A Quick Look at Topaz Impression
Software covered: Impression Difficulty level: Beginner
Find out more details on Topaz Impression here: Introducing Topaz Impression
I have used many Painting Filters in Photoshop. I have also used many paint filter programs. There was always something I did not like about them though. I could always tell a Filter was applied to get the look. If I looked closely I could see repeating patterns and shapes that made up the image. It looked fake.
I used to be a painter, I haven’t picked up a brush in nearly 4 years (and I miss it) but I painted for a long period in my life. One year I painted nearly 65 paintings while I was going through a Color Theory, Composition, and abstraction experiment. I know quite a bit about paint application, color blending, and brush techniques. Knowing all of this it is hard to pull one over on me with a ‘Paint Filter’. Even if you print it on canvas I can pick up on it almost instantly.
However, Topaz Labs has just announced their newest software addition, Topaz Impression. When I first talked to Darcy of Topaz about this she mentioned a new Paint Filter program. My immediate reaction was… great another paint filter program… She allowed me to look at the betas over the last month and within my first taste of the program I was hooked!
Fine Art Nature Photography by Tony Sweet
Software covered: Adjust, BW Effects, Clarity, Simplify Difficulty level: Beginner
Tony Sweet’s inspiring session on how he uses Topaz plug-ins in his fine art nature photography workflow.
Tony is a highly-recognized professional nature photographer whose work has been published worldwide in every medium. Tony is a Nikon Legend Behind the Lens, lecturer, co-owner/operator of the Visual Artistry Workshop Series and is represented by Getty Images. He is also the author of 5 books in his Fine Art Photography Series and co-producer of 5 instructional DVDs.
Workflow Tips from the Pros on Topaz Adjust
Software covered: Adjust Difficulty level: Beginner
Containing powerful exposure technology, Topaz Adjust is a tool that helps to add depth, dimension, and color to your image, revealing details you might have never known existed. By adjusting the adaptive exposure and regions sliders, you can bring out tonalities in your photo that may have been dulled out from the camera’s initial exposure.
With Adjust you can also create HDR-like looks that make your image pop. Or, if you prefer, subtle edits may be conducted by keeping the adjustments on the light side and using the available transparency and brush out tools.
We’ve compiled a list of tips & tricks for Adjust from several professional photographers. Also, be sure to check out the downloadable preset package to the right, containing several new, custom created effects that can be imported into the program.
If you don’t own Adjust, don’t worry! We offer a 30-day free trial. No credit card info! So, try it before your buy.
Create a Retro Effect with Topaz Adjust
Software covered: Adjust Difficulty level: Beginner
In this tutorial I will show you a useful workflow for creating a retro looking image. We’ll start with the following procedure:
- Apply one-click, darkroom inspired effects to the image at reduced transparencies.
- Use the Tone module within Adjust to create a new & unique, retro look.
So follow along and find out how you can achieve a stylized effect using Topaz Adjust!
The Perfect Custom Preset with Topaz ReStyle
Software covered: ReStyle Difficulty level: Beginner, Intermediate
Blake Rudis is a 3 time self-published author and the founder of EverydayHDR.com & HDRInsider.com. He has also 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.
There are many times when toning a photo can make it pop off the page, give it a unique feeling, or just clean it up a bit. There are several ways you can tone a photograph and there are even more tones that you can apply to the photo. Just take a stroll through ReStyle, there are thousands of tones, but which one is right? Is there a correct tone for a photo?
I would like to think that there is based on the concepts of Color Theory. In a nutshell, in painting, if you mix a vibrant color with a little bit of its complement you will subdue its affect in the composition to create a more harmonious piece. The same is true in photography.
When I tone an image I like to look at the image and see what the predominant color is. I then apply colors with Curves Adjustments that are opposite of the predominant color on the Color Wheel.
The image below is predominantly Blue. I would look at the color wheel and see what this color blue’s complement is. I would use either Yellows or Oranges to boost the tone in the photograph.
With Topaz ReStyle and a couple of Photoshop tricks, we can use this principle to make compelling compositions.
***Be sure to download the action as well as view the video tutorial***
Transform Your Photo into a Surreal Work of Art
Software covered: Clarity, Clean, Lens Effects, ReMask Difficulty level: Beginner, Intermediate
In this tutorial I will demonstrate how to extract a subject (in this case a tree) from its background using the Color Range brushes in Topaz ReMask.
We’ll then apply selective adjustments by bringing out the tonalities & exposure in the tree using Topaz Clarity, followed by enhancing the tree’s edge texture using Topaz Clean.
To finalize the image, we’ll bring the background into Topaz Lens Effects to create an abstract, dreamy background.
So if you’re tired of your same ole editing workflow and looking to try something new, download the image to the right (or use your own) and follow along!
Don’t own the plugins used in this tutorial? Download a free 30-day trial here.
Creative Sky Replacement with ReMask
Software covered: Clarity, ReMask Difficulty level: Beginner
The conditions of outdoor lighting and nature can be sporadic. Mother Nature may not always grant you the most ideal weather when on a photo shoot; a flat, cloudless sky reflecting nothingness into the water beneath it may not be something you want to put in your portfolio or share to Facebook & Instagram (as compared to a magnificent painter’s sunset). Enter sky replacement with Topaz ReMask!
Knowing when the sky will be a beaut isn’t always easy to detect. Usually post-storm or pre-storm skies can produce interesting lighting as the sun sets, however there is no particular device (to my knowledge) that tells you when the sky will be brilliantly filled with vibrant colors.
Luckily, you can use masking tools, like Topaz ReMask, to replace a boring sky with a more interesting one!
Topaz user Gary Lamott has shared his method for replacing an average sky & water reflection using ReMask, Clarity and PaintShop Pro. So follow along and learn how to transform a plain sky into something worth displaying on your wall! (download example image to the right – photo for personal use only please.)
The 3-Step Flower Enhancement
Software covered: Clarity, Detail, ReStyle Difficulty level: Beginner
Spring is a time of new life as everything becomes green again. There isn’t a more perfect time to practice macro photography and absorb all the new life that is quickly growing around you. Topaz Labs advanced technology can help you emphasize the intricate details, bring out color, and remove distracting background subjects in all your springtime images. This tutorial uses Clarity, Restyle, and Detail. If you don’t already own these 3 Topaz products, download a free 30-day trial!
About the Image
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:
Here are the equipment and settings for this flower:
- 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 a friendly 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.
Before we get started, if you noticed that there is a distracting element in your photograph, check out this tutorial, Enhancing Macro Photography, on how to remove it, then head back here to enhance your flower image! If you wish to follow along, you can download the original image or use your own!
Photography Drawing™ (PhtD) with Topaz B&W Effects
Software covered: BW Effects, Clarity, DeNoise, Detail, ReMask Difficulty level: Beginner, Intermediate
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.
Selective image sharpening with Topaz Detail’s Effect Mask
Software covered: Detail Difficulty level: Intermediate
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:
- 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.