing for our 3rd Creative Photography Conference ends on November 30th!

Join us May 18-19, 2019 at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center in Southbridge, MA, and unleash your creative side!

Our fabulous speakers: John Barclay, Anne Belmont, Mark Bowie, Betty Wiley, Jane Driscoll, Loretta Paul-Goldin, Jan Doyle and me, will show you techniques including Topaz, textures, LensBaby, landscapes, Lightroom, Photoshop, Luminar, iPhoneography, creative projects with your photos, YouTube publicity and creating your own textures in PS and with alcohol inks. We’ll also have a photo ops room with set ups to photograph, and much, much more!

Go to our website at: https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/ for all the details and to register!

Have a great week!

Oct. 21 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Holidays are fast approaching!! Yikes! Quite blustery today in CT after a nice Fall day yesterday.

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of cracked paint on old train cars at the New England Railway Museum where we did a night shoot last weekend. Enjoy!

FEATURED SPEAKER – JOHN BARCLAY

Registration is under way for our 2019 Conference! We have an awesome line up of speakers for you this year. I’ll be featuring them here on the blog as well as on the website.

Our first featured speaker is John Barclay, an amazing photographer, fellow Topaz speaker (John recommended me to Topaz as a webinar presenter), inspiring and a nice guy!

“John is an award winning freelance photographer based in Bucks County PA. He is a passionate photographer and enthusiastic workshop leader. John is also an inspirational speaker sharing his program ‘Dream – Believe – Create’ to audiences around the Country.

John was personally selected by Dewitt Jones to participate in his www.healingimages.org project. John’s work has been published in a number of magazines and books and has been used by Nik Software, Topaz Labs and Lensbaby in their advertising campaigns.

Recently, John was the recipient of an excellence award from B&W Magazine.”

John will be presenting his “Dream-Believe-Create” program at the Creative Photography Conference, as well as doing a session on creating with Topaz. He will also be one of the two Pre-Conference presenters with a hands-on Topaz class.

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

And don’t miss out on the “Early Bird” registration – now through Nov. 30th!

 

 

Exciting – although unexpected – as of Friday I no longer have my full-time job! Layoffs throughout the company (I’d been there almost 17 years!). Sad to miss my co-workers, but relieved as well. I won’t miss being micro-managed!

So…this gives me more time to pursue more photography projects for my own business! Stay tuned…I WILL be finishing my second textures eBook (that I’ve been trying to do for over a year); I will be offering more training – in-person and by webinars; adding some new products to the Peacock Studio; and some other things as well! I’ll probably be even busier than when I was working full-time.

I will be heading to Cape Cod on Thursday to judge as the Cape Cod Art Center Camera Club, then spending some time Friday photographing with Betty Wiley (who will also be a speaker at our Creative Photography Conference).

Next up will be my 11th Topaz Webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 30th at 5:00 Eastern Time. Sign ups should start soon on the Topaz site – keep an eye on THIS PAGE.

Check out my list of upcoming seminars and webinars HERE.

And if you missed the webinar this past week with StudioMagic, catch it here: http://www.photoeffects.biz/webinaroct/webinaroct.mp4

And you can still get in on the webinar specials (ending in 48 hours). Get 90% off in this special Webinar special deal, you also receive the Framing actions and the Portrait/Wedding actions.

REVIEW the Epic Location sets and StudioMagic plugins below

https://store.layercakeelements.com/gav/moviesets.html

Get the location sets and StudioMagic plugins for only $125.00 here: https://www.layercakeelements.net/product/epic-location-sets-web-deal-1/

OR…You can purchase ONLY the 1,200 location sets for only $99.00 (80%) off here: https://www.layercakeelements.net/product/epic-location-sets-web-deal-2/

 

 

The folks at Design Cuts have another great font bundle now available – the Supreme Quality Font Bundle. Sixteen font families with 271 individual fonts! Full commercial use license. Value $1174 for just $29. Check it out – click here and then go to “Current Bundle”

And, more new from Topaz – expecting an update to AI Clear this week. Stay tuned! I’ll send a post when it’s available.

 

Have a good Sunday!