Digital Image to Impression with John Ellingson

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Picture1The image selected by Topaz for this discussion reminded me of the images of the late 15th, early 16th Century German artist, Albrecht Dürer. One of Dürer’s favorite subjects were small animals. His famous Young Hare was done when Dürer was a young adolescent (shown left).

This image could be a photograph, but of course it isn’t. I find inspiration in the great art and artists of the past – particularly the expressionists and impressionists. I am fortunate to live near a city where I can go and see many of the originals. I wonder if Monet was creating his work today if he would be working with oils and canvas or would it be Nikons and Apples?

My goal is also to present the subject as I would if I were presenting it with pigments on paper, canvas or board. I realize that this is an apostasy for the photographic purists. But I will point out that I’m working with digital images, not photographs.

A word about my workflow: I depart from the conventional approach in Photoshop and don’t use their powerful layers tool. I like to make originals each time so I only work in one layer. It is simply a personal choice and I’m not advocating it, just noting it.

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The Power of Topaz and Aurora HDR for Mac Users

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See the power of Topaz Products combined with the HDR processing dynamite of Aurora HDR (currently Mac only). Aurora HDR was co-designed by Topaz user, and popular HDR photographer, Trey Ratcliff.  It vastly simplifies the process of merging, enhancing and exporting high quality HDR images. Combined with Topaz tools like Texture Effects or Impression it really is a workflow to take your images to an entirely new level! Below we’ll give you an example of what a sucessful workflow could look like.

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The Art of Selective Masking with ReMask

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Selective masking can be an important tool in creating original digital art.  Black and white photos are very distinctive and can range form the very subtle to the very dramatic, but there are times when a well-placed touch of color can make a photo stand out in the crowd.

I will demonstate just how easy it is to add a a bit of selective color to photos using ReMask 5 . As I discovered the power of ReMask, it has played an invaluable role in my approach to photography. I am not always looking to demonstrate reality in my work and ReMask allows me unlimited creative possibilities. When traveling I am always looking for subjects I can use in the future with ReMask.

I have also used Topaz B&W Effects in this process. When I am looking to convert color to black and white this is simply the best program there is. The host programs I work with are PaintShop Pro and Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud.  For this tutorial I will be using PaintShop Pro.

The photo I have chosen to selectively mask was taken at the Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington Virginia. It was an honor to see the Marine Corps Graduating Class of Embassy Guards in front of this very famous Memorial.

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How to Prepare for Battle with a Photograph (46:01)

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When it comes to photographic post processing, strategy is an absolute must. No one goes to battle without a plan, likewise, no photo should be edited without a strategy in mind. Our featured guest, Blake Rudis, will arm you with the essential strategies to prepare your plan of attack on artistic photo post processing.

Blake is a Photoshop enthusiast with a strong fine art background. From painting in front of the TV with Bob Ross as a child to printmaking and sculpture, he has always had a passion for anything creative. He currently has a thing for HDR photography and you can see more of his images and Photoshop tutorials at EverydayHDR.com.

An Image Sharpening Trick You Must Try (14.35)

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Using Topaz DeNoise to sharpen an image? Now that’s something new to us. A technique he invented, watch as photographer Gabriel Fontes teaches you how to sharpen a high-ISO image without worsening the noise artifacts.

About the presenter: A 17 year old from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Fontes shoots with a Pentax K-3 and variety of lenses. Check out his 500px account here.

Reader’s special: Get $20 off Topaz DeNoise during the month of June with the coupon code junedenoise.

How to create a blurred depth of field

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Distracting elements like tree branches, street signs and cars are often unavoidable and can avert attention from the subject in focus. Typically a shallow depth of field is ideal in this situation. However, depending on the lens and distance from the subject in focus to the object behind it, this effect may not be achievable.

A handy tool to keep in mind is Topaz Lens Effects, which contains a custom depth map that allows you to add in selective bokeh. Bokeh is Japanese for “blur” and is defined by the aesthetic quality of the out of focus lighting. While most commonly noted as “Hollywood” bokeh, or a rounded orb, bokeh can also be classified as the actual out of focus area of light.

To achieve a blurred depth of field, an aperture of f/3-1.2 is ideal. However, if circumstances do not allow this, you can still create a digitally simulated background using the technology in Topaz Lens Effects. Follow this tutorial to learn how.

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Crafting Your Images with Topaz Plugins, presented by John Barclay (45:17)

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John Barclay, pro photographer and workshop leader, demonstrates how he uses the Topaz software in his current creative workflow.

John is an award winning freelance photographer based in Bucks County PA. John is a passionate photographer and enthusiastic workshop leader, leading workshops and tours around the world. Recently, John was invited to join National Geographic Photographers Jonathan Kingston, Dewitt Jones and Rikki Cooke to co-lead the “See the Light Seminar” in Molokai Hawaii.

In addition, John was personally selected by Dewitt to be part of the www.HealingImages.org project and he was the recipient of an excellence award from B&W Magazine.