Dec. 9 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of textures from two botanical gardens we visited in NY during Thanksgiving week. The “cracked paint” texture was on a birdhouse inside Lamberton Conservatory at Highland Park in Rochester, and the “Cracked Circle” of wood and “Rippled Design” – which is a plant – are from the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens in Buffalo.

Holiday Cards

You may already know that we have a Facebook group called “Textures: Turn Ho-Hum into a Work of Art”. We are inviting members to digitally share their holidays cards (you do not need to have used textures on these). If you would like to share your card, feel free to join the group and share! It is also an inspiring group for beautiful texture work. 

My next Topaz Webinar will be Tuesday, January 8th at 5:00 Eastern time! It’s always fun working with Topaz products and sharing techniques. If there is something you’d like to see me do in the webinar, feel free to email me at Hazel@MeredithImages.com. I will see what I can do to include suggestions in my projects. 

The questions that get sent in during the webinars are always good ones! Due to time constraints, we could never get them all answered in one webinar session, so here are a few more from my last webinar with my replies:

Q: How did she unlock the ratio?  
(In my last webinar I overlaid a second image and did not want to keep the same proportions as the original file.)

A: In Studio, you can add an image as a separate “layer”. In the right panel, click on “Image” – that will open the Image Layer dialogue box shown below. If you do not want to keep the original proportion of the layer, click on “No” next to Lock Aspect Ratio. This will let you stretch or shrink the image as needed. This comes in handy if you are doing compositing as I was in the last webinar.

Q: A question that is asked pretty much every webinar – “How do I import textures into Studio/Texture Effects?”

A: You can add your own textures (ones that you’ve created or ones that you purchase or download) into the Textures panel of Studio (which also adds them to Texture Effects if you have that plug-in). 

You need to have an image open in Studio, then choose “Texture” under Adjustments (this is one of the Pro Adjustments). Once the Texture layer is open, click on the icon next to “Category” (see below). 

That will take you to the Texture Manager (below) where you can 1) name a folder for your new textures, then 2) import them. 

Q: Do you ever get confused about when to stop?

A: Great question! It’s truly a matter of personal preference and if you like the image at a particular stage, then you’re done! I like to start playing with effects – sometimes I have a pre-conceived idea in my head and sometimes not – and start playing with Adjustments and presets. I very often apply more than one preset — I’ll be showing you some of that in the next webinar!

Some finds from this week!

PhotographyPla.net – If you do not already get their newsletters, sign up and get a Free Photography Bundle that includes PS actions, LR presets, photo overlays and print templates. They also have a set of Winter actions available. 

From ProBlogDesign, find 40 Extraordinary Photoshop Text Effects.

And from BrushLovers.com, 20 Soft Bokeh Photoshop Brushes. Be sure to look around on this site – TONS of brushes as well as patterns, textures and more! As always, be sure to read the Terms of Use before using on commercial products. 

Nov. 4 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday and a warm welcome to all of the new subscribers! Thank you for watching my Topaz webinar this past week. It was fun doing some Halloween-themed images! We had lots of great questions as well. I printed out the chat so I can answer more of the questions here in the Topaz Corner (see below). We try to cover a LOT of information during the webinars – I know for some people it seemed to go too fast – but that’s why they record the webinars so you can go back and watch again!

The “edited” webinar is not posted yet, but you can get to the unedited copy by clicking HERE. And if you haven’t gotten them yet, I have the notes for this webinar for sale in my online store for just $5! This gives you all of the images that I worked on during the webinar, the notes with the settings that I used, AND a bonus set of textures (these textures are not available anywhere else – they will be part of some upcoming sets in the store). Click HERE to go to the web store and then select “Topaz Notes” (the notes for my last webinar are also still available).

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler started with a shot of tree bark that I took on my jaunt this week to Southford Falls State Park in Southford, CT. I then did a couple of variations using AI ReMix in Studio.

The recent rains and pretty fall color made for some nice images:

After editing these leaves, I added a preset in Topaz Studio to give them some added “punch”.

I’ve been totally amazed with the quality of AI Clear. It really makes my images look great! I did mask it off of the water a little so that they wouldn’t be overly sharp.

NEW WEBINAR NOTE!

If you’d like to see some more of “What’s New with Topaz Labs”, I will be doing a webinar tonight at 7:00 pm Eastern Time, for NPEG (the National Photography Enthusiasts Group). They have allowed me to open up registration to you as well! Click HERE to sign up! I’ll be covering Topaz Studio and some of the Pro Adjustments that have been added since the Summer when I did my last webinar for them.

 

So as I mentioned above, I printed the chat log from Tuesday’s webinar so that I could answer questions we couldn’t get to during the presentation. I love reading all the “hello’s” when people log on and seeing where everyone is from (all over the world!).

A couple questions from the first project, the “haunted” house and graffiti overlay.

Q. How did she unlock the ratio?

A. After adding the 2nd image layer, you will see a “Lock Aspect Ratio  Yes  No” under the image – click on NO and you will be able to resize the image without maintaining the original aspect (see screen shot below)

 

Q. Where did she get the clip art? Where did she get the lightning?

A. The graffiti shot I used was from Layer Cake’s “Epic Location Sets” (Urban Chic set) and the lightning was from their Studio Magic plug-in program.

I recently did a webinar for them utilizing these new Location Sets. They are also the makers of Studio Magic, an awesome plug-in to Photoshop (I have done a webinar on this as well). You can save 90% and get Studio Magic, free sky overlays and the 1200 Epic Location Sets for just $125 HERE. Or just the 1200 Location Sets and Skies for $99 HERE.

The other clip art I showed (spider web, pumpkin, ghost), I downloaded from Brusheezy.com. They have TONS of free brushes, clip art and more (also Vecteezy.com for graphics).

Also watch the blog for “Around the Web” links to other great resources.

Q. How do I import textures into Studio?

A. I put together a tutorial sheet on how to do this with screen shots. Click – How to Add Textures to get the pdf file!

Q. How did she get two different textures to apply? When I do that, the second will override the first!

A. Once you have applied your first texture, you need to then click on Adjustment again and select texture to open a 2nd dialogue box and add a 2nd texture without deleting the first one. So you’re pallette will look like this:

 

I will answer some more questions next week!

 

Just a reminder…the Early Bird pricing for our 3rd Creative Photography Conference ends on November 30th!

Join us May 18-19, 2019 at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center in Southbridge, MA, and unleash your creative side!

Our fabulous speakers: John Barclay, Anne Belmont, Mark Bowie, Betty Wiley, Jane Driscoll, Loretta Paul-Goldin, Jan Doyle and me, will show you techniques including Topaz, textures, LensBaby, landscapes, Lightroom, Photoshop, Luminar, iPhoneography, creative projects with your photos, YouTube publicity and creating your own textures in PS and with alcohol inks. We’ll also have a photo ops room with set ups to photograph, and much, much more!

Go to our website at: https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/ for all the details and to register!

Have a great week!

Oct. 28 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Go Red Sox!


This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some beautiful clouds from Cape Cod. I judged at the Cape Cod Art Center Camera Club on Thursday evening. Got to visit John Barclay & Rad Drew for breakfast on Friday along with their workshop group, and dinner Friday with friends, Michael & Suz Karchmer. Busy couple of days! I had also hoped to meet up with Betty Wiley (one of our Creative Photography Conference speakers), but she had some computer issues and had to head to the Apple store off-Cape!

The Peacock Studio’s new mascot, Pete the Peacock, went along for the trip! He precariously perched on the fence at Highland Lighthouse (though the breeze knocked him down a few times!). He will be traveling with me and also be featured in my upcoming new travel blog…stay tuned!

 

This coming Tuesday, October 30th, is my next Topaz webinar!

REGISTER HERE!

Join me at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time for all the “spooky” edits! I will have notes available for this webinar for just $5. Includes full notes/settings, the images used so you can follow along when you watch the recording of the webinar, plus some bonuses! The notes will be available immediately after the webinar. (Notes from the previous webinar are also still available in my store).

I will also offer a 25% discount on my eBook and textures in the Peacock Studio with the code TOPAZ25The 25% off discount expires midnight Nov. 10th Eastern time.

Visit the Peacock Studio HERE!

 

FEATURED SPEAKER – ANNE BELMONT

As a flower photographer, 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 – the patterns, textures, curves and unique personality of each subject. 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. Some of those subjects might even have stories to tell. With a lifelong involvement in the arts and her deep love of nature, photography became a perfect way for Anne to share her vision of the natural world with others. Her first career as an art therapist has shaped the way she views art and the creative process, and has reinforced her belief in the healing power of both art and nature in our lives.

On any given day you will find her at her favorite place to photograph, the Chicago Botanic Garden. 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 on the Out of Chicago Photography team, organizing and presenting at their conferences. She presents programs and teaches workshops on flower photography at conferences and groups throughout the country. She is a writer for the learning community Visual Wilderness, where she writes about flower and macro photography. Anne partners with Lensbaby, and is passionate about using and promoting their creative lenses to enhance the artistry of photography. She is firmly committed to the idea that we should never stop learning, growing, experimenting and having fun with photography.

 

JOIN ANNE AND THE REST OF OUR CREATIVE LINE-UP AT THE 3RD CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY CONFERENCE, MAY 18-29, 2019 at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center, Southbridge, MA. 

Early Bird discount available until Nov. 30th – Don’t miss out!

Find all the details on our website HERE!

 

FREEBIES from MediaLoot22 Beautiful and Seamless Rock Textures! There are also additional freebies and for-purchase textures on this page.

For some last-minute Halloween Decorations, check out the freebies from TheHungryJPEGSpooky Halloween Clipart

Freebies from Pixelo – All kinds of goodies! Check ’em out!

And…from Pexels, 1000+ free Textures! Can be used for personal and commercial use (be sure to read the full license terms). 1000+ Beautiful Textures

 

Have a great week!

Oct. 21 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Holidays are fast approaching!! Yikes! Quite blustery today in CT after a nice Fall day yesterday.

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of cracked paint on old train cars at the New England Railway Museum where we did a night shoot last weekend. Enjoy!

FEATURED SPEAKER – JOHN BARCLAY

Registration is under way for our 2019 Conference! We have an awesome line up of speakers for you this year. I’ll be featuring them here on the blog as well as on the website.

Our first featured speaker is John Barclay, an amazing photographer, fellow Topaz speaker (John recommended me to Topaz as a webinar presenter), inspiring and a nice guy!

“John is an award winning freelance photographer based in Bucks County PA. He is a passionate photographer and enthusiastic workshop leader. John is also an inspirational speaker sharing his program ‘Dream – Believe – Create’ to audiences around the Country.

John was personally selected by Dewitt Jones to participate in his www.healingimages.org project. John’s work has been published in a number of magazines and books and has been used by Nik Software, Topaz Labs and Lensbaby in their advertising campaigns.

Recently, John was the recipient of an excellence award from B&W Magazine.”

John will be presenting his “Dream-Believe-Create” program at the Creative Photography Conference, as well as doing a session on creating with Topaz. He will also be one of the two Pre-Conference presenters with a hands-on Topaz class.

Check out all the details at https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/.

And don’t miss out on the “Early Bird” registration – now through Nov. 30th!

 

 

Exciting – although unexpected – as of Friday I no longer have my full-time job! Layoffs throughout the company (I’d been there almost 17 years!). Sad to miss my co-workers, but relieved as well. I won’t miss being micro-managed!

So…this gives me more time to pursue more photography projects for my own business! Stay tuned…I WILL be finishing my second textures eBook (that I’ve been trying to do for over a year); I will be offering more training – in-person and by webinars; adding some new products to the Peacock Studio; and some other things as well! I’ll probably be even busier than when I was working full-time.

I will be heading to Cape Cod on Thursday to judge as the Cape Cod Art Center Camera Club, then spending some time Friday photographing with Betty Wiley (who will also be a speaker at our Creative Photography Conference).

Next up will be my 11th Topaz Webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 30th at 5:00 Eastern Time. Sign ups should start soon on the Topaz site – keep an eye on THIS PAGE.

Check out my list of upcoming seminars and webinars HERE.

And if you missed the webinar this past week with StudioMagic, catch it here: http://www.photoeffects.biz/webinaroct/webinaroct.mp4

And you can still get in on the webinar specials (ending in 48 hours). Get 90% off in this special Webinar special deal, you also receive the Framing actions and the Portrait/Wedding actions.

REVIEW the Epic Location sets and StudioMagic plugins below

https://store.layercakeelements.com/gav/moviesets.html

Get the location sets and StudioMagic plugins for only $125.00 here: https://www.layercakeelements.net/product/epic-location-sets-web-deal-1/

OR…You can purchase ONLY the 1,200 location sets for only $99.00 (80%) off here: https://www.layercakeelements.net/product/epic-location-sets-web-deal-2/

 

 

The folks at Design Cuts have another great font bundle now available – the Supreme Quality Font Bundle. Sixteen font families with 271 individual fonts! Full commercial use license. Value $1174 for just $29. Check it out – click here and then go to “Current Bundle”

And, more new from Topaz – expecting an update to AI Clear this week. Stay tuned! I’ll send a post when it’s available.

 

Have a good Sunday!

 

 

Join Me for a Webinar TONIGHT!

TONIGHT is my webinar with the guys 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, but 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. I photographed this car with a busy background, but put it into one of the Epic Locations, used StudioMagic for a little more creativity, and created a whole new scene! Also watch to see how I use a background as a creative overlay!

Oct. 14 Sunday Sampler

Welcome to New England weather – 80 degrees and humid last week – 40’s this morning and the heat came on! I love Fall – just hope it lasts a little while!

 

This week’s SUNDAY SAMPLER consists of some “mossy” tree bark. Lots of texture in these! Enjoy!

 

REMINDER…

this coming Thursday is my webinar with the guys 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, but 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. I photographed this car with a busy background, but put it into one of the Epic Locations, used StudioMagic for a little more creativity, and created a whole new scene! Also watch to see how I use a background as a creative overlay!

 

And speaking of webinars, my next TOPAZ webinar will be Tuesday, October 30th at 5:00 pm Eastern time. It was a blast to meet Heath, Rose, Joe, and the rest of the crew at Topaz when I was in Texas last month!

Sign up will be open soon on the Topaz website at: http://blog.topazlabs.com/webinars/They usually start sign ups the week before the webinar.

Watch for some Halloween-themed creative editing!

 

Just two days left to grab the

Birthday Deals over at Design Cuts!

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

Expiring on 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!

FREEBIE from CSS Author – “High Resolution Photoshop Splatter Brushes”

And from Creative Nerds – “20 Best Free Graffiti Fonts”

 

Have a great week!

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!

 

Sept. 23 – Sunday Sampler

Hi everyone! I missed sending out a post last week as I was in TEXAS! Check off another state from my list. It was hot, hot, hot! Austin & Dallas.

Got to visit my friends at Topaz Labs and meet them in person! Keep reading for some great info!

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler is some textures from my hotel rooms! Rugs, wallpaper, tile – they all make great textures! There are six instead of three since I missed last week. Enjoy!

 

Some exciting news that I can share – and some that I can only tease about!

We scheduled my next Topaz Webinar for Tuesday, October 30th – watch for some Halloween-themed projects!

Yes, Heath is a real person! It was wonderful to meet him, Joe, Rose and Alan, the founder of Topaz. Great bunch of people!

A.I. Gigapixel Updated! A great product is even better! It has faster processing, new settings for even better results – it is amazing to watch the programmers in action (with their PhDs!).

STAY TUNED….for a new Studio Release soon with a feature I’ve been hoping for — can’t tell you yet, but you will love as much as I am going to!

 

I will send another post during the week with some other cool things from “Around the Web”. Preparing this on Sat. and heading out to do my all-day workshop tomorrow at PPSNYS in Troy, NY!

Have a great weekend!

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!