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 1 – Sunday Sampler

Wow – July! Half way through 2018 already! Time sure does fly these days!


Since this coming week is Independence Day, I though fireworks would make a great Sunday Sampler! You can combine these or apply them to another image – just use the “Lighten” blending mode in PS or Elements. This image is all 3 shots combined:



I am very excited to be a
webinar presenter for this new software
Photoshop Plugins!

This software lets you quickly and easily create some awesome effects including changing seasons, creating sunset looks, lighting effects, reflections, and rainbows as well as compositing, reflections, and much more!

Check it out here – there is a short video that demonstrates some of these cool effects!

StudioMagic helps you create dramatic effects quickly and easily. Join me, Gavin Phillips and software creator, Alan Mayer, for an informative and fun webinar.

Join us on 
Thursday, July 26th at 11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern time. Sign up even if you can’t make it at that time and you’ll receive a link to be able to watch the recorded webinar any time afterwards. 

And…just for signing up for the webinar, you will receive a Free Set of Elegance PS Actions as well as a movie of how to create a double exposure in Photoshop! (A $47 value) 




Thanks again to the 1,000 people that tuned in to my Topaz webinar a couple weeks ago!! There were over 2,000 registered – GoToWebinar maxes out at 1,000! It’s SO cool to see the “hello’s” in the chat box from all over the world as well as the kind comments.

If you missed the webinar, or want to watch again, the unedited replay can be found here: TOPAZ WEBINAR. The edited version will be on their YouTube channel soon.

I am also offering copies of my Notes from the Webinar – along with some bonus textures – for just $5 in my web store. With these, you get the images I used in the webinar and my detailed instructions so you can follow along and see how I created the final product. Find them in the Peacock Studio HEREJust click on Topaz Notes in the store.

I saved all the questions and comments from the Chat Box so that I can answer a few questions here on the Blog. Let’s get to a couple.

Q: How far do you go in LR before going to Studio?

A: Most of the time, I do my basic editing in Lightroom, then open the file in Photoshop. From there I open Studio – or if I know I want to work in a particular Topaz module (like Texture Effects or Impression) I may open that module from Photoshop. Other times, however, I do open right into Studio if I really want to play with various Topaz modules.

Workflow is one of those very personal things – there’s really no right or wrong, it’s what works best for you!

Q: How do I add my own textures to Studio?

A: You can easily add your own (or other textures you have purchased or downloaded) to Studio.

Open Studio > open any image >

Go to “Adjustments” on the right toolbar > Textures.

Next to “Category” click on the little icon (square with the turned corner).

This will open the “Texture Manager”. If you want to create a separate folder for your own textures, click on “+ Add Category” > Name the Folder and click OK.

Make sure the new folder is highlighted in the left column > then click “Import” > scroll to where you have the textures saved, highlight the textures then click “Open” > they will now be imported to your folder.

To access them back in Textures, click the drop down for Category and select the folder you just created.

I will answer more questions in the coming weeks.



From Creative GraphicaFree FontsThey also have free Graphics and Crafts (word art) – click the tabs at the top.

From Pixel Surplus – various freebies – fonts, textures, graphics and more – Freebie Roundup

And from Deal Jumbo – free textures/photos; fonts; graphics; mock-ups – click the Freebies link to get to all of the various categories. Photo Freebies


Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

A composite of 4 fireworks shot taken at this location!

June 24 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! We had a great birds of prey photo shoot yesterday with the CT Association of Photographers! Thanks to Skyhunters for bringing their beautiful owls and raptors for us to photograph. This is the gorgeous red tailed hawk posing!


This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some Red Rust!! Remember, you can always change the color of a texture with a Hue/Saturation Adjustment! Enjoy!


NOTES from my Topaz Webinar! 

Work along with me as you watch the replay of my Topaz webinar from June 19th! The edited replay will be posted soon on the Topaz YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/topazlabs/videos).

You will receive my detailed notes with all the settings and Topaz products used, my original images, the cloud overlay used on the train image…AND…a free bonus of 5 other cloud images that you can use in your own projects (you can never have too many clouds/skies in your library!).

Available in my online store, the Peacock Studio, 
for just $5.


And don’t forget to use the discount codes from the webinar!

HAZELWEB10 saves you $$ on any product on the Topaz website including the newly released AI Clear Studio Pro Adjustment! Expires today!

And the code TOPAZ25 will save you 25% off any of my texture sets or eBook. Expires 6/30.

I am very excited to be a
webinar presenter for this new software
Photoshop Plugins!

This software lets you quickly and easily create some awesome effects including changing seasons, creating sunset looks, lighting effects, reflections, and rainbows as well as compositing, reflections, and much more!

Check it out here – there is a short video that demonstrates some of these cool effects!

StudioMagic helps you create dramatic effects quickly and easily. Join me, Gavin Phillips and software creator, Alan Mayer, for an informative and fun webinar.

Join us on 
Thursday, July 26th at 11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern time. Sign up even if you can’t make it at that time and you’ll receive a link to be able to watch the recorded webinar any time afterwards. 

And…just for signing up for the webinar, you will receive a Free Set of Elegance PS Actions as well as a movie of how to create a double exposure in Photoshop! (A $47 value) 

I very quickly was able to add this rainbow!!

June 3 – Sunday Sampler

Happy June! Typical New England weekend – hot & humid yesterday, cool & breezy today!

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of textures from the Southbridge Hotel where we held our Conference – rug, wallpaper, and some birch bark that was part of photo ops (thanks to Meghan Wakefield for sharing some natural goods from her Maine property).

And speaking of the Creative Photography Conference…

Our Spring 2019 conference will again be held at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center in Southbridge, MA.

Mark your calendars for May 18-19, 2019! And…we will be offering an optional buffet for dinner (no long waits in the lounge and great food like our lunches!)

AND…we will be holding a FALL Creative Photography Conference as well! Tentatively in early October – leaning towards the Chicago area for our first Fall conference.

If you haven’t yet taken our Survey to tell us where you’d like to see a future Conference held, CLICK HERE to voice your opinion.


My next Topaz webinar is coming up on Tuesday, June 19th at 5:00 pm EDT. Join me for some creative projects using Topaz Studio and more. Sign-up is on the TopazLabs.com website – they usually open registration about a week before the webinars.


I plan to have some new tutorials for you soon! And some new textures in the Peacock Studio. I’ve been busy with both our Creative Photography Conference as well as the NECCC Conference in July at UMass Amherst (getting brochures set up and printed). If you have never attended this Conference, you should check it out. It’s expanded this year to include more than 30 speakers (most of whom have never been at this conference before); more photo ops; hands-on sessions and much more. Check it out at http://www.NECCC.org.

Have a great week!


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!

May 6 – Sunday Sampler

Happy May! Finally had some spring (almost summer-like) weather this past week! Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo and Kentucky Derby Day rolled into one – Mint Juleps & Margaritas!!

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some “Dramatic Skies” from our TN trip – the first two were taken by me, the 3rd one is Dave’s (thanks Dear!). We had lots of cool skies – dark and foreboding as well as low clouds on mountains, sunny – we had the whole range of light that week. Enjoy!


We’re down to the last few day of the 40% site-wide at Topaz! Now’s a great time to grab any missing pieces to your Topaz Collection.

Sale ends tomorrow, Monday May 7th Click here to go to the Topaz Labs Store. At 40% off you can save about $200 off the Complete Plugin Collection, and over $100 off of the Go Pro Adjustment Bundle in Studio for a limited time!

CLICK HERE  – You do not need a coupon code, the 40% will be automatic on checkout.


So You Want To Be a Judge/Commentator

Attend this biennial judging workshop for all photographers
with CCAC Juried Master Artist/Fine Art Photographer and judge/commentator Bob Singer 9:00am-3:30pm, Saturday, August 25, 2018 at Cape Cod Art Center in Barnstable Village, MA
Fee: $50 (advanced registration is required; there is a small amount of pre-workshop prep.)

Whether you aspire to become a judge/commentator or would just like to better understand what makes judges “tick,” this one-of-a-kind, one-day judging/commenting workshop will prepare you for the judge’s seat, build your confidence with a live, real-time scoring/critiquing experience and provide you with fresher, deeper understanding of how judges should “see” and think. Led by CCAA Juried Master Artist and Fine Art Photographer Bob Singer who has been a judge/commentator at PSA international salons, NECCC salons, camera clubs, art galleries and magazine competitions for over thirty years, this unique one-day workshop interactively involves you as it polishes your judging skills, understanding and insights.

Workshop size is limited so register early on Cape Cod Art Center’s website:


From INKY DEALS (one of my affiliates), a great bundle of cool textures! 360 Textures for $27! Click HERE to grab this deal. (Expires in 8 days)


We’re less than 2 weeks away from the start of the Creative Photography Conference! There are a few spots left – don’t miss out on this weekend full of creativity!

We have 11 sessions scheduled over the two days – both lecture-style and some hands-on computer time and photo-ops.

In our vendor area will be Hunt’s Photo, Tamron, and added this week – Olympus will be joining our vendor area on Saturday. On Sunday we will also have Ray Nason from the MAC Group (suppliers of MeFOTO tripods, Benro, Induro, Phottix, Tenba bags, X-Rite and more).

Included in your registration are all sessions/photo-ops; snacks both mornings; lunch both days; goodie bag; lots of door prizes; and time to socialize Sat. night.

Don’t miss out! Click HERE for details and to sign up!

April 8 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Mother Nature is still playing games with us here in the Northeast! Had some snow on Friday (which then turned to rain). But it’s quite chilly for this time in April!

This week’s Sunday Sampler has some pretty marble textures and a beautiful window with a nice design. These are from Our Lady of Victory in Lackawanna, NY.


If you watched my last Topaz webinar, you know we had some technical difficulties. Yesterday I recorded a short video on the “Rooster Project” that I didn’t finish in the webinar. It shows you how to use two AI ReMix presets on one image. Check it out on my YouTube channel HERE.



I’m working on my first Skillshare class! It will be the first in a series titled “Photoshop: Creative Enhancements with Textures”. I will take you step-by-step in creating the project shown above and provide the images and textures needed to follow along with the “You are my Sunshine” project. You can check out the outline HERE.


I love sharing cool resources that I find – there is SO much great info out there! Here are some freebies that you may like – enjoy!

From Inspiration Feed – 4000+ Free PS Brushes! They have links to lots of great brush resources. As always, check the terms of usage on items (especially if you plan to use for commercial work).

From Creative Pro – Oodles of Free PS Brushes! There is also good instructions at the beginning of this article on how to install brushes in PS.

Have a great week!

April 1 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday – Happy Easter – Happy Passover – Happy April Fool’s Day!! And it was a full moon this weekend – whew! It’s a busy weekend for sure. Enjoy the holidays if you celebrate.


Dave & I attended a workshop yesterday at an abandoned brewery – it’s only been closed for a little over a year, so there is tons of “stuff” everywhere! Of course, you know I was shooting textures…this week’s Sunday Sampler consists of 3 variations of some blue cracked paint.


Thanks to everyone who watched my webinar this past week. Unfortunately we had a few technical glitches (getting knocked offline a couple of times and I messed up one project)!
Here is the edited video on YouTube minus the hiccups! For the Rooster project that I did not complete in the webinar, I will be doing a separate video this week and will post it soon! Enjoy!


And here are the answers to a couple of questions that were typed in the chat box during the webinar:

Q: How do you open 2 images into Topaz Studio?

A: Go to File > Open Image or Project and do this as many times as needed to open your images. They will all show up in the area beneath the workspace.

Q: Would I print an image that I have applied a Digital Frame to?

A: I would print it with the frame if I wanted an image to look nice that I did not plan to put a “real” physical frame on. You could make a print and mount it on foam core for a simple presentation. If I planned to actually frame the image, I would use the “mat” part of the feature and print it. I’ve been doing pseudo mats on my images for a few years — much less expensive than matting a bunch of images for a display!

Q: What is the difference between AI ReMix and Topaz Impression?

A: Lots! Impression is an auto-painting technology, while AI ReMix is a style-transfer technology.

Q: A non-Topaz question – Are you calibrating your computer screen? If so, what method?

A: Yes, I work with 2 monitors so I calibrate them to keep them matching (and accurate). I use the Spyder Elite 5 — the Elite version also lets me calibrate the projector I use when I teach live seminars.

I’ll answer more questions in future blogs.

Have a great week!


Don’t miss out on the event of the year! 

Join us for the 2nd Creative Photography Conference

May 19-20, 2018

Click here for all the details!


March 25 – Sunday Sampler

Spring has “sort of” sprung! We had another NorEaster this week, but it turned out to be nothing for CT – about an inch of snow where we are on the coast. But across Long Island Sound on Long Island, they got 16″+! Go figure! This week is supposed to get closet to 60, so maybe Spring will actually be here soon!


This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of textures taken yesterday at Automotive Restorations here in Stratford. They had an open house to show off some beautiful machines – some completed, and some in-process. Enjoy!


Join me this Tuesday, March 27th, 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, for a Topaz webinar. Sign up here: http://blog.topazlabs.com/webinars/I will be working in Topaz Studio and demonstrating ways to layer two or more images to create a composite, among some other creative techniques using ReMix and the new Digital Frames! Sign up even if you’re not available at that time and you’ll get a link emailed after the webinar to watch the replay.


This week’s featured speaker is ME! Most of you know my background, but here’s a brief bio:

Hazel Meredith, APSA, MNEC
Meredith Images

Hazel is involved with the photographic community on local, regional and national levels. She is currently a Vice President on the board of the New England Camera Club Council (NECCC), secretary of the Connecticut Association of Photographers; and a member of the Greater Bridgeport Camera Club. She is also active in the Photographic Society of America (PSA).

Her photos have won many awards and competitions in both local club competitions and international salons and she has had several public showings of her work. In 2008 she received an honors distinction of Master Member of the New England Camera Club Council (MNEC) during its annual conference and in 2012 received the PSA Service Award. In September, 2013, she was awarded the distinction of APSA from the Photographic Society of America at their annual conference.

Hazel teaches at many New England camera clubs as well as photographic conferences and events throughout the U.S. She offers workshops and travel photo trips through her company, Meredith Images, and is a regular webinar presenter for Topaz Labs. She released her first eBook, “Working with Textures & Overlays: Turn Ho-Hum into a Work of Art” in October 2015, and is currently working on the sequel!

Hazel enjoys being active in the photographic community and helping others find the joy and satisfaction in taking and perfecting beautiful images.


Conference Programs

I will be doing two hands-on sessions this Conference: “Creating Art with Topaz” and “Processing with Photomatix, Smart Photo Editor and more”. So bring your laptops – or just follow along – and see how I utilize various software to “Turn Ho-Hum into a Work of Art”!

DON’T MISS THE CHANCE TO SAVE $$ on Conference Registration! Individual and Group Discounts ALL END MARCH 31st!

Individuals – use the coupon code Courtesy25 at checkout to save $25. Groups – info is on the website (contact me if you have a group of a different quantity). Click HERE for all the details and to sign up. 

The latest schedule (still tentative but close to finished):


A couple of new sites where I found some great freebies! (As always, check the terms of use before using in commercial work.)

https://www.pixelsurplus.com/freebies/ – Fonts, brushes, textures and more!

http://mixclipart.com/category/photoshop-cs-brushes/ – Brushes, textures, vector art and more!


Topaz Studio — Digital Frames are Here!

In my last webinar I did a demo from the Beta Version of Topaz Studio showing the upcoming Digital Frames.

The new Digital Frames adjustment in Topaz Studio lets me add a custom mat and frame to an image quickly and easily. Not only can you utilize the textures built in to Studio, but you can add your own textures making for endless mat and frame combinations. This is a nice way to display an image on social media and make it stand out from the crowd

I tried the updated version last night and created these:

Topaz has done a great job of perfecting the this awesome Studio Adjustment! Click here to grab your copy for just $14.99!