Before:

Workflow, Duck, Topaz Labs, Topaz Clarity, Topaz Lens Effects, DeNoise, Barbara Motter

After:

Workflow, Duck, Topaz Labs, Topaz Clarity, Topaz Lens Effects, DeNoise, Barbara Motter© Barbara Motter

If you have a photo that you think isn’t worth salvaging, don’t give up! There’s still hope. This gloomy, underexposed image of a duck was turned into a shimmering piece of art with the following workflow.

The Ugly Duckling Workflow:

1. Open the raw file in a compatible host editor. Photoshop Elements was used for this particular image to correct the exposure and shadows.

2. In Photoshop Elements, crop the image as desired and remove debris and unwanted spots using either the clone stamp or patch tool.

3. Use Topaz DeNoise to eliminate noise caused by high ISO settings in your camera, which will help smooth out the water of artifacts.

4. Open Topaz Clarity and under the Nature Collection select the Hummingbird Wings II preset.

5. While in Clarity, make adjustments in tone levels of the blacks, whites and mid-tones as needed.

6. Open Topaz Lens Effects and apply a Dual Tone filter. For this image, the Region A cast is mostly cyan, while Region B consists of blue with a light amount of magenta.

7. In Lens Effects apply the Filter-Reflector -> Gold Bottom. This will help lighten the image with a hint of golden exposure.

8. To create a mirror image, back in Photoshop Elements flip the image horizontally (Image -> Image Rotation). You can then use the clone tool to blend in the edges; be sure to reduce the opacity of the clone brush to around 75 or lower so that the edges blend in more naturally.

9. Save your work and share it!

Do you have a particular image editing workflow that you like to follow? Submit your tips, workflow ideas, before & afters, and requests to gallery@topazlabs.com!
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