Feb. 17 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday & Daytona 500 Day if you like auto racing as we do! Looks like some Winter weather finally moving into our area this week. In Southern CT we’ve been pretty lucky so far. Most storms were rain or a mixture. Not much snow (which is fine by me!). Stay safe out there.

This week’s Sunday Sampler is some nice bokeh images of morning dew on grasses. I took these a couple of years ago when I was in Florida teaching at the Spacecoast Birding Festival. These were taken near this Great Blue Heron who was fishing for his breakfast! There were some razor sharp teeth on the alligator gar fish he caught! Taken hand-held with my Canon 70D and Sigma 150-500 at just over 400mm. 800 ISO helped as did Topaz AI Clear!

Organizing Design Assets

A comment and question was posted on last week’s blog about using all of the fabulous resources that are available in the bundles that I mention here. Mainly, how to utilize them, and even more importantly, how to organize and find all of the items! It’s definitely something I’ve been trying to work on.

I’ve started some new files by category for all of the Illustrations-Vector Art. These are mostly items I have downloaded from various web sources. This is what I’ve come up with:

I still have many “Zip” files to open up and save in appropriate folders. I add folders as needed.

My textures folder needs some work! Right now I have a main Textures & Backgrounds folder, then some are by the company purchased from (like Design Cuts, 2 Lil Owls, French Kiss, etc.). Other miscellaneous textures are filed by style (Bokeh, Chalboard, Concrete, Metal, Grain, etc.) like this:

My biggest issue right now is I’m not sure if I want to keep, say, Design Cuts all in that folder, or separate the items into easier-to-find folders! I may keep the original folders and copy items into other folders by subject. It is a hugely time consuming project since I have so many assets and have not kept up with sorting as I purchase more. So if you are in the same boat, you’re not alone! It will be an ongoing project for sure.

Upcoming Event

I’ve been invited to speak at several conferences around the U.S. this year. First up is the CanAm Photo Expo in Buffalo, NY, April 26-28. The event will be held at the Buffalo Grand Hotel, which is completing renovations and will be a beautiful new facility.

They are keeping me very busy that weekend. I will be doing two sessions on “HDR-The Natural Look”, two sessions of “Creativity with Topaz & Textures” plus a Topaz lecture in the Macro Lab on Friday afternoon as well as some hands-on photo ops in the Macro Lab on Sunday morning. Whew!

They have various options for registration – you can check the details on their website at: https://www.canamexpo.com/

I mentioned above about filing your design assets. Here’s another big bundle that you’ll need to file!

From PIXELO, the Mighty Design Bundle, 4900+ Design Resources! Value $2521 if purchased individually, just $39 for the bundle!

What’s included in this bundle?
* 51 font families with 87 unique fonts
* 67 mind-blowing Photoshop actions;
* 19 Photoshop mockups; 9 Photoshop tutorials;
* 500 premium backgrounds;
* 2987 unique vectors; 70 beautiful text styles;
* 512 textures; 681 Photoshop brushes;
* Commercial License;
* Lifetime download access;
* Unlimited and quick response.

Check out the details of all the cool products included HERE on the website.

And from Light Stalking, “Our 113 Most Useful Links for Photographers”

They have a really good list of all kinds of topics. Tutorials, Magazines, eBooks, Software, Buying Gear Online, Social Media sites to follow, and much, much more.

Have a great week!

Think Spring! Tutorials, Workshops & More!

Happy “almost” St. Patrick’s Day! Don’t forget to wear your green on Tuesday! Everyone is Irish for a day! And SPRING finally starts on Friday! Yippee!

Bleeding Hearts - Spring Quote

I’m finding SO many cool tutorials on text effects – I just had to share this latest gathering! Some use Photoshop and some use Illustrator, but there are quite a few cool PS ones to try (love the ‘furry’ one!). Click HERE for the link.

Here is a good tutorial from Digital Camera World for sharpening your bird pics (or something with fur): Click HERE.

And if you want to get really creative, there are some cool video tutorials for various photo effects here on PSD Vault.

Don’t forget to get your copy of Topaz’s Topaz_BWAD_MountainB&W Effects before the sale ends on March 31st. Use this link and the code MARBW.

And check our MeetUp page for the latest workshops, trips, and seminars. We have just ONE spot left for our Smokies Spring Workshop! If you’re in eastern Pennsylvania, I’ll be there is 2 weeks for a Saturday seminar and Sunday field workshop in Palmerton – hope to see you there!


Creating Text Effects in Photoshop

There are unlimited resources on the web to learn how to do just about anything in Photoshop. Here are some good ones for learning how to create various type effects (fire, smoke, flowers, rust…the list goes on and on). Most of these will only work with Photoshop CS/CC, though Elements users may be able to do some of them.

Here is a great resource to bookmark from Creative Nerds – 70 Photoshop Tutorials for Creating Perfect Typography. (Note: Since it is such a large list, it does take some time for all of the sample images to load.)

Another great resource is PSD Vault for many more type effects. And find even more here on Tuts + and Photoshop Roadmap.

When you are on the various sites that these effects direct you to, be sure to look around and see what else they offer. Most of the sites have many more tutorials on various processes, and a good deal of them are free!

Feel free to share your creations with me and I’ll post them on the blog!

Using the “Tab” Key in Elements

Hi folks! It’s been awhile since my last post – busy with vacations, camera club outings and teaching gigs! I will try to get out a weekly or at least bi-monthly post again!

I’ve had a question from a seminar student as to why she can no longer see multiple images in the main box in Elements 9. Well, here’s the scoop! Elements 9 introduced the “tabbed-document” interface which “docks” your open files to the main Elements window. Along with this feature, Elements also added a shortcut, the Tab Key. When you hit the Tab, the Panel Bin, Toolbox and Project Bin all disappear, leaving just your photo larger to work on. To bring back the other features, just hit “Tab” again.

Another shortcut is a handy one — to switch working between two open photos, hit the “Ctrl-Tab” to switch photos. Much easier than opening up the Project Bin all the time!

If you have questions that you’d like me to answer on the blog, please e-mail me at Hazel@MeredithImages.com.

Thanks for checking in! Hazel