Sunday Sampler Sept. 1

September already? How did THAT happen? The summer flew by for sure! Hoping house will be placed on site by Tuesday or Wednesday, then I’ll head to TN on Thursday! They needed to bring in truckloads of dirt to make a wider landing area for getting the house on site (the left side of the property was a bit of a drop off).

This week’s Sunday Sampler is thanks to my hubby, Dave! These textures are an old baking sheet that he used as a drip pan in his bbq smoker! I was getting ready to throw it out, but of course, had to take some pics first of that lovely grunge!!

Photography Organizations

I recently became aware of the group, “Nature First”. Their principles are things I have already been practicing.

Nature photographers are increasingly becoming a liability for the beautiful environments they cherish and photograph.

Nature First is built on seven core principles that help communicate how each of us can enjoy nature photography responsibly. The Seven Principles of Nature First Photography were developed to help educate and guide both professional and recreational photographers in sustainable, minimal impact practices that will help preserve nature’s beautiful locations.


  1. Prioritize the well-being of nature over photography.
  2. Educate yourself about the places you photograph.
  3. Reflect on the possible impact of your actions.
  4. Use discretion if sharing locations.
  5. Know and follow rules and regulations.
  6. Always follow Leave No Trace principles and strive to leave places better than you found them.
  7. Actively promote and educate others about these principles.

Membership is free. Check them out at:

If you are a USA-based photographer (any skill level) and you are looking for a group of like minded photography enthusiasts to TEACH, LEARN, SHARE and SOCIALIZE, then NPEG is for you!

The founder of the group, Mark Perry, is holding a free, informative webinar on “What is NPEG” on September 15th 8 pm EDT. Sign up HERE!

And on November 10th, I will be doing a webinar for NPEG, “Topaz Studio 2 – Navigating Your Way Through”.


I have already scheduled several clubs for the upcoming season (most clubs meet Sept.-June).

I will be doing a program at my own club – the Greater Bridgeport Camera Club – on our first meeting night of the season on Sept. 4.

Oct. 5 or 12 (TBD) – Westchester Photographic Society 1/2 day workshop on Topaz.

Jan. 23, 2020 – Webinar for the Charlotte (NC) Camera Club

March 7th – Hands-on seminars for the Greater Lynn Photographic Society (Lynn, MA). Morning – PS Elements; Afternoon – Topaz. And possibly a program Mon., March 9th at their club meeting (tentative).


Sunday Sampler Aug. 25

Happy Sunday! The weather this weekend is glorious! Warm, breezy and much less humidity! I’m ready for Autumn for sure!!

Tennessee update: just waiting for the house to be placed on-site. Hopefully right after Labor Day – which means I’ll be making another trip to TN (will be the sixth so far this year!).

We have another “guest contributor” to this week’s Sunday Sampler! Thank you to Steve Watson for some cool Florida seashell images! I took one and modified three ways – one a straight shot; the second with Topaz Impression; and the third with Smart Photo Editor. Enjoy!

New Product!

Meredith Images and Layercake teamed up to introduce you to the New! Photoshop Grafix Brushes. All FUN – No Mess!

The Grafix brushes load your photo into the custom brush. You can create unlimited photo designs. Works great for all types of photos. You can use the brushes as a clever framing effect or for photo edges. Also great for creating unique greeting card designs.

Over 700 custom brushes which have been carefully organized for you. Concise movie tutorial included!


Grab this huge package of 700 brushes (includes 10 sets) – Reg. $190; on sale for just $47!

Or get the Brush Set PLUS 50 LR & PS presets PLUS 200 textures for just $10 more = $57 (save 80%)!


I have already scheduled several clubs for the upcoming season (most clubs meet Sept.-June).

I will be doing a program at my own club – the Greater Bridgeport Camera Club – on our first meeting night of the season on Sept. 4.

Oct. 5 or 12 (TBD) – Westchester Photographic Society 1/2 day workshop on Topaz.

Jan. 23, 2020 – Webinar for the Charlotte (NC) Camera Club

March 7th – Hands-on seminars for the Greater Lynn Photographic Society (Lynn, MA). Morning – PS Elements; Afternoon – Topaz. And possibly a program Mon., March 9th at their club meeting (tentative).


March 31 – Sunday Sampler

The end of March already – just WHERE does the time go these days?! Don’t get fooled tomorrow! Happy April Fool’s Day!

For this week’s Sunday Sampler, I took a slightly blurred wooden plank shot and gave it four other treatments – so a total of 5 textures this week! Enjoy!

This week Topaz Labs released an update to Gigapixel AI. If you already own the product, the update is free. If you don’t already own it, you can save $20 on the price of $99.99 until April 5th – CLICK HERE!

“Gigapixel AI allows you to enlarge images up to 600%! You can create beautiful 80 x 60 inch prints from a simple iPhone photo. Or transform your DSLR photos into sharp and ultra-detailed 100MP images.

After being training with millions of sample images, Gigapixel can now enlarge your images with a surprising level of quality.

Gigapixel performs around 2 million operations per pixel to get you results with as much detail and sharpness as possible.

No matter why you’re enlarging your photos, you always want the best possibly quality for your results. Gigapixel AI is currently the only photo enlargement product available that can actually add detail back to your upscaled photo.”

Check out more samples and grab your copy HERE on the Topaz site!

If you have a smartphone and want to learn more about apps and how to use them, check out The App Whisperer for some great info!

Jane Driscoll does some great tutorials in some of the iPhone Facebook groups…AND…she’ll be one of 8 presenters at our Creative Photography Conference! Check out info on Jane and our other speakers on the website and join us May 18-19, 2019 in Southbridge, MA for our 3rd Conference!

And join me and a great line-up of speakers at the CanAm Photo Expo, April 26-28, 2019 in Buffalo, NY. I’ll be doing multiple sessions on “HDR – The Natural Look” and “Creativity with Topaz & Textures” along with sessions in the Macro Lab helping you create some textures of your own!

Jan. 6 – Sunday Sampler


I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and a joyous New Year! We had some quiet holiday time just the two of us at home. Nice to just relax a while. I made it to midnight on New Year’s Eve, but hubby did not! We got up early on the 31st and did a sunrise shoot with about 20 other photographers at the beach. It was a beautiful morning – great sunrise and not too cold either. Dave left to go off to work and I joined the group for breakfast. Good times!

For today’s Sunday Sampler I took the barn wood image from last week’s Sampler and ran it through some presets in Smart Photo Editor. This is a very cool little program (and inexpensive – just $29.95!). There are THOUSANDS of presets you can apply to your image, mostly contributed by users of the product. So everytime you log in there are new presets that get added to the library! I first saw this software at a seminar that macro photographer, Mike Moats did. He uses it all the time. Check it out at:

I’ve had several requests for private tutoring from those outside of my local area. However, I CAN tutor you ONLINE! We’ll use GoToMeeting and we can screen share so I can help you learn new techniques or assist with issues you may be having with software! Call or email me to discuss or if you’d like to review what you want to learn.

My next webinar is this Tuesday, January 8th at 5:00 Eastern time. Click HERE to sign up! I’ll be showing some various creative techniques using Studio, Texture Effects, Impression, and will do a short demo on AI Gigapixel and how I use it to enlarge my images. See you there!

Upcoming Seminars/Workshops

The new year starts a new schedule of seminars at camera clubs and conferences. If you’re in the area, join me at one of the following club seminars:

  • Feb. 13 – Milford Camera Club (CT) – “What’s New in Topaz”
  • March 5 – North Haven Camera Club (CT) – “Advanced Techniques in Lightroom and Photoshop.
  • April 1 – Greater Lynn Photographic Society (MA) – “Creativity with Textures”
  • April 12 – Westchester Photographic Society (NY) – “Topaz & Textures”
  • June 20 – Photographic Society of Chattanooga (TN) – “Topaz & Textures in Photoshop & Topaz Studio”


  • April 26-28 – CanAm Photo Expo, Buffalo, NY –
  • And, of course, I will be a speaker at our Creative Photography Conference, Southbridge, MA, May 18-19. Join me and seven other talented speakers for a great weekend of creativity and learning! Details and sign-up on our website HERE.
  • July 26-28 – Southwestern Michigan Council of Camera Clubs Conference, Hope College, Holland, MI. They haven’t posted the 2019 info yet, but you can see what last year’s conference offered!
  • Oct. 19-20 – And speaking of Mike Moats, I’m pleased to say I will be one of the speakers for the 5th Macro Photo Conference, in Cleveland, OH. I was a speaker at the first conference in Seekonk, MA – it will be fun to visit a new location and meet some other speakers that I haven’t worked with before. There are seminars as well as lots of photo ops with all the speakers assisting. The conference is $199 and limited to 100 people. They always sell out early, so don’t delay signing up. Check it out HERE!

With the new year comes photo “challenges” – 365 days; 52 weeks, etc. While I don’t know that I will complete one myself, this article from the Photo Argus has a 52-week challenge with some great ideas and info even if you don’t do it weekly.

Photographing the moon can be tricky. Here’s a great article with helpful info from Light Stalking.

Have a great week!

Aug. 26 – Sunday Sampler

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


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



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

Confirmed at: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 6 – Judging at Bronx Photographic Society (NY)

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


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

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


Have a great week!


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

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

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

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

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



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

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



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



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

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

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

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

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

Oct. 21-24 – SEDONA, AZ – Our Workshop! See for more info!

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



Some cool techniques – 20 Double Exposure Tutorials

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


Have a great week!

8/20 Sunday Sampler + Recorded Webinar

Happy Monday!

Sorry I’m late this week! Was away in PA this weekend at “Bead Fest”! One of my other hobbies is making jewelry. Took some classes and learned new techniques plus did a LOT of shopping!

Hope you had a chance to view the eclipse today! Here in CT we weren’t in the path of totality, but some of us went outside at work and did the pinhole in the plate technique and someone let us all borrow their glasses to get a direct glimpse. Cool!

This week’s Sunday Sampler is textures from “Victory Theater” in Massachusetts that we visited in 2015. Old buildings are GREAT for textures!

No one guessed the answer to last week’s “what was this original image”! The original was a quilt of fabric circles found hanging on a wall in an antique consignment store! Here’s the pic:

So those who guessed a rug weren’t TOO far off the mark!


NPEG Topaz Webinar — it WAS recorded!

Last Monday I did a webinar for NPEG (National Photograpy Enthusiasts Group) that they graciously let me invite my readers to. I didn’t think it would be recorded, but it was! So if you missed the live event, here is the link to watch on YouTube:

Thanks to Mark Perry for having me do another webinar for NPEG and for allowing us all to watch and share.

If you’d like more info on NPEG, here is their website:



The months keep flying by and before we know it, it will be October and time for our Sedona Workshop! It’s not too late to sign up – 3 spots available. Click on the flyer below for all the details!

I also have several camera club seminars scheduled for the fall – click HERE to go to the full list. If you’re in the area feel free to stop by – camera clubs always welcome guests!



July 23rd – Sunday Sampler

This week’s Sunday Sampler is a littler “bolder” than usual! These three images are from a “hi-jinx” set up at a conference I spoke at a couple of years ago. The were created with black lights and glass. The Rainbow Rays has a white overlay to tone down the color, and Rainbow Swirls has a few Topaz plug ins applied. The Green-Blue Waves was actually more rainbow colored – I applied a hue/saturation adjustment to change the colors.

Remember, one texture can be turned into many with a little Photoshop manipulation! Expand your texture library!


Tuts + Freebies!

Several people have been asking online about the best way to photograph next month’s solar eclipse without ruining your camera, or more importantly, your eyes! We know we cannot look directly at the eclipse – you also cannot photograph it without some special equipment. This YouTube video by Tim Grey explains.

Line 25 had a cool post offering “25 Insanely Creative Text Effects You Can Use for Free”. These are PSD files that you can input your own text into. Great for posters, banners, headlines, etc.

Also on is a list of “20 Cool Western Fonts for Wild West Inspired Design”. Check them out!

And over on, there’s a great article for “6 Steps to Better Nature Photographs”.


2017-18 Camera Club Season

I’ve booked several camera club seminars already for the Fall months. Is your camera club or conference planning speakers for the upcoming season? Shoot me an email and I will send you my full seminar list. I cover many subjects including Textures (of course!); Topaz/plug ins; HDR – the Natural Look; Photoshop; Elements; Lightroom; Camera Basics and more!

Have a great week!


April 10th Sunday Sampler + more

Happy Sunday! Here are this week’s textures – consisting of marble, rust and stone! Grab them here!


If you’d like to photograph some great “rust” for your own texture library, join us next Sat., April 16th for a workshop in Assonet, Mass. I will be showing you how to bracket for HDR and also what I look for when photographing for textures. Just $40 per person – sign up HERE!


And if you haven’t grabbed the cool new Design Cuts bundle, it expires Monday evening! Just $29 for over $2000 worth of products!



Many of you grabbed some of the textures being retired over at 2 Lil’ Owls! There are more goodies on sale right now (sales change on Tuesday, so grab them by tomorrow!) Click: 2 Lil’Owls


Have a great week!

Feb. 14 – Sunday Sampler + Workshops

Meredith Images-Sunday Sampler Logo - blue & Cloud textures

Happy Valentine’s Day!! It was definitely a day to snuggle with your sweetie with very cold temps today! Brrrr!!  Here are some nice warm brown stone textures to heat you up!


In addition to the seminars I mentioned in last week’s post, on March 24th I will be doing a textures workshop at the New Haven Camera Club, 7:00 p.m. at the Whitney Center in Hamden. Even though this is a “workshop”, it will be lecture-style as time does not allow for a hands-on presentation. The workshop is free to NHCC members, non-members are $25. Please contact Joan Balen, workshop coordinator, to register –


We just confirmed April 16th, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., for a return trip to Chevy Supply of Assonet in Mass. (just over the Rhode Island border from eastern CT).

This is an awesome place to photograph some cool textures of your own (lots of rusty metal), plus some cool old cars – and if the weather is nice, we can usually entice John to bring out some of his beautiful restored cars as well! Just $40 per person.

Once we know where everyone is coming from we will try to coordinate car pools if desired. We plan to stop for lunch on the way back at Hose Company No. 6 in Rhode Island – great food and prices too!

CSA - TexturedCSA - Nuts & Bolts

CSA - Beauty

CSA - Mobilgas