July 7 – Sunday Sampler

I hope you all had a happy Independence Day! I know I will be seeing some of you this coming week at the NECCC Conference at UMASS (New England Camera Club Council)!

This week’s Sunday Sampler is an assortment of textures from another recent hotel stay! Enjoy!

Last week I mentioned I would show you how to combine several firework bursts into one shot – it’s really a very simple process!

I typically edit each shot first – upping the saturation; doing any healing or cloning to remove spots, etc. You can also use the Hue/Saturation tool to change the color of your fireworks if desired!

Let’s take image #1. I have not cropped this at all yet, and won’t until I get all of my images put together so I can see where the best crop will be. I also want to be sure that there is room to add the other bursts.


Now we will “drag” in Image #2 just as if it were a texture. Have both images open and use the Move Tool to drag Image #2 over Image #1 so they are in the same file on separate layers (like this):

To make the images work together, we’ll change the Blending Mode of Image #2 (the top layer) to Lighten. We can then position the second firework burst like this:

The Lighten Blend Mode makes the background “disappear” and keeps the brighter area of the image. If needed, you can also add a layer mask to get rid of any other distracting areas around the burst.

Now we’ll bring in the third burst the same way, with the Move Tool. Change the Blending Mode to Lighten and move it into position. I also reduced the size of this burst to better fit with the other two:

Now we can crop the image.

I typically save my images first as a TIFF or PSD file to keep the layers, then flatten and save as a JPEG.

Finished Image:

Hopefully you got some great fireworks images this week – go ahead and play!

I was pleased to be interviewed by Haley Salyer of Topaz for their blog post this past week. I contributed a preset (Painterly) that was included with the recent release of the new Adjust AI.

If you didn’t read it, check it out HERE!

And, if you haven’t grabbed your copy of Adjust AI yet, it’s still on sale for $59.99 HERE! Sale ends Monday midnight Central time, so don’t wait!

Also announced on their Facebook pages this week (it hasn’t been “officially released on the website yet), there is now a version of Gigapixel AI that is WEB-based! So if you were/are having issues with the download of the software, now you don’t need to download it! You can upload your image to the site, submit, and within a couple minutes get a link to your enlarged image that you can then download to your computer. I tried it a few times – works great – very fast! Works just like the software installed on your computer. So, if you have Gigapixel AI, try it out HERE!

To save 15% on any Topaz product, use THIS LINK and the code MeredithImages at checkout.

July Sales from Meredith Images

Don’t miss out! One-on-one training special pricing until July 31st (sessions do not have to be completed in July, just purchased prior to the 31st).

Sign up in the Peacock Studio HERE!


Don’t miss out on the sale on Sunday Sampler Groups. These bundle the older Sunday Samplers into groups ranging from 75-90 textures each! Or, you can grab all six at an extra special discount – 468 Textures for just $60!

No coupon code needed! On sale until July 31st in the Peacock Studio HERE!

Jan. 27 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! The first month of 2019 is almost over! Less than two months to Spring – Yippee!

This week’s Sunday Sampler will show you how something so “ordinary” can become a texture! Last year we did a photo shoot at an abandoned brewery. Near the end of the day I found this pile of broken plastic pieces, and of course, I photographed it! I took the image into Topaz Studio and created several versions of the image which brought out amazing color! Shots 3a and 3b are the same except that for 3b I applied a layer of white over the image and lowered the opacity to give it a more pastel look. Remember, you can always create new textures from any image by applying various filters and effects – have fun!

On Thursday Topaz released an update to A.I. Gigapixel, improving an already amazing piece of software.

“With the latest update to A.I.Gigapixel™, the first and only intelligent image resizer for your computer just became even better. The latest update includes a brand new interface, a redesigned user experience, and many under-the-hood improvements!

“Your lives are fast-paced and busier than ever, so there’s never been a better time to get image enlargements handled for good. Let A.I. Gigapixel help you save time while giving you more detail in your images for a sharper and more impressive result.”

If you haven’t yet purchased, you can go to the store HERE and grab it for $99.99. Use my code MeredithImages at checkout and SAVE 15%, making it just $85! If you already own AI Gigapixel, download the update by logging in to your account and going directly to the downloads page.

Other Topaz News!

Shhh….I can’t reveal it yet, but stay tuned for a special blog post Monday afternoon revealing a NEW PRODUCT!

Do You Need a Logo?

Some of you may know that my previous background was as a graphic designer and typesetter (in the pre-desktop days). Since I am now working Meredith Images as my full-time job, I’ve started doing some designing again. I recently completed a logo for a gal I met at the travel writer’s workshop I attended in September. She needed a logo for her upcoming website and blog – The Seasonsed Sojourner. Check it out:

I am taking on new jobs, so if you need a logo designed for your photography biz – or any other business venture – I’d be happy to work with you! I have some simple templates for watermark signatures or can create a new look from scratch as I did with the above. Email me and we can figure out the best look for your business!

And my travel blog…

I’ve started my travel writing blog as well – The Traveling Peacock! Follow Pete the Peacock and me as we travel and review places to visit, eat and rest your tired bones! Yesterday we visited a new-to-us restaurant that I reviewed. Check it out HERE – and sign up for our blog updates! And yes, I also designed this logo to tie in with my Peacock Studio theme and logo.

Freebies! Pixelo is one of my affiliate companies that offers some great deals – but they also have some Freebies available! Click HERE to check them out – fonts, templates, text effects and more!

And I found some cool “60-Second Photoshop Tutorials” as well as “99 Best Advanced Photoshop Tutorials” over on TutsPlus.

Have a great afternoon – don’t forget to watch for a special blog post tomorrow on the new Topaz product!

Aug. 26 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Finally, a gorgeous weekend and not humid! Of course this week is a different story (90’s+ and humidity returning), but I’m happy for 2 beautiful days. We had a neighborhood picnic yesterday at our house – so much food left we’re doing lunch again today!!


This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of brick textures from Fort McHenry in Baltimore. A great place to visit when you’re in the area.



Most camera clubs meet from September through May/June and are busy setting up their schedules for the upcoming 2018-2019 season. I’ve been asked to speak at several clubs already this year, with a couple more pending. If you’re club (or group) is looking for speakers, let me know!

Confirmed at: 

Oct. 25 – Judging at Cape Cod Art Association (MA)

Nov. 4 – Webinar for NPEG “What’s New in Topaz”

Nov. 7 – Southeastern CT Camera Club (CT) – “Topaz & Textures”

Nov. 12 – Charter Oak Photographic Society (CT) – “What’s New in Topaz”

Jan. 2 – Judging at Stamford Camera Club (CT)

Feb. 13 – Milford Camera Club (CT) – “What’s New in Topaz”

March 5 – North Haven Camera Club (CT) – “Advanced Techniques in Lightroom & Photoshop”

April 1 – Greater Lynn Photographic Society (MA) – “Creativity with Textures”

April 6 – Judging at Bronx Photographic Society (NY)

May 18-19 – Creative Photographic Conference, Southbridge, MA


From WebDesignDev.com – 350+ Free Handwriting Photoshop Brushes and with the Fall season coming, 20 Creepy Halloween Photoshop Tutorials (VERY creepy!)

On DealJumbo.com they have tons of bundles of textures, fonts, mock-ups and more at very reasonable prices. Check it out HERE!


Have a great week!


Sept. 3 – Sunday Sampler + Exhibit + Seminars + Tuts

Happy September! Where did the summer go?? Every month flies by these days and Sept. & Oct. are exceptionally busy for me this year!

Yesterday we headed to Scranton, PA to Steamtown National Historic Site for “Railfest 2017”. We weren’t going to go this year, but when they added a Night Shoot, well, we were IN!

Unfortunately we had some rain to contend with, but got some cool shots. Here’s one of my faves – those white dots are not stars, but raindrops!

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of – what else?  – but rusty textures from some of the old trains in the rail yard. Next to the steam engines, my favorite part! Enjoy!



The columnist for the PSA book review column had asked for my eBook to review about a year ago. It takes a while for reviews to be scheduled into the Journal, and I was surprised to see my eBook in this month’s column – and in a nicely accented boxed format! Thanks Marie!

I am planning to have the “sequel” done by Spring!



Yesterday morning before heading to Steamtown, we hung 20 of my “creative” images at the Bethel Public Library, 189 Greenwood Ave., Bethel, CT.  I’m having an artist’s reception on Sat., Sept. 23rd from 2-4 p.m. I will also have cards, bookmarks and my eBook for sale at the reception. Please stop in and say “hi”!



I have several camera club seminars scheduled for Sept., Oct. & Nov. If you are in the area, please stop by! Even if you are not a member of the club, guests are welcome!

Sept. 6 – Greater Bridgeport Camera Club, Stratford, CT – “Getting Started with ProShow Gold”

Sept. 18 – Island Photo Group, Farmingdale, Long Island, NY – “HDR/Topaz/Textures”

Sept. 27 – Merrimack Valley Camera Club,k Andover, MA – “Calibrating Your Monitor”

Oct. 17 – Castle Craig Camera Club, Meriden, CT – “Photoshop Elements Basics”

Oct. 21-24 – SEDONA, AZ – Our Workshop! See http://www.meredithimages.com/workshops/ for more info!

Nov. 18 – Bronx Photographic Society, Bronx, NY – “Textures & Topaz”



Some cool techniques – 20 Double Exposure Tutorials

And on Light Stalking, 30 Photography Tutorials and Links that You Will Love


Have a great week!

Sunday Sampler, Conference Final Notes, Tutorials, Hunt’s Sale

Happy May! Now if it would just FEEL like May!


This week’s Sunday Sampler is a mix up of various textures – a cool colored car with a blur; a cork wall; and tree bark done with Topaz Simplify Buz Sim B&W. Enjoy!


We’re heading into the homestretch for our Creative Photography Conference – just 2 weeks away! We still have room if you’d like to join us! Great speakers; LOTS of great door prizes; a goodie bag with freebies and discounts; lunch and snacks both days; seminars and hands-on sessions — all for one low price! The hotel also extended their discounted room rate. Click on over to our website for all the details and to sign up – http://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/. The “Buddy Special” is on till 5/14 as well! Sign up with a friend or two and you all save $$!

Here is the schedule:



Here is a cool free tutorial from WebDesignDev on how to create a photo collage.

And from Line25 comes 25 Awesome Movie Effects Photoshop Tutorials!

And mark your calendars for May 12th & 13th for the 16th Annual Hunt’s Photo & Video Digital Demonstration and Sale. At the Melrose, MA store only. Click here for details!

Have a great week!

Sunday Sampler + News + Freebies & Tutorials

Happy Easter to those celebrating! Planted lettuce and cauliflower in the garden this morning. Turkey in the oven. Productive day!

This will be a busy week. Tuesday night I will be doing a Topaz Seminar at the Quiet Corner Camera Club near Storrs, CT. I’ll stay in Plainfield, then Wednesday head to Cape Cod to judge at the Cape Cod Viewfinders Camera Club. I was supposed to visit there last month, but then we got snow! I love the Cape and it will be nice to have a couple of relaxing days.


I decided to do this week’s Sunday Sampler from images at the Cape – two sunrises and some dune grasses with a sunset glow. All have been “diffused” with Topaz Lens Effects to give them a nice soft bokeh look. Use them to blend in the background of your images.

Today is the last day for the big TOPAZ SALE!

SAVE 40% with the code SPRING40

You can purchase the entire suite of products, or upgrade to get the products you don’t have (log in to your account first to get your special pricing, then use the discount too!).

Some cool things from the web this week:

From 4Vector15+ free vector patterns and 14 Watercolor Freebies.

And some tutorials from PictureCorrect.com – 10 Tips to Improve Your B&W Photography and from ImprovePhotography.com – a Travel Photography Shot List to Keep You Creative.

As always, poke around on these websites for more great info!



Still thinking about joining us? Planning to buddy up with a friend? Sign up together and get a special price of 2 people for $350 (a $100 savings!)

Enter “2” registrations into your cart and use the code BUDDY100 at checkout (does not apply to single attendee registration).

OFFER EXPIRES 4/23/17 at 12 midnight, EDT

There will not be any other discounts offered on this event, so sign up now to get the best price! And the guaranteed hotel rate expires on April 20th, so don’t delay! See website for details.


Happy Holidays!

Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed holiday season. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa – whatever holiday you celebrate, enjoy!

Thank you to all of those who have supported me this year – look for new things in 2017!

I will continue the Sunday Sampler next week.

Thank you!


Nov. 27 Sunday Sampler + Last Call!

Hi everyone – I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends. We spent a couple of days on Cape Cod – relaxing (believe it or not!). Our timeshare was right on the beach – unfortunately Mother Nature wasn’t too cooperative with sunrises & sunsets. Did manage a little color in the mornings, but briefly. The shot below was the 10 minutes or so of color that we had on Friday morning. Once the sun rose up and behind the clouds it was over!

This week’s SUNDAY SAMPLER comes from that trip – rock textures from a jetty off the beach. Thanks to my hubby Dave for these textures and the sunrise!



I’m sure everyone is done being inundated with “Black Friday” specials – I promise to be brief – and just mention “last call” for our store wide 50% off textures sale and 25% off my eBook.

The one change is that I am extending the discount on the “Creative Photography Conference” until December 5th! Our New England Camera Club Council webmaster was away and couldn’t post my info, so it will go up this week. Since this is the only time we will offer this discount, I didn’t want anyone who is interested to miss out!

If you want to check any of the other specials I mentioned in my blog post the other day, you can CLICK HERE!


June 12, 2016 – Sunday Sampler + More!

What a glorious weekend it has been here in Connecticut! I took off work Friday for a “play day” with the New Haven Camera Club at the beautiful Elizabeth Park Rose Garden in Hartford. It was quite windy when I got there in the morning, so I decided it would be a perfect day to shoot some creative images and get some nice blurs to use for backgrounds.

I used Topaz Detail, Adjust & Impression to create this painted rose:

Painted Rose - web

Sometimes we just have to work with the conditions that are presented and make the best of it!


I sent out a newsletter yesterday with some Meredith Images updates and some cool links to Photoshop tutorials. If you’re not already a subscriber, head over to the website at www.MeredithImages.com to sign up!


This week’s Sunday Sampler is a composite of two textures – old wood and old paper. I then created variations by changing the colors to a sepia look and shades of grey. Enjoy!


In the Newsletter I mention our workshop this Fall in Sedona, AZ. It will be October 15-18. We will start on Sat. night with a group dinner, then begin with a visit on Sunday to “Out of Africa” in Camp Verde for images of beautiful tigers and lions, giraffes and more; Monday to the Gold King Mine/Ghost Town in Jerome for some “rusty” stuff as well as some architecture in Jerome; and Wednesday, plenty of images of the beautiful Sedona red rocks including Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte, the Chapel of the Holy Cross, Cathedral Rock at Red Rock Crossing, and sunset from the airport overlook. The price will be $375 per person and include dinner Sat. night and admissions to the above locations. I will be checking around for some accommodation locations. If you are interested and would like more info, email me at Hazel@MeredithImages.com.

Lioness - web

White Tiger - web

Schnebly Hill in the morning-web

Downtown Pano for canvas - 36 x 9

2015-11-27 AZ GhostTown - H-8695 typewriter

PEACOCK STUDIO at Meredith Images

Opening Soon!

As I mentioned last week, I’m getting ready to get the “Studio” store open and post textures, brushes, frames and more for sale. Stay Tuned over the next couple of weeks!! Don’t worry – I’ll still be doing the “Sunday Sampler” too!

Have a great week!

June 5th – Sunday Sampler + Other Updates

Weekends sure do fly by, don’t they? Here we are at Sunday evening again! I’ve been busy at work on the computer pretty much all weekend – playing catch up and finishing my new logo for the online store……

Peacock Studio - FINAL LOGO 6inch

Peacock Studio at Meredith Images will be open VERY soon!! Since we redid the home office in a peacock theme, my husband pointed out that the peacock should probably be part of the new name! Thanks dear!!

I will be releasing some beautiful new texture sets created with watercolor brushes in Photoshop! I will also be designing some new hand-painted textures as well.

So for this week’s SUNDAY SAMPLER, you get a sneak peek of a few of the new textures. Not only did I create some watercolor ones (in a rainbow of pretty hues), I took some and then further modified them in Topaz Adjust and other Topaz plug-ins.

The file named “Tan 5” has 5 different PS layers of tan colors in various brushes. I took this texture and used Topaz Adjust Surreal + Topaz Impression Cave Dweller. Then I took the original Tan 5 again and used Topaz Adjust Vintage Grunge for a totally different look! Click HERE to check them out!

If you’d like to see more of how I modify and then use textures on my images, my next Topaz Webinar is scheduled for July 26th. The opportunity to sign up will be in early July. And if you miss the live webinar, it will be recorded and on the Topaz site to watch later.

I’ve also been busy this week working on the printed materials for the NECCC’s 71st Annual Conference July 15-17th at UMASS, Amherst, MA. It’s not too late to sign up! The New England Camera Club Council Conference is the largest of its kind in the USA! We have over 35 speakers throughout the course of the 3-day event, with most seminars repeated three times so you can try to fit in all of your “must sees”! Our featured Saturday night presenter this year is the incredible Art Wolfe – I cannot wait to see him speak in person. And on Sunday morning there will be some BMX stunt bike riders to photograph, plus models and photo ops throughout the weekend. Check out all the details on our website at www.NECCC.org. 

And in case you were wondering…the peacock in my logo was stock art that I purchased in B&W, then I colored it in Photoshop. I chose the colors for the tail feathers and blended them with more watercolor brushes. I used layer effects to give all of the elements some depth and drama.

Have a great week!