Special Post – Topaz AI Bundle Updated!

Apologies for the 2nd post in 2 days, but I just found out today that the Topaz AI Bundle (Gigapixel AI; DeNoise AI; Sharpen AI; and JPEG to RAW AI) were all updated — AND the bundle is on sale for the next week for just $199 ($50 off).

If you already own one or more of the products in the bundle, you can complete your AI group with special pricing based on what you already own.

Go to: https://Topazlabs.com/ref/55/ and select Products > AI Bundle. Be sure to also log in to your account to get your special pricing.

And, if you already own any of these products, don’t forget to download the free updates!

Enjoy!

TOPAZ NEWS – A.I. ReMix Updated TODAY!

Hi there!

I couldn’t wait until Sunday to share the news! Topaz released an update to A.I. ReMix this afternoon. 

“The A.I. ReMix update is HERE! With additional styles, a new category system and speed improvements, A.I. ReMix is a great way to artistically reinvigorate your creative forces.

New Features include:
• 28 Newer High-Resolution Styles: With the latest update we’ve added 28 new styles to the application, bringing our styles total to 102!
• Massive Speed Increase on new styles: We’ve increased the speed of these new styles using the latest GPU implementation of our engine
• New Style Categories: A.I. Clear now provides a way to sort styles to make them easier to find (see screenshot below):


AI ReMix is one of the first desktop applications that uses the power of Artificial Intelligence to transform your image’s style to recreate contemporary and classic artistic styles with the click of a button. More than the typical use of AI, it’s the first of Topaz Studio’s ‘Artistic Intelligence’ adjustments.

Use AI ReMix to quickly change the direction a piece of art is headed. Don’t like the color palette or the overall style of your image? Apply one dose of AI ReMix, and the possibilities will start opening up again. AI ReMix will quickly match shadows, highlights, and various feature sizes in your image with the data contained in our Artistic Intelligence models, and transfer the style in our model to your image.”

Here are a couple I just did:

ORIGINAL IMAGE:

AI Remix – Ink Blot preset:

Added a 2nd preset – Coal Relic:

Definitely a different take on the original image!

If you don’t have A.I. ReMix yet, click HERE and then save 15% with the code MeredithImages (regular price is $69.99). A.I. ReMix is a Pro Adjustment in Studio.

If you already own A.I. ReMix, the update is free! Just open Studio – you will get a pop-up asking if you want to load the update! You will then be on Studio Version 1.13.0 and have the latest updates. If, for some reason you don’t get the pop-up, just click on Help on the top toolbar of Studio, and then click Check for Software Updates.

 

Oct. 7 – Sunday Sampler

Happy October! Finally starting to feel a bit like Fall here in CT – though it is supposed to get back to 80 this week! Welcome to New England!

This week’s Sunday Sampler contains some rocks! I love the grittiness of rock textures – from subtle to grungy! Remember to play around with blending modes and opacity to get it just how you want it! Enjoy!

 

I’m teaming up with Alan & Gavin at LayerCake, makers of Studio Magic for a webinar showcasing their new “Epic Location Sets”! This is a set of over 1200 backgrounds divided into 7 categories: Africa on Location; America on Location – Route 66; Scenic America; Wild West; Doorways to the World; Scenic Europe; and Urban Chic.

Take your subject and place them into a location – no backdrops or studio set ups needed!

Check the webpage for some great examples – HERE! And register for the webinar on Oct. 18th at 6 p.m. Eastern Time. If you can’t watch live, sign up anyway, get some freebies and get a link to the recording after the webinar ends.

Now these may have been created with portrait photographers in mind, you know I like to be different! I’m not a portrait or wedding photographer, but I can still use these great backdrops for other subjects. Here are a few of mine with a car and train I photographed – I then put them into one of the Epic Locations, used StudioMagic for a little more creativity, and created a whole new scene!

Train taken in Pennsylvania during the day!

Car taken on one of our workshops in RI with Motel Epic Location

Same car with Desert Epic Location – Studio Magic grunge, star field and moon

Same car with Desert Epic Location – Studio Magic Sunset

 

There is no end to the creativity with these backdrops! Join us for the webinar and find out how you can create your own Epic images!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE WEBSITE & REGISTER

 

Last week I told you about the updated A.I. Gigapixel 2.0. It’s faster than ever – here’s a clip from Topaz that demonstrates:

https://topazlabs.com/ai-gigapixel-20-speed-increase/

You can download a free trial – purchase is $99.99. Use my link HERE and then the code MeredithImages at checkout to save 15%.

And…stay tuned for an update to another Topaz product soon!

 

GREAT BUNDLE DEALS GOING ON AT SEVERAL SITES!

My friends at Design Cuts are 5 years old!! One of the first companies to do “bundles” of products, they are still one of the best and biggest!

For 2 weeks only (expires 10/15), they are offering 100 products for just $5 each! They consists of Fonts, Graphics (including textures), Add-Ons, Templates and more! Click HERE to head to the Graphics page – to get to the others, just click the tabs at the top!

 

And over at Inky Deals, they have a bundle of “Amazing Artistic PhotoFX” for just $29. Check it out HERE!

And…my friends at Pixel Surplus have two great font bundles currently available:

The Textured Font Bundle: This is Vol. 3 of the Textured Fonts Collection – 29 Fonts for just $29. Comes with full commercial use license. Expires 10/15/18.

The Luxe Font Bundle:  Contains 95 fonts for the same low $29! Commercial license included. Expires 10/30/18

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WEBSITE AND GRAB THESE DEALS!

 

Whew….lots of info this week! Enjoy!

 

Aug. 16 – New Topaz Product! + Sunday Sampler

 

Introducing A.I. Gigapixel

Topaz A.I. Gigapixel is a standalone application only (it does not work as a plugin or Topaz Studio adjustment) made for batch resizing your images. It uses the power of Topaz’s proprietary Artistic Intelligence engine to make sharper and clearer upscaled images than traditional upscaling tools.

A.I. GigaPixel is the first desktop application to use the power of Deep Neural Networks to realistically enlarge your images, up to 6x. Traditional up-scale methods use “interpolation” (bi-cubic, Lanczos, fractal, etc.) to create higher resolution images.
These traditional methods produce images that are blurry, unrealistically painterly, and lack the details that are present in real high-resolution images.

The unsurpassed quality of A.I. Gigapixel can enlarge full-size Raw images to over a gigapixel in size. it can also enlarge thumbnail images to create full-size versions that are practically identical to original high-resolution photos. Can you tell which image is the original and which was upscaled from a thumbnail?


We scaled the original image down to 16% of its original size then used A.I. Gigapixel to enlarge that thumbnail 600%

This is the eye from the thumbnail.


This is the output from A.I. Gigapixel on the left, and the original full-size image on the right when zoomed to 150%.

 

I had a chance to try out the program myself – VERY cool! I took an image that I had sized as a small jpeg (4″x6″) for a Facebook post, then blew it up 600% (24″x36″) – WOW! Have a look:

Original 4″ x 6″:

Cropped in area of 24″ x 36″:

This is WAY better than any other resizing program available!

Topaz A.I. Gigapixel is available as a standalone batch processing application only. It is compatible with 64-bit Windows 7+ and Mac OS X 10.11+. It also requires a GPU with OpenGL 3.3 or later (Intel HD5000 or better, Nvidia GTX 760 or better, AMD R9 280 or better. You can take advantage of a free 30-day trial with A.I. Gigapixel, through the main application when you download.

A.I. Gigapixel™ is available for $99.99. AND you can save 15% with my code: MeredithImages at checkout.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE TOPAZ WEBSITE AND CHECK OUT THIS FABULOUS PROGRAM!

 

And…here is the delayed Sunday Sampler! These are a few textures of wallpaper from our hotel in Tennessee! Enjoy!

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
StudioMagic
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!
https://store.layercakeelements.com/gav/webinar.html

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) 

 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

 

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.

 

FREEBIES!

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 17 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Father’s Day to all of the Dads, Step-Dads, and Father-in-Laws – those still with us and those we have lost.

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of brick and stone from last year’s trip that included Baltimore Harbor. The water taxis are a great way to get around the harbor!

 

My 10th Topaz webinar is THIS TUESDAY, June 19th at 5:00 Eastern time! Join me as I demonstrate how I use Topaz Studio and plug-ins in my workflow. Everything from a simple vignette, to a more complicated “out of bounds” effect! Sign up HERE! Even if you can’t watch live, sign up and you’ll get a link to the recording.

 

And more big new from Topaz Labs – a new Pro Adjustment to add to Studio — AI Clear! This fabulous adjustment Removes Noise; Sharpens Subjects; Reduces Artifacts; and Enhances Details. I’ve been testing it and it’s pretty cool! It lets you make all of these adjustments in one place – quick and easy and a great job!

This will be released on Tuesday, June 19th, and will be available at the sale price of $59.99 until June 30th. CLICK HERE to check out the amazing Pro Adjustment!

 

Learn how to create “Creative Spotlights with Radial Gradients” in this article by Blake Rudis on iso1200.com.

And find “80+ Best Photo Manipulation Tutorials in Photoshop”over on Pixel2PixelDesign.com. 

 

AND…stay tuned next week for details on some other cool software I’ve been playing with — I will be doing a webinar for them on July 26th! A great way to create composites, special effects and more — quick and easy!

 

Dec. 17 – Sunday Sampler + Final Holiday Shopping

Yesterday Dave & I had the honor of participating in “Wreaths Across America” which lays a wreath on the grave of all of our veterans at Arlington and at Veteran’s Cemeteries across the U.S. We were at the CT State Veteran’s Cemetery in Middletown, CT where 10,000 wreaths were laid. There was a 45 minute ceremony before the wreath laying began. Quite moving including bagpipes playing Amazing Grace, taps, 21-gun salute, and an Air National Guard flyover. Next year we hope to go to the event at Arlington. Thank you to all who have served.

 

THE SUNDAY SAMPLER IS 2-YEARS-OLD!

It’s 2 years this weekend that I’ve been doing the Sunday Sampler – WOW! How time flies! This will be the final Sunday Sampler for 2017 – I’m taking the next 2 weekends off to relax a little (yeah right!), celebrate Christmas and New Year’s with family and friends, and get ready for 2018! Look for some new changes and features in the weekly blog!

 

SURVEY RESULTS

Thank you to all those who completed my survey and for the nice comments. It closes later tonight, so there’s still time if you’d like to complete it – just 10 quick questions! CLICK HERE!

The favorite topics for more tutorials are textures & Topaz! I am planning to do more on those in my own work as well as some tutorials for all of you! Stay tuned!!

 

LAST MINUTE SHOPPING!

Our friends at Think Tank Photo and MindShift Gear just let me know that they are offering free 2nd Day delivery through next Tuesday, December 19th, so that your gear arrives in time for Christmas. And, as my friend, you will be able to add a free gift to your order! Don’t hesitate to order the best rollers, backpacks, shoulder bags, and accessories for pro/serious photographers and outdoor photographers.

Click here for Think Tank Photo

Click here for MindShift Gear

 

FROM AROUND THE WEB

People are getting frustrated with Adobe and the way they have been updating programs (i.e., Lightroom) lately. I still haven’t loaded the latest version of Lightroom (2018) – don’t trust it yet! There was an interesting article on Peta Pixel  – “I Tested 10+ Photoshop Alternatives to See How They Stack Up”. Quite a good read! And might I add – Topaz Studio is another great alternative to Photoshop!

And if you missed my Dec. 12th webinar – and registered – you will have received the link to the recorded program! Enjoy!

I also gave webinar attendees a discount code to save 25% off all of my Textures and eBooks in the Peacock Studio through 12/23! Use the code TOPAZ25 at checkout and catch the deal!

From Spoon Graphics – 5 Dust & Scratches Textures for Photoshop & Illustrator

Tons of freebies on Free Creatives!

And on Line 25, 20 Brilliant Sci-Fy/Space Photoshop Tutorials.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

Have a beautiful holiday season enjoying whatever holiday you celebrate. Wishing you success and good health in 2018!

Thanks for supporting me and the Sunday Sampler!

 

 

Dec. 3 Sunday Sampler + 2018 Planning Survey, Topaz Webinar, Freebies

Wow – December already! Where did this year go? I know I’ve been super busy this year and the days and months have just flown by!

Hard to believe, it’s coming up on 2 YEARS that I’ve been doing the Sunday Sampler of free textures! That’s over 300 free textures – which are all still available if you click through the old blog posts!! CLICK HERE for this week’s textures – 3 warm images from our shopping visit to “Mexadona” in Sedona, AZ.

 

2018 PLANNING SURVEY

If you would be so kind, please take just a few minutes of your time and answer a short 10 question survey about the weekly “Sunday Sampler”. This will help me plan 2018 and give you more information that you want and find useful. Thank you!

CLICK HERE TO TAKE SURVEY

 

MY NEXT TOPAZ WEBINAR

I’ll be doing a webinar on Topaz Studio on Tuesday, Dec. 12th at 5:00 pm EST. Sign-ups should be posted shortly.

Here’s a synopsis of the webinar:

“Join Hazel Meredith for this workflow and artistic effect based webinar as she shows us how she utilizes Topaz Studio and various Topaz modules to craft her creative images.

From soft florals to grungy old buildings, there are countless ways to craft a photo to your own vision. Hazel will demonstrate ways to combine presets and textures to help you create your own “work of art”.”

 

FROM AROUND THE WEB

Found these cool FREE blended splatter brushes on WeGraphics.net

From CSSauthor, a collection of 75+ of the Best Photoshop Brushes (mostly free)

From PNGIMG.COM a collection of free PNG files of White Roses

And a couple from Pixel Buddha – If you use Procreate on an iPad, here’s a collection of free Galactic Lens Flare Brushes (only work in Procreate). Second, a collection of Sprayed Vector Textures.

And finally, from Oriana’s Notes blog, a collection of 50 Free Gorgeous Christmas Fonts to help you dress up your holiday correspondence.

Enjoy!

 

 

10-8 Sunday Sampler +

Feeling more like Aug. than Oct. these past few days! Can you say “HUMID”? Guess we shouldn’t complain – it will be Winter before we know it!

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of textures from Maryland – a brick floor and wall from Ft. William Henry and a cane seat from the B&O Railroad Museum. Enjoy!

 

UPDATE TO TOPAZ DETAIL

In case you missed my mid-week post, they have released an update to Topaz Detail. If you don’t already have Detail — you SHOULD! Topaz Detail is my “go to” last step for “sharpening” my images. I no longer use any of the PS settings for sharpening. I think Topaz Detail gives me much better results and greater control over each area of my image.

Topaz Detail is now accessible from with Topaz Studio (a free download). Click HERE to get the special sale pricing on Detail! Save 25% on Topaz Detail Pack (normally $39.98, now just $29.99) in the Topaz Studio store through Friday 10/19/17. You do not need a coupon code for the promo, just click on the link above.

In order to access Topaz Detail in Studio, users will need to download the Topaz Studio application, which you can get here: https://web.topazlabs.com/downloads/

There are no need for license keys Detail in Studio, all licenses are synced through your account automatically when you sign in. As always, previous Detail plugin owners also get this new Adjustment for free as part of the free upgrades for life program, you just need to sign into Topaz Studio with the account you purchased Detail with to receive this automatic upgrade.

ABOUT DETAIL:
Designed to give you crystal-clear sharpness from real image details. Sharpness is the first thing you experience in a photo. And when you see an image where it’s done really right… it’s shockingly beautiful. It’s almost surreal. Because that’s something that we don’t see everyday: a photo where every single detail jumps out at you, grabs your attention, and never lets go. Most image sharpeners apply global sharpening to the entire image, causing undesirable halos and other side effects. Topaz Detail is different. Detail identifies small, medium and large structures in the image, and allows you to manipulate their sharpness separately, with no halos or artifacts. The result? Naturally sharp images other photo editors can’t reproduce, and the ability to completely change the style of your image.

GRAB YOUR COPY OF TOPAZ DETAIL TODAY!

AND…MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR MY NEXT TOPAZ WEBINAR – TUES., DEC. 5TH AT 5:00 PM Eastern Time.

 

FREEBIES!

Check out this awesome post from SuperDevResources with more than 350 free blurred backgrounds. HINT: Check the Google suggestions at the bottom of the page for more free resources!

 

CALENDAR 

I’m getting ready to place my order for calendars this week. My 2018 Creative Photography Calendar contains 12 of my “creative” images with textures even on the calendar pages (so the bottom of the calendar is not plain white!). They are on heavy stock and wire bound. And $3 of every sale will be donated to the Nutmeg Clinic here in Stratford, a low-cost spay & neuter clinic who have taken care of our “Kitty Klan”! I’m taking pre-orders on my website. Calendars are $25 each with free shipping (use the code calendar free ship at checkout – be sure to hit “apply” after entering the code). They will be shipped by the end of October. Thanks!

 

Have a great week!

Mid-Week updates on Topaz & Mind Shift Gear

Hi gang!

Just wanted to send out some timely info on a Topaz Clarity update as well as a bag back in stock at Mind Shift Gear!

 

TOPAZ CLARITY UPDATE

CLARITY PROMOTION STARTING NOW!

August 29, 2017 – September 12th, 2017

Topaz Clarity is now a part of Topaz Studio! With improvements to the Precision Contrast and HSL Adjustments, combined with selective masking, blending, and other tools available for free within Topaz Studio, now you can access the power of Topaz, faster than ever!

– Included as Studio Adjustments – Going forward, you can access Topaz Clarity from the Studio application directly. That means Clarity can now be accessed without a paid host editor!
– Faster Processing and Startup Speed – New GPU processing utilizes the powerful rendering capabilities of your graphics card to exponentially increase your workflow speed. More creating and less waiting.
– Improved contrast separation algorithm for unique independent control of targeted contrast, lighting and color manipulation.
– Use all the powerful masking, healing, correction and other tools within Topaz Studio for free, instantly accessible when you open Clarity in Topaz Studio

See all the new features and changes HERE!

To celebrate, we’re giving a 30% discount on the on the Clarity Pack in the Topaz Studio Store, now just $34.99 through September 12th 2017, no coupon code needed, the price is automatically discounted in the store.

 

MIND SHIFT GEAR

GOOD NEWS!  Our friends at MindShift Gear have let us know that they are back in stock on their extremely popular new PhotoCross sling bags.  The first shipment of these bags sold out in about a week, so grab one while they’re available.  They feature weatherproof zippers and abrasion-resistant materials, plus a carrying system for tripods or jackets. They come in two sizes and colors, Orange Ember and Carbon Grey.

The PhotoCross 10 fits an ungripped DSLR and one to two lenses, plus a 10” tablet, or a Mirrorless body and three to five lenses, plus a 10” tablet.  The PhotoCross 13 fits an ungripped DSLR, two to four lenses, including a 70–200mm f/2.8, and some 13” laptops.  And don’t forget that when you use our special URL (CLICK HERE) you will receive free gear (such as a memory card holder or GoPro pouches) and free shipping with your orders of PhotoCross and all MindShift Gear (co-founded by ThinkTank Photo).