If you’re avid Adjust user like me, you may sometimes notice that Adjust enhances any existing flaws or artifacts in the image and can also introduce new noise and unwanted artifacts. These side effects can include noise, halos, grain, grittiness, splotchiness and a grungy type of effect. Now, there may be occasions where a gritty, grungy look is what you are going for, but for the most part I think you’ll agree that well-balanced color, detail and exposure (with out the side effects) is most desired. So let’s take a look at a quick workflow so you learn how to take control over your Adjust workflow and get exactly the detail you want.

Now, before we jump into Adjust, keep in mind that one of the most important things you can do is to make sure that you have a clean image before using Adjust. I always use Topaz DeNoise (and DeJPEG when necessary) before making any kind of color or detail adjustments…just to make sure that the image is clean. This is going to make your final results better.

Now, some of you may be thinking: “does the noise tab in Adjust serve as a substitute for Topaz DeNoise?” No, Adjust’s noise tab is not the same as the DeNoise program and does not replace the actual DeNoise program. The noise tool in Adjust is included simply to help remove minor instances of noise caused by enhancements made while using Adjust. The Topaz DeNoise program is specifically designed to eliminate noise, color noise, banding noise, restore black levels and revive detail. So naturally DeNoise is more powerful and better suited for tougher noise jobs. If you do find the need to use the tools in Adjust’s Noise tab then be sure to do this as the last step in your workflow before processing your image. Also be sure that your image preview is 50% or higher.

So onto Adjust! So, one of the most common uses for Adjust is to take a somewhat flat image like below, and give it that WOW factor by making it POP with color and detail.

So, like many users, I am going to get my workflow started by applying a preset. For this example I used the Dramatic preset. And as you can see below, my image is instantly transformed with enhanced color, exposure and detail. It may be hard to notice right now (I’ll zoom closer in a bit), but there is also a harshness (noise and grittiness) in the image which…especially seen in the sky and water. You will also notice that shadow areas are intensified as well.

So there is actually a very quick and easy way to eliminate this harsh effect. Once you’ve finished your adjustments in the exposure tab, go to the detail tab and make any desired adjustments there. At the bottom of the Detail Tab you will notice a checkbox – Process Details Independent of Exposure. By checking this option, you can maintain the color and exposure enhancements in your image, but your image details will be processed separately and this will instantly cleanup harshly affected areas of your image. In addition to improving the appearance of water and skies, using this checkbox can also help minimize halos, grain or noise-like effects, grit and grunge. This is a great way to tone down the effects of stronger presets in the program.

After making adjustments in the Detail tab, move onto the Color tab and make your desired enhancements here. If you still notice additional (smaller patterns) of grain or noise in your image, you can then go to the noise tab and use the sliders here to eliminate it.

Below you can see the final images. This first image is the more harsh one of the two.

This version made use of the Process Details Independent of Exposure checkbox and renders smoother, more appealing results.

So go ahead and give it a try in your Adjust workflow!

If you’re looking to quickly create HDR-like images (without the busywork) then Topaz Adjust may be right for you. So, let’s explore the idea of HDR a little!

If you don’t own Adjust, don’t worry! We offer a 30-day free trial. No credit card info! So, try it for free.

What is HDR?

Have you ever come across an image that was so surreal with it’s perfectly colored, detailed features? Well, that’s HDR in a nutshell. HDR, or High Dynamic Range, captures the full range of luminosity between lights (highlights) and darks (shadows) in a scene. That means that you get a more brilliant and dynamic range of color and detail in your image.

Traditional HDR (processing) is a multi-step process that requires taking a series of images at different exposures, known as bracketing, and combining the multiple exposures during post-processing. This gives you a perfectly exposed image with an attractive balance of highlights, shadows, and details. The downside is that the process of creating HDR can often be tedious and time consuming, not to mention difficult to those that are new to HDR.

How can I quickly create HDR-like Images?

Creating HDR-like images with Adjust simplifies traditional HDR processing by eliminating the excess shooting and processing steps. Topaz Adjust is unique in the fact that it allows you to take a single image and enhance the highlights, shadows, and details in just a few clicks to create a dynamic image. If you are new to HDR processing, Adjust can help you achieve the same look with less work. If you a seasoned pro you might even use Adjust to further enhance your traditionally-processed HDR images for some added WOW!

Check out the images below to see how easy it is to create HDR effects with a single image. The Adjust-Lite image was processed once through Topaz Adjust and features dynamic color and detail. Adjust-Strong was processed twice through Adjust to give it a stronger, bolder, and more detailed HDR-like look. When processing your images, you can apply the effects as strong or as subtle as you’d like.

HDR with Topaz Adjust

Click on the image above to see larger preview
Learn how to create stunning HDR-like image using Topaz Adjust, demonstrated by professional photographer and BetterPhoto.com instructor, Deborah Sandidge. If you don’t own Adjust, don’t worry! We offer a 30-day free trial. No credit card info! So try it for free and then follow this tutorial.

Don’t forget to check out Topaz Labs on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Instagram and see what other users are creating. We also offer free Webinars and have a great Discussion Forum if you’re interested in learning more!

This post was originally posted on March 4, 2011

In our newer updates to Topaz Adjust, Topaz Detail, and Topaz ReMask, we’ve used an plug-in user interface that was rebuilt from the ground up. Hopefully this interface is both easier to use and easier on the eyes than the old one. However there were some kinks that we had to work out:

Some users have experienced a drastic difference between the colors of the previewed image and the result when using the newer versions of Topaz Adjust and Detail. Other users have experienced crashes when using the new Adjust, Detail, or ReMask. We’ve been hard at work solving these issues, and today the patch is ready for download. This should solve both the color management problem and the crashes.

To apply the patch, re-download and re-install the appropriate software at the following link. (Windows users will have to first uninstall their old software using Add/Remove Programs and then install the new version.)

Topaz Downloads

This only affects Topaz Adjust 4, Topaz Detail 2, and Topaz ReMask.

If you still have issues, feel free to post a comment or contact us from our support page. Apologies for any inconvenience caused, and as always thanks for your support!

This post was originally posted on March 15, 2010

If you have a beloved car and a beloved camera, it’s practically your civic duty to use one on the other. So, to do this I waited till dusk, drove (roared) to a decent location, and whipped out my Canon 40D. Then came the Photoshop Car Retouching!

Then I opened up Photoshop and played with it a bit. I tried to keep it natural instead of going too overboard with the retouching.

First thing I want to mention – if you’re shooting car photography, most of the time it looks better if you shoot it on your elbows and knees. Shooting below the car, or some other creative non-everyday angle, will produce a much better photo than just shooting it at standing height. So wear something that you wouldn’t mind getting dirt on, and watch out for ants.

So, I got home and opened up the image in Photoshop in all its low-contrast goodness. The very first thing I did was notice the unsightly blotches that adorned my otherwise beautiful baby – the little nicks, scratches, and grime clumps that show up in many car images. Usually to get rid of these I would use the healing brush, which makes it hard to work around edges and other detail.

However, in this case I had another tool – Topaz Simplify. I actually just duplicated the layer, Simplified it, and masked in the Simplified parts where I would have regularly used the Healing Brush. The advantages to this are that edges and color are preserved while the minor blemishes get removed, unlike when using the Healing Brush.

My next step was to apply this oh so brilliant creative exposure, detail, and color software that I somehow had access to. I’m not going to tell you exactly what settings I used because I always like encouraging people to try using the sliders for themselves.

For this pass of Adjust, I ignored the sky and only focused on what made the car look good.

I tried accentuated the reflections while still keeping the car looking natural. Then I ran Topaz Adjust again, this time focusing on the sky. Afterwards, I masked out everything but the sky by utilizing clever masking techniques brushing on a layer mask.

The only thing left after this is to brighten the chrome horse and headlights, and darken the grill a little bit. Slap a small gradient vignette around the photo, and we get the final result.

And that’s it!

Simple steps:
1. Remove blemishes with Simplify and layer masking
2. Apply a layer of Topaz Adjust on car
3. Apply a layer of Adjust on sky
4. Dodge and burn select parts, add small vignette effect

Oh, and for a finishing touch, I added some Photoshop prowess, millionaire magic, and a dash of delightful dreams.

Just kidding. Hope you enjoyed the tutorial.

Please let me know if you have any specific questions about any of this, because I know I skimmed over how exactly to do a lot of what I described. Just drop me a comment for the full scoop on any questions or comments you may have.

This post was originally posted on July 27, 2009