The 3-Step Flower Enhancement

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It was a warm summer afternoon in Texas when I spotted a row of beautiful sunflowers and decided to snap a few photos including this one:

The 3-Step Flower EnhancementEquipment and settings for this flower image are as follows:

  • Camera: Canon Mark III
  • Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm F/4.0
  • Focal length: 70mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Exposure: 1/640 sec at f/4.0

It wasn’t the most ideal shot as the sun was directly in front of me, however if you find yourself in this sort of situation where the image is underexposed or something doesn’t feel quite right, do not fret! I always have in the back of my mind that I can correct it in Topaz later on. Just remember, it’s better to have an underexposed photo where details can be recovered, than an overexposed one where details are lost and cannot be recovered.

Here’s what I did in Topaz Labs. (Follow along by downloading the original image or use your own!)

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Photography Drawing™ (PhtD) with Topaz B&W Effects

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Guest tutorial by Julia Anna Gospodarou

In this tutorial I will make a demonstration of how I use the Topaz plugins in my Photography Drawing™ (PhtD – in short) workflow and what I consider as the best plugins and features to use when processing a B&W image, a long exposure architectural photograph in my case, so you can get the results I’m getting in my work and that brought me numerous awards and distinctions.

The image I will demonstrate my workflow on is Fluid Time II, from the series Fluid Time which is an image of the Prudence Plaza building, shot in Chicago using a Canon 5D MKIII camera and a Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II tilt-shift lens. The image was shot with 8.5 degrees tilt at 45 degrees rotation of the lens, so to create the characteristic tilt-shift blur on specific portions of the image (upper and lower side of the image, diagonally disposed), and it was realized with the technique of long exposure (121 seconds exposure). To create the long exposure effect I used two stacked ND filters –  10+3 stops in total, the Formatt-Hitech ProStop IRND Joel Tjintjelaar Signature Edition.

Julia Anna Gospodarou_Fluid Time II_2000px_240dpi

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Selective image sharpening with Topaz Detail’s Effect Mask

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Image © Robyn Aber

To obtain a crisp and clear photo, image sharpening in Topaz Detail is an applicable solution as it can emphasize texture, bring out details and add depth to your image. However, image sharpening shouldn’t always be applied globally or to the overall photo. Common areas to be cautious of sharpening include:

  • Skies
  • Water
  • Human Skin
  • An out of focus background (bokeh)
  • Areas with evident high ISO noise
  • Areas of constant/flat color

Masking is a valuable tool as it allows you to pinpoint exactly where you want the sharpening adjustments to be applied. For instance, emphasizing a model’s eyes without sharpening the fine lines in her skin would involve masking.

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Developing a Workflow with Topaz (39:07)

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Join Blake Rudis, creator and host of everydayhdr.com, as he takes you through several workflows that incorporate DeNoise, Detail, Adjust, BW Effects and more. Blake will offer tips on how to simplify the guessing process during a workflow while demonstrating various techniques to add creativity, mood and atmosphere with Topaz software.

Blake is a 3 time self-published author and the founder of EverydayHDR.com & HDRInsider.com. He has recently developed Zone-Edit.com. This site is devoted to his Photoshop post processing technique that utilizes the limitless potential of the Zone System and the power of Photoshop to capitalize on the contrast in any image.

Quick Tip Thursday – Selective Detail Enhancements (11:56)

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Topaz Detail separates an image by detail size, tonal region and color, allowing for precise and powerful detail and sharpening adjustments.  And with the ability to mask in or out detail adjustments, Topaz Detail is the most advanced and powerful detail enhancement program available.  Join Nichole Paschal for a quick and thorough explanation on the several different methods of selectively controlling image details.

Understanding Creative AND Output Sharpening (28:04)

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A sharpening workflow can be broken into several stages: capture sharpening, creative sharpening and output sharpening. Topaz Detail is the best program when you want to apply BOTH creative AND output sharpening during your image processing.  Join Nichole Paschal as she explains and demonstrates a thorough and effective sharpening workflow, focusing in on the creative and output sharpening stages.