Posts Tagged ‘“Liz Mackney Photography”’

Topaz Glow – Just Released!

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Electrify Your Photos With Brilliant Effects!

You can end 2014 with glowing colors! From December 9th through December 31st, Topaz Labs is running a great promotion on their newest product: Topaz Glow.

Glow can be used as a stand-alone or a plugin to transform your photos from dull to dazzling. Containing more than 70 unconventional and quirky filters, you can infuse your images with neon, graphic, liquid and other electrifying effects.

Special Introductory Price

To take advantage of the discounted introductory price of $49.99 (regularly $69.99) simply click here and enter this coupon code at checkout:  INTROGLOW


Artsy Swans

Topaz Glow Preset Graphic Sketch II

Topaz Glow – Graphic Sketch II

Field of Dreams


Topaz Glow – Fur and Feathers III

Up, Up and Away!

Hot Air Balloon soars towards the moon.

Topaz Glow – Glowing Wires III

Sunflower Standout

Solitary Sunflower with Topaz Glow applied

Topaz Glow – Air Brush I

Kaleidoscope With A Little Kick

Kaleidoscope Pizzazz

Topaz Glow – Wire Whiskers I

Now let’s see where you and Topaz Glow can take your images!

 ~ Liz

Topaz Labs – Black Friday / Cyber Monday Sale!

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Mark Your Calendar!

It’s that time of year again. Chilly temperatures, pumpkin pies, and Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales!

From November 28th through December 1st, Topaz Labs is offering their Topaz Photography Collection (all 15 products) for only $249.99. Whether you want to achieve stunning photo enhancements or apply artistic effects, this unique collection has you covered.

Any time between Friday, November 28th, and Monday, December 1st, simply CLICK HERE and enter this coupon code:  BLACKFRIDAY2014 


I love the Topaz Collection. Don’t miss this great opportunity to take your photography to the next level!

~ Liz

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014


Wishing you and yours a very Happy and Healthy New Year!

~ Liz Mackney Photography


Pet Portraits — Pixel Bender Oil Paint Filter

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Puppy Pet Portrait using Pixel Bender Oil Paint Filter

Mia, Age 4 Months

Captured My Heart

When I first spotted Mia at the Cape Ann Animal Aid shelter in Gloucester, Massachusetts, she instantly caught my eye. I had no intention of getting a dog that day, as I already had three cats at home and was simply on my way to the pet store for cat food.

While on my way to the store, I happened to walk past the shelter. Suddenly I heard dogs barking in the shelter’s outside pen. It was a bright, sunny day in April 2010, so I decided to say a quick “hello” to the pups. As I approached the outdoor area, the dogs all came running, barking and jumping up against the fence. All but one little black dog who didn’t make a sound. She simply sat down and looked up at me with eyes that reached into my soul. Right then and there, I knew she was mine. She had completely captured my heart.

Meant to Be

Mia is a rescue pup (SATO) from Puerto Rico. Her start in life was a tough one. Life on the streets for a dog there can be cruel. Having just lost my brother to ALS, I was dealing with my own emotional pain. Looking into her eyes I said, “I think I’m meant to heal your broken heart, and you’re meant to heal mine.”

We’ve been together ever since.

They Grow Up So Fast

With such an emotional start to our relationship — and me being a photographer — pet portraits of Mia have become a part of our lives. For the image above, the Pixel Bender Oil Paint Filter in Photoshop CS5 was the perfect match for what I envisioned for this shot when I “rediscovered” it while looking through Mia’s “baby pics” the other day.

I took the original shot back in 2010 — and loved it then. Years later, now that the Pixel Bender plugin exists, its Oil Paint filter seemed like a perfect fit for Mia’s natural fur pattern and soulful expression. I’m glad I decided to process the image again from an entirely new creative perspective.

Note: Click on the image to view at full size.

Food For Thought

As I discovered, when new software plugins become available, it’s always a good idea to look back in your photo archives to see what images may benefit from them — or what favorites may be taken to a whole new creative level.

Faux DOGUE Magazine Cover

My Cover Girl

As you can see, Mia will always be a creative muse for me.

~ Liz Mackney

Together We Can Win The Fight Against Lou Gehrig’s Disease


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Celebrating My Love of Sunflowers!

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

I’ve always loved sunflowers. There’s something about them that just makes me smile. I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. Sunflowers have magical powers. Well, maybe it just feels that way.

After the never-ending winter we had here in New England, I decided to celebrate spring this year by planting 9 packets of sunflower seeds. It was a good move as they eventually yielded a wonderful variety of 96 buds this summer. That’s pretty magical! Needless to say, I’ve had an abundance of photo ops right here in my own backyard.

A lemon yellow sunflower from the Autumn Beauty collection by the Livingston Seed Company.

Autumn Beauty - Lemon Yellow

The sunflowers’ beauty has delighted me since early summer straight through to these first few days of autumn. I even have a plant that is just starting to show its buds now. With the warm spell that is due here this week, I just may get another bloom! My camera and I are ready and waiting!

Spring Seed Planting

All of my seed packets this year came from the Livingston Seed Company in Columbus, Ohio. I happened to find the seeds at both my local Ace Hardware store and also at a nearby Dollar Store in early spring. I’m so glad I picked them up when I did, as these delightful annuals have proven to be nature’s gift that just keeps giving.

A rear view of a rust and gold sunflower from the Summertime Mix F1hybrid collection.

Summertime Mix F1 - Rear View

So Many Seeds — So Many Different Varieties

I never realized just how many different varieties there are of sunflowers. Some of the seed packets I picked up were new to me — like the Mexican Sunflower. Not only was its color unique to me, but I soon discovered so were the shape of its leaves. As the plant began to grow, I could tell something special was on the way.

All of the images featured in this article were taken over the course of the summer as each of the different sunflowers made its appearance. Here’s a bit of info on each of the varieties that I planted. Perhaps one or two varieties will speak to you as well.

Mammoth Russian (Helianthus annuus)

This Mammoth Russian was the very first to appear in my garden this year. True to its name, it is indeed one big plant! The shooting perspective I chose for this image was primarily due to the fact that the sunflower stood taller than I. I’m not the only one who appreciated its height. The birds seemed to like its overall size, as my goldfinches happily fed on it for a long stretch of time.

A Mammoth Russian sunflower

Mammoth Russian

Livingston Seed Packet Text:  The Mammoth Russian is a giant in beauty and stature. The huge, yellow flowers are often 12″ in diameter, full of plump, tasty seeds. Harvest when heads bend from weight. This sunny giant is perfect in your yard or garden to create a natural fence or just make a statement. Everyone will love your Mammoth Russian Sunflower, including our feathered friends!

Height:  10′  Blooms: Midsummer through Fall

Summertime Mix (Helianthus annuus)

The Summertime Mix was one of my favorite seed packs primarily due to the diversity of the flowers it produced. I loved the size and delicate nature of each flower as it appeared. The soft color palette was quite eye-catching and deserved to be showcased.

bi-color sunflower from the Summertime Mixture F1 hybrid collection

Summertime Mix F1 - Bicolor

Summertime Mix F1 sunflower

Summertime Mix F1

Livingston Seed Packet Text:  Summertime Mixture F1 is a true mixture of colors and forms. The single-stemmed and branched flowers make you smile by just looking at them. Wonderful for mass planting and cutting gardens. This is a pollen free-free, hybrid collection.

Height:  Approx. 4′-5′  Blooms: Summer through Fall

Autumn Beauty (Helianthus annuus)

The Autumn Beauty seed packet led to one of my favorite shots from this summer. I loved the color of this sunflower and well as its flawless, unblemished petals. As you can see for yourself, the rust and gold of this particular flower’s petals against the backdrop of its deep, green leaves definitely says, “Autumn Beauty.”

A fall-colored sunflower from the Autumn Beauty collection

Autumn Beauty - Fall Colors

However, that’s not the only variety of sunflower the Autumn Beauty seed packet brought to my garden. It was one of many.

An pale lemon yellow example from the Autumn Beauty sunflower collection

Autumn Beauty - Pale Yellow

A subtle bronze sunflower from the Autumn Beauty collection

Autumn Beauty - Subtle Bronze

An image of the head of an Autumn Beauty sunflower

Autumn Beauty - Rust

Livingston Seed Packet Text:  Sunflowers make you smile. Blooms in shades of lemon yellow, subtle bronze, rich wine, and bicolors on multiple flowerheads make Autumn Beauty a true beauty. Cut for a bouquet, plant for a natural fence, or plant in a garden for color. Harvest for your feathered friends!

Height:  5′-7′  Blooms: Late Summer to Fall

Orange Mahogany Bicolor F1 (Helianthus annuus)

Bicolor sunflowers always add interest to a garden, and this Orange Mahogany Bicolor was no exception. Round and symmetrical, it instantly grabbed my attention. It’s vibrant colors and curved, wide petals made it an instant standout.

An orange mahogany bicolor F1 sunflower

Orange Mahogany Bicolor F1

Livingston Seed Packet Text:  The brilliant colors of Orange Mahogany Bicolor F1 make it a standout in your garden. Striking colors of orange and yellow with brown center rings definitely add beauty to any spot. This is an F1 hybrid variety.

Height:  5′-6′  Blooms: Summer through Fall

Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia)

The Mexican Sunflower seed packet was my big surprise of the summer. Long before buds appeared, it was the plant’s dark green leaves and their unusual shape that made me take notice. Truth be told, at first I thought it might be a weed, as I didn’t recognize it. Thankfully I kept my weeding hand in check and let nature continue on its way. Was I ever glad that I did. This vibrant orange sunflower proved to be a show stopper.

A closeup of a Mexican Sunflower

Mexican Sunflower

Livingston Seed Packet Text:  Lead the uninhibited life, and let Torch light your way. Its fiery orange petals are irresistible, and it’s so easy to grow. In no time your garden will ignite with its glow.

Height:  4′-6′  Blooms: Summer/Fall

Velvet Queen (Helianthus annuus)

The deep burgundy color of the Velvet Queen added rich beauty to my garden. Contrasting with the color of the surrounding flowers, it quickly became a visual magnet for this photographer and her macro lens.

A Velvet Queen sunflower

Velvet Queen

Livingston Seed Packet Text:  Velvet Queen Sunflower’s stately chestnut-red blossoms usher in fall’s regal glory. The seeds are edible and can be harvested for a tasty treat. Use the cut flowers in fall floral arrangements or leave the seed head in place as a gift to the birds. Velvet Queen prefers rich, moist, well-drained soil. Do no overfertilize. A Victorian symbol of hope, these sunflowers are a reminder of early autumn’s grace and beauty.

Height:  5′-7′  Blooms: Summer/Late Fall

Looking Ahead

Who knows what this upcoming winter will bring? All I know is come next spring I will be one of the first on the lookout for the appearance of sunflower seed packets in the stores. Perhaps there will even be a new variety or two for me to discover.

The side view of pale lemon yellow example from the Autumn Beauty sunflower

Autumn Beauty Profile

Needless to say, the wheels in my head are already turning. I even have the next planting schematic all mapped out in my mind. Can’t wait!

~ Liz Mackney


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