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”!

 

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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!

 

 

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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!

Sunday Sampler, Freebies, Updates

Happy Sunday! It’s been a little rainy and chilly in New England this week! My visit to the Cape was downright COLD on Wednesday with wind whipping off the water. The rain prevented any kind of sunrise photography – bah! But, I managed to “shop my way” across the Cape! Hello Christmas Tree Shops (yes plural)!

So here are a few more textures from past Cape Cod trips that will make some nice backgrounds for you! Enjoy the Sunday Sampler!

 

 

One of the things I am often asked about, and that I teach in my Photoshop and Elements workshops, is how to cut out an image from the background so that you can place a new background behind your subject. I found this great tutorial that shows the process step-by-step – check it out at WebDesignDev.com.

 

 

QUICK CONFERENCE UPDATES

Attendees that have registered so far for the Creative Photography Conference range from “locals” who live in New England to those as far away as Michigan, Illinois, Virginia and Texas! I can’t wait to see everyone there!

GREAT NEWS! The guaranteed hotel rate of $129 was set to expire on April 20th — however, the hotel has agreed to extend that for as long as they have rooms available!

SO…..I extended my offer of a “buddy bonus” to the two clubs I visited this past week…..and I’ll extend it to all of my dear readers as well. Register for the Conference with a “buddy” and you each save $50 on your registration fee. To get the special, you must register 2 people together in the cart, and use the code buddy100 to save the $100. Click HERE to go to the sign up page! This offer is good only through midnight May 6th.

FREEBIES!

Line25.com has a great listing of the 20 Best Free Photo Overlay Brushes for Photoshop. And they also have 20 Decorative Typefaces worth Downloading.

PictureCorrect.com offers 35 Premium Photoshop Tutorials: How to do Photo Manipulation. These cover a wide range of techniques and skill levels – check them out for some inspiration!

 

SEDONA WORKSHOP UPDATE

In the flyer with preliminary info on this workshop I mention I was working on getting us early access to the Sedona Heritage Museum – Accomplished! We will be visiting from 9-11 a.m. before the museum is open to the public, though we can stay longer as well to see the artisans that are scheduled for the day. Check out the info HERE! The workshop is limited to 8 attendees and two people who were in the group last year are returning, so there are 6 spots open.

Click HERE for more details. And HERE to sign up!

 

 

 

 

Sunday Sampler + News + Freebies & Tutorials

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

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

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

Today is the last day for the big TOPAZ SALE!

SAVE 40% with the code SPRING40

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

Some cool things from the web this week:

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

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

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

SPECIAL DEAL ON

THE CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY CONFERENCE!

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

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

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

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

CLICK HERE TO GO TO OUR STORE AND SIGN UP!