When making color and tonal adjustments, the last thing you want to worry about is unwanted saturation changes in your image’s tonal ranges and highlights – also referred to as color shift. Instances of color shift can include: increased saturation, highlight desaturation, color artifacts, hue variation, or even colors taking on a neon appearance.

photoFXlab™ v1.1 is features an advanced color processing technique- IntelliColor™ – that allows you to apply color and tonal adjustments without comprising the color integrity in your image. When working with your normal curves or saturation adjustment tools, you may find an unpleasing color shift that can can make your colors look too deep and very unnatural. The benefit of IntelliColor™ is that it makes it possible to maintain natural and well-balanced color throughout your image – which makes for happy pictures.

The series below demonstrates the effects of curves and contrast adjustments with other editors and the way the photoFXlab™ handles those same adjustments:

The series below demonstrates the effects of saturation adjustments with other editors and the way the photoFXlab™ handles those same adjustments. You’ll notice that photoFXlab maintains more color consistency, whereas your PS adjustments can become too colorful and over-saturated.


(original image – above)

Ok, so hopefully by now you’ve all heard about the new photoFXlab™ workspace that will soon be added to the Topaz lineup! This workspace offers full access to all of the Topaz plug-ins (including ReMask™ and instantly connects you to all of the Topaz effects (from Adjust™, Simplify™, Clean™, Detail™ and B&W Effects™) in a searchable library. Featuring a layered workflow with masking capabilities, selective enhancement brushes with edge-aware technology and a fun new way to InstaTone™ your images, photoFXlab™ is the new way to experience Topaz.


photoFXlab™ was designed to better integrate your Topaz plug-ins with convenient selective adjustment capabilities and offer a more streamlined workflow. It’s great for users that:

– Like the selective adjustment brush in Topaz Adjust™ 5 and Topaz B&W Effects™ – photoFXlab™ has it’s own selective adjustment brush and it features edge aware technology.

– Use Aperture, iPhoto or Lightroom – now they have the ability to use ReMask™

– Want to explore all the presets from Topaz effect programs without having to open each Topaz plug-in

– Want to instantly apply tone to an image – inspired by the unique tones found in

– Want to make quick edits with Topaz without opening their full host programs

(If you missed the sneak peek webinar then be sure to check out photoFXlab™ Sneak Peek to get caught up to speed!)

Like with all new releases, there is already lots of excitement flowing in from our awesome users…which also means lots of questions! So I’m going to keep you all well-informed by giving you the answers to the 10 most asked questions about photoFXlab™.

Q1. When will photoFXlab™ be available?
I don’t have an exact date but it should be available sometime this month 🙂

Q2. Can I get a free copy?
A2. Yes, there will be chances to win! Be sure to sign up for intro webinars once the new photoFXlab™ program is released. During the webinars we will be giving away some free copies to a few lucky attendees. Just sign up for an intro webinar for your chance to win! You can sign up on our webinars page: www.topazlabs.com/webinars

Q3. Will there be a free 30-day trial?
Yes, as with all of our other Topaz programs there will also be a free, fully-functional 30-day trial. No watermarks or limitations (other than the 30 day limit)

Q4. Will it be added to the bundle?
No, photoFXlab™ is an optional workspace – not an enhancement plug-in – and will not be added to the bundle.

Q5. What’s the compatibility requirements?
photoFXlab™ will be available for both Mac OSX 10.6+ and Windows XP and above (32-bit and 64-bit). If using as a plug-in, you will need CS3 and above, PSE6 and above, Aperture 2 or 3, Lightroom 2-4 or iPhoto. Compatibility for Irfanview, Serif and PSP TBA.

Q6. Let’s talk price…what’s it going to be?
As with all new releases, there will be a special limited-time introductory price for photoFXlab™ when it is released. That special release price is currently set to be $29.99.

Q7. Will there be an upgrade price for current customers?
This new workspace is not an upgrade, so there will not be an upgrade price. Anyone interested in adding this tool to their Topaz collection will be able to take advantage of the special limited-time release discount.

Q8. Do I have to own the bundle to use/purchase this program? You do Not have to own the bundle to use the new photoFXlab™ program. It will recognize your licensed Topaz software and allow you to continue using them in your current host program or in this new workspace. If you don’t own a specific Topaz program they will still be listed but grayed out and its associated presets will be available for preview only. However you can always add any programs that you don’t have at anytime.

Q9. Do I have to own a Topaz program to use the presets?
All of the effect presets will be listed in the preset effects panel on the left. If you don’t own the Topaz program that a set of presets are associated with then you will only be able to preview those effects. In order to apply those preset effects to your image you would need to purchase the Topaz program that they are associated with. (Also, you can always sign up for a free 30-day trial of that Topaz plug-in program to test them out first)

Q10. Do I have to own a Topaz ReMask™ to use the tools in the masking tab?
Nope! The built in masking tool is part of the photoFXlab™ program. You do not have to own or use the ReMask™ program in order to take advantage of the awesome masking technology.

To receive the release newsletter once the program is out be sure to sign up for the Topaz Newsletter at: www.topazlabs.com/list

About photoFXlab™

Preset Quick Select – The left panel features a quick way to instantly explore and apply presets from any of your Topaz plug-ins (without having to invoke the program).

Selective Adjustments – A convenient selective adjustment brush, with edge detection technology, makes it easy to quickly brush in brightness, color and detail.

Layers + Masking – Enjoy a layered workflow with intuitive edge aware masking tool (no need to open ReMask) designed with Lightroom, Aperture and iPhoto users in mind.

Instatone™ technology – Explore images online or on your computer to find tonal inspiration and then apply it to your own image.

History – Click on the history panel to track and unapply (or reapply) adjustments.

Basic Adjustment tools – easy-to-use sliders for making essential color and tone adjustments. (The Dynamics slider is my fav!)

More details on the new program availability and pricing to come. Be sure to sign up for one of our sneak peek webinars to check out the new program. There will also be several opportunities for you to win a FREE copy of the new photoFXlab™ program. Your comments, suggestions and feature requests over the years have made this possible. So thank you to everyone and please keep the feedback coming!!!

Best,
Ashley Robinson

Tony Sweet


Top 10 camera bag must haves:

1. Blower bulb (to blow off sand and dust from camera and sensor) – Giotto
2. Shutterhat (Easily fits over camera and lens up to 70-200mm to protect from rain)
3. Allen Wrenches.
4. Extra flash cards
5. Spare cable release
6. Small mirror to reflect light on to small subjects.
7. Spare camera battery
8. Polarizing Filter (Nikon)
9. Several cleaning cloths
10. Small flashlight (Surefire) for light painting small subjects and to SEE when it’s dark.

Bio and contact info:

https://about.me/tonysweet

Ron Martinsen


Top 10 camera bag must haves:
1. Canon 1D Mark IV
2. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II
3. Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
4. Canon 580EX II
5. Hoodman Loupe
6. Gitzo GT1541 Tripod
7. Rogue Gels
8. Think Tank Photo Airport Security v2.0
9. Black Rapid RS-7
10. X-Rite ColorChecker Passport

About Ron Martinsen
Ron Martinsen is a well-known international photography blogger on http://ronmartblog.com. While his images are featured in magazines around the world (including Cycle World, GQ (France), Robb Report (Russia) and more), his real passion is photography education. His blog has enjoyed 83,000+ visitors in February 2012 with topics ranging from gear, software, and book reviews to his popular printing series (featured in his Fine Art Printing eBook on Trey Ratcliff’s flatbooks.com). Ron has worked alongside Bryan Peterson at his Seattle Workshop and been featured numerous times on Scott Kelby’s blog.

http://photos.ronmartinsen.com

Rick Sammon


Top 10 camera bag must haves:
What’s in my bag depends on the destination and subjects. For now, here’s a look at my basic landscape gear, which I packed for my recent Death Valley Workshop.

1. Canon 5D Mark II
2. Canon 7D
3. Canon 17-40mm lens
4. Canon 14mm lens
5. Canon 15mm lens
6. Canon 70-200mm lens
7. Induro tripod and Induro ball head.
8 MacBook Pro
9. 500GB Lacie Hard Drive
10. Lexar memory cards and card readers

Most of the time, I use LowePro backbacks with built-in rain covers.

About Rick Sammon
Rick Sammon is the author of 36 books and seven apps. He leads workshops around the world and teaches lighting in Croton-on-Hudson, New York, where he lives.
www.ricksammon.info

John Barclay


Top 10 camera bag must haves:
1. Canon 70-200IS f/2.8
2. Canon 17-40 f/4
3. Lensbaby Composer Pro
4. Lensbaby Soft Focus Optic
5. Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic
6. Really Right Stuff BH-50 Ballhead
7. Hoodman Loupe
8. Bubble Level
9. Canon 1.4x Teleconverter
10. Sing-Ray Warming Polarizer

About John Barclay

John Barclay is an award wining freelance photographer based in Bucks County, PA. John is also a passionate workshop leader and an enthusiastic inspirational speaker, presenting his program Dream – Believe – Create to audiences around the country. John’s work has been published in a number of books and Magazines and is used by Topaz and Lensbaby in their advertising campaigns. Recently, John was the recipient of an excellence award from B&W Magazine and chosen by Dewitt Jones to participate in his www.healingimages.org project. You can see his work at www.barclayphoto.com and see his workshop schedule on his blog at http://blog.barclayphoto.com

Jim LaSala


The Image “Forgotten” is very special to me.

“It is a picture of my dad (He is 94 and with my mom who is 95) that scored top honors last year for NY/NJ Print Competition
Best in Show Kodak Award. Scored a perfect score of (100). First time an image was given 100 in the state of NJ. I’m truly blessed to have both my parents still with us.”

Top 10 must haves:
1. Nikon D3s (amazing ISO quality) camera ( I shoot mostly available light)
2. Nikon D3x (high resolution) camera
3. Nikon 14-24mm 2.8 lens
4. Nikon 24-20mm 2.8 lens
5. Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 lens (most used for photographing portraits)
6. 8GB Memory Cards
7. Epson P7000 Viewer for storage
8. Apple MacBook Pro – 2.66 GHz Intel Core i7, 4GB memory
9. Apple Mac Pro – 2 x 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon, 8GB memory
10. Wacom Intuos Tablets for Retouching

About Jim LaSala
Jim LaSala (Master of Photography, Master of Electronic Imaging, Photographic Craftsman) was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Lived in Staten Island for several years and currently resides in Flemington, New Jersey. He opened “Strike A Pose Photography Studio” in 1990 specializing in Fine Art Photography, Portraiture and Electronic Imaging. Jim is presently managing partner for “ArtisticEfex” in Hillsborough New Jersey. www.jimlasala.com

Deborah Sandidge

Favorite Shot: Crescent City Bridge, New Orleans
Top 10 camera bag must haves:

1. Nikon D3s SLR
2. Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8
3. Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
4. Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8
5. Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6
6. Nikon MC-30 Cable Release
7. Hoya FL-W Magenta Filter
8. Singh-Ray Reverse Graduated ND Filter
9. Singh-Ray LB Neutral Polarizer
10. Nikon SB-800 Speedlight

About Deborah Sandidge
Deborah Sandidge is professional photographer who enjoys sharing her insight and creative ideas through writing, workshops, teaching, and seminars around the world. Deborah’s style of creating dramatic story-telling imagery reflects in her travels, and interaction with the people she meets. She is the author of Digital Infrared Photography, published by Wiley. As an instructor at BetterPhoto.com, Deborah teaches Enhancing Images and Creating Works of Art, as well as Digital Infrared Photography.

Website: http://www.deborahsandidge.com
Blog: http://blog.deborahsandidge.com

What’s in YOUR camera bag? Let us know below!!

With the Lightroom 4 public beta currently underway (and the release hopefully not too far off) there are many questions regarding continued support of Topaz plug-ins – via Fusion Express. I have played around with the beta version, which has some neat new features, and all of my Topaz programs are still usable. While official compatibility will be confirmed once the release version of Lightroom 4 is made available, it seems that you’ll have no trouble making the transition to the new version.

So when release time comes around I’ll be sure to let you know what, if anything, you need to do to get back up and running. Most likely this will be to just set your external editing settings in your Lightroom preferences.

If you want to check out the new Lightroom features for yourself there is still time. The beta expires on March 31, 2012. Stop by the Adobe website to download and try it out!