June 2 – Sunday Sampler

Happy June! May was such a busy month that it totally flew by! The good news is that we’ve purchased property in Tennessee – 1.3 acres of heaven! Now the real fun of purging, packing, etc. We’ll be putting a modular home on the land – plus a workshop/studio for the Peacock Studio! Hopefully move by Fall.

Our property is the “unmowed” area – all the way down the hill to the tree line on the right, then over in front of the little pond and back up the hill. We’ll be putting our house about even with the one in the distance toward the left of the frame.

This week’s Sunday Sampler is “bricks”! An original image plus three variations created in Smart Photo Editor. Enjoy!

New Column!

Welcome to “Inside the Peacock Studio”! In this column (once or twice a month), I will show you the “before” and “after” of an image and explain how I got to the final result. These demos will be processed with some of my own textures from groups that are available in the Peacock Studio online store. There will be a sale on the group(s) used for the upcoming week.

For this first column, I am using an image I took a few weeks ago in my kitchen with some lilacs from our yard.

FINISHED IMAGE

I started with a trifold background (the kind that kids use for class projects). I put the cup on top of a piece of wood-looking scrapbook paper, and sat that on top of some old books to raise it up and make it easier to shoot. You can see in this original below, that the wood paper curved down slightly – I fixed that in Photoshop.

Before fixing the “floor”, I cropped my image. Then I made a selection of the right hand “board” with the Polygonal Lasso Tool. Control + J duplicated that selection to a separate layer where I could rotate it slightly to make the floor appear straight.

I then cloned out the leaf design showing beneath the cup handle. Then I started adding textures – 4 textures and a border.

First texture is from the Bokeh 2 Collection > Pale Tan. Used at Soft Light blending mode and 50% opacity. This texture brightened up the lilacs and made the overall lighting/color more uniform.

The second texture is also from the Bokeh 2 Collection > Blue-Gray. Used at Multiply Blending mode and 100% opacity. I only wanted this texture on the background and not the lilacs or cup, so I used a layer mask.

The Layer & Mask

Our next texture is from the Watercolor Collection – Nature’s Pastels > Lilacs in Bloom (figured the name made sense!). Blending Mode Soft Light at 67% opacity.

Our fourth texture is from the Enchanted Collection – Tans & Vignettes 2 > Peacock Blend > Bygone Dreams. I also wanted to mask this texture from the lilacs and cup/saucer. Here’s an easy way to copy a layer mask so you don’t have to create a new one.

Click on the layer mask from the Bokeh Blue-Gray layer — IMPORTANTE: Make sure you click the actual mask icon so it is highlighted. RIGHT click on the layer mask and choose > Add Mask to Selection. You will see the “marching ants” appear.

Now select the layer of the new texture and click on the Add Layer Mask Icon (the square with a circle in the middle). The new mask will be applied.

I changed the Blending mode of this layer to Multiply and opacity to 88%. Because I reduced the opacity of this layer, you will see the mask is now more grey than solid black:

For the last step I “burned in” the edges a bit more. I selected a Soft Round Brush around 175 px at 25% opacity and darkened the edges a bit. It’s very subtle, but helped to direct the viewer’s eye to the subject.

You can save 33% on the collections used in this project – reg. $6, on Sale for just $4!
Bokeh 2
Watercolor Nature’s Pastels
Enchanted Collection Tans & Vignettes 2
until Midnight EDT Sat., June 8th
No coupon code needed!

CLICK HERE to go to the Peacock Studio store!

The folks at DESIGN CUTS have a great new texture bundle for you! The “Totally Vibrant Textures & Patterns Bundle”! Value $4082 for just $29! I just downloaded all of the goodies yesterday – can’t wait to try some out! This bundle is only available for the next 8 days, so don’t wait! It comes with their full personal & commercial license. CHECK IT OUT HERE!

From the folks at Creative Bloq, a collection of 66 FREE Photoshop Actions. And the Best Sans Serif Fonts of 2019.

And from Pixelo, several new bundles of goodies, – The “Magical Summer Designs Bundle” for just $29; The “Splendid Spring Fonts Bundle” for $39; and the “Ageless Vintage Bundle” for $29. Click each title to visit the website and check ’em out!

May 5 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Cinco de Mayo! If the rain would ever stop it might actually feel like Spring! Pretty flowers are in bloom, however. Hope you have time to get out and do some photography!

Last weekend I was teaching at the CanAm Photo Expo in Buffalo. While we were driving to Buffalo the Wed. before, an inspection was being done on a house we were hoping to purchase in TN. Unfortunately, there were some structural issues and we decided not to proceed.

So…we decided to make a bonsai run to TN when we left Buffalo on Sunday! We got to Charleston, WV Sunday night. Then drove to Greeneville, TN on Monday morning arriving just before noon to meet up with our realtor. Spent about 3 hours looking at 3 properties, then hit the road to start home! Stayed in VA and got home early afternoon Tuesday! LOTS of driving for sure! We thought we had a property and then found out they don’t have access to high-speed internet — which, of course, is critical for me!

Sigh…the search continues!

Since there wasn’t a blog post or Sunday Sampler last week, this week we have six textures included – various types of surfaces I’ve been photographing over the past few weeks. Enjoy!

Thank You!

To all those who completed my survey! The results were clear on topics that you want covered – Topaz was a resounding first, with Textures & Overlays a close second. Photoshop techniques – compositing, layers & masks and using brushes were all pretty much tied for third.

The types of photography that you want to learn more about – Flowers/Gardens and Landscape/Nature were almost tied for first; Still Lifes and Abandoned Places 2nd and 3rd respectively.

The majority chose extended videos (10-30 minutes) as the preferred format, with live webinars a close 2nd.

So…stay tuned for some upcoming tutorials! I’ve decided to add a new column to the blog – “How I Did That” (or similar name) – starting in a week or two. I’ll take an image I’ve posted on social media and give you the details of how I did it!

I am also planning some upcoming videos, so you’ve all helped with the direction that those will take.

Just 2 Weeks Away!

May 18-19 is our 3rd Creative Photography Conference! Don’t miss out! Check out all the details on our website at:
https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/

LOTS of great info for you this week. There are some Freebies and tutorials as well as some great bundle deals and new products.

1. From WebDesignDev.com – two articles. While there are tons of apps available for iPhones, it’s harder to find good editing apps for Androids. “20 Best Photography Android Apps to Create Awesome Photo Effects” gives you some good ideas. And “Create Awesome Photo Effects with these 20 Amazing Photoshop Tutorials” will get your creative juices flowing! Don’t forget to check out their “Freebies” tab as well!

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2. From PhotoshopSupply.com – a free “Photo to Line Art” conversion action.

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3. An awesome new bundle from Design Cuts – tailored to photographers! “The Totally Eclectic Photography Bundle” contains TONS of presets, overlays, textures, styles and more! A $900 value for just $29!

CLICK HERE to check out this great deal.
Expires in 8 days!

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4. And from my friends at ThinkTank/MindShift, a couple of new products.

The BackLight Elite 45L joins the BackLight line up as a larger backpack for those longer hikes into the back country.

Get deeper into the backcountry with the BackLight® Elite 45L backpack. 45 liters of available space provides ample room for both camera gear and adventure equipment, such as a length of rope, ice axe, snowboard/skis, laptop, tablet, and of course, a tripod.

Weather-resistant zippers and materials protect your gear when trekking in the elements. And like the other BackLight backpacks, rear-panel access adds security when traveling since your camera gear is protected behind your back.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Storm proof construction with YKK® AquaGuard® zippers and waterproof/tearproof Sailcloth
  • Superior Fit: Robust lumbar padding, hip-hugging waist belt, quick-dry back panel, and foam ridges for increased ventilation
  • Back and top panel access to all of your camera gear, allowing you to work out of your bag without getting your harness dirty or wet

CLICK HERE to check out this bag and the full line of BackLight products.

And for a smaller bag, the Stash Master 13L. A travel cube that enables you to expand the photo gear capacity of any large backpack/roller/duffel, or increase personal gear space in the MindShift® Backlight Elite 45L for multi-day excursions.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Padded insert allows you to use your own bag or increase personal gear space in the MindShift Backlight Elite 45L
  • Water resistant fabric and DWR coating keeps your gear protected
  • Sized to fit pro gear including a gripped body attached to a 70–200mm f/2.8

CLICK HERE to check out the Stash Master!

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5. And one more bundle offer! From Pixelo, “Mega Illustrator Brushes Bundle”.

NOTE: This bundle is ONLY for ILLUSTRATOR, NOT PHOTOSHOP!

But if you’re an Illustrator user, you can grab over 3200 brushes to help with your design work. Value $600 – for just $29!

CLICK HERE for this awesome bundle!

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 24 – Sunday Sampler

I think Mother Nature forgot to change the calendar to SPRING! It’s been chilly here in CT this week. Some areas had quite a bit of snow and tragic flooding in the mid-West. Stay safe everyone.

This week’s Sunday Sampler is an assortment of textures – a green grungy cracked wall, wet gravel on a trail, and wood grain door. Enjoy!

NEW TEXTURES – SALE ENDING TONIGHT!

Don’t forget to grab your copy of my 3 new texture sets – Bokeh 2; Galaxies 2; and Grunge 1! Reg. $6 per set – on sale till midnight tonight EDT for $4.50 per set! CLICK HERE to visit the Peacock Studio!

Design Cuts released a new bundle this week, the “All Purpose Creative’s Design Kit”. I started playing around with some of the new fonts and illustrations, and came up with the birthday card below. After I did one with the watercolor splashes in the background, I tried it with an old paper texture that I created – I think I like that one even better!

Check out the bundle HERE! It expires in just 8 days, so don’t miss out! Just $29 for $1510 worth of resources! See below for a preview of all the goodies!

Another cool bundle of goodies from Pixelo – the “Ageless Vintage Bundle: 55 fonts and 100+ Designs”.

Check out the goodies:

This bundle is also Just $29 (for $1299 worth of products). It expires in 27 days. Check it out HERE!

If you are a studio photographer who also shoots on location, you know what a pain it is to haul around light stands. ThinkTank has come up with a new bag just for you!

Think Tank Photo has just released their Stand Manager 52 rolling case, and it’s an ideal solution for storing and transporting stands of any kind. The case holds up to 4 turtle base C-stands, multiple traditional light stands, or modifiers up to 52” long. It features multiple tie-down straps to secure your stands inside, oversized, shock-absorbing wheels, and rear skid rails which allow you to load in and out of your vehicle with ease.

Click HERE to go to the website for all the details!

Freebies & Finds!

On WebDesignDev “20+ Free Design Goodies” includes fonts, textures, mock ups and more.

And from PictureCorrect.com, “7 Tips to Make Your Photos Stand Out”

Have a great week!

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!

More Black Friday Deals!

We all love a great deal, and the following companies have some especially good ones!

Nicolai of Grut Brushes has an unprecedented Sale (he normally does not do sales at all). See his message below:

“I had a little too much fun putting the 5 deals together…you can save as much as 41% on one, and deal #3 will save you $25 so check them out before they expire. If you had your eye on something in the shop, this is your moment! The deals start Friday and disappear Monday night. I won’t do another sale on the site this year.   

If you miss it you will miss out!  The deals go live on Black Friday – see them here now!

Oh yes, and if your last order was the same as one of these deals but you bought the package for full price in the last 40 days, send me an email with your order number and I’ll send you a coupon for the difference! Retroactive sales are the kind I can get behind in good conscience.  

Thanks for all your support, and remember…when you buy my brushes, you are funding the next neat art tools I make!”   

Until next time, keep creating!   Nicolai

I am NOT an affiliate for Grut Brushes, I just think they are fabulous! His brushes are designed for digital art, however, I showed him some new uses for them as I use them to create textures! Grut Brushes will be one of the products I feature in my upcoming 2nd eBook which is now available for pre-order (more on that below).

DESIGN CUTS! My favorite company for awesome bundles of digital assets! 

BLACK FRIDAY BONANZA! Get All 50 Products For Just $99!

Pick up all 50 of these best selling products for just $99, reduced from $1486! (10% of all Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales go to the Pencils of Promise charity!) I’ll be grabbing this bundle myself! 

This deal is live NOW through midnight Monday (UK time).

Products include fonts, textures, brushes, patterns, templates, scene creators and much more. All products come with the Design Cuts extended license so you can use them on commercial projects as well as personal.

CHECK IT OUT HERE!

If you missed last weekend’s Sunday Sampler blog post, be sure to check it out for my current deals!

There’s a pre-release special deal on my 2nd eBook, “Working with Tetures & Overlays: Turn Ho-Hum into a Work of Art, Book 2”, as well as a sale on some new textures in the Peacock Studio and the 2019 Creative Photography Conference!

CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT!

And don’t forget to check yesterday’s post with deals from Topaz and ThinkTank plus freebies!

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!

 

 

Sept. 30 – Sunday Sampler

Happy End-of-September! Another busy month flown by! Pulled out most of our veggie garden this morning – sad face! Did leave the grape tomato plant – still producing fruit!

This week’s Sunday Sampler is 4 versions of one texture – a texture I photographed in the restroom at the location of my workshop last weekend in Troy, NY!! I told everyone they needed to take some pics (and I did see a few doing so)! Textures are found EVERYWHERE! This was some great painting techniques on the wall.

#1 is the original with Clarity and Detail; #2 is Topaz Impression Cave Dweller; #3 is Simplify-Buzz Sim Split Toned I; and #4 is #3 with a hue/saturation adjustment to make it green (great for a background on flowers). Enjoy!

 

Released this week – A.I. Gigapixel 2.0!

• Using GPU mode is now 5x faster! With some optimizations to the GPU processing in A.I. Gigapixel, we’ve improved the speed of processing by around 5x on full-size images (it scales based on the size of your image, so a small image might be 3x) with the same 1-2 million calculations per pixel and the same amazing results.

And don’t forget about all the powerful updates from A.I. Gigapixel 1.1 released earlier this month.
• Expanded system compatibility with a CPU mode, which allows more users without a robust GPU to run A.I. Gigapixel on their machine.
• 6 new Artificial Intelligence models for different scaling (200%, 400%, 600%) across three settings for input image quality:
– None – For high-quality images without noise, results in much better detail retention
– Medium: Improved versions of the included enhancement models
– High: For images with lots of noise and artifacts, produces a smoother artifact free enlargement while retaining and enhancing perceived details in the image.
• Resolved issue with not retaining DPI sometimes
• Resolved sizing issue with size not passing through correctly sometimes

Click HERE to check out all the details of the amazing product. Reg. price $99.99 – save 15% when you click on THIS LINK and use the code MeredithImages at checkout.

Here is one of my images that I processed – the original was sized 4″x6″  – I enlarged it 600% to 24″x36″ – the detail is amazing!

You can batch edit, as well as process single shots. One more amazing product from the folks at Topaz Labs!

 

From Creative Bloq – the 29 best iPhone AppsA few of these I have – a few I’ll be checking out!

The gang at Design Cuts is turning 5 this week! This is one of the best companies for bundles of goodies – textures, fonts, clip art and much more! Bundles sell for a reasonable $29 for TONS of great products. They also have a marketplace where you can find individual products. Watch for lots of freebies and special deals during the Birthday Bash!

Their latest bundle is “The Deluxe Textures and Patterns Bundle” – $2321 value for just $29! Check it out HERE!

 

And a couple of new product releases from ThinkTank Photo.

Emergency Camera Rain Covers

With Think Tank Photo’s new Emergency Rain Covers, photographers need no longer be caught off guard by bad weather. The Emergency Rain Covers are a simple, compact solution for protecting photo gear from sudden downpours or dusty conditions. These seam-sealed rain covers can be quickly and easily deployed when outdoor conditions change.

The covers are designed to fit both DSLR and Mirrorless cameras and are available in two sizes to accommodate a range of full-frame lenses. The Emergency Rain Cover – Small protects a 16–35mm f/2.8, a 14–24mm f/2.8, a 24–105mm f/4, or a 24–70mm f/2.8 lens. The Emergency Rain Cover – Medium protects a 24–70mm f/2.8 or a 70–200mm f/2.8 lens.

“When compressed, the Emergency Rain Cover fits into a small pouch, so it’s easy to bring along even if rain is a distant concern,” said Think Tank’s President and Lead Designer Doug Murdoch. “It takes up so little room in your bag, yet could save your gear when a sudden downpour or dust storm hits. Every photographer who shoots outdoors should keep one tucked one away in their camera bag.”

Features include:
• Seam-sealed for extreme protection in downpour or dusty conditions
• Compresses into an included compact carrying pouch
• Oversize window to view your LCD and controls
• Ability to access your camera through one cinchable sleeve
• Mountable to tripod or monopod
• Dual viewing configurations for varying conditions
• Hot-shoe mount keeps cover secured to camera during use
• Non-slip, adjustable strap attaches directly to the lens hood
• DWR coating for an extra layer of protection

CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE DETAILS ON THEIR WEBSITE

AND…

New “Lens Case Duo” Provides Enhanced Camera Lens Protection

Being a photographer is about getting to the right location at the right time — which can often be challenging.  To help photographers protect their lenses from the rigors of travel, Think Tank Photo has just released the Lens Case Duo series of six quick-access, dual-opening padded lens cases.  A zippered lid and side opening is a unique feature compared to other lens cases.

With the Lens Case Duo, photographers can protect their delicate lenses while transporting them in rolling cases, backpacks or shoulder bags.  These cases can then be converted into a modular system for quick access in a bag or on a belt.  A shoulder strap is included for the six larger sizes: Lens Case Duo 5, Lens Case Duo 10, Lens Case Duo 15, and Lens Case Duo 20, Lens Case Duo 30, and Lens Case Duo 40.  Two exterior stretch pockets provide space for a lens cap or a cleaning cloth. Soft zipper protectors and a plush lining protect sensitive and expensive lenses from scratches.  All sizes come in black and green.

“The Lens Case Duo should be used by every photographer concerned about protecting their lenses, especially while in transit,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo’s President and lead designer.  “While our roller and backpack dividers provide ample protection, the Lens Case Duo provides just that extra protection layer that could help prevent damage in unforeseen circumstances.”

GEAR CAPACITY

  • The Lens Case Duo 5 holds a Canon/Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, Canon: 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6, Canon/Nikon 50mm f/1.4, Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6 AF-S, or Olympus: 12-40mm f/2.8, 40-150mm f/4-5.6
  • The Lens Case Duo 10 holds a Canon 55-250mm f/4-5.6, Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6, Tamron/Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3, or Sony 16-35mm f/4
  • The Lens Case Duo 15 holds a Canon/Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6, Canon/Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6, Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3, Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6, Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, Canon/Nikon 24mm f/1.4, Canon/Nikon 35mm f/1.4, Canon/Sony 100mm f/2.8, or Nikon 105mm f/2.8
  • The Lens Case Duo 20 holds a Canon/Nikon/Sony 24-70mm f/2.8, Canon 24-105mm f/4, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, Sony 85mm f/1.4, Canon/Sony 100mm f/2.8, or Nikon 105mm f/2.8
  • The Lens Case Duo 30 holds a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8, Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8, or Canon 11-24mm f/4
  • The Lens Case Duo 40 holds a Canon/Nikon/Sony 70-200mm f/2.8, Canon/Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6, or Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6

CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE DETAILS ON THEIR WEBSITE

 

Sign-ups have begun for our 3rd Conference, May 18-19, 2019! Our Early Bird pricing is the best deal there will be on this Conference – Now through Nov. 30th! Don’t miss out!

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

In next week’s blog, I will begin featuring our fabulous speakers! They will each have a page on the website as well. Stay tuned!

 

 

Oct. 23 Sunday Sampler + Much More!

Hi everyone,

We got back from our trip to beautiful Sedona last night! Thanks to my workshop participants: Ray, Colleen, Phil, Pat, Joyce & Carole!

We’ve already had requests for another workshop in Sedona next fall – watch for details after the New Year.

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moon-balancing

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This week’s Sunday Sampler is some animal skin textures from “Out of Africa” in Camp Verde, AZ, one of the stops on our workshop!

 

NEW WORKSHOP – DEC. 10, 2016

Join us for a day in Bethlehem, PA, to photograph the beautiful holiday decorations (with a private tour of some of the buildings), visit the National Museum of Industrial History (newly opened this past July), and photograph the remains of the Bethlehem Steel “stacks”. It will be a day filled with all kinds of photography, and if we’re lucky, a touch of snow!

Early bird sign-up price (by 11/15) $65; after 11/15 $75. Max 15 photographers. Sign up on my website: http://www.meredithimages.com/product-category/workshops/

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2017 PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT – Who wants to join me?

I found this great article on TechRadar today – “52 Photography Projects: A photo idea to try every week of the year.” I think this would be a great project to start Jan. 2017 – I just set up a separate Facebook Group for the project so you can post your images – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1311524515525331/?fref=nf. It’s a fun way to get us all to think outside our comfort zone. I’ve been wanting to try some of these, so if I do it with a group, I’ll be more inclined to get it done! Don’t worry if you miss a week here and there – I know life gets busy for us all!

Click HERE for the article.

And if you have ever wanted to shoot with a light box but didn’t have one, here’s how to utilize natural window light to get the effect: Creating Your Own Lightbox video.

 

DESIGN CUTS TEXTURE BUNDLE

My friends at Design Cuts have an awesome new bundle of awesome resources – “The Gigantic Textures & Patterns Bundle” – just $29 for 1000’s of resources! I’m going to have to grab this one myself! Expires in 8 days so don’t wait!

The Most Comprehensive Textures and Patterns Collection Ever Released!

Textures and patterns are essential tools for every designer. They add the details that can set your work apart: from subtle overlays, to stunning backgrounds. They are often what make our work feel truly authentic, hand-crafted and visually interesting.

That’s why we’re so excited to bring you this all new textures and patterns collection; our biggest ever, featuring 45 professional grade packs.

Here’s why we know you’ll love working with them:

  • The variety and usefulness in this collection is incredibleThis is our biggest textures and patterns bundle yet, bringing you so much variety that you’ll be equipped for any design project that comes your way! Looking to transform your photography work? Look no further than the gorgeous fine-art textures supplied by Daily Texture. Their best-selling, professional grade packs usually sell for $24-80 each, and literally turn your photos into works of art. If you’re looking for quality digital papers, we have a huge range from Blixa 6; each one gorgeously hand-made. There are also a vast range of other surfaces, from vintage postcards, to grit/grunge, old papers, paints, marble, as well as a ginormous library of beautiful patterns.
  • These are professional quality assets, from seriously talented artistsWe’re proud to be teaming up with many of the biggest names in the textures and patterns world. These designers live and breathe their craft, and their expertise and passion shows in every item within this collection. Each pattern is pixel perfect, and each texture high-res, and super sharp. Beyond this, these designs are aesthetically beautiful. This is your chance to benefit from the meticulous work of these world class artists, by incorporating their gorgeous work into your own.

Use your new textures and patterns with confidence, under our easy to use extended license.

This means that you can even use your resources in commercial work available for resale!

CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR COPY BEFORE IT EXPIRES!

 

Great New Deals!

Hi everyone,

I don’t often do a mid-week post, but between yesterday and today I received emails on several new products and I wanted to get the word out to you.

DESIGN CUTS

You’ve seen the great deals in the past from this talented bunch from the UK. Today they released “The Enormous, Authentically Illustrated All-in-One Toolbox” from Lisa Glanz, one of the best designers around today. AND just until tomorrow, the bundle is HALF PRICE – Reg. $39 on sale for just $19 (51% off). Don’t hesitate on this one! These illustrations are great if you are a scrapbooker, designer or anyone who loves beautiful illustrations and cool fonts! GO HERE for the deal!

And their current “regular” deal bundle is “The Essential Hand-Made Vectors Collection” – worth $4668, deal price $29! This one expires in just over 6 days from now. CLICK HERE!

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THINK TANK PHOTO

On Sunday I mentioned the updated Airport Advantage Roller Bags. The designers at Think Tank have been very busy and they now offer a new bag to carry your Drone and all the extra gear you’ll need!

Think Tank Photo’s New Lightweight

Airport Helipak for 3DR Solo

Offers Maximum Capacity, Comfort and Portability

Drone users can now carry their 3DR Solo, 15” laptop, controller, GoPros, charger, spare rotors, extra batteries, jacket, tools, and more in a robust and yet lightweight new backpack, the Airport Helipak for 3DR Solo from Think Tank Photo.  Unlike rigid hard cases that lack extra carrying capacity and comfort, this new backpack is designed for 3DR drone enthusiasts who want to be able to carry all of their gear with them all the time.

“The number one complaint of drone users about their bags is that, after just a few hours, their bodies are rebelling from the pain,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank’s CEO and lead designer.  “For a decade we’ve released photography and outdoor backpacks designed to hold expensive and extremely heavy photographic equipment.  The very same principles we used for them have been integrated into the Airport Helipak for 3DR Solo backpack.  Now they can venture deep afield with all of their gear and no concerns about comfort.”

Click HERE for all the details.

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Datacolor

If you do not already calibrate your monitor, you should be! I’ve been using Datacolor Spyder products for years. I have the current Spyder5ELITE+, which now has a free update if you already own the product.

New Features Include:

Automatic Room Light Switching – automatically changes your profile as light conditions change

Soft Proofing/Device Simulation – simulate how your photos will look on any printer or device

Updated StudioMatch – make all connected displays look the same

And much more!

spyder-5

 

And a great place to buy a new ThinkTank bag or Spyder5Elite+ is at Hunt’s Photo and Video! Gary Farber and his staff are fabulous and will answer any questions you may have on this product or anything that they sell! Check them out at https://www.huntsphotoandvideo.com/

Hunts_Logo_Print

 

TIME TO SHOP!!