Sunday Sampler – Aug. 11

Happy Sunday! As you are reading this we are heading to Tennessee! Site work began on our new homestead this past week. Our house arrives at the dealer from the factory on Monday. Things are progressing! By the end of Aug./beginning of Sept. everything should be set and ready for move in.

This is what it looked like on Friday. We’re really not close to the house next door, it’s just the angle of this image. Our property runs down the hill off to the left of the photo. There is an empty lot between us and the house to the right – the couple who owns that house isn’t selling the lot, so that will stay open. Our contractor has seen deer everyday – guess we’ll have lots of company! Our kitty cats will not be thrilled!!

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some lovely purple and green bokeh shots courtesy of my friend Antoinette Gombeda! She took these with our Sunday Sampler readers in mind. These are great for replacing busy backgrounds behind your flower shots. Thank you my friend!

The folks at Topaz have been VERY busy since the initial release of Studio 2. They are (as of Friday night) on revision 2.0.9! They have added in some of the features not in the initial release (histogram, cropping/straightening, ability to import textures in bulk, and many more), and fixed a few hiccups. Be sure to download the latest update! When you log in to Studio 2 it will tell you there is a new update. You can also check by going to Help > Check for Software Updates.

Another of the features they added was the ability to bring over Studio 1 Presets to Studio 2. When they created Studio 2, they did not add all of the previous presets (now called Looks) so as to not bog down the system with presets that were similar.

To bring over any that you like from Studio 1, first “favorite” them in Studio 1 (click on the heart). Then in Studio 2 go to Help > Migrate Custom TS1 Presets > and check the box for Migrate Favorite Presets. In mere seconds they will be added to TS2. You can tell the ones that were brought over as the preset/look name will have TS1 at the end of it.

There are also no limits to the number of times you can run this function. For favorites and for custom presets as well (initially you could only do this once).

While the webinar discount code for Topaz has ended, you can still save 15% on any Topaz product by using my link: https://topazlabs.com/ref/55/ and the code MeredithImages at checkout.

I have also extended my website discount until Monday Midnight EDT. Save 25% off any of my eBooks or texture packs with the code topaz25 in the Peacock Studio.

An inspiring article from PictureCorrect.com“15 Weekend Photography Project Ideas”. Some fun projects that will help you improve your skills.

And to help you maintain your creativity (also from PictureCorrect), “Tips for Maintaining Creativity as a Photographer”.

And if you want to get creative and produce some of your own backgrounds and textures, check out this article on Pixel2Pixel, “Useful Photoshop Tutorials for Designing Abstract Backgrounds”. There are 48 projects to keep you busy for quite a while!

And another Photoshop project from iDevie, “How to Create a ‘Stranger Things’ Inspired Text Effect”.

If you are into mobile photography (iPhone, Android, etc.), you need to check out the AppWhisperer. They do artist reviews, feature images, and reviews of various phone apps.

And if you want to edit using the native apps on your phone, check out “How To Edit Photos on an iPhone Using the Built In Photos App” from the iPhone Photography School.

And, lastly, find some other great inspiration from LightStalking/Toad Hollow Photography with the article, “Catch Up on the Coolest Links in Photography”.

Have a great week!

Sunday Sampler – Aug. 4

What an exciting, busy week it’s been! Last weekend I taught 5 sessions at the Southwestern Michigan Council of Camera Clubs Conference. Got home Monday afternoon (a friend and I made a road trip of the Conference), then finished preparing for the Topaz Webinar on Tuesday afternoon!

We set new records for webinar registrations (4002), and maxed out the session with 3000 attendees! Wow! If you missed the webinar or didn’t get signed up, here is a link to the recording on the Topaz YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/FadYpAftlE4

Read more Topaz News in the Topaz Corner below.

This week’s Sunday Sampler is a “double-header” since there wasn’t a blog last Sunday. Six more textures from my travels – floors, rugs, concrete, and marble! These are all neutral tones, but remember, you can always change the color scheme with a hue adjustment or make them all black & white.

When we’re doing a webinar, it’s very difficult to get to all of the questions that are asked (especially with this large a group!). Celeste had me answer a few of the most-asked questions, but I’ll address a few more in this column.

Answers to Popular Questions and some updates that have been completed since the webinar:

  • Histogram has been added (the button to open is in the lower left corner of the workspace).
  • Layer masking has been added.
    And you can copy a mask from one layer to another. To copy: Right click in the mask you created; select COPY MASK. Add a mask to the new layer, right click in the mask and select PASTE MASK.
    (See screen shots below).
  • The ability to bring over your custom presets from TS1 to TS2.
    To do that: On top toolbar select Help > Migrate Custom TS1 Presets.
  • Can Studio 2 be accessed from Lightroom?
    Yes. Here are the instructions: https://topazlabs.com/setting-up-topaz-studio-2-as-an-adobe-photoshop-or-lightroom-plugin/
  • Can Studio 2 be accessed from Photoshop?
    Yes. It should automatically install in your Filters menu along with your other Topaz products.
  • What does Studio 2 have that Studio 1 does not?
    Studio 2 now has real layers! In order to save those layers, you must FILE > SAVE PROJECT AS > it will default to a TS2 format. 2 IMPORTANT NOTES! In order to be able to save as a TS2 file, you cannot bring the image into Studio 2 from Photoshop or Lightroom. You must open it directly into Studio 2. TS2 files cannot be opened in any other program (just like PSD files can only be opened in Photoshop). Propriety file formats.
  • If you wish to save as a TIF or JPG format: FILE > EXPORT. You can rename and tell it what folder to save the work in, as well as choose TIF or JPG.
  • How do we access Studio 2 if we’re “off the grid” (no internet)? You do need internet to download the program, but you do not need to be online to use the program. Once it is installed in your computer it works just like any other program.
  • Can we search for Looks by name.
    Yes! There is a search icon just under the “Add Look” button (screen shot below).
COPY MASK
PASTE MASK
SEARCH ICON

Items on the horizon!

  • The ability to add/import additional textures (like we did in Studio 1).
  • Texture Names (similar to AI ReMix
  • Cropping/Straightening
  • Healing
  • Plug-In Access/Support (for all of the other Topaz Plug-Ins that were not updated in Studio 1).
  • The ability to add additional images as layers for compositing or adding a watermark.
  • Community Sharing of Custom Looks – not sure how this will work yet – it won’t be the same as TS1. It was great that people wanted to share looks, however there were so many that it slowed down the loading of presets.
  • Not all of the Effects in TS! were brought over to TS2 (O’Keefe, etc.). Topaz felt there was a lot of duplication and similar effects. I am discussing with Topaz how we can recreate some of these in TS2 for those who want them.

Some general info on Studio 2, pricing, discounts, etc.

  • How do I get Studio 2?
    Studio 2 is available on the TopazLabs.com website under downloads.
  • How much is it?
    Studio 2 retails for $99.99. It is on sale for $79.99 until Aug. 9th. BUT if you use my coupon code from the webinar – Hazelweb719 – you can save an additional 20% making it $63.99! The webinar coupon expires on Monday, Aug. 5th. But…
  • If you previously purchased $100 or more of Studio Pro Adjustments (not plug-ins), then you received an email last week for a FREE upgrade! If you purchased some Pro Adjustments, but less than $100 worth, you received a discounted price. Those emails were sent on Wed. 7/24 and Thurs. 7/25.

Whew! That’s a lot of info! You can always shoot me a message or email with questions, plus there is a Facebook group for Topaz Studio where people help each other (and Topaz staff chime in too). I will answer more questions here in the blog as the software progresses and updates are released.

I also added a discount code at the end of the webinar for 25% off eBooks and textures in the Peacock Studio. You can use the code Topaz25 until Aug. 10th (midnight EDT).

You can also get a copy of my webinar notes (plus images used and bonus textures) for just $5 in the Peacock Studio.

CLICK HERE to SHOP AND SAVE!

Do you ever feel like you are in a “rut” with your photography? We tend to shoot the same types of subjects the majority of the time. Here’s a great exercise to expand your horizons: “10 Photography Assignments to Stimulate Your Creativity” over on PictureCorrect.

All I can say is WOW! The folks at Pixelo have outdone themselves with this latest bundle! The Urbane Fonts & Designs Bundle contains 99 fonts and over 1000 design elements! I’ve seen lots of font bundles, but this one is really amazing with the inclusion of some great art as well. Just $29 (value $2750). Save 99%. Click HERE to grab this deal!!

Think Tank Photo is proud to announce their products have been recognized with a series of prestigious awards. Carryology has named the BackLight 26L the Best Camera Bag of 2019, Professional Photographer has featured the Retrospective 7 V2.0 shoulder bag and Stand Manager 52 in their 2019 Hot Ones product recommendations, and Australian Photography has given their Gold Award to the BackLight Elite 45L .

These awards emphasize Think Tank’s focus on quality, ingenuity, and innovation, and underscore their dedication to designing the best photography bags and products in the industry.

“The pack’s well-considered combination of features makes it a versatile all-rounder for urban and outdoor photography alike. A bag that can accompany you on city excursions, outdoor hikes and more. All while ensuring your gear stays secure and protected, yet accessible when you need it. Bravo, MindShift Gear!”

CHECK OUT ALL THE AWARD-WINNING PRODUCTS HERE!

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.

IMAGE #1:

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!

AND…

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!

June 30 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Half the year is over already – Yikes! Our Tennessee plans are shaping up – we have closed on both pieces of land – just about ready to order our modular – land work to start soon! Can’t wait till we head South to stay!

This week’s Sunday Sampler has six textures (since we didn’t post last week). I started with an image of wallpaper that had a nice texture to it, and created five more variations with adjustments in Topaz. Enjoy!

At then end of every six months, I create a new bundle of Sunday Sampler Textures (you can still download Jan. 2019 to current). I posted the new bundle in the Peacock Studio today! This bundle of 88 textures originally appeared in blog posts from July-Dec. 2018.

The Sunday Sampler Bundles are Regularly $15. But you can grab Bundle 6 – or any of the other five bundles – on sale for 25% off ($12 each) until July 31st.

AND if you are new to the blog and wish to get all six bundles (a total of 468 Textures & Overlays), there is an extra special discount – Reg. $80 for the 6 bundles, now on sale for just $60 until July 31st! SAVE 33% off the price of individual bundles!

CLICK HERE to go to the Peacock Studio and check them out!

My friends at Pixelo have set up a special discount just for my readers! You can save an extra 10% off the already hugely discounted bundles with the code meredith10 at checkout.

Their current bundle is the beautiful “Incredible Watercolor Designs Bundle” that contains 100+ design sets with over 2500 unique elements – watercolor illustrations, clip-arts, patterns, textures, brushes & more!

These are great for business cards and invitations, scrapbooking, web design and so much more. Check it out HERE – Value $2655 – now just $29 – and don’t forget to use the discount code meredith10 to save an extra 10%!

Just in time for July 4th fireworks shows, is an article on PictureCorrect.com on “How to Photograph Fireworks”.

This is a photo of 3 individual bursts combined in Photoshop. These 3 images were also part of the Sunday Sampler last July. Next weekend I will do an “Inside the Peacock Studio” tutorial on how I merged these in PS.

This is another merged shot of mine:

The folks at ThinkTank Photo have released a new holster bag – the Digital Holster 150.

This bag can handle your BIG lenses. It’s designed to offer quick access and transport for your super telephoto zoom lenses. With the versatility of a 150–600mm, you don’t need a backpack full of lenses to shoot wildlife or sports photography. Instead, a camera holster dedicated to a single DSLR body with a 150–600mm attached is an ideal solution.

The Digital Holster 150 is a top-loading solution that minimizes the weight and bulk of bigger bags so you can focus on the action. Wear the holster comfortably on a belt or over the shoulder, so you’re ready to shoot at a moment’s notice.

Visit their website HERE! AND, get free gear and free shipping (on orders over $50) when you use my code 141200.b44092 in the Affiliate Box at checkout!

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!