Tutorial Thursday July 9

I’ve been busy working on projects for next week’s webinar, so I’m pulling a tutorial from the archives!

FORSYTHIA

This is an image that definitely needed some “punch”. Here is the original:

A pretty “blah” background for sure! After doing basic edits to color, contrast, etc. in Lightroom, I took this into Photoshop. Duplicate the background layer and open Filter > Topaz Studio 2.

I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do with this image, so I started scrolling through the Looks menu. First I applied “Line & Ink“. I liked the preset on the flowers, but not what it did to the background:

Line & Ink Preset

So I added a layer mask in Studio 2 and masked the Look off of the background, leaving it only on the flowers:

Line & Ink Masked off background.

I began looking for another Look to add – possibly with a border of some sort. I found “Filed Negative Holder“. I left the blending mode at Normal but changed the opacity to 50% to bring back some color to the flowers.

I decided to add a texture (or two) in Studio! First I found Cornfield; changed the blending mode to Overlay and the opacity to 59%.

To add a little more yellow, I added another texture > Meredith Images > Golden Sunrise. Blending mode Soft Light; Opacity 40%. I also flipped the texture vertically to put the darker color at the top.

I accepted these changes in Studio to send it back to Photoshop. For one last effect, I used a brush to add some additional texture.

I added a new blank layer; selected a brush from my eBook #1 – Scratched 1 – color #564f3a and rotated the brush 90 degrees. I made the brush bigger (the vertical size of the image) and clicked ONCE. Hit Control + T to transform and make the brush cover the image. I decided I didn’t want the brush outside of the border, so I added a layer mask. Then changed the blending mode to Hard Light and opacity to 52%.

Final layers.

And this is the final image:

WEBINAR
REGISTRATION OPEN!
JULY 14th at 4:00 PM

All new creative projects! Using textures & Topaz, but also Nik & Luminar! Nik recently had an upgrade that had me looking at it again, and Luminar had an upgrade too (I’ve had the software, but never really dove into it). I finally checked out their AI Sky Replacement – Game Changer!!! You are going to be amazed!! Click the Red Button below to register!

Tutorial Thursday – July 2

It’s been another busy week (luckily)! I’m working on some new images for the next webinar (July 14th), so I’m re-sharing this first Tutorial Thursday post from last August.

Here is my original image – I did basic corrections in Lightroom:

The little bit of sky showing was kind of blah, so I replaced it with some clouds. I didn’t get too fussy about it as I knew I would be applying textures later on. I duplicated the background layer (turn off visibility of the bottom layer), then I used the Magic Wand tool to select the sky and expanded the selection by 2 pixels (Select > Modify > Expand). Once selected, hit the delete key to delete the old sky.

I then brought in my cloud image – this one happened to be taken on the same day! I opened the cloud image as you would a texture, then moved the cloud layer between the two barn layers and positioned like this:

My next step was to bring the image into Topaz Studio 2 to add a preset and some textures. First, I need to have both the sky and the barn on the same layer for Studio to “see” it all. I created a merged layer by the keyboard shortcut Control+Alt+Shift+E. This keeps the layers you already have, but gives you a merged layer above them.

In Studio 2, I used the preset Peeling Paint (one of my favorites!). This is the image after that preset:

With the way that the preset darkened the upper right where the clouds are, I probably could have not bothered replacing the sky!

Next I added two Meredith Images textures (included in Studio 2) to the image. Select the Category > Meredith Images to narrow down the texture selection. First I applied Frosted Almond, changing the blending mode to Soft Light and the opacity to 50%.

Next I applied Meredith Images Russet – blending mode Overlay and opacity 40%.

There are some white specular highlights on some of the blades of grass – I just used the healing tool in Photoshop to fix those.

And that’s our final image!

So, don’t be afraid to try different presets and then modify them further with additional textures or other filters! Have fun!

Texture Sale ending on 7/5

Don’t miss out on the new skies and overlays collections! All sets are on sale plus there is the special bundle deal on the 4 sets (it’s like buying 3 on sale and getting one free)!

Click here to Check the blog post for all the details!

Or CLICK HERE to go to the Peacock Studio Store to grab the deals!

SALE ENDS JULY 7TH!

Topaz has released an update to Gigapixel AI. This update includes a model improvement for better results, a new single-image preview view, new zoom options, and the new “man-made” mode to better enhance the details in cityscapes, typography, and other images with clear outlines and sharp edges.

If you already own Gigapixel AI, this is a Free update! Log in to your account on the Topaz Labs website, go to the downloads page, and update from there.

If you do not already own Gigapixel AI, it is on sale through July 7th for $79.99 (reg. $99.99). Gigapixel is what you need to upsize a small image to anything up to poster sized! I also use it to upsize textures if I’ve cropped a small section from an image or I’ve scanned in textures I created with inks or watercolors. Those usually start around 4×6″ and Gigapixel lets me create a large image to be used as a texture. CLICK HERE to go to the Gigapixel AI page on the Topaz website.

They also have the Utility Bundle on Sale, which includes Gigapixel AI, DeNoise AI, Sharpen AI, and JPEG to RAW for $195.75 (reg. $249.99). Also on sale till July 7th. CLICK HERE to check out the bundle deal!CLICK HERE FOR THE TOPAZ DEALS!

Tutorial Thursday April 2

Since we ran short of time to finish all the projects I had planned for last week’s webinar, I recorded the rest of the projects and posted it on my YouTube Channel HERE.

If you already purchased the webinar notes, these projects are included in the notes (as are the images and textures used).

If you haven’t yet purchased the Webinar Notes (including all images and textures), they are available in my Peacock Studio web store for JUST $5.
https://www.meredithimages.com/product-category/webinar-notes/

NEW WEBINAR SCHEDULED!

Join me on April 14th at 4:00 pm EDT for
“Texture Creativity – From Drab to Fab!”

Join me as I demonstrate how to take a less-than-perfect image and use Textures and Topaz to create something “fab”! I will show how to use multiple textures and presets, and also demonstrate how different textures can create very different looks.

Register here for this webinar:
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Hq6MHi3tQhqud9jYX4NNhQ

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel to get notified of new posts including webinar recordings and other tutorials.
https://www.youtube.com/meredithimages

Tutorial Thursday March 26

A HUGE Thank You to all who watched my webinar on Tuesday! I had originally planned for 100 people, but as the registrations kept going up and up (to over 500!), so I upped the limit on Zoom to 500. Almost 300 people tuned in live!

If you missed the live broadcast, or want to watch again (and follow along with the notes you purchased), it is now live on my YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/lB5FQ4wsfGk. Be sure to subscribe to my Channel as well, so you’ll get notice of future tutorials and webinars.

We also had some great questions from the webinar attendees – some I was able to answer live, but there are more….I will answer some of them here (as our “tutorial” today).

Q: Now that we have Topaz Studio 2, do you ever use the original Studio?
A: I must say, yes, I do on occasion still use Studio 1. I also still sometimes go to Texture Effects and Impression without using Studio at all! Studio 1 has more presets than Studio 2, and while I did migrate some of my favorites, I still find ones in Studio 1 that I hadn’t previously tried.

Q: The question came up about how I was bringing my textures into Photoshop. They seemed to just “appear”!
A: I work with 2 monitors, so I like to have a texture folder open on the 2nd screen and just click and drag a texture into my project. The other way to do it, is to go to File > Open > and choose the texture you’d like to try. Using the move tool, drag the texture over the image and it will become a separate layer.

Q: I demonstrated how to copy a layer mask to another layer.
A: An even easier way to to hold Alt/Option Key and click and drag the layer mask to the new layer.

If you have other specific questions, you can always feel free to email me at Hazel@MeredithImages.com.

The Notes (including images and textures) for the webinar are available in my Peacock Studio web store for just $5. https://www.meredithimages.com/product-category/webinar-notes/

The sale on Textures, eBooks & Personal Training continues through 3/31!

And if you are looking to add any Topaz products, you can use my link: https://topazlabs.com/ref/55/ and the code MeredithImages at checkout to save 15%

Watch for another webinar in April!
I am also working on a course for “Designing Your Own Textures” and thinking of ideas for eBook #3!

Tutorial Thursday March 19

Today’s blog will be brief! I’m including some tutorials I found online, as I’m working on some tutorials for MY OWN WEBINAR on Tuesday, March 24th! Keep reading for all the details.

ONLINE TUTORIALS

“How to Photograph Motion” from PictureCorrect.com

From WebDesignDev, “20 Brilliant Photoshop Video Tutorials to Improve Your Skills”.

And in case you missed this in Tuesday’s blog…
About 5 years ago I created this video on “How to Add a Mat to Your Image in Photoshop Elements”. The process is basically the same in PS CC. This was posted on my Hazel Meredith page – I’m now using my Meredith Images page for new videos – subscribe at: https://www.youtube.com/MeredithImages

MEREDITH IMAGES WEBINAR!

The first LIVE webinar of my own! With everyone being cooped up at home these days, what better way to spend our time than editing images and learning new techniques and ideas for editing.

I will take some of my own images and demonstrate my post-processing techniques using Photoshop and Topaz Studio 2. Of course, I will also be using Textures!

I will also be writing up the notes and offering them for sale in the Peacock Studio for a mere $5. This will also include the original images used in the projects so you can practice with my images before trying the processes on your own images.

The webinar is FREE, however it is limited to just 100 ATTENDEES, so be sure to sign up ASAP and set a reminder on your phone or calendar so you don’t miss it.

I will have it recording as well, so you can watch again when you’re trying out the projects. If you know you won’t be able to attend live, please don’t register – I will post the recording afterwards. Thanks!

Register for this webinar:

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_QRfTXH55St-KZzA5EeAc4Q

And check out the rest of Tuesday’s blog post for info on the rescheduled Creative Photography Conference as well as my current sale on New Texture Sets; Retiring Texture Sets; eBooks; Online Tutoring; and the latest Mini Bundle and tutorials from Design Cuts!

CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT!

Tutorial "Thursday" March 13

Sorry for the delay to Friday! Got back late Tuesday from my New England trip. Playing catch up with everything! I will add some tidbits from “Around the Web” in the “Sunday Sampler” this weekend.

New Design Cuts Mini Bundle

I have a new Mini Bundle to share from Design Cuts with some products I think you’ll like. For these Mini Bundles, I personally select these items with my readers in mind. Below are a couple of tutorials that use products from this bundle.

There are five cool products in this Mini Bundle:

For the first project, I wanted to use one of my old car shots. This one is a 1955 Pegaso Z-102 Coupe.

I began by building a background starting with Wood7 from the White Wood collection, then added Imaginarium Background-6 at Blending Mode = Multiply and Opacity = 95%. Third I added Imagarium Background-4 at Blending Mode = Multiply and Opacity = 100%.

3 Backgrounds
Background Layer Stack

Next I brought in the car. I first selected the car from its background and deleted the old background so the car now had a transparent background. I decided the car was too saturated for this project, so I added a Hue/Saturation adjustment taking the Saturation to -25. I only want this adjustment to affect the car, so I clipped this to the car layer by Control + Alt + G

Hue/Saturation adjustment clipped to car layer.

I decided the car needed something to frame it – I used the Imaginarium Ephemera-Label. I put this layer BEHIND the car layer.

Next, I added some type. I originally had it say VINTAGE, but decided to change it to the year and make of the car:

Now we need to use some Layer Effects to make everything stand out from the background and each other.

On the Frame Layer, I added a Stroke of 10 px, Outside, at an Opacity of 53%, Color #e4d3c4.

For the Car Layer, I added an Outer Glow. Blend Mode Normal; Opacity 80%; Noise 11%; Color #544026.

On the Type Layer, I added 3 things:
Bevel & Emboss – Style: Inner Bevel; Technique: Smooth; Depth: 115%; Direction: Up; Size: 24 px; Soften: 3 px.
Stroke – Size: 10 px; Position: Outside; Blend Mode: Normal; Opacity: 84%; Color #e4d3c4.
Outer Glow – same settings as Car Layer

To finish it off, it needs some more “grunge”! I added Just Good Textures Distress Edges #10. Blending Mode = Multiply; Opacity = 67%. (These textures come in 4 formats – JPG, PSD, TIF, and as ABR brushes!) I used the JPG for this layer – the blending mode made the white areas “disappear”.

I also decided to move the type, frame and car up a little on the background, so I highlighted those 3 layers (hold the shift key to select more than one layer) and moved them up a bit.

Here is the final image:

And the final Layer Stack:

On this second project I chose some of my TN Barn images. I began my background with Imaginarium Vintage Junk Graphics Fabric-21. I added Fabric-28 on top of that, changinng the Blending Mode to Multiply and leaving the Opacity at 100%. This combo gave me the wrinkled texture of #21 with some added color from #28.

I brought in my main barn image and moved it to the bottom of the work area. I changed the Blending Mode to Multiple and the Opacity to 85% to let some of the background texture show through.

Since the image is a horizontal and therefore did not cover all of the background, I used the Rectangular Marquis Tool to select some of the sky in the original image. Hitting Control + J placed this selection on a separate layer. I moved that to the top of the page:

The seam between the two pieces will be covered by the filmstrip that I knew I wanted to use. I selected Film Textures #34. I angled the filmstrip to fill the sky. I left the Blending Mode at Normal, but lowered the Opacity to 70% to blend it better with the background color.

I then brought in 4 other barn images, sizing them to the openings in the film strip and changing the Blending Mode to Multiply on all of them. The Opacity ranges from 79-85% depending on how dark the original image was. I wanted these to have a bit of a faded look.

The last item to add is some type. I selected the font Beyond Wonderland and typed Tennessee Barns. I angled the type to match the filmstrip.

For the finishing touches, I added layer styles to the type and filmstrip. For the Type Layer I added:
Bevel & Emboss – Inner Bevel; Smooth, Depth 157%; Direction Up; Size 9 px; Soften 1 px.
Stroke – Size 10 px; Position Outside; Blend Mode Normal; Opacity 84%; Color #584b3f.
Drop Shadow – Blend Mode Normal; Color Black; Opacity 33%; Angle 135; Distance 18 px; Spread 24%; Size 57 px

On the Filmstrip Layer I added:
Outer Glow – Blend Mode Normal; Opacity 42%; Noise 11%, Color #2d2822
Drop Shadow – Blend Mode Normal; Opacity 50%; Angle 135; Distance 26 px; Spread 34%; Size 57 px; Color #2d2822

Here is the finished project:

And the Layer Stack:

For our last project I used the Sketch Creator. This product comes with a video tutorial on how to use it with your images.

First, open either the CC folder or CS folder (I use Photoshop CC) and select either horizontal, vertical or square format.

When you open the format you wish to use, there is an instruction layer:

The layer it indicates to double-click on is a Smart Object and will open a separate tab. File Open > Double-click to select your image > Edit Copy > Click on tab to “Paste Your Image Here” and Edit Paste. It will look like this:

Close the tab you pasted the image into (it will take a while to save). This will bring you back to the main Sketch file and your image will be there with the Sketch Effect applied (you can now turn off the visibility of the “Read Me” layer!):

You could now change the background color if you wish (I added a blank layer above the Background Layer and filled it with Color #f3e8d8):

And the final Layer Stack:

This Sketch Effect was much easier to use than some of the Action ones I’ve tried!

You can grab this bundle of 5 specially selected products for just $33 (which is 50% off) using THIS LINK! On the site you can see also the products in detail with some other examples of how to use them. They come with a full extended license as well!

Don’t miss out – grab your copy now – CLICK HERE!

Tutorial Thursday March 5

Faded Tulip – iPhone image

My friend Karen brought me some pretty pink tulips in Feb. Of course they are pretty when blooming, but I think flowers develop some “character” as they are fading.

This is an iPhone shot that I processing in Photoshop and Topaz Studio 2. Original image:

I duplicated the layer and took it to Studio 2 applying AI Clear and Precision Detail.

I then added a blank layer and filled in the upper background – used a soft round brush sampling the color from the original background (kind of a charcoal grey). I also “painted out” the stray petal touching the top of the frame.

I then added a new blank layer and used the clone tool to patch the dark area between petals on the left side:

Now I’m ready for some creative work! I made a merged layer (Control + Alt + Shift + E). Duplicated that layer and opened Topaz Studio 2. Found the preset Expressionism that I liked. It was a tad too saturated, so i opened the HSL Color Tuning layer in the preset and moved the Saturation to .10

Duplicated that layer and went back to Studio 2. Added Texture from the Filter Menu. I was looking for a border to give a bit of a vignette, especially at the bottom. I used Border Fade 1 at Multiply blending mode and 41% opacity. I did apply a layer mask to be sure I wasn’t darkening the flower itself. I used the SPOT masking tool and stretched the circle out to an oval like this:

I then added my logo. Here is the finished image:

And here is the final Layer Stack:

Topaz released an update to Studio 2 on Tuesday. The Healing Brush is back!! If you do not own Studio 2 yet and wish to purchase, you can use this link: https://topazlabs.com/studio/ref/55/ and then use my code MEREDITHIMAGES at checkout to save 15%.

Tutorial Thursday Feb. 27 – OK, it’s the 28th!

I’m a day late this week! Was working yesterday at the “Local Artists’ Gallery” here in Rogersville. It’s a co-op set up, so each artist works one day a month. I finished my training yesterday and I’m now official and have a key! I’ve had work hanging in the Gallery since late Dec.

Barn with Full Moon

Of course, there are barns aplenty around here, and while scouting for our Barns & Backroads Workshops, we came upon this one. I wasn’t sure where I was going with this one when I started – other than to add some textures – but I ended up taking some artistic license and turned it into a night shot with a full moon (the moon is one I took a few years ago during a “super moon”.

This is the original image with basic editing done in Lightroom:

I then took it into Photoshop and applied the Graduated Neutral Density filter in Nik to intensify the blue sky, then duplicated the layer and opened Topaz Studio 2 and applied AI Clear and returned to Photoshop.

I then added two textures – My #13 Cosmos, which i turned B&W (i wanted the texture but not the color), and Grunge Rust 1, which I also made B&W.

Now I decided to add the moon:

I used a layer mask to “erase” a little of the moon at the tree line.

So now I can see the shadows are all wrong, as the sun was shining from the left, not the right. But, since we’re being artistic, I hid that just a bit. I thought I could “paint in” a bit of color to at least make the shadows slightly less obvious.

I added a blank layer and using a soft round brush, sampled a color from the existing shadows (a charcoal grey). On the blank layer I painted over some of the shadows to get this:

I liked it but thought the shadows were a little TOO dark. So I created a merged layer (Control+Alt+Shift+E) beneath the 2 texture layers, added a layer mask which I filled with black, then using a brush with white at 50% opacity, brushed over the shadows to lighten a bit:

I decided to tone down the overall brightness of the image a bit so it would look more like nighttime. I added a blank layer and filled it with a medium grey. I lowered the opacity to 25%. I then added a vignette to darken the edges. Here’s the finished image and layer stack:

I already have the Sunday Sampler ready to go out at 9 a.m. on Sunday (while I’ll be in Atlanta). I should have time to do both Tuesday and Thursday’s blog posts.

Have a great weekend!

Tutorial Thursday Feb. 20

Simple blend of Topaz “Look” and 2 of my Cosmos Textures

I love the silhouettes of bare trees! This was part of one of the farms we were looking for cool barns to photograph (workshop scouting!). It was a cloudy day, so there is something “going on” in the sky, but I wanted something much more dramatic!

This is the original image with basic editing done in Lightroom:

From Photoshop, I opened Topaz Studio 2 and applied AI Clear and returned to Photoshop.

Next I opened Topaz Studio 1 and searched the Presets/Looks under Texture Effects. I applied Dramatic HDR. I like the way it brought out the details in the image:

I then added a blank layer and used the Healing Brush to get rid of the power lines:

Before I start trying out textures, I want to have a “merged” image – but I don’t want to flatten my image. So I use the keyboard shortcut Control+Alt+Shift+E to get a merged layer above my individual layers.

I then tried some of my latest Cosmos textures. First #4 at Blending Mode = Multiply and Opacity = 82%. Then Cosmos #19 at Blending Mode = Multiply and Opacity 47%. I masked the texture partly off of the ground on the first texture. I wanted the same mask on the 2nd texture – here’s a quick way to copy a layer mask.

Right Click on the mask you want to copy and select “Add Mask to Selection”. Highlight the layer you want the mask added to (2nd texture) and click on the new layer mask icon. Voila – duplicated mask!

Here’s the finished image:

And the final layer stack:

Last chance to grab your copies of my new “Crop Shapes 2” and “Swashes 1” Collections! 50% off until Feb. 21st (tomorrow) at midnight EST! (Sale also includes “Crop Shapes Set 1).

Each set contains 12 shapes
Reg. $12 – on sale for $6 each.

CLICK HERE for the Peacock Studio
(or click each image below to go to that product).

Each set comes with a written tutorial on how to apply to your images.

And check out my video tutorial on how to use!
CLICK HERE!

Around the Web Feb. 18

PHOTOSHOP

Check out the “50 Best Photoshop Tutorials of 2019” and “50 New Photoshop Tutorials of 2019” on GraphicDesignJunction.

From Digital Photography School, “How to Create Double Exposure Effect in PS”.

FREEBIES

Free Photoshop brushes: “20+ Free Photoshop Brushes”

Barns & Backroads Workshops
ONE SPOT OPENED UP!

Wow! Our June 4-7 workshop – added last week –
sold out in 3 days! Thank You!

However, due to a cancellation, we have one open spot for the May 14-17 workshop.
PLEASE EMAIL ME IF YOU ARE INTERESTED –
Hazel@MeredithImages.com

COMING SOON!

I’m planning on some Summer “Intensive” workshops that will focus on post-processing (it’s pretty hot in the Summer, so we can mostly be indoors!). Watch for more info soon!

Also, I’ll be adding Fall dates for “Barns & Backroads” workshops soon! I’ve started a list for notification before they are announced – let me know if you’d like to be added to the list! Email me or message me on Facebook.

SALE ENDS FRIDAY!

2 NEW SETS OF CROP SHAPES!

CLICK HERE
to watch my video of how to use these shapes.

AND THEN…

Grab your copies of my new “Crop Shapes 2” and “Swashes 1” Collections! 50% off until Feb. 21st! (Sale also includes “Crop Shapes Set 1).

Each set contains 12 shapes
Reg. $12 – on sale for $6 each.

CLICK HERE for the Peacock Studio
(or click each image below to go to that product).

Each set comes with a written tutorial on how to apply to your images.

And, in case you missed this offer…

Design Cuts and I have put together a special bundle just for my readers – five new products that I think you’ll love!

Click HERE to read the blog post of this special release!

You can grab this bundle of 5 specially selected products for just $33 (which is 50% off) using THIS LINK! On the site you can see also the products in detail with some other examples of how to use them.

And don’t forget to sign up for the 4th

GET ALL THE DETAILS as well as bios on our speakers on our website HERE!

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“You can’t teach people photography, they’ve got to learn how to do it the best way possible for them. They can learn from looking at pictures… but they don’t really get intimate with the medium until they’ve made a few bad shots.” ~ Cecil Beaton