June 9 – Sunday Sampler

Our Tennessee journey continues! Purchasing 2nd piece of property attached to the first for a total of 2.1 acres! Put a deposit on a modular yesterday – great deal on one that someone ordered with lots of upgrades then didn’t like the outside color! Good for us! Will be heading back down in a couple weeks on the way to Chattanooga where I will be presenting on Thursday, June 20th at the Photographic Society of Chattanooga. On Saturday the 22nd I will then do a half-day hands-on workshop for them on Topaz. Just a few spots left if you are in the area!

Sunday Sampler header

Some soft floral bokeh images are this week’s Sunday Sampler. I didn’t blur these TOO much – you can use a Gaussian Blur to soften them even more. Great for replacing the background behind a nice flower shot!

Here’s how I used one of these in a quick edit. I had this rose shot with a fairly plain green background (which isn’t a bad thing, but I want to show you how to use the bokeh backgrounds!).

I selected the rose and feathered the edges 3 pixels. Delete the old background. Save the rose with the transparent background as a PNG file.

Open Floral Bokeh 3 and drag the rose into the background (just as you would drag in a texture). I used Neutral Density gradients to darken the background, and a Hue/Saturation Adjustment to make the flowers a little more pink. I also used a Layer Style to add a slight drop shadow to the rose (very subtle). Here’s the final screen shot:

And the final image:

Needs a stem of some type so that it doesn’t look like it’s floating on the background, but you get the idea!

Survey – New Logo Design!

I am beginning an update of the Meredith Images website and decided it was time for a new logo to tie in with the “Peacock” theme. I’ve come up with a few versions – I need you to vote for your favorite!

Here are the versions numbered. The link to vote is at the end of this article! Thanks for your feedback!

NUMBER 1

NUMBER 2

NUMBER 3

NUMBER 4

NUMBER 5

NUMBER 6

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QZ79DH9

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!

If you like to create the look of pencil sketches and other art from your images, you’ll love this bundle from Pixelo – “The Ultimate Photoshop Add-Ons Bundle”!

It contains 72 Artistic Scripts to create a world of effects with just a click! Check it out HERE! Just $29!

And if you didn’t grab the Design Cuts “Totally Vibrant Textures & Patterns Collection” yet, it expires Monday midnight UK time! Don’t miss this huge collection for just $29! Click HERE to check it out!

And from WeGraphics, a cool little tutorial on how to make a “soundwave” in Photoshop! I followed the tutorial and did this less than 5 minutes!

And finally, from Light Stalking, an article of “The Coolest Photography Links of the Week” including tutorials and some great photographs!

Have a great week!

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!

March 17 – Sunday Sampler

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

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

3 NEW TEXTURE SETS!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t Miss Out!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 10 – Sunday Sampler

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peacock Studio at Meredith Images

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

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

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

Workshops Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec. 30 – Sunday Sampler

Goodbye 2018 – Hello 2019! Just one more day till we ring in the new year! Time sure does fly, doesn’t it? I have lots of plans for photography projects this coming year – the 2nd eBook is progressing (release by 4/1 or sooner); some online tutorials (written and videos); more textures, of course; and a few other projects I am contemplating! The Creative Photography Conference will be heading out to new locations – working on something for Fall of 2019. We’re planning on two conferences a year – one in Spring and one in the Fall.

This was taken along the Skyline Drive in VA in Spring of 2017. A thunderstorm had just passed by. I accented the shafts of sunlight with Studio Magic.

And, of course, you may know that we are planning a move this year to Tennessee near the Great Smoky Mountains! Still looking for our new place – I’m sure we’ll find it when the time is right!

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some textures taken from that same trip to Virginia. Rocks, rust and some old barn wood. Enjoy!

AND…I’ve just posted “Sunday Sampler Group 5” for sale in the Peacock Studio! This consists of all of the textures from the Sunday Samplers from Jan – June 2018. Every six months I group the textures and post in the store in case you’re new to the blog and/or missed them previously. There is always AT LEAST six months worth that you can scroll back through the old blog posts and download.

The Sunday Sampler Groups normally sell for $15 each, but I’m doing a SALE on ALL FIVE GROUPS till next Sunday for JUST $10 per group! Each group has at least 70 large textures (4500 px x 3000 px). These can be used for both personal and commercial work, but they cannot be shared, sold or redistributed in any way. CHECK OUT THE SALE HERE!

NOTE: Because these are such large files (300-600MB), I will send you a direct link after purchase. Thanks!

My next Topaz webinar will be Tuesday, January 8th at 5:00 pm Eastern time. Registration will go live later this week.

Join me for some new creative techniques in Topaz Studio, where I’ll use the Pro Adjustments, Impression and, of course, Topaz Texture Effects! I’ll give you some insight on my thought process and why I select the effects that I do, as well as how to modify presets to your taste and layer multiple presets.

Watch me take this simple leaf shot and create four versions (below) by layering presets in Topaz Studio and Texture Effects.

PIXELO has been having some great deals lately! This one expires in just 24 Hours (9 am Eastern time on Monday). THE CHRISTMAS & WINTER BUNDLE consists of:

  • 66 Ready Christmas Photo Overlays
  • 700+ Christmas Lightroom Presets
  • 456 Fog and Rain Photo Overlays
  • 180+ Abstract Snowflakes
  • 130+ Christmas Bokeh Photo Overlays
  • 120+ Christmas Light Leaks Photo Overlays
  • 110+ Christmas Sparks Photo Overlays
  • 100 Professional Lens Flare Overlays
  • 100 Fairy Light Overlays
  • 94 Firefly Photo Overlays
  • 80 Snowflake Photo Overlays
  • 77 Abstract Lines Photo Overlays
  • 60 Galaxy Stars Photo Overlays
  • 60 Confetti Photo Overlays
  • 50 Winter Frames
  • 50 Frozen Photo Overlays
  • 28 Christmas clip art Overlays
  • 15 Glitter Effect Photo Overlays
  • 15 Fireworks Photo Overlays
  • Commercial License
  • Lifetime download access

CLICK HERE TO GRAB IT NOW BEFORE IT EXPIRES – JUST $9

AND…check back every day this week for the 7 days of Sizzling Offers!

Here’s a good article on a project for a Winter day when you want to say inside…“How to Photograph Smoke” from PictureCorrect.com.

Nov. 25 – Sunday Sampler

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving! We were in Buffalo this week – at Niagara Falls on Thanksgiving Morning at 19 degrees! Wasn’t too bad until we walked out on the observation deck over the river and the wind kicked in – Yikes! Wasn’t out there very long! 

On Friday we went to the Buffalo & Erie Botanical Garden. It was designed as a replica of the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. This was the first day of the poinsettia and model train show. Not quite as elaborate as the NYBG, but pretty nonetheless. 

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some textures from the botanical garden – flower pots and tree bark! Enjoy!

Black Friday, Cyber Monday & other special deals continue!

A recap of the past week’s posts in case you missed them!

Pre-Order my 2nd eBook at 40% off!

In last Sunday’s post I released the pre-order for my 2nd eBook, “Working with Textures & Overlays: Turn Ho-Hum into a Work of Art, Book 2”! Save 40% – reg. price $25, pre-order price $15! Click HERE to go to the Peacock Studio and order! (Extended through 11/30 at midnight EST.)

I also released 3 new texture sets at 25% off. Use the code HOLIDAY2018 to save 25% on any of my texture sets or first eBook. EXTENDED THROUGH 11/30! Click HERE to go to the store.

Topaz Specials

The great Topaz deals END MIDNIGHT CENTRAL TIME MON., NOV. 26TH! Don’t miss out! Click HERE to go to last week’s blog post and all the details!

Think Tank Photo Camera Bags

Deals run till Dec. 2nd. Click HERE to go to last week’s blog post and all the details!

Grut Brushes

Fabulous brushes for digital painting AND for creating textures! Sale expires Monday midnight (UK time). Click HERE to find the details.

Design Cuts

I ordered my deal today! Don’t miss this one! FIFTY fabulous products for just $99! I love, love, love Design Cuts. I’ve gotten lots of great bundles from them – fonts, textures, brushes and much more. Their regular bundles are $29 and a great deal too! But this special Black Friday Bonanza is totally amazing. One product has 150 textures! That alone is worth the $99! Lots of great fonts, more textures, brushes, mock-ups, and more. CLICK HERE!

Layer Cake/Studio Magic – Coming Up!

They are putting the finishing touches on a great deal for my readers! I’ll email as soon as it’s live!

Don’t Miss Out on Early Bird Pricing!

The Early Bird Pricing ends midnight Nov. 30th (EST). Save $61 on registration and reserve your seat for our fabulous line-up of creative speakers. 

Join us on May 18-19, 2019 for the 3rd Creative Photography Conference. Speakers include:

  • John Barclay (Topaz webinar presenter)
  • Anne Belmont (Lensbaby specialist)
  • Mark Bowie (creative landscape photographer)
  • Betty Wiley (creative techniques in Lightroom & Photoshop)
  • Jane Driscoll (iPhoneography/apps)
  • Loretta Paul-Goldin (creating textures with alcohol inks)
  • Jan Doyle (creative products with your photos and using YouTube for free publicity)
  • and ME – (textures!)

We will have multiple events simultaneously and will have the photo-ops room open all weekend (practice flower photography with Lensbaby loaners and your macro skills with many tabletop set-ups). 

NEW FOR 2019:

On Friday there will be two pre-conference sessions. One with John Barclay and one with me. (Additional fee)

Also new this year will be buffet dinners on Friday and Saturday nights. Don’t wait in a restaurant – join us and socialize with other attendees and our speakers! Just $20 per dinner.

And, as always, included is all Sat./Sun. sessions; lunch both days; coffee “and” in the mornings; speaker notes on a flash drive, a goody bag with discounts and other items; and LOTS of door prizes. Hunt’s Photo will also be here again for your shopping pleasure!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

I know I’ve mentioned Canvas on Demand before. I use them for all my canvas prints. I got an email today – good only till tonight – but if you have something ready to print, you can get a 16×20 canvas for just $20!! Code: JXBV60 at checkout. I’m not an affiliate for them – I just think they’re fabulous! https://www.canvasondemand.com/

DEALS FROM PIXELO! Another great “bundle” company. If you like using Photoshop add-ons (plug-ins, layer styles, brushes, swatches and more), then you’ll love this one! 5500 Unique Add-Ons for $29!  

AND until tomorrow night you can save 20% off that great price … go to the top of the page and enter your email and you will get a coupon code to use!

They also have several other bundles available on the site (CLICK HERE)

Stay tuned for more deals this week!

Black Friday Specials!

The biggest Topaz sale of the year! Starts Thanksgiving morning and runs through Cyber Monday midnight (CST). 

3 DEALS TO CHOOSE FROM!

PRO PACK ADJUSTMENTS = $250 ($635 value)

All 24 Pro Adjustments including AI ReMix & AI Clear plus the other 22 adjustments. NOTE: You only pay for what you don’t own – be sure to be logged in to your account and when you place in your cart, you will see your special price based on what you already own).

A.I. BUNDLE = $150 (value $229.97)

Includes AI ReMix, AI Clear and AI GigaPexel!

EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE TOPAZ STORE IS 25% OFF!

Every adjustment, plug-in and standalone program! If it’s not in the two bundles above, it’s 25% off.

NO COUPON CODES NEEDED! PRICES WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY ADJUSTED IN YOUR CART.

Click here to grab these special deals!

Our friends at Think Tank Photo just announced their Black Friday specials. It will put its popular Airport Advantage Plus rolling camera bag on sale at 50% off over Black Friday weekend. In addition, several of its most popular camera bags will be on sale at 40% starting on Black Friday and through December 2nd. CLICK HERE TO GET THESE SPECIAL DEALS!

And don’t forget, by using my special Web link when ordering, you will receive a free gift and free shipping on top of the discounts!

The Airport Advantage Plus rolling camera bag is designed specifically for traveling photographers. By it complying with international carry-on size and weight requirements, you can keep your most valuable gear safe and near you when flying.

On sale at 40% through December 2nd are Think Tank’s Spectral shoulder bags, UltraLight backpacks, Signature shoulder bags, Sidepath backpack, and Multi-Mount holsters. The UltraLight backpacks are the lightest weight photo backpacks on the market. The Signature shoulder series are designed for wedding and other event photographers who seek a more elegant and discreet shoulder bag.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO!

A freebie I just saw online! 20+ Free High Quality Photoshop Brush Sets from WebDesignDev.com.

And, from MediaLoot.com, How to Make a Text Portrait in Photoshop. 

And don’t forget to take advantage of my eBook pre-release and Peacock Studio Discounts (See the 11/18 blog post). 

(See the 11/18 blog post). 

There are more Black Friday specials coming…stay tuned!

Nov. 18 Sunday Sampler

Happy Thanksgiving week! I hope you have a wonderful holiday with family and friends. Let the shopping sales begin!

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of a patterned sidewalk that I edited 3 ways in Topaz! You can further edit as desired and/or change colors with hue/saturation or Topaz ReStyle (which changes the color palette of the image).

eBook 2 is in Process

Pre-Order to save 40%!

My second eBook is under way! This will be a continuation of Book 1, with more projects than ever; more textures; and more brushes! 

In Book 1 I showed you the basics of working with textures – how to find them, photograph them, and create your own in Photoshop with brushes. You learned how blending modes make our textures work with our images and turn them into your own “Work of Art”.

In Book Two, we will delve further into projects that incorporate many textures and brush overlays (sometimes as many as 6 or more!). You will learn to composite several images and how to make them blend seamlessly. I promised in Book One that I would show you how I created the cover art “Vultures & Cosmos” – that is one of many projects you will do (minimum of ten projects). 

As in Book One, you get a PDF file of the actual eBook plus all the textures, brushes and photos to follow along with the projects. There will be several extra bonus sets of textures and brushes as well (I’m still adding to this group).

THIS PRE-ORDER IS AVAILABLE ONLY UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST, SUNDAY, NOV. 25th! SAVE 40% off the list price of $25 – Just $15!

It is available both as an electronic version or an actual CD. Shipping for CD’s in the U.S. is $5, outside the U.S. it’s $15.

Click HERE to go to the Peacock Studio store!

~ ~ ~

Also new in the Peacock Studio are 3 new texture sets!

Just added today – 3 new computer-created texture sets – “Inky Leaks 1”; “Procreate 1”; and “Watercolor Designs 1”. 

These 3 sets as well as all of my texture sets and the first eBook are now 25% off until Sunday, Nov. 25th at midnight EST. 

These 3 texture sets are the first in 3 new series – more to be added soon!

These 3 sets are regular $6 – just $4.50 with the 25% sale. USE CODE HOLIDAY2018 AT CHECKOUT!

Click Peacock Studio to see all of our textures and products.

REMINDER…Early Bird Pricing for the 2019 Creative Photography Conference ends on Nov. 30th!

Save $61 and register for our great 2019 line up! No other discounts will be offered, so don’t miss the savings! CLICK HERE to read all the details and to register.

Registration includes all Sat. & Sun. seminars; photo-ops; lunch both days; coffee/tea & refreshments in the mornings; speaker notes on a flash drive; LOTS of door prizes; and a goody bag with discounts & freebies. There will also be vendor tables for your shopping pleasure!

New in 2019 are 2 pre-conference workshops on Friday afternoon (additional fee), as well as optional dinner buffet (save waiting!).  

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO AND REGISTRATION!

The Black Friday Sales will be in full swing this week from many of the vendors I do business with! I’ll be sending another post or two this week to keep you up-to-date with the best deals!

Topaz’s sale will run Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday (I can’t reveal what it is yet!).

StudioMagic is having a FABULOUS sale on all of their products (they have over 60 of them! You DON’T want to miss this one for sure!

And many of the companies that do “bundles” of products will be releasing info soon — stay tuned!

Gobble! Gobble!

Nov. 4 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday and a warm welcome to all of the new subscribers! Thank you for watching my Topaz webinar this past week. It was fun doing some Halloween-themed images! We had lots of great questions as well. I printed out the chat so I can answer more of the questions here in the Topaz Corner (see below). We try to cover a LOT of information during the webinars – I know for some people it seemed to go too fast – but that’s why they record the webinars so you can go back and watch again!

The “edited” webinar is not posted yet, but you can get to the unedited copy by clicking HERE. And if you haven’t gotten them yet, I have the notes for this webinar for sale in my online store for just $5! This gives you all of the images that I worked on during the webinar, the notes with the settings that I used, AND a bonus set of textures (these textures are not available anywhere else – they will be part of some upcoming sets in the store). Click HERE to go to the web store and then select “Topaz Notes” (the notes for my last webinar are also still available).

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler started with a shot of tree bark that I took on my jaunt this week to Southford Falls State Park in Southford, CT. I then did a couple of variations using AI ReMix in Studio.

The recent rains and pretty fall color made for some nice images:

After editing these leaves, I added a preset in Topaz Studio to give them some added “punch”.

I’ve been totally amazed with the quality of AI Clear. It really makes my images look great! I did mask it off of the water a little so that they wouldn’t be overly sharp.

NEW WEBINAR NOTE!

If you’d like to see some more of “What’s New with Topaz Labs”, I will be doing a webinar tonight at 7:00 pm Eastern Time, for NPEG (the National Photography Enthusiasts Group). They have allowed me to open up registration to you as well! Click HERE to sign up! I’ll be covering Topaz Studio and some of the Pro Adjustments that have been added since the Summer when I did my last webinar for them.

 

So as I mentioned above, I printed the chat log from Tuesday’s webinar so that I could answer questions we couldn’t get to during the presentation. I love reading all the “hello’s” when people log on and seeing where everyone is from (all over the world!).

A couple questions from the first project, the “haunted” house and graffiti overlay.

Q. How did she unlock the ratio?

A. After adding the 2nd image layer, you will see a “Lock Aspect Ratio  Yes  No” under the image – click on NO and you will be able to resize the image without maintaining the original aspect (see screen shot below)

 

Q. Where did she get the clip art? Where did she get the lightning?

A. The graffiti shot I used was from Layer Cake’s “Epic Location Sets” (Urban Chic set) and the lightning was from their Studio Magic plug-in program.

I recently did a webinar for them utilizing these new Location Sets. They are also the makers of Studio Magic, an awesome plug-in to Photoshop (I have done a webinar on this as well). You can save 90% and get Studio Magic, free sky overlays and the 1200 Epic Location Sets for just $125 HERE. Or just the 1200 Location Sets and Skies for $99 HERE.

The other clip art I showed (spider web, pumpkin, ghost), I downloaded from Brusheezy.com. They have TONS of free brushes, clip art and more (also Vecteezy.com for graphics).

Also watch the blog for “Around the Web” links to other great resources.

Q. How do I import textures into Studio?

A. I put together a tutorial sheet on how to do this with screen shots. Click – How to Add Textures to get the pdf file!

Q. How did she get two different textures to apply? When I do that, the second will override the first!

A. Once you have applied your first texture, you need to then click on Adjustment again and select texture to open a 2nd dialogue box and add a 2nd texture without deleting the first one. So you’re pallette will look like this:

 

I will answer some more questions next week!

 

Just a reminder…the Early Bird pricing for our 3rd Creative Photography Conference ends on November 30th!

Join us May 18-19, 2019 at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center in Southbridge, MA, and unleash your creative side!

Our fabulous speakers: John Barclay, Anne Belmont, Mark Bowie, Betty Wiley, Jane Driscoll, Loretta Paul-Goldin, Jan Doyle and me, will show you techniques including Topaz, textures, LensBaby, landscapes, Lightroom, Photoshop, Luminar, iPhoneography, creative projects with your photos, YouTube publicity and creating your own textures in PS and with alcohol inks. We’ll also have a photo ops room with set ups to photograph, and much, much more!

Go to our website at: https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/ for all the details and to register!

Have a great week!

Oct. 28 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Go Red Sox!


This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some beautiful clouds from Cape Cod. I judged at the Cape Cod Art Center Camera Club on Thursday evening. Got to visit John Barclay & Rad Drew for breakfast on Friday along with their workshop group, and dinner Friday with friends, Michael & Suz Karchmer. Busy couple of days! I had also hoped to meet up with Betty Wiley (one of our Creative Photography Conference speakers), but she had some computer issues and had to head to the Apple store off-Cape!

The Peacock Studio’s new mascot, Pete the Peacock, went along for the trip! He precariously perched on the fence at Highland Lighthouse (though the breeze knocked him down a few times!). He will be traveling with me and also be featured in my upcoming new travel blog…stay tuned!

 

This coming Tuesday, October 30th, is my next Topaz webinar!

REGISTER HERE!

Join me at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time for all the “spooky” edits! I will have notes available for this webinar for just $5. Includes full notes/settings, the images used so you can follow along when you watch the recording of the webinar, plus some bonuses! The notes will be available immediately after the webinar. (Notes from the previous webinar are also still available in my store).

I will also offer a 25% discount on my eBook and textures in the Peacock Studio with the code TOPAZ25The 25% off discount expires midnight Nov. 10th Eastern time.

Visit the Peacock Studio HERE!

 

FEATURED SPEAKER – ANNE BELMONT

As a flower photographer, Anne’s greatest passion lies in seeing and capturing the beauty of flowers and other botanical subjects up-close. It is the small, often unnoticed details that draw Anne to her subjects – the patterns, textures, curves and unique personality of each subject. It is her belief that if we slow down and look at nature in a more contemplative way, we will find subjects that convey impact and emotion, causing the eye to linger a little longer. Some of those subjects might even have stories to tell. With a lifelong involvement in the arts and her deep love of nature, photography became a perfect way for Anne to share her vision of the natural world with others. Her first career as an art therapist has shaped the way she views art and the creative process, and has reinforced her belief in the healing power of both art and nature in our lives.

On any given day you will find her at her favorite place to photograph, the Chicago Botanic Garden. She was commissioned by the Garden to do a solo exhibition of her orchid photography, displayed in 20 larger-than-life panels during the 2015 – 2017 Orchid Shows.


Anne is on the Out of Chicago Photography team, organizing and presenting at their conferences. She presents programs and teaches workshops on flower photography at conferences and groups throughout the country. She is a writer for the learning community Visual Wilderness, where she writes about flower and macro photography. Anne partners with Lensbaby, and is passionate about using and promoting their creative lenses to enhance the artistry of photography. She is firmly committed to the idea that we should never stop learning, growing, experimenting and having fun with photography.

 

JOIN ANNE AND THE REST OF OUR CREATIVE LINE-UP AT THE 3RD CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY CONFERENCE, MAY 18-29, 2019 at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center, Southbridge, MA. 

Early Bird discount available until Nov. 30th – Don’t miss out!

Find all the details on our website HERE!

 

FREEBIES from MediaLoot22 Beautiful and Seamless Rock Textures! There are also additional freebies and for-purchase textures on this page.

For some last-minute Halloween Decorations, check out the freebies from TheHungryJPEGSpooky Halloween Clipart

Freebies from Pixelo – All kinds of goodies! Check ’em out!

And…from Pexels, 1000+ free Textures! Can be used for personal and commercial use (be sure to read the full license terms). 1000+ Beautiful Textures

 

Have a great week!