Dec. 23 – Sunday Sampler

Merry Christmas to my readers who are celebrating this week! This week’s Sunday Sampler will take us to warmer days with some patterns in the sand! We have the original plus two variations I created in Topaz Studio. Remember you can always change the colors with a hue/saturation adjustment or a color overlay (changing the blending mode too). Enjoy!

I created this digital card last night in Photoshop. The original image from Cades Cove (in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park) was taken a few years ago when we there in March – thus no leaves on the trees yet. But…there wasn’t snow on the ground either!

First I added the deer from another image taken in Cades Cove on a different day/trip, then I turned it into a Winter scene with Studio Magic II. I also used Studio Magic II to add the softly falling snow.

I used one of my own crop shapes to create the edges, then added a texture of mine behind it. 2 TIPS: If you want to lighten a texture in the background so that it’s more subtle, there are two ways you can do this (which one you use depends on the look you want and the texture itself). Method one: add a blank layer beneath the texture and fill it with white. Then you can lower the opacity of the texture layer and it will get lighter.

The second way is to apply a white (or colored) layer OVER the texture and lower the opacity of the color layer. In my image above I first tried the white layer under my texture, but didn’t really like the result (looked too pale). So I tried adding the white layer OVER the texture layer and lowered the opacity to 32% – bingo! I liked that look!

Here is the screen shot of the layers for this project and the details of all my steps below:

  1. I edited the original image.
  2. Added the deer and resized it to look realistic.
  3. Used Studio Magic II to create a Winter Scene in “Season Shifter”.
  4. At this point I thought the deer was too washed out from the Winter effect, so I duplicated the deer layer and brought it above the Winter Season layer. Lowered the opacity to 87% to blend it better.
  5. I’ll need a layer that contains the original, the deer and the Winter scene in one layer. I could flatten my image at this point OR what I did here is created a merged layer above the other layers. To do this hit Control+Alt+Shift+E. Yep, it takes a lot of fingers to do this (it’s nicknamed the “claw” for good reason)!
  6. Apply the snow in Studio Magic II – Snow Maker.
  7. Now I brought in the crop shape (from my collection in the Peacock Studio). We want the crop shape layer beneath the merged layer.
  8. Click on the merged layer and click Control+Alt+G to clip that layer to the shape (you can turn off the visibility of the lower layers and you will see that you have a transparent border around the shape). The little down pointing arrow next to the layer image shows that it is clipped or grouped with the shape layer below.
  9. Now we’ll add the texture beneath the crop shape. Used a texture from one of my new collections, “Computer Collections – Inky Leaks 1”. As mentioned above, I didn’t want the colors to be so bold, so I added a blank layer above the texture, filled it with white and lowered the opacity to 32%.
  10. Added my Type layer at the top. Used a stroke outline and drop shadow.
  11. Complete!

And speaking of Studio Magic…They’ve given me an exclusive holiday discount for my readers! Save 60% of any product on their website with the code hazel60 now through Dec. 31st! CLICK HERE to go to their website and check out all the fabulous products! Example of the savings: Studio Magic I and II normally is on the site for $179 – save $107.40 and grab it for just $71.60 with this discount! OR…grab their Epic Location Sets for $139.60 (Reg. $349). OR…get both Studio Magic I & II plus the Epic Location Sets combo for just $159.60 (reg. $399.00)!!! There are also lots of other sets of backgrounds, actions and more…poke around the site!

Last Minute Holiday Gift Idea!

If you need a gift for that special photographer in your life – or yourself – sign up for the 3rd Creative Photography Conference – and here’s an easy way to do it!

Take advantage of our Holiday Easy Payment Plan! Pay 1/2 of the registration fee by Dec. 31st ($175), and pay the balance by Feb. 28th ($175). If you are giving as a gift, let me know and I will send you a gift certificate that you can print and put under the tree!

You can add on pre-conference workshops now or later – but the workshops are they’re filling up, so you may want to add them now! You can also add the optional dinner buffet for Fri. or Sat. with either payment.

Contact me with any questions at Hazel@MeredithImages.com and CLICK HERE to go to the Peacock Studio Store to sign up!

Other last minute holiday deals…

From PIXELO – a fabulous special deal – the entire current shop of bundles for just $99!

CLICK HERE for this Pixelo deal!

Another great resource for bundles is Pixel Surplus – and they also have lots of FREEBIES on their website HERE!

9-2 Sunday Sampler – Part 2!

Hi again folks!

Forgot to add something to this week’s Sunday Sampler!

On Sunday, Sept. 23rd, from 9 am – 5 pm, I am doing an all-day hands-on Photoshop Intermediate/Advanced workshop at the Capital Champlain Section of PPSNYS in Troy, NY.

We have a few seats left – you do not need to be a member of the group to attend. They have extended the early bird pricing until Sept. 4th, so don’t wait if you want to attend! $70 for non-members for an all-day workshop is a bargain!

I will be supplying images so we can work together on projects, so bring your laptop! Lunch and door prizes included too!

See the flyers below and their website for more info: http://capitalchamplain.com/

Hope to see you there!

July 29 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Hope you had a great week!

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some floral images that you can use for backgrounds. To soften the effect you can blur them (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur > amount you desire). Enjoy!

 

On Thursday, I did a seminar for StudioMagic (by LayerCake), demonstrating how I’ve used some of the functions of the program. If you didn’t sign up and missed the webinar, here is a link to the recording: http://www.photoeffects.biz/hazeledit/hazeledit.mp4

You can also still take advantage of the special pricing – they’ve let me extend the offer until Monday evening – check it out here: https://store.layercakeelements.com/gav/webdeal.htmlYou’ll save 85% on the deal of StudioMagic I & II, plus 500 skies and cloud overlays – for just $95!

Here’s one of the projects I did in the webinar:

 

And another great deal just released this week – Lightroom Presets & Brushes package – contains 200 LR Presets and 30 LR Brushes – Save 80%, just $59! BUT…at checkout use the code HAZEL35 and save another 35% making the package total price just $38.35!

Check it out here: https://store.layercakeelements.com/gav/lightroom.html

Here’s a couple of before-and-after examples:

 

Free Textures & Brushes! Shadowhouse Creations is one I had come across in the past. It appears the blog hasn’t been active in a few years, however, there are a TON of textures and brushes you can still download. Check it out HEREAnd, you can use them for personal or commercial use with no attribution.

From Pixel Surplus – a great deal on their “Summertime Font Bundle” (affiliate link) – Just $29 for 29 high quality full license fonts. Check it out HERE!

And they also have some great freebies on their site – check em out!

From Picture Correct – Still Life Photography Tips & Tricks and Sunrise Photography Tips for Beginners.

 

Have a great week as we welcome August!!

 

 

 

July 22 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Hope you are enjoying your Summer!

This week’s Sunday Sampler gives you some blurred background photos – trees and a spider web! Use hue/saturation adjustments to change the colors or desaturate the images. Enjoy!

 

If you haven’t signed up for the StudioMagic webinar this coming Thursday, July 26th (2 pm Eastern; 11 am Pacific), it’s not too late! Even if you can’t watch live (though I hope you can), sign up and get a set of Elegance Photoshop Actions (worth $47), and you will receive a link to watch the webinar later (link sent after live webinar). Sign up at http://bit.ly/web825.

 

One of the questions I often get in my Topaz webinars, is how to add your own textures to Studio or Texture Effects. So I put together a tutorial – it’s really a simple process. Click on this link: Topaz – Add Textures to Studio or Texture Effects Enjoy!

 

A few tidbits I found this week:

From Digital Camera World – 55 Free Photoshop Brushes for Photographers (these are 55 SETS of brushes!)

From Photoshop Star – How to Create a Watercolor Text Effect in Photoshop

 

Have a great week!

 

 

July 15 – Sunday Sampler

This was the weekend for the 73rd New England Camera Club Council Conference (NECCC) at UMass, Amherst, MA! Always a fun weekend of learning and creativity. Great to see old friends and make some new ones. With almost 1,000 people, you’re sure to do both! If you’ve never been, mark your calendar for July 12-14, 2019, for the next big event! Details at www.NECCC.org.

I was thrilled to receive one of NECCC’s highest honors – the designation of HonNEC (Honorary Member of NECCC). Ten years ago I received my MNEC (Master Member of NECCC).

Congratulations to Jacob Mosser III, HonPSA, EPSA, HonNEC, who received NECCC’s highest accolade of Honorary Life Vice President. Jake has been involved in the Conference for many years, and held many positions. And congrats as well to the 3 MNEC awardees – Josh Goldin, Alan Kidawski, and Frank Zaremba; and one ANEC (non-New England contributor) to Marc Farb of Sigma. Kudos to all!

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler is a varied assortment – B&W Lines (actually a rug); wood grain and a red patterned fabric! Enjoy!

 

On September 23rd I will be doing an all-day hands-on Photoshop Workshop for the Capital Champlain Section of PPSNYS (Professional Photographers Society of New York State). The event will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (registration at 8:30 a.m.) and will be held at Moscatiellos Italian Restaurant, 99 North Greenbush Road, Troy, NY. The event is open to non-members as well as members. (Click images below for full-size flyer.)

 

SPEAKER UPDATE!

I have four confirmed speakers for our 2019 Conference! I pleased to announce that Anne Belmont, Lensbaby Specialist, will be returning with some new creative ideas for your floral and macro photography! http://www.annebelmontphotography.com/

Joining us in 2019 will also be:

John Barclay – Topaz webinar presenter, landscape photographer and all-around nice guy! “Dream, Believe, Create”. https://johnbarclayphotography.com/

Mark Bowie – Creative landscape photography, night photography and so much more (and another nice guy)! http://markbowie.com/

Betty Wiley – Cape Cod photographer. Lightroom creative editing, Lightroom Mobile for iPhone. http://bettywileyphotography.com/

Stay tuned for more info and speakers!!!

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

May 13 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there. Hope you had a nice day with family.

We’ve been busy putting the finishing touches on prep for our Creative Photography Conference NEXT WEEKEND! Been planning for a year and it’s finally here. Can’t wait to hear our fabulous speakers and learn some new tips myself! If you’ve been on the fence about being able to join us, now is the time – we have a few spots left! Head to https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/ for the details and to register.

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler is a few more textures from the abandoned brewery shoot we did a couple of months ago. And they’re not peeling paint or grunge, but rather, some interesting patterns in glass and mesh. Just shows how many textures there are around us every day – we just have to be open to looking.

And, if you are new to the blog (or if just haven’t done it before), check out our Facebook group – textures: turn ho-hum into a work of art. Lots of great inspiration by our fabulous artist members.

 

I’ve scheduled my next Topaz webinar for Tuesday, June 19th, 5:00 p.m. EDT. Hope you can join us! Registration is usually posted the week prior to the webinar. Sign up even if you can’t watch at the posted time – you’ll get a link to the recorded webinar to watch later.

I’m still planning some projects for it – if you have something you’d like to see me demonstration, send me an email!

 

From Creative Nerds – “25 Fresh Free Fonts from 2018”

From Photoshop Tutorials – “Urban Ink Photo Effect”

 

That’s it for this week! Thanks everyone!

Feb. 11 – Sunday Sampler

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some images that will make nice backgrounds. I took grasses and flowers and blurred them a bit (you can always blur more with a Gaussian Blur adjustment). The third image is silhouetted branches against a pale sunset. Enjoy!

 

This week we are featuring speaker, Anne Belmont, who hails from the Chicago area.

As a nature photographer specializing in flower photography, 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. 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. A life-long involvement in the arts and a first career as an art therapist have shaped the way that she views art and the creative process and have reinforced her belief in the healing power of both art and nature in our lives.

On any given day you will find her in her favorite place to photograph, the Chicago Botanic Garden, a place with bountiful subjects and an ever-changing palette of color and light. 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 a staff member and presenter for Out of Chicago Photography (outofchicago.com) and partners with Lensbaby to spread the love and creativity of their lenses.

Anne’s Conference Programs

Unleash Your Creative Spirit: Creating Beautiful Flower Portraits with Lensbaby

Learn to see and photograph flowers in a whole new artistic way. We will explore ways to unleash the creative spirit, find a vision and style in photography, and follow your heart in shooting in a way that brings joy. Anne will share her unique way of looking at flowers, helping you to see and isolate beautiful, interesting and often unnoticed details. Along with learning some tips and tricks for capturing flowers, we will also explore ways to create more artistic images through the magic of Lensbaby lenses, creating evocative and beautiful portraits of flowers.

Hands-On Sessions – Shooting with Lensbaby

Bring your Lensbaby and learn from a pro how to get the creative effects you desire! I’m trying to get some loaner lenses from Lensbaby as well – stay tuned!

Lensbaby has donated a “Composer Pro II with Sweet 50” as a door prize!

 

If you don’t already own Topaz Adjust (one of my favorites), it is on sale through tomorrow, Monday, Feb. 12th. Save 20% (Reg. $49.99, on sale for $39.99).

This is NOT a Studio addition – at this point – but a chance to grab this great program on sale. And when it does move to Studio, you will be able to get that upgrade for free.

“With Topaz Adjust you can give your images the soul and character you envisioned in the field! Unlike our eyes, a camera lens can’t compensate for all the tonal values we see right in front of us. If you shoot something bright, you’ll lose all the details in the shadows. If you shoot something dark, the highlights will be blown out. You can try to correct contrast, details, and vibrancy yourself, but it’s difficult to make images pop like you want.

“Topaz Adjust is designed to enhance three characteristics: contrast, detail, and color. Specializing in producing vivid images, Adjust uses Topaz’s adaptive exposure, adaptive saturation, and even includes our cutting-edge detail enhancement algorithms to give you the secret “oomph” ingredients that make your images stand out.”

CLICK HERE TO GRAB ADJUST AT 20% OFF!

And watch for a post on Tuesday about the next Topaz deal!

Next week I will answer a few more questions from the webinar!

And…if you missed the webinar a couple of weeks ago or want to watch it again, it is now posted on the Topaz YouTube Channel:

We’ve scheduled my next webinar for Tuesday, March 27th. I’ll be showing more advanced techniques with masking and compositing multiple images in Studio! Stay tuned for sign ups!

 

There is SO much great info on the web! I’m always stumbling across awesome tutorials!

From SmashingMagazine.com – a post from 2008 had “50 Excellent Digital Photography Photoshop Tutorials”. While they may be older, I think they still have great info. There are LOTS of links on the site to many other tutorials – take a look around!

Have a great week!

 

July 9 – Sunday Sampler + Topaz Corner + More!

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope to see some of you next weekend at the New England Camera Club Council Conference at UMASS Amherst, MA! It’s always a fun weekend to live, eat, & breathe photography and to catch up with old friends and make some new ones! If you’re there, be sure to say “hi”!

 

https://meredithimages.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/meredith-images-sunday-sampler-logo-layered-tan-textures.jpg

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of a few more scrapbook papers – the blue scratches is a multiple shot on an iPhone! Enjoy!

 

Topaz just released another update to the new Topaz Studio software (1.0.8). Here’s a great video by Jodi Robbins of Topaz on all of the cool features: WATCH HERE

And be sure to check out their Facebook page – there are tutorials on many different tools available in the Studio – FACEBOOK

I’ve had a few people ask how to find the Webinars I’ve done for Topaz. Here is a link that will sort out all of mine — though the last one from March is not on the website yet — the folks at Topaz have been quite busy with the Studio release and are a little behind in editing the webinars! Click HERE and enjoy!

 

TUTORIALS & OTHER NEWS

Find some awesomely creative Photoshop Tutorials from Digital Arts — “86 Best Photoshop Tutorials”

And from Tutorials 411, a cool video on “How to Add Fog & Light in Photoshop”

I read an interesting article online today that I thought I would share. It’s titled, “The Darker Side of Wildlife Photography: Understanding Ethical Practices.” Something we all need to think about.

Have a great week!

June 25 – Sunday Sampler – Tutorials – Topaz Corner

Another beautiful day here in CT! Low humidity – bright sunshine! Went to the Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market in New Milford, CT this morning – haven’t been there in years! Looking for some new props and items for Meredith Images as well as props for food photography for hubby’s new blog, “Bare Buttz BarBQ”!

If you like smoking or grilling meats, check him out at http://www.barebuttzbarbq.com/ and sign up for his new blog. He’ll be sharing tips and tricks for cooking your own delicacies as well as reviews of BBQ restaurants we visit. We stopped at one today after the flea market – watch for a review soon!

 

Some recent finds from vacation included this silver pitcher and some old books and glasses. This was processed with several textures, word brush, and a crop shape frame from my store, the Peacock Studio!

 

 

https://meredithimages.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/meredith-images-sunday-sampler-logo-layered-tan-textures.jpg

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of more textures from our recent vacation – these are from several spots in Virginia.

 

Recently I found this great article on PictureCorrect.com about Polarizer Filters: What are They and When Can They Be Used in Photography? It’s a pretty good overview of what they are and when they should be used – check it out!

And another good one that covers some basics of composition, also from PictureCorrect.com is “Simple Yet Effective Photography Tips”.

 

New Products from ThinkTank

ThinkTank Photo recently formed a partnership with hard-case manufacturer SKB. ThinkTank has developed dividers, organizers and a backpack specifically designed to fit within 10 SKB hard case configuratios. The result is the best of a hard case with the best of internal organization. Check them out HERE!

AND in other news from ThinkTank, they’ve just added a bunch of their favorite gear to the Outlet Center. Summer Savings of up to 30%. And don’t forget, by using my affiliate link, you get free gear for purchases over $50 plus free shipping! Check it out HERE!

 

TOPAZ UPDATE

If you haven’t yet downloaded the new Topaz Studio – do it now! They released version 1.0.7 just a few days ago and Studio now has a healing/cloning tool! Woo hoo!! The basic Studio is free to download, and you can add the 14 Pro Adjustments for a special price of $99! This sale ends June 30th!

 

CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY CONFERENCE – PROMOTIONS EXPIRING JUNE 30TH!

Just a reminder that the coupons and special deal promos you received at the Creative Photography Conference last month are expiring June 30th! Don’t miss out on all the great deals!

And be sure to mark your calendars for May 19-20, 2018 for the next Creative Photography Conference in Southbridge, MA!

 

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!