The Skiy is on Fire by Jim Harris

Welcome to another post from our Topaz series, Behind the Lens! Today we’ll be learning more about photographer Jim Harris. Learn how Jim got started and learn about timed exposure, hear about creative challenges, and see a gallery of breathtaking images! Read more of Behind the Lens with Jim Harris…

Behind the Lens with Jim Harris

Under the Creative Influence

I come from a family of talented artists. My Mother dabbled in painting but my Uncle, Marty Gunsaullus, was one of my earliest and main influences. He has made his living as an artist in Los Angeles his entire life. Marty is mainly a painter but he did do a lot with black and white film photography back in his early days. That truly inspired me.

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As you’re taking time to reflect upon all your accomplishments this past year and looking forward to what you will accomplish next year, let’s take some time to reflect on the best of DeNoise. It’s been a great year for DeNoise! It saw a major update as well as many added features and bug fixes. If you would like to learn more about the update, read here! Noise due to high ISO, is frustrating! This program makes correcting the issue easy. If you have yet to update your DeNoise, you can update it here!

Now, let’s reflect on some of the best of DeNoise!

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If you’ve ever used Topaz DeNoise for high ISO noise reduction you might have noticed a posterized effect occur on certain images. Often this posterization isn’t evident until you increase the auto-brightness, where you then see the unnatural swerving of tone gradation going this way and that.

Baffled by this effect, like a scientist I sought to figure out how to get rid of it, mixing the sliders up every which way until…eureka! To get rid of posterization all you have to do is increase the ‘Add Grain’ slider and bam! Posterization depleted.

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 9.52.19 AMPosterization
Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 9.52.34 AMGrain added – No posterization

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Article by Guest Blogger Joel Tjintjelaar

TOPAZ DENOISE, THE PERFECT PLUGIN FOR GETTING RID OF NOISE FOR LONG EXPOSURE ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPHY.

As a black and white photographer specialized in architectural, black and white and long exposure photography, I frequently run into noise issues when taking long exposure photographs. Especially in low light conditions and longer exposures, chances of having noise in your photographs are very likely.

There are several plugins available to get rid of the noise but I’m very picky to what I choose as a tool. Getting rid of the noise is one thing, but retaining all the details, especially in architecture, is another thing. You don’t want to lose all the details, just the noise. And that’s exactly where some plugins are better than others. I need a good balance between reduction of unwanted noise on one hand and retention of details on the other hand. And preferably I need a lot of control so that I can accurately target a specific kind of noise in my image without affecting the rest of the image. For an architectural photographer this balance is essential. I’ve tried many plugins but the last few years I prefer to use Topaz DeNoise as it gives me very good results.

Of course the best thing is to avoid noise, something I succeed in, in the last few years, but it can’t always be avoided. And sometimes I like to add a bit of noise, in especially skies, to get that analog look.

Let’s have a look at a few examples.

Example 1: Visual Acoustics XI – Silence and Light – Pantheon – Rome

Final Photo
Visual-Acoustics-XI---Silence-and-Light---Pantheon---Rome40inch_1500px

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GUIDE (1)Sure, you can apply a preset or photo effect to your entire image, but why would you want to do that? There are certain instances when applying an effect globally will only hurt the image rather than make it better.

For instance, you wouldn’t want to apply a blemish removal filter found in Topaz Clean to the entire image. If you own a copy of Photoshop, there is a valuable tool you must start using now if you haven’t already. This feature is called layer masks.

In his book, The Digital Photographer’s New Guide to Photoshop Plug-Ins, author Scott Stulberg refers to layer masks as the “best kept secret in Photoshop.” By using layer masks with plugins, you are granted more control in the editing process as you can selectively apply adjustments to your image, while leaving other areas untouched.

So are you ready to have complete control in your editing workflow? Whether new or experienced with layer masks, read on for some tricks on how to use layer masking with plugins.

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