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 27 – Sunday Sampler

A HUGE thank you to all who attended last weekend’s “2nd Creative Photography Conference”! It was a very successful event – we had great speakers, good food, nice atmosphere – overall I was very pleased with the event (with the exception of the lounge food service!).

We are planning to hold the event in other locations around the U.S. and we’d love your feedback on where to visit! Please take this short SURVEY and let us know where you’d like us to hold an event, and any feedback you have on the first 2 conferences if you attended. Thanks for your help!



This week’s Sunday Sampler contains six textures as I did not publish last weekend. These images were taken at the Conference by my hubby, Dave. There are “blurred” versions of the marble fireplace and some beautiful early morning skies from Sat. morning – just before the rain set in! Thanks dear!



If you are new to the blog, we have a Facebook group for our texture artists! We hit 1,000 members last Fall and we are over 1,800 now!

Join us at: Textures: Turn Ho-Hum Into a Work of Art

Peacock Studio at Meredith Images

And since we have so many new members, last night I announced a Memorial Day Sale on all textures and eBooks in the Peacock Studio. Save 25% off through 5/31/18 with the code MEMORIAL25 at checkout. Click HERE to visit the store.



And speaking of Memorial Day, let us not forget the true meaning of the day – to remember those fallen servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Last year we were in Washington, D.C. on this weekend – it was extremely emotional. We visited Arlington Cemetery on Sunday and witnessed the flags at all of the graves. There were also volunteers laying roses on each grave. Beautiful. Watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers in the pouring rain – they perform their duties rain, shine, snow, cold – the soldiers chosen consider it an honor to guard the tomb.

On Monday we visited several of the Memorials in D.C. Another very emotional day.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend with friends and family and remember our fallen heroes.

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 29 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! We’re back from our jaunt to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee! Such beautiful country. Spent some time looking for property while we were there. Haven’t found “the one” yet, but we’ll keep looking!


Since I didn’t do a “Sunday Sampler” of textures last week, this week’s Sampler has six textures for you – of course, from our TN trip!

In addition to beautiful scenery, we were graced with the presence of several bears and their cubs – such beautiful creatures.


New Online Workshop

KJ DeWaal, one of our Creative Photography Conference speakers, has a new online workshop available, “Artistically Digital”!

Artistically Digital is a digital art workshop presented by artist/photographer KJ DeWaal. If you have always wanted to learn how to create digital art, but didn’t know where to start, then this is the course for you.

This workshop is jam-packed with 3 complete projects, 1 bonus project, and a unique creativity challenge that includes a 100 piece collection of downloadable digital resources. There are 42 lessons, 30+ fully downloadable videos, project recipe pdf’s, project files, demo videos for all 12 apps used, lifetime access, and a private Facebook group.

Learn the skills necessary to take your creativity to the next level. Learn to take the ordinary to the extraordinary. Leave the fear behind and begin your digital art journey today!

Enroll today to take advantage of the Early Bird pricing special. Use coupon code: digitalart60 to receive a $60 discount off of the regular price.


And speaking of the Creative Photography Conference…we have a few spots left! Don’t miss out on this creativity-filled weekend! Check out the details and info on our speakers and seminars over on our website at https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/.


From Envato Tuts+ – “20 Cool Photoshop Effects to Add Style & Wow” – includes actions, presets, and cool techniques!


Have a great week!


April 15 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Wild weather across the country! From blizzards to tornadoes; from hot to cold! Yesterday was 70 here in CT; today in the upper 30’s! Be safe if you are in severe weather.


This week’s Sunday Sampler is made up of some peeling paint from an old theater shoot that we did a while back. Some friends went there yesterday, so it got me thinking about my shots again. The one called “Peeling Paint – Film Look” reminded me of an old filmstrip – I thought it was a neat look. Enjoy!


Our friends at MindShift Gear (part of ThinkTank Photo), have release several new products designed for active photographers.

The first is the “Exposure” Shoulder Bags that offer the ultimate in durability and weather protection for outdoor photographers.

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. MindShift Gear’s new Exposure shoulder bags are storm-resistant carrying solutions for the active photographer in virtually any outdoor environment. Built with high performance waterproof sailcloth panels, strategically placed storm flaps, water-repellent DWR fabric, and a sturdy Tarpaulin bottom; the Exposure protects camera gear from the elements and withstands the rigors of adventure photography. And, with its cross-body stabilizer strap, the Exposure moves with you while you’re active or is removable for more causal environments. A waterproof rain cover is included when it’s time to put the camera away and hunker down.
Exposure shoulder bags come in two models, the Exposure 13 and the Exposure 15, and in two colors, Black and Solar Flare. The Exposure 13 fits a 13” laptop; the Exposure 15 fits 15” laptops. A 10” tablet fits in zippered pocket.

Click HERE for all the details on their website.


The second new product is an 18-liter version of its popular BackLight series, the BackLight® 18L rear-panel backpack.

This smaller version offers a lightweight daypack that enables photographers to access gear without taking off the backpack. They can change lenses or just snap a quick photo simply by rotating the bag to the front while the waist belt is still secured. Rear-panel access also adds security when traveling since camera gear is protected from behind.
This back-panel access allows photographers to work out of the bag without getting the harness dirty, wet, muddy, or icy. It features dedicated compartments that fit up to a 13” laptop and a full-size tablet. As a daypack, its front pockets total 5 liters in personal gear carry for a day’s outing, such as extra layers, a light jacket, food, and more. It is available in two colors, Charcoal and Woodland Green, and meets most international and U.S. airline carry-on requirements.

Click HERE to find all the details on their website.

I have a couple of ThinkTank bags and can attest to their durability and quality.


Some more free brushes! This week, I found this on Designmodo – 30 sets of Watercolor Free Brushes. Watercolor brushes are useful for lots of things – I like to use them to create textures (of course!).


We’re just over a month till our Creative Photography Conference! If you haven’t signed up yet, now is the time! We have an awesome line-up of speakers. Below is our expected schedule. Check out the details of the sessions and speaker bios on our website at: http://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/.

Registration includes all classes, hands-on sessions, photo-ops, lunch and snacks both days, LOTS of door prizes, goody bag, vendors and more! Don’t miss out!


March 11 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Hopefully you all have power (and heat) today! We lost power Wed. night into late Thursday afternoon – got a little chilly, but luckily it came on just as I got home from work!


This week’s Sunday Sampler takes an image of old cracked paint, and presents it 3 ways – the original and two versions that I edited in Topaz Studio with multiple presets to create a whole different look! Remember, you can always change the colors of a texture by using a hue/saturation adjustment or pick up the texture with no color by turning it into a B&W image. Enjoy!


Pixel Surplus has some cool freebies – sign up to get emails of new freebies. Here’s a link to the current ones: CLICK HERE

One of my favorite sites for brushes is Brusheezy.com. Saw this pack of free Butterfly Brushes that I thought were pretty cool! You can find just about any kind of brush you need here! And their sister site is Vecteezy.com for all your clip art needs.


Conference Speaker KJ (Kelli) DeWaal is an artist/photographer who has been involved in creative endeavors throughout her life. She found herself becoming more interested in photography several years ago and set about learning all she could about all types of photography. She has received an Advanced Diploma in Photography, an Advanced Diploma in Photoshop, a Diploma in Smartphone Photography, and a Diploma in Lightroom, all from Shaw Academy. She has also taken photography classes from Jim Montanus, a well renowned photographer in her area.

Kelli enjoys photographing still life, landscape, macro and life style images, which have won numerous awards in photo contests and have been very well received. She is also an avid digital artist creating art on the go using her iPhone X and iPad Pro. She teaches in-person and online workshops throughout the year and there is information available on her website regarding these at https://kjdewaal.com.

Kelli currently resides in Western NY with Doug, her husband of 30 years. They have 2 grown children. Now that they are empty nesters, Kelli and her Mr. enjoy traveling, camping, hiking, and antiquing. This provides many photo opportunities along the way and even inspires original artwork as well.

Kelli’s Presentations are:

“The Creative Art of Still Lifes”

This presentation will encompass a look at different styles of her still life work and the stories they convey. She will continue with a look at how she creates the set-ups, and how you can replicate it in a very small amount of space. She will give you ideas on how to set up a scene and the types of items you may wish to use. The session will wrap up with a demo of her post-processing workflow and the different creative avenues for editing the various styles of still life images. She will use Lightroom, Photoshop, and Skylum’s Luminar (formerly MacPhun).

“Creating a Digital Art Piece on the iPad”

Bring along your iPad (and iPencil or stylus) or join in and watch Kelli demonstrate the creation of a digital art piece. She will utilize several apps (list will be provided prior to the start of the Conference – she’s still creating!).

“Altered Books – Creating Your Own Photo Props”

Kelli will demonstrate the step-by-step process to create your own “altered book” including info on how to find supplies and ideas for using them in your photos.

Click here for a video of Kelli’s presentations





OPTION #1 – BEST DEAL – BUY 5, GET 1 FREE! = $208.33 per person (save $41.67 each)

All six people must sign up on one purchase (see registration page for details).

OPTION #2 – 4 PEOPLE FOR $880 = $220 Per person (save $30 each)

All four people must sign up in one purchase (see registration page for details).



INDIVIDUAL ATTENDEES – SAVE $25 (code: courtesy25)

(only one discount per person – discounts may not be combined!)





Contact us at Hazel@MeredithImages.com or (203) 375-1039


Feb. 4 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! I live in New England, but I’m not rooting for the Patriots – I’d like to see someone new win – Go Eagles!


This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some mossy rocks! Remember – you can blend more than one texture and change the color or desaturate to add only texture and no color. Enjoy!


THANK YOU to everyone who watched my webinar on Tuesday! We maxed out at 1,000 people – over 2,100 signed up – WOW! If you were not able to join on Tuesday, you should have received an email with the link to the recording. And if you didn’t sign up, you’ll be able to watch the recording soon on youtube.com/topazlabs, and scroll down to the recordings.

There were so many great questions being asked in the chat box that we just don’t have time to answer them all during the webinar. Heath Robinson of Topaz sent me the dialogue of the chat box so I can answer some of the questions here in the “Topaz Corner”.

Here we go…

In this webinar I was featuring Texture Effects in Studio, the latest of the presets to be added to Topaz Studio.

A couple of people asked, “Is Texture Effects stand-alone and Texture Effects in Studio the same thing?”

Answer – Yes, but the Studio version offers even more presets than TTE2. And there are more functions coming in upcoming releases – like 20 more textures from yours truly; Digital Frames (which I was able to demo in the beta version during the webinar); and a few other goodies! f you already own the Topaz Texture Effects Plugin, you get the upgrade to Texture Effects in Studio for free, just follow the steps here: https://web.topazlabs.com/2017/11/updating-plugins-to-studio/.  If you don’t yet own Texture Effects, you can save 20% on that or any other Topaz product or upgrade through Feb. 5th with my webinar code Hazelweb8.  Shop here: https://www.topazlabs.com/store

Question – “What is the difference between the textures on the left panel and the texture function under Adjustments on the right panel?”

Answer – The “textures” you see on the left in Texture Effects are presets which contain multiple adjustments and/or textures. The texture adjustment on the right lets you add a single texture of your choosing. You must own Texture Effects to see the texture adjustment on the right as well as the presets on the left.”

Stay tuned to future “Topaz Corners” for answers to more questions!

We’re just over 3 months away from our 2nd Creative Photography Conference! Our speakers are lined up and we’re getting the details of their presentations and hands-on sessions dialed in. I’m going to being featuring our speakers in the Sunday Sampler, and we’re going to start with the amazing macro photographer, Tamron Image Master, Mike Moats.

“Mike Moats is an award-winning, professional macro photographer from Sterling Heights, Michigan. Mike’s love of photography, which started out as a hobby in 2001, has since evolved into a full-time business. In addition to creating his own images, Mike added Macro Boot Camps into the mix in 2006, and he now also makes speaking appearances at photo conferences nationwide, and now has an online Macro Photo Club to assist photographers with their macro goals.

“Recruited as a member of the Fuji Pro Talent Team in 2006, Mike is also honored to be a Tamron Image Master, and a Vanguard Pro. He has won numerous local, national, and international awards. Mike’s first book, Tiny Landscapes, was released in 2008, and his images and how-to articles have been published in various magazines, including Outdoor Photographer, Nature’s Best Photography, Shutterbug, PC Photo, Nature Photographer, Photo Life, Whisper in the Woods, and Michigan Fish and Game Finder; in photography collections such as the North American Nature Photography Association’s (NANPA’s) Expressions book and the Pure Michigan tourism companion; and in various corporate collateral, including on the Tamron USA blog and in Fujifilm newsletters.”

Mike will be doing a lecture-style seminar and several hands-on sessions. His lecture will be “Creating an Award-Winning Macro Image”. With Mike’s successes as listed above, he has analyzed what makes his images successful and will teach you how to take your photography to the next level, and how to create your own personal style.

Mike will show you how to creatively look at your macro photography and finish off the images with a little bit of post-processing.

His hands-on sessions will be, “The Properly Equipped Macro Photographer” where you will learn what are the best cameras, lenses, tripod/head, accessories, and camera functions for the beginner/intermediate macro photographer. Also covered, working with depth of field. And he will have a “Macro Shooting Gallery” set up for some photo ops – bring your camera, macro (or short) lens, tripod, and join the fun!

Don’t miss out on our “group specials” on registration! Go to our website at http://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/.

And if you attended the 2017 Conference, you can save $25 on registration! Email me at Hazel@MeredithImages.com for the secret code!

A great round up of articles over on LightStalking.com – “The Coolest Photography Links of the Week”

And on WebDesignDev.com, “20 Amazing Free Photoshop Text Effects with Tutorials”


Jan. 28 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! As we head to the end of the first month of 2018, I hope you’ve had time to spend photographing and/or processing your images! I’ve been preparing for my next Topaz webinar (see below) and working on end-of-year accounting/taxes (not as fun as editing pics!).

So, if you haven’t signed up yet, CLICK HERE to join me for my next Topaz webinar this Tuesday, Jan. 30th at 5:00 p.m. EST. I’ll be working with Studio and Texture Effects – the latest module to be added to Studio!

If you already own the Texture Effects module, the update to Studio is FREE (just run the update to Studio and you’ll now have Texture Effects in Studio). If you don’t already have this awesome program, it’s on sale now at $20 off – just $49.97. CLICK HERE to get the discount!


This week’s Sunday Sampler is some more grungy textures from Eastern States Penitentiary – cracked paint and rock walls. Enjoy!


I have a fellow photographer who has a new studio space in Hartford, CT, and he wants to schedule photo sessions and workshops. I haven’t done a half-day hands-on workshop in a while so I’m looking to schedule something for late March/early April on a Saturday from 9 am-1 pm. Price would be $89 per person.

What topic would you like to see? Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, Topaz, Textures, Camera Basics 101, or something else? Give me your feedback HERE!


PictureCorrect.com has lots of great articles on photographing just about anything – and tips to photograph them well! This week learn “Frost & Ice Photography Tips” , “10 DSLR Camera Features You Should Know” and “How to Emphasize Your Main Subject”.

On Line25.com find “25 Free Watercolor Brush Sets for Skilled Digital Artists”. While these are geared towards digital painting, I love using brushes like this to create my own textures!

And on PhotoshopTutorials.ws, learn to “Create this Stylistic Mixed-Media Artwork in Photoshop”.



Sunday Sampler + Tutorials

Hi everyone! We’re back from sunny Arizona and a great workshop!

What a gorgeous week – both weather-wise and scenery-wise! Temps in the mid-80’s with 15% humidity…beautiful red rocks to photograph…what more could we ask for? Thanks to Josh Goldin for the group shot above!



This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of SIX textures from the picturesque red rocks of Sedona. Enjoy!



I learned something new today too! I was reading this article on “How to Super-Charge the Spot Healing Brush Tool in Photoshop”! Changing the blending modes helps to target light or dark areas and retain the texture of your image (like skin).

And here’s some interesting tips – “10 Things Successful Photographer’s Don’t Do”.

And one more…“How to Take Control of Contrast Using Curves & Levels in Photoshop”.



Watch for info soon from Topaz to sign up for my next webinar on December 12th!