April 21 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Passover and Happy Easter to all those who celebrate. Today is also our 35th wedding anniversary! Spring is finally springing here in southern CT – the leaves are popping open on the trees and some of the flowering trees are blooming. Lots of rain this past week, so everything has that pretty bright green color!

In honor of Spring and Easter, this week’s Sunday Sampler consists of five pretty pastel textures for you. It started with the Pink-Blue Concrete and then I started modifying from there with Topaz and Smart Photo Editor. Enjoy!

This week, Topaz Labs introduced their newest AI product, DeNoise AI. They have also now discontinued selling AI Clear as a Studio Pro Adjustment. At first I was very confused as to why they would get rid of AI Clear! It was my favorite adjustment and I’ve been using it on EVERY image at the beginning of my processing. However, after reading an article by Dr. Partha Acharjee, I now understand the why, and what is better about DeNoise AI. CLICK HERE for “The Story Behind DeNoise AI.” Another advantage of DeNoise AI is that it is not just a Studio Adjustment – you can access it as a stand-alone or as a plug-in.

If you own the old DeNoise or AI Clear, you should have received an email from Topaz Labs offering you a free copy of DeNoise AI. If you did not receive that email, contact Topaz by opening a help ticket and they will get you hooked up!

If you wish to purchase DeNoise AI, it is on sale until May 3rd for $59.99 (reg. $79.99). Click HERE to go to the store page. You can try it first with a 30-day trial.

If you do not own any of the four AI products, you can purchase a bundle of DeNoise AI, Sharpen AI, Gigapixel AI and JPEG to RAW for $199.99 (reg. $359.96). This sale also ends May 3rd. Click HERE to go to the bundle offer.

And…if you have questions about any of the AI products, there is a helpful Q&A page HERE! This page also gives you the system requirements for the powerful AI products.

Here is an image I processed with DeNoise AI. There is a LOT of noise in this shadowy image at Longwood Gardens:

BEFORE

Topaz DeNoise AI did a great job in getting rid of noise as well as sharpening the image:

AFTER

Opinions Please!

Thank you to all those who already took my brief survey! If you haven’t yet, I would greatly appreciate 2 minutes of your time (it’s just 3 questions)! I’m looking for input as to what you would like to see in upcoming tutorials – and the formats preferred. Click HERE FOR SURVEY. Thanks!

LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY!

Don’t miss out on the last New England Conference! The 3rd Creative Photography Conference, May 18-19, 2019 at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center, Southbridge, MA.

CLICK HERE for all the details, speaker info, and schedule!

A great article by Toad Hollow Photography over on Light Stalking – “31 Photography Links to get you Inspired”

From the folks at Design Cuts, “The Essential, Versatile Font Collection” for just $29 (exp. 4/28).

  • 16 versatile and professional font families (featuring a total of 253 individual fonts), perfect for adding exceptional typography to your design work.
  • Many fonts include extra weights, styles and stylistic alternates.
  • Many fonts also include bonus/extras packs, containing additional creative resources.
  • Fonts are organised into carefully labelled folders, including desktop and web versions for all fonts.

CLICK HERE for all the details!

SALE! Save 25% on any bundle over on Pixelo – EXPIRES 4/23, so don’t wait! CLICK HERE, then use the code EASTER25 at checkout!

I’m not sure if I will get a blog post out on Sunday next weekend – I’ll be teaching at the CanAm Photo Expo Friday-Sunday and getting home very late Sunday night. If there’s lots of news to share, I’ll post on Monday, otherwise, I’ll include more info in the following week’s post. Enjoy!

April 7 – Sunday Sampler

Happy April! It’s finally starting to FEEL like Spring out there! Crocuses are starting to pop and the leaves of daffodils are poking through!

I purchased some tulips at the grocery last week and spent a little time photographing them this week. These were done at the kitchen table – I use a tri-fold foamcore board for a backdrop, draped an old lace tablecloth over it, and used some props I’ve been collecting. And so many editing possibilities! These are just 2 of the versions I created – opposite extremes! Processing in LR/PS & Topaz.

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some rattan seating from old subway cars at the NY Transportation Museum in Brooklyn. I especially like the ‘bokeh’ image – I sat the camera on the seat and got a pretty cool vantage point! These would also be great to turn into B&W and just utilize the texture of the rattan and not the color. Enjoy!

JUST SIX WEEKS AWAY!
Don’t miss out on the last New England Conference!
May 18-19, 2019

It’s coming up quick! If you want to expand your photographic creativity, then you don’t want to miss this event! Join me and 7 other speakers for a weekend of learning and fun! Seminar topics include: Topaz, textures, creative LR/PS, creative landscapes, LensBaby florals, iPhoneography & apps, multiple exposures, Luminar, creative photo projects, and much more! There will also be photo ops, loaner lenses, and photo walks. And Hunt’s will be here for your shopping pleasure!

Registration includes morning snack, lunch, all Sat./Sun. seminars and other sessions, goody bag, and door prizes!

And added for 2019 – 2 pre-conference workshops and optional dinner buffets on Fri. and/or Sat. nights.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT ALL THE DETAILS ON OUR WEBSITE…AND TO REGISTER!

I have extended my discount code meredith25 until April 15th – save $25 on your registration!

The guys & gals at DESIGN CUTS have put together another fabulous bundle of TEXTURES!!! (You know I’m grabbing this one!) “The Exceptional Textures & Patterns Bundle” sells for just $29 (value $3683). This deal expires in 8 DAYS, so don’t wait – grab your copy now!

It contains hundreds of textures, backgrounds, masks, patterns and more!

CLICK HERE to grab this amazing deal!!

And, my friends at PIXELO also have an awesome bundle going on for photographers – “The Glorious Photoshop Add-Ons Bundle” that consists of 5500 unique PS add-ons – all for just $29!

This bundle consists of:
– 90 mind-blowing Photoshop plugins
– 5500 unique add-ons
– 39 Photoshop actions
– 2345 unique layer styles
– 643 Photoshop brushes
– 1558 Photoshop swatches
– 298 Photoshop overlays
– Full commercial license

CLICK HERE to grab this fabulous deal!

And…some Freebies too!

From iPhone Photography School – “The 10 Best Photo Editing Apps for iPhone”

From CreativeBloq.com – “26 Top Free Brush Fonts”and “45 Great Free Handwriting Fonts”

And from WebDesignDev.com, “The 18 Best Photoshop Add-Ons for Designers”

HAVE A GREAT WEEK!

March 31 – Sunday Sampler

The end of March already – just WHERE does the time go these days?! Don’t get fooled tomorrow! Happy April Fool’s Day!

For this week’s Sunday Sampler, I took a slightly blurred wooden plank shot and gave it four other treatments – so a total of 5 textures this week! Enjoy!

This week Topaz Labs released an update to Gigapixel AI. If you already own the product, the update is free. If you don’t already own it, you can save $20 on the price of $99.99 until April 5th – CLICK HERE!

“Gigapixel AI allows you to enlarge images up to 600%! You can create beautiful 80 x 60 inch prints from a simple iPhone photo. Or transform your DSLR photos into sharp and ultra-detailed 100MP images.

After being training with millions of sample images, Gigapixel can now enlarge your images with a surprising level of quality.

Gigapixel performs around 2 million operations per pixel to get you results with as much detail and sharpness as possible.

No matter why you’re enlarging your photos, you always want the best possibly quality for your results. Gigapixel AI is currently the only photo enlargement product available that can actually add detail back to your upscaled photo.”

Check out more samples and grab your copy HERE on the Topaz site!

If you have a smartphone and want to learn more about apps and how to use them, check out The App Whisperer for some great info! http://theappwhisperer.com/

Jane Driscoll does some great tutorials in some of the iPhone Facebook groups…AND…she’ll be one of 8 presenters at our Creative Photography Conference! Check out info on Jane and our other speakers on the website and join us May 18-19, 2019 in Southbridge, MA for our 3rd Conference!

And join me and a great line-up of speakers at the CanAm Photo Expo, April 26-28, 2019 in Buffalo, NY. I’ll be doing multiple sessions on “HDR – The Natural Look” and “Creativity with Topaz & Textures” along with sessions in the Macro Lab helping you create some textures of your own!

March 17 – Sunday Sampler

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

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

3 NEW TEXTURE SETS!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t Miss Out!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 10 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! SPRING AHEAD! Hopefully you remembered to set your clocks ahead last night (except for our friends in Arizona)!

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of rocks! I took a very “grungy” rock (actually almost looks like tree bark) and gave you several versions and colors. Enjoy!

THE EBOOK IS DONE!! It’s heading to the printer tomorrow to have DVD’s made (it’s too big for a CD!).

I will begin emailing links later this week to those who purchased the Electronic Version. The DVD’s should arrive right around the end of March and will be mailed as soon as I get them.

I’ve extended the $5 off Coupon for pre-order of the 2nd eBook till 3/17 (CODE: preorder5), and I’ve added a $5 off Coupon for Book 1 (if you don’t have it yet – CODE: firstbook) which also expires 3/17. You CAN use both of these coupons at checkout if you’d like to order both books.

I’m very excited about this new book – it has twelve projects that take you through various ways of working with textures, overlays, gradients, type and layer styles, brushes and much more. It’s 117 pages chock full of creative inspiration! All images and textures used in the projects are included so you can work along with me. And there are bonus sets of textures and brushes as well as a list of my favorite resources!

Head over to the Peacock Studio store on the website and grab your copies! https://www.meredithimages.com/products/

And while you’re in the store, be sure to check out my texture selections – I am working on some new sets and plan to have them added in the next week or so.

Peacock Studio at Meredith Images

And while you’re over on the website, be sure to check out the upcoming Creative Photography Conference, May 18-19, 2019 in Southbridge, MA.

I’ve posted bios for each of our speakers as well as the seminars they will be doing and some examples of their fabulous work. Also posted is the Conference Schedule.

This will be the last New England Conference – don’t miss out!

Workshops Update

I have several half-day hands-on workshops coming up – here is where we’re at with space availability (they are limited to 6 people per session):

March 24 – Photoshop Beginner – FULL! If you are interested in this workshop please email me your name to be put on a list for the next session.
March 31 – Creativity with Topaz – 3 spaces left
April 7 – Elements Intermediate – 5 spaces left
April 14 – Photoshop Intermediate – 3 spaces left
May 5 – Textures & Composites – 4 spaces left

Workshops are hands-on with a laptop (or you may follow along if preferred). I will supply images to work on together as well as notes.

Each session is just $69 and will be held at CT Band Instruments at 1 Church Street, Stratford, CT, 1:00-4:30 pm.

Recently I’ve told you about several great bundles from the folks at Pixelo. They’ve release six new FREEBIES for me to share with you! The newest ones are (these are all live links):
GRAFFISMO FONT
RAINWOOD FREE TYPEFACE
WEST SIDE FONT
NEON PS TEXT EFFECT
STORYTELLA FONT
7 DUOTONE PS ACTIONS

And there are a couple of active promotions for bundles of goodies! If you can’t get enough fonts, check out the GRADIOSE SCRIPT FONTS BUNDLE consisting of 84 script font families with a total of 130 unique fonts – just $29!

And…still an active promotion is the AGELESS VINTAGE BUNDLE
This one contains 55 font families; 176 retro designs and much more! Also just $29.

All of their bundles come with a full personal/commercial license.

So now that you have lots of cool new fonts to play with, here are “20 Amazing Free Photoshop Text Effects” tutorials from WebDesignDev.com.

Feb. 24 – Sunday Sampler

Lots of nasty weather across the country this week! Snow in Las Vegas and the Sonoran Desert; flooding in Tennessee and other states…stay safe everyone! I drove to TN and back this week myself. We’re looking to relocate later this year. Luckily we had an inspection done on the property. Too many issues to make it worth it. The home/property search is back on!

This week’s Sunday Sampler starts with a moss-covered board in FL. I modified it three other ways with Topaz. Feel free to take the original and create some new modifications of your own! Enjoy!

If you are looking to expand your font collection, my friends at Design Cuts have a beautiful new font bundle for you! The “Font Lovers Versatile Library” . This collection has a wide variety of styles, from display, sans serif, serifs, vintage, and more. If you purchased individually, the value is $1750. The Bundle price is just $29! CLICK HERE to visit the Design Cuts page and check it out!

A New National Park

Press release from the National Park Foundation:

“Chances are, when you think about the National Park Foundation, the first places that come to mind are the largest national parks we protect and support.
However, the National Park System consists of over 400 national parks, large and small, from coast to coast. These places honor the battlefields, historic homes, birthplaces, forts, and other landmarks where pivotal events happened — events that deserve to be remembered and understood as American history moves forward.
I’d like to take the opportunity to share with you one of the newest national monuments in the country — one of the few to commemorate the history of organized labor, and the first-ever national park in Chicago.
If the name “Pullman” rings a bell, you might be a railroad buff. “Pullman cars” transformed rail travel by introducing sleeping accommodations to make long-distance travel on America’s burgeoning railroad network more comfortable for those who could afford it. Virtually all of the Pullman car porters and maids were African Americans, some of whom were emancipated slaves who migrated north. Though they worked largely for tips and had to pay for their own meals, uniforms, and lodging, employment on the trains was considered an elite and symbolically important position, opening the door to economic advancement. But the wages for all Pullman workers were sharply cut during the Panic of 1893. And though their paychecks dropped by 25 percent, rent and other costs within the factory town stayed the same. Pullman workers walked out on May 11, 1894.
The events at Pullman, including the historic strike which started there and lead to over 250,000 workers striking nationwide, happened over a century ago. But, the site’s influence as a catalyst of labor organizing and a source of African American opportunity has endured for decades.
We have a vision to help the National Park Service open a vibrant new National Park Service Visitor Center that offers unprecedented opportunities to step inside one of Pullman’s historic structures and be immersed in the town’s many stories.
The Visitor Center and the surrounding area will be a gateway to broader exploration of the entire Pullman Historic District. Local events and partnerships, alongside National Park Service programming, will bring lively activities to the site. New walking paths with interpretive signage will give visitors the opportunity to explore Pullman’s stories at their own pace, from quick circuits around the Visitor Center to longer walking tour experiences.
Exhibits, interpretation, and signage will provide families, school groups, and adults with the opportunity to examine our nation’s history from a variety of perspectives — those of immigrant workers; African American porters and maids; Pullman himself; and company managers, government officials, and observers including contemporary journalists and politicians.
It will be extraordinary.”

I’ve added this new park to my “to visit” list!

Upcoming Event

In late July I will be speaking at the Southwestern Michigan Council of Camera Clubs Summer Weekend of Photography (SWMCCC). The event will be held at Hope College in Holland, Michigan July 26-28, 2019. CLICK HERE for their website. They will be posting more info on the 2019 event shortly.

I will be doing two sessions on “HDR – The Natural Look” and two sessions of “Creativity with Topaz & Textures”.

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/

Stay tuned tomorrow!

A new product release coming from Topaz!

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!