Sunday Sampler June 21

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there!

This week’s Sunday Sampler began as a scratched and rusty old car. Modified three ways for you to use in your grungy projects! Remember, use a hue/saturation or B&W adjustment to modify further. Enjoy!

I’ve been doing the Sunday Sampler for 4 1/2 years! Wow!! There is always at least six months of Sunday Sampler textures available for downloading for free through the old blog posts. At the end of each six month period, the files are removed from Dropbox and bundled into a new set of textures for sale.

So, the Sunday Sampler Group 8 is now available in the Peacock Studio store on the website. This Group contains 89 textures from July-Dec. 2019.

The groups regularly retain for $15 each. Group 8 is now on sale for just $10 (through June 30, 2020). CLICK HERE to go to the item in the web store.

And, if you are new to the blog and wish to purchase all of the past Groups, you can save even more with the bundle of ALL 8 GROUPS!

If purchased individually, it would be $120 for 8 groups. The regular group bundle price is $95 (saving you $25). Until June 30th, you can grab this huge bundle of 650 textures for just $70, and saving you $50!! CLICK HERE to get the BIG BUNDLE!

All New Mini Bundle from
Design Cuts – Textures!

On Thursday we released the latest Design Cuts Mini Bundle containing five awesome products I selected just for my readers.

There is a huge selection of textures for your projects: Vintage Distress = 30 textures; Noisy Grunge = 40 textures; Studio Portrait = 42 textures; Painted Paper Storm = 40 textures; and Ink Washes = 20 textures as brushes, JPG, PSD and TIF files!

I recorded a video of how I’ve used these products with my own images. Click on the image below – the video is at the top of the product page.

CLICK THIS IMAGE FOR VIDEO

To see the details of each product in this bundle, click on the product image above or the link below and it will take you to the full product page where you can check out each product.

THIS BUNDLE IS SPECIALLY PRICED AT 50% OFF!
JUST $24 FOR ALL FIVE AMAZING PRODUCTS!
CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR COPY!

WEBINAR RECORDING

My webinar for the Maryland Photography Alliance is available for replay or to watch if you couldn’t join us live. CLICK HERE for the video.

The notes (which include the PDF notes as well as all images and textures used in the projects) are available HERE in the Peacock Studio (click on Webinar Notes category).

My next webinar will be
Tuesday, July 14th at 4:00 pm EDT!
I will post the sign up link the week prior.

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated
if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Have a good week!

Tutorial Thursday June 18

All New Mini-Bundle from
Design Cuts – Textures!

I chose this group of textures just for you, dear reader! There is a huge selection of textures for your projects: Vintage Distress = 30 textures; Noisy Grunge = 40 textures; Studio Portrait = 42 textures; Painted Paper Storm = 40 textures; and Ink Washes = 20 textures as brushes, JPG, PSD and TIF files!

I recorded a video of how I’ve used these products with my own images. Click on the image below – the video is at the top of the product page.

CLICK THIS IMAGE FOR VIDEO

To see the details of each product in this bundle, click on the product image above or the link below and it will take you to the full product page where you can check out each product.

THIS BUNDLE IS SPECIALLY PRICED AT 50% OFF!
JUST $24 FOR ALL FIVE AMAZING PRODUCTS!
CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR COPY!

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated
if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Sunday Sampler June 7

Back from the Smokies! Beautiful weather and scenery. Lots of bear Moms and cubs. After a few days got tired of “bear jams” when cars decide to stop in the middle of the road for pics and back up traffic for a mile or more! We usually go to the park in late April, but of course, it was closed this year. Won’t be heading back till much later in the year! But it was nice to be only an hour and a half away instead of 12 hours!!

This week’s Sunday Sampler is some grass bokeh I photographed early one morning in Cade’s Cove. I used a field blur filter in PS, then added bokeh and then star points with the Topaz Studio Flare Filter. Enjoy!

QUICK SURVEY

I’m working on some new textures, but I’d like some feedback as to your wants and needs! Please take just a couple minutes to answer this 3 question survey – your feedback is greatly appreciated!

CLICK HERE FOR SURVEY

NEXT WEBINAR

My webinar for the Maryland Photography Alliance is this Tuesday, June 9th at 4:00 pm (EDT). It is open to non-members as well! Link below to sign up!

I am pleased to be included in their “Artist Spotlight” Webinar Series. This webinar consists of all new projects!

The MPA Artist Spotlight program offers web-based educational opportunities by outstanding speakers and raises money for many Marylanders in need due to COVID-19. The webinars will always be free to MPA Members and making donations will always be completely voluntary.

Join me as I demonstrate some of my creative processes from taking that “ho-hum” ordinary image and turning it into your own “work of art”. I will be working in Photoshop and Topaz Studio 2 – as well as utilizing textures – to create one-of-a-kind works of art. I will demonstrate masking and how blending modes make textures work with your photos.

As I usually do, I will have the notes available for this webinar in the Peacock Studio.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE SIGNUP PAGE!

TEXTURE SETS 50% OFF!

Here is an image I processed from the Smokies using one of the grunge border brushes. I will demonstrate this project in this week’s “Tutorial Thursday”!

I released three new texture/brush sets a couple weeks ago! They are all on sale 50% off until June 12th (reg. $12/sale $6).

The first set contains Grunge Overlays. You receive the 12 textures as ABR Brush files, as well as PNG (transparent backgrounds) and JPGs.

The second set is Grunge Borders. These also come as ABR brushes, PNGs and JPGs. These have overall grunge and also some cool border effects. If you wish to lessen the effect of the center grunge, just add a layer mask and mask some of the texture away.

The third set is a new set of Bird Brushes. These come as ABR Brushes and PNG files. Add some drama to your scenic images!

Remember, you can always change the color by filling the texture layer with color. Just click the “lock transparent pixels” button at the top of the layers panel so the color will only apply to the texture!

To grab your copy you can either select the image above to go to that item’s page, or click here to enter the Peacock Studio web store!

Have a good week!

Tutorial Thursday (Friday) June 5

I’m delayed with Tutorial Thursday this week as we spent a few days in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and got back late yesterday. It’s nice to be only an hour and a half away instead of 12 hours! Cell signal is non-existent in the park and wasn’t much better at our timeshare!

This week’s tutorials are a few cool things I found online for you. These will help you to practice various Photoshop techniques and create some cool backgrounds in the process.

The full article is HERE on Pixel2PixelDesign.com. Below I’ve highlighted a few that I think are pretty cool! (Just click on the title or the image to go to that tutorial.)

Create a Wavy Background Design

Create Abstract Background with Bokeh Effect

Calculations and Colorizations

Trendy Background

All New Mini-Bundle from
Design Cuts!

I selected this group of overlays and a new add-on just for my readers. These overlays are a ton of fun, and can take that OK image to the next level of WOW! I’ve seen some of the work that you guys are doing with these products and they look great!

I recorded a video of how I’ve used these products in my own images. You can click on the image below – the video is at the top of the product page.

CLICK THIS IMAGE FOR VIDEO

To see the details of each product in this bundle, just click on the product and it will take you to the full product page.

THIS BUNDLE IS SPECIALLY PRICED AT 50% OFF!
JUST $28.50 FOR ALL FIVE AMAZING PRODUCTS!
CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR COPY!

NEXT WEBINAR!

Join me next Tuesday for a webinar in conjunction with the Maryland Photography Alliance. I am pleased to be included in their “Artist Spotlight” Webinar Series. Tuesday, June 9th at 4:00 pm (EDT) for a session full of all new projects!

I will demonstrate some of my creative processes for taking that “ho-hum” ordinary image and turning it into your own “work of art”. I will be working in Photoshop and Topaz Studio 2 – as well as utilizing textures – to create one-of-a-kind works of art. I will demonstrate masking and how blending modes make textures work with your photos.

As I usually do, I will have the notes available for this webinar in the Peacock Studio.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

Sunday Sampler May 31

The end of another month already! Heading to the Smokies for a few days – watch for some pics on social media – hopefully of bears as well as beautiful scenery.

This week’s Sunday Sampler started as an image of a pattern in a hotel rug! Some “grunging” in Smart Photo Editor gives us three variations. Enjoy.

All New Mini-Bundle from
Design Cuts!

On Thursday, we released a new Mini-Bundle that I selected just for my readers. These overlays are a ton of fun, and can take that OK image to the next level of WOW!

I recorded a video of how I’ve used these products in my own images. You can click on the image below – the video is at the top of the product page.

CLICK THIS IMAGE FOR VIDEO

To see the details of each product in this bundle, just click on the product and it will take you to the full product page.

THIS BUNDLE IS SPECIALLY PRICED AT 50% OFF! JUST $28.50 FOR ALL FIVE AMAZING PRODUCTS! CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR COPY!

NEXT WEBINAR

My next webinar is one that I am doing for the Maryland Photography Alliance. They are allowing me to open it up to all of my readers as well!

I am pleased to be included in their “Artist Spotlight” Webinar Series. You can join me on Tuesday, June 9th at 4:00 pm (EDT) for a session full of all new projects!

The MPA Artist Spotlight program offers web-based educational opportunities by outstanding speakers and raises money for many Marylanders in need due to COVID-19. The webinars will always be free to MPA Members and making donations will always be completely voluntary.

Join me as I demonstrate some of my creative processes from taking that “ho-hum” ordinary image and turning it into your own “work of art”. I will be working in Photoshop and Topaz Studio 2 – as well as utilizing textures – to create one-of-a-kind works of art. I will demonstrate masking and how blending modes make textures work with your photos.

As I usually do, I will have the notes available for this webinar in the Peacock Studio.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE SIGNUP PAGE!

NEW TEXTURE SETS
50% OFF!

I released three new texture/brush sets on Tuesday! They are all on sale 50% off until June 12th (reg. $12/sale $6).

The first set contains Grunge Overlays. You receive the 12 textures as ABR Brush files, as well as PNG (transparent backgrounds) and JPGs.

The second set is Grunge Borders. These also come as ABR brushes, PNGs and JPGs. These have overall grunge and also some cool border effects. If you wish to lessen the effect of the center grunge, just add a layer mask and mask some of the texture away.

The third set is a new set of Bird Brushes. These come as ABR Brushes and PNG files. Add some drama to your scenic images!

Remember, you can always change the color by filling the texture layer with color. Just click the “lock transparent pixels” button at the top of the layers panel so the color will only apply to the texture!

To grab your copy you can either select the image above to go to that item’s page, or click here to enter the Peacock Studio web store!

Have a good week!

Tutorial Thursday May 28

All New Mini-Bundle from
Design Cuts!

I selected this group of overlays and a new add-on just for my readers. These overlays are a ton of fun, and can take that OK image to the next level of WOW!

I recorded a video of how I’ve used these products in my own images. You can click on the image below – the video is at the top of the product page.

CLICK THIS IMAGE FOR VIDEO

To see the details of each product in this bundle, just click on the product and it will take you to the full product page.

THIS BUNDLE IS SPECIALLY PRICED AT 50% OFF!
JUST $28.50 FOR ALL FIVE AMAZING PRODUCTS!
CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR COPY!

NEXT WEBINAR!

In case you missed the announcement in the Sunday Sampler, my next webinar is in conjunction with the Maryland Photography Alliance. I am pleased to be included in their “Artist Spotlight” Webinar Series. You can join me on Tuesday, June 9th at 4:00 pm (EDT) for a session full of all new projects!

Join me as I demonstrate some of my creative processes from taking that “ho-hum” ordinary image and turning it into your own “work of art”. I will be working in Photoshop and Topaz Studio 2 – as well as utilizing textures – to create one-of-a-kind works of art. I will demonstrate masking and how blending modes make textures work with your photos.

As I usually do, I will have the notes available for this webinar in the Peacock Studio.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

Tutorial Thursday May 14

WEBINAR RECORDING
and Q&A

A HUGE THANK YOU
to everyone who watched my webinar live on Tuesday!

Catch the replay HERE ON MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL!

And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well – thanks!!

AND…If you haven’t yet grabbed your copy of the webinar notes – which includes my notes, as well as the images and textures used in the projects AND a bonus set of textures and instructions – CLICK HERE to get your copy! Just $5! Notes from my first two webinars as well as my last four Topaz webinars are also available in the web store. Check ’em out!

We had viewers from across the globe (UK, Australia, Belize, Sweden, Canada, Greece, Germany, England) and across the US (from Key Largo to Maui and New Hampshire to Washington state)!

For today’s “Tutorial Thursday” I’m going to answer some of the questions asked in the chat that I couldn’t get to during the webinar. And also repeat the answers to a few common questions.

Q: I’m not getting any sound!

A: This seemed to be an issue for several attendees. Here are some helpful tips when using Zoom to watch a webinar or if you’re in a meeting. In addition to volume controls on your computer, Zoom has its own set of volume controls.

On your Zoom toolbar, there is an icon – usually the lower left – that shows a muted microphone. All attendees are muted, however next to that is an arrow (see below) – click on that and you will get this menu. Be sure that your computer speakers are selected (it will show your brand/model of speakers attached to your computer). There is also a spot to TEST Speaker and Microphone. Of course, you won’t need your microphone, but you should test your speakers prior to the start of the webinar and see if they are set properly to hear.

You should also select the AUDIO SETTINGS button on the above menu. You will then get this screen below. It’s another spot to test your speakers and be sure the volume level is set high enough to hear. You can also check the box to “Automatically join audio by computer when joining a meeting”. Then your Zoom will remember it next time.

One other note on Zoom. They are upgrading to version 5.0. You should go ahead and update your software now – it will be a mandatory update by the end of May, but it’s better to have it ready before you are trying to log in to another event. The updates are for added security measures that have been put in place to keep spammers out!

Q: When you add textures you are dragging them in (or using File > Open). Can’t you add your textures in Topaz Studio 2?

A: Yes, you most certainly can use Studio 2 for textures as you can add your own textures to the program as well. I do have a bunch of my own imported into Studio. For me, however, I have SO many textures that I like to be able to look through various file folders and see larger versions of the textures. The thumbnails in Studio are small and can be difficult to see the details of a particular texture.

I also like having my textures on separate layers in Photoshop so I can adjust opacity and blending modes or drag textures above or below other textures, and delete one easily if I find one I like better!

If you’d like to add your own textures to Studio 2, I have a tutorial to help you if you’re not sure how – Click the download button below for the PDF file.

Q: How do you decide which texture to use?

A: I get this question A LOT! It is a lot of trial and error – especially when you’re starting out using textures. But I find the more you use them, the more you’ll have an idea of what you might like on an image. That’s not to say it’s always a “hit” on the first ones you try, but definitely experience does guide you in the general direction.

You’ll also develop your own style of working with textures and will lean towards the ones that suit that style. You’ve probably noticed I typically like the “grungy” look, especially on old barns, buildings, and cars. Though with flowers and landscapes, I tend to go a little more subtle!

Q: When I bring in a texture that is in my PS Library, it is a Smart Object and PS asks me if I want to rasterize it. What does that mean?

A: First we need to clarify the difference between a Vector image and a Raster image. A Vector image/layer does not have pixels (like Type and Illustrator-created graphics). That means you can scale the size as large as you wish and not lose quality. A Raster image/layer has pixels. If you try to enlarge a raster image too much, it will get pixelated.

“Rasterizing a Photoshop layer converts a vector layer to pixels. Vector layers create graphics using lines and curves so they maintain their clarity when you enlarge them, but this format leaves them unsuitable for artistic effects that use pixels. … To add any of these filters, you must first rasterize the layer.” (from Adobe)

So that is probably why Photoshop is asking you if you want to rasterize your layer.

LAST CALL ON
NEW TEXTURE SETS!

The current four sets on sale are Grunge 2, Grunge 3, Alcohol Inks 2 and Alcohol Inks 3. They are available in the Peacock Studio and sale prices end tomorrow, Friday at midnight EDT.

These 4 new sets are Regular $12, but are on introductory sale at 50% off for just $6 each
until May 15th!

CLICK HERE to grab ’em now!

I’m working on some new collections including Bird Brushes,
Grungy Borders and more. Stay tuned!

The latest Mini Bundle release from Design Cuts is still available – but ending very soon! If you haven’t checked it out, don’t miss this one! I’ll be releasing a new Mini Bundle next week!

Instead of written tutorials, I created a short video to demonstrate my processes using some of these cool products.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO TUTORIAL!

You know I’m a fan of all things grungy, and this bundle has some great ones. And I’m especially loving the Autumn Textures and Autumn Leaves Overlays by MixPixBox – an easy way to give your Autumn images some great color and pop!

GRAB THIS DEAL AT 50% OFF – JUST $34 FOR ALL 5 GREAT PRODUCTS!
CLICK HERE!

Tutorial Thursday May 7

NEW WEBINAR!

Tuesday, May 12th at 4:00 pm EDT.
CLICK HERE to sign up!

Join me for some all-new projects using Textures and Topaz Studio 2. I will be emphasizing utilizing layers, layer masks, clipping masks and smart objects in Photoshop.

TUTORIAL THURSDAY

I did this week’s tutorial as a short (10 min.) video, demonstrating the steps used to create this Queen Anne’s Lace project.

I used four textures and two layers of brush work in the finished product!

CLICK HERE to watch the Video on my YouTube Channel!

NEW TEXTURE SETS!

Last week I released four new sets of textures in the Peacock Studio that have been very popular!

These 4 new sets are Regular $12, but are on introductory sale at 50% off for just $6 each
until May 15th!

CLICK HERE TO GRAB ‘EM NOW!

The latest Mini Bundle release from Design Cuts is still available! If you haven’t checked it out, don’t miss this one!

Instead of written tutorials, I created a short video to demonstrate my processes using some of these cool products.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO TUTORIAL!

You know I’m a fan of all things grungy, and this bundle has some great ones. And I’m especially loving the Autumn Textures and Autumn Leaves Overlays by MixPixBox – an easy way to give your Autumn images some great color and pop!

GRAB THIS DEAL AT 50% OFF – JUST $34 FOR ALL 5 GREAT PRODUCTS!
CLICK HERE!

Tutorial Thursday April 30

Hard to believe it’s the end of April already! I feel like I totally missed Spring! Got a few pics, but not as many as I would have liked. It has been a busy month for me, which is good. I appreciate your support of all I do and my textures and webinars.

The next webinar will be Tuesday, May 12th, so mark your calendars! I will have the link to sign up live next week.

This week’s tutorial is this old house we found on our drive last week to celebrate our anniversary. Such a cool old place!

As usual, I began in Lightroom, making some basic adjustments. I then brought the image into Photoshop. Original with LR adjustments below.

The first thing I did in Photoshop is heal/clone the branch sticking up in the lower left corner. I then took the image to Topaz Studio 2 and applied AI Clear (with Sharpness on High), and made some Basic Adjustments which I masked off of the sky (the house and grass needed some “punch”). I then returned to Photoshop. Here is the image after those steps:

Finally, I went back into Topaz Studio 2 and applied the “Look” Dramatic HDR. I reduced the opacity to 80%. Back to Photoshop – and that’s the final image! I think you will agree the result has much more “punch” than the original!

Final Image

NEW TEXTURE SETS!

While the sale is ending today (at midnight EDT) on the 6 sets I introduced on April 12th (Bokeh 3; Blues 4; Splatters; Procreate 2; Leaf Watercolor; Fire & Water), I have created four new sets that are now in the Peacock Studio!

I’m loving these Grunge Textures – I got carried away when creating them and ended up with TWO sets of 12 textures each!

GRUNGE 2
GRUNGE 3

I’ve also been working on many new textures using Alcohol Inks. These are all handmade by me, then scanned and perfected in PS. Two new sets of 12 textures each:

ALCOHOL INKS 2
ALCOHOL INKS 3

I’m still working on new sets of Bird Brushes and some other cool items!

These 4 new sets are Regular $12, but are on introductory sale at 50% off for just $6 each
until May 15th!

CLICK HERE TO GRAB ‘EM NOW!

Last week we released a new Mini Bundle release from Design Cuts! I have selected these products just for my readers, and I’ve been having fun creating projects to show you how you can utilize these great textures and overlays.

Instead of written tutorials this time, I created a short video to demonstrate my processes.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO TUTORIAL!

You know I’m a fan of all things grungy, and this bundle has some great ones. And I’m especially loving the Autumn Textures and Autumn Leaves Overlays by MixPixBox – an easy way to give your Autumn images some great color and pop!

GRAB THIS DEAL AT 50% OFF – JUST $34 FOR ALL 5 GREAT PRODUCTS!
CLICK HERE!

And learn how to use textures to create your own word art and as frames for your images:

This is a limited time offer, so don’t miss out!
CLICK HERE to visit the Design Cuts site
and grab your copy!

Sunday Sampler April 26

Happy Sunday! Rainy day here in TN! Enjoy your day!

Today’s Sunday Sampler started as Sedona Red Rocks!! Turned it into Grunge and then played with many variations! Watch for a new set of textures in the Peacock Studio soon with more cool variations of this one!!

FALL 2020
Barns & Backroads Workshops

As you may know, my Spring workshops were all delayed until Fall due to the Covid outbreak (along with our Creative Photography Conference). The people who had booked Spring Workshops had first dibs on the Fall dates, but I’ve also added several dates so I have plenty of room for those who wanted to wait until Fall to join us in beautiful East Tennesee (we are in Rogersville)!

Here are the dates and spaces available (workshops are limited to 4 attendees):
September 17-20 – 3 spaces available
September 24-27 – 3 spaces available
October 1-4 – 2 spaces available
October 12-15 (post-conference) – FULL
October 22-25 – FULL
October 29-Nov. 1 – FULL

November 3-6 – 3 spaces available
November 8-11 – 4 spaces available

Fall foliage doesn’t typically end until mid-November in our area.

Workshops are $450 per person. We begin the first day with a complimentary dinner and discussion of what we’ll cover. The next 3 full days will be filled with photography and some post-processing. We also supply water and snacks. Registration may be paid in one or two payments (with balance due 3 weeks prior to event).

We are also offering accommodations at our home if desired (we have 2 guest rooms – 1 with a queen bed and futon and one with 2 twin beds – we do have a cat in case you have allergies). There are also 2 hotels nearby (2 and 5 miles away). If you are interested in staying with us, please email before booking to be sure we have room.

Feel free to contact me with any questions! We’ve been finding some GREAT locations for photography! Barns, old houses, antiques, old cars and more!

Check out the details on the website HERE!

SPECIAL BUNDLE!

On Thursday I announced a new bundle I selected just for you guys from Design Cuts! I did a video tutorial on how I used some of the textures as well – check it out HERE!

And grab this deal for 50% off the regular prices – just $34 for all five cool sets!

SPECIAL SALES

A very special sale from
Think Tank and Mind Shift Gear –
20% off their ENTIRE store!

I’ve never seen a whole store sale from Think Tank before, so don’t miss out! Update your camera bag and other gear and save $$ too. Be ready when we can get back out in the field to photograph.

Use my affiliate link HERE, and you will also get free gear (depending on amount spent) PLUS Free Shipping! This sale runs only through April 30th!

Earlier this week Topaz released an update to Mask AI. There is no additional purchase required for this update for current Mask owners. Current owners will simply visit www.topazlabs.com/downloads and download the update from there.

If you don’t yet own this powerful masking product, Mask AI is on sale for $79.99 (regularly $99.99) through Monday, May 4. CLICK HERE to grab your sale price — AND use the code MeredithImages at checkout and save an additional 15%!!