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!

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!

Dec. 23 – Sunday Sampler

Merry Christmas to my readers who are celebrating this week! This week’s Sunday Sampler will take us to warmer days with some patterns in the sand! We have the original plus two variations I created in Topaz Studio. Remember you can always change the colors with a hue/saturation adjustment or a color overlay (changing the blending mode too). Enjoy!

I created this digital card last night in Photoshop. The original image from Cades Cove (in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park) was taken a few years ago when we there in March – thus no leaves on the trees yet. But…there wasn’t snow on the ground either!

First I added the deer from another image taken in Cades Cove on a different day/trip, then I turned it into a Winter scene with Studio Magic II. I also used Studio Magic II to add the softly falling snow.

I used one of my own crop shapes to create the edges, then added a texture of mine behind it. 2 TIPS: If you want to lighten a texture in the background so that it’s more subtle, there are two ways you can do this (which one you use depends on the look you want and the texture itself). Method one: add a blank layer beneath the texture and fill it with white. Then you can lower the opacity of the texture layer and it will get lighter.

The second way is to apply a white (or colored) layer OVER the texture and lower the opacity of the color layer. In my image above I first tried the white layer under my texture, but didn’t really like the result (looked too pale). So I tried adding the white layer OVER the texture layer and lowered the opacity to 32% – bingo! I liked that look!

Here is the screen shot of the layers for this project and the details of all my steps below:

  1. I edited the original image.
  2. Added the deer and resized it to look realistic.
  3. Used Studio Magic II to create a Winter Scene in “Season Shifter”.
  4. At this point I thought the deer was too washed out from the Winter effect, so I duplicated the deer layer and brought it above the Winter Season layer. Lowered the opacity to 87% to blend it better.
  5. I’ll need a layer that contains the original, the deer and the Winter scene in one layer. I could flatten my image at this point OR what I did here is created a merged layer above the other layers. To do this hit Control+Alt+Shift+E. Yep, it takes a lot of fingers to do this (it’s nicknamed the “claw” for good reason)!
  6. Apply the snow in Studio Magic II – Snow Maker.
  7. Now I brought in the crop shape (from my collection in the Peacock Studio). We want the crop shape layer beneath the merged layer.
  8. Click on the merged layer and click Control+Alt+G to clip that layer to the shape (you can turn off the visibility of the lower layers and you will see that you have a transparent border around the shape). The little down pointing arrow next to the layer image shows that it is clipped or grouped with the shape layer below.
  9. Now we’ll add the texture beneath the crop shape. Used a texture from one of my new collections, “Computer Collections – Inky Leaks 1”. As mentioned above, I didn’t want the colors to be so bold, so I added a blank layer above the texture, filled it with white and lowered the opacity to 32%.
  10. Added my Type layer at the top. Used a stroke outline and drop shadow.
  11. Complete!

And speaking of Studio Magic…They’ve given me an exclusive holiday discount for my readers! Save 60% of any product on their website with the code hazel60 now through Dec. 31st! CLICK HERE to go to their website and check out all the fabulous products! Example of the savings: Studio Magic I and II normally is on the site for $179 – save $107.40 and grab it for just $71.60 with this discount! OR…grab their Epic Location Sets for $139.60 (Reg. $349). OR…get both Studio Magic I & II plus the Epic Location Sets combo for just $159.60 (reg. $399.00)!!! There are also lots of other sets of backgrounds, actions and more…poke around the site!

Last Minute Holiday Gift Idea!

If you need a gift for that special photographer in your life – or yourself – sign up for the 3rd Creative Photography Conference – and here’s an easy way to do it!

Take advantage of our Holiday Easy Payment Plan! Pay 1/2 of the registration fee by Dec. 31st ($175), and pay the balance by Feb. 28th ($175). If you are giving as a gift, let me know and I will send you a gift certificate that you can print and put under the tree!

You can add on pre-conference workshops now or later – but the workshops are they’re filling up, so you may want to add them now! You can also add the optional dinner buffet for Fri. or Sat. with either payment.

Contact me with any questions at Hazel@MeredithImages.com and CLICK HERE to go to the Peacock Studio Store to sign up!

Other last minute holiday deals…

From PIXELO – a fabulous special deal – the entire current shop of bundles for just $99!

CLICK HERE for this Pixelo deal!

Another great resource for bundles is Pixel Surplus – and they also have lots of FREEBIES on their website HERE!

Dec. 2 – Sunday Sampler

For me, December is the beginning of the Holiday season (I’ll be decorating today). I like to wait until December for our Christmas decorations. Happy Hannukkah to those celebrating. Wishing you a joyous season whichever holiday to celebrate!

This week’s Sunday Sampler takes a palm frond from our visit during Thanksgiving Week to the Buffalo & Erie Botanical Garden, and works it several ways in Topaz Studio (using ReMix and Texture Effects). This beautiful greenhouse was designed to replicate the one at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. It’s great to wander from room to room and see the different styles of gardens and flowers

Another great site for some FREE brushes is BrushLovers.com. Click HERE to get some great bokeh brushes. Then scroll down and start searching for TONS more! They also have tabs at the top for textures, styles, patterns and vector art. As always, be sure to check the Terms of Use if you plan to use in commercial works.

If you are into mobile photography, there is a great site for reviews of software, tutorials, and more – theAppWhisperer.com. A great resource!

Heath has been busy editing webinars, and with the exception of John Barclay’s double session last week, all the rest are now posted on their site. Click here to learn some great info from all the Topaz presenters!

Last Call…Black Friday Deals!

Today is the last day to get in on Early Bird Registration for the May 18-19, 2019 Creative Photography Conference! Save $61 when you register by midnight tonight (EST). 

Held at the beautiful Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center in Southbridge, MA. Two days of creativity including: Creative photography techniques – landscapes & multiple exposures; Post-Processing (PS, LR, Topaz, Textures); iPhoneography/Apps; Lens Babies, hands-on photo ops, and much more!

Our Creative Speaker Lineup:
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”

And new in 2019!

Pre-Conference Hands-On Workshops

$69 (max. 24 people in each class)
Work along with our Pros!
Choice of “Creative Editing with Topaz” or “Creativity with Textures”
Bring your laptop (or follow along if you wish). Friday 1:00-4:30 pm
(You must be registered for the Creative Photography Conference to attend pre-conference workshops)

AND…There will be a Dinner Buffet available in the Visions Restaurant
both Friday and Saturday nights (similar to lunch with different entrees).
No waiting for food in a restaurant!
Relax, chat and socialize with friends and our speakers! $20 per person

We also have a block of rooms reserved at $139 (+ tax) per night. This year, the Brimfield Antiques weekend is the same time as our Conference, so this price is way below what the going rates will be. Don’t wait to book your room. Call 1-508-765-8000 and tell them you’re with the Meredith Images group.

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

Also expiring at midnight…

Pre-Order special on my 2nd eBook, “Working with Textures & Overlays: Turn Ho-Hum into a Work of Art, Book 2”.

A continuation of Book 1 with even more projects, textures, brushes and much more! Learn some advanced techniques on compositing images as well as applying textures. 

Will retail for $25 – pre-order special just $15 for electronic, $20 with shipping for the CD. 

Grab your copy in the Peacock Studio HERE!

And, you can also get 25% off of Book 1 and all texture sets through midnight with the coupon code HOLIDAY2018. Click HERE!

Sales Extended thru Sunday!

I know it’s not Sunday, but I wanted to share some timely news!

The Early Bird Registration for the 3rd Creative Photography Conference and the pre-order and sales on my eBooks and textures were scheduled to end tonight.

Well…tomorrow is Dave’s birthday (Happy Birthday Dear!), and he wanted to give a gift to our followers and extend all deals until midnight Sunday! This will be it, so don’t miss your chance for some great savings!

Our 3rd Creative Photography Conference is filling up! We’ve had quite a few people take advantage of the chance to save $61 on their Registration! Just $289 until midnight Sunday, Dec. 2nd.  There will be no other discounts of registration, so don’t miss out! 

You can also sign up for the dinner buffet on Fri. and/or Sat. nights – no waiting in restaurants and you’ll get to spend more time with our speakers and other attendees. You can also choose one of the Friday afternoon pre-conference sessions with either John Barclay (Topaz) or me (textures). Just $69 to work along on your laptop with us.

Go to: https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/ for all the details and to sign up!

WOW! The response has been amazing! Thank you to all who already pre-ordered my second eBook, “Working with Textures & Overlays: Turn Ho-Hum into a Work of Art, Book 2”! 

This pre-order special is also extended through midnight Sunday, Dec. 2nd. Regular price will be $25 – pre-order special just $15! And if you haven’t gotten the first eBook, you can save 25% with the code HOLIDAY2018 at checkout (reg. $20, on sale for $15). Available as either a CD (+$5 shipping) or as an electronic download. Either way you get all the same goodies – a PDF eBook, all the images, textures and brushes to follow along with the projects, plus some bonus textures and brushes! 

All texture sets are also 25% off with the code HOLIDAY2018 through Sunday. There are 3 new sets available, plus many others. You can also grab copies of my Topaz webinar notes for the past 2 webinars (stay tuned for the date for the next one!).

You can find all the eBooks, textures and notes in the Peacock Studio at: https://www.meredithimages.com/products/

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. 11 Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! And a huge thank you to all of our Veteran’s who have served our Country on this Veteran’s Day. My Dad and my husband both served in the Navy, and we have many other family members and friends who have served as well. Thank you to all.

 

I was playing around with an image to create some textures for this week’s Sunday Sampler. I took a cropped portion of a hot air balloon and started layering effects in Topaz Studio. The first image is one effect (Impression – Chalk Smudge). Then I got a little crazy and ended up with SIX presets layered!! THEN…I used ReStyle and Texture Effects to create two other versions of that one in B&W and Sepia!

I’m going to ask Heath if we can do this one either in a blog post for Topaz or a webinar. Stay tuned!!

 

REMINDER…the Early Bird Pricing for the Creative Photography Conference ends on November 30th! Don’t miss out on the special pricing and save $61 off your registration. There will not be any other discounts offered on the Conference! A great idea for a holiday gift for yourself or a creative friend!

I will be posting more speaker bios soon here in the blog and also creating pages for each of them under the Creative Photography Conference page on our website, https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/

 

WebDesignDev.com has “20+ Free Design Goodies You Will Want to Download”There are all kinds of things in this one – from fonts to textures to mock-ups and much more.

If you are into iPhoneography, here’s a good article on TheAppWhisperer.com “The iPhone Photography Apps You Need by Paul Brown”. I have some of these, but others are new to me and I’ll be checking them out! One of my favorites that is mentioned is DistressedFx – great textures!

And on iDesignNow.com, “25 Photoshop Surreal & Fantasy Photo Manipulation Tutorials”. Some very cool stuff!

 

And…a great deal from Pixelo – Get ready to add some magic to your design projects. Buy 1 Get 1 Free! Buy The Mighty Design Bundle for just $39 & Get The 2000+ Backgrounds Master Collection FREE. This offer includes their extended license, making it even more valuable for you. You’re able to use these resources in original designs for personal and commercial projects.

 

Here are the Q&A for a few more questions asked during my webinar on Oct. 30th.

Q: I can’t see how she drags images in Topaz Studio!

A: I work with two monitors, so during a webinar, I have all of my images open in a folder on the 2nd monitor. I just grab (click and hold) and drag the image into Studio on the other monitor. It makes it quicker during the webinars. If you are working on just one monitor, you can go to the top toolbar in Studio and click File > Open Image or Project > the just go to the folder you have your image saved in, click and open.

Q: How many layers does Studio permit?

A: There is no limit! you can add as many as you need.

Q: Can the original Topaz plug-ins be used in Studio (or accessed from Studio)?

A: YES! If you are working in Studio, you can access all of the plug-ins that you own right there. That’s what I love about Studio – you can do everything in one space. To access any of the plug-ins that are NOT “Studio Plug-ins”, go to the top toolbar and click Plug-Ins – a drop-down list will appear with all of the plug-ins that you own.

The six plug-ins that have Studio versions are Clarity, Detail, Glow, Impression, Simplify and Texture Effects. Those will be available in the left panel of Studio.

Q: Does Hazel hand-hold her camera for most of her photos or does she shoot more on a tripod. Also, does she use camera functions or shoot mostly in manual?

A: I have mostly tended to hand-hold when shooting, however, I do “force” myself to use a tripod more often these days when I know I should, especially in low-light situations. I do often hand-hold though when photographing birds in flight with my 150-500mm Sigma! Does get tiring, but it’s much easier than on a tripod.

And probably at least 75% of the time I shoot on manual. I will choose my desired f-stop and then just move the wheel to get the exposure where needed. The rest of the time I’ll most likely be on aperture priority if I don’t feel I’ll need to change the f-stop much. It generally depends on the lighting conditions.

 

THE 25% OFF MY E-BOOK AND TEXTURES EXPIRES AT MIDNIGHT TONIGHT (EST). Add to your texture library or grab the eBook to learn the basics of texturing! Use code TOPAZ25 at checkout. And…don’t forget to grab your copy of my webinar notes for just $5! All available in the Peacock Studio Shop at: https://www.meredithimages.com/products/

Have a great 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. 28 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Go Red Sox!


This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some beautiful clouds from Cape Cod. I judged at the Cape Cod Art Center Camera Club on Thursday evening. Got to visit John Barclay & Rad Drew for breakfast on Friday along with their workshop group, and dinner Friday with friends, Michael & Suz Karchmer. Busy couple of days! I had also hoped to meet up with Betty Wiley (one of our Creative Photography Conference speakers), but she had some computer issues and had to head to the Apple store off-Cape!

The Peacock Studio’s new mascot, Pete the Peacock, went along for the trip! He precariously perched on the fence at Highland Lighthouse (though the breeze knocked him down a few times!). He will be traveling with me and also be featured in my upcoming new travel blog…stay tuned!

 

This coming Tuesday, October 30th, is my next Topaz webinar!

REGISTER HERE!

Join me at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time for all the “spooky” edits! I will have notes available for this webinar for just $5. Includes full notes/settings, the images used so you can follow along when you watch the recording of the webinar, plus some bonuses! The notes will be available immediately after the webinar. (Notes from the previous webinar are also still available in my store).

I will also offer a 25% discount on my eBook and textures in the Peacock Studio with the code TOPAZ25The 25% off discount expires midnight Nov. 10th Eastern time.

Visit the Peacock Studio HERE!

 

FEATURED SPEAKER – ANNE BELMONT

As a flower photographer, 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 – the patterns, textures, curves and unique personality of each subject. 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. Some of those subjects might even have stories to tell. With a lifelong involvement in the arts and her deep love of nature, photography became a perfect way for Anne to share her vision of the natural world with others. Her first career as an art therapist has shaped the way she views art and the creative process, and has reinforced her belief in the healing power of both art and nature in our lives.

On any given day you will find her at her favorite place to photograph, the Chicago Botanic Garden. 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 on the Out of Chicago Photography team, organizing and presenting at their conferences. She presents programs and teaches workshops on flower photography at conferences and groups throughout the country. She is a writer for the learning community Visual Wilderness, where she writes about flower and macro photography. Anne partners with Lensbaby, and is passionate about using and promoting their creative lenses to enhance the artistry of photography. She is firmly committed to the idea that we should never stop learning, growing, experimenting and having fun with photography.

 

JOIN ANNE AND THE REST OF OUR CREATIVE LINE-UP AT THE 3RD CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY CONFERENCE, MAY 18-29, 2019 at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center, Southbridge, MA. 

Early Bird discount available until Nov. 30th – Don’t miss out!

Find all the details on our website HERE!

 

FREEBIES from MediaLoot22 Beautiful and Seamless Rock Textures! There are also additional freebies and for-purchase textures on this page.

For some last-minute Halloween Decorations, check out the freebies from TheHungryJPEGSpooky Halloween Clipart

Freebies from Pixelo – All kinds of goodies! Check ’em out!

And…from Pexels, 1000+ free Textures! Can be used for personal and commercial use (be sure to read the full license terms). 1000+ Beautiful Textures

 

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!