Jumpstart Creativity with the “I Feel Lucky” Button

Do you ever just stare at an image and think to yourself “Geez, I don’t even know what I want to do with this”? Topaz Adjust has a great little feature to help you jumpstart the creative process of post-processing. It’s called the “I Feel Lucky” button!

I Feel Lucky Button_markedLocated next to the APPLY button in the bottom right of your Settings & Parameters window, this die icon button will randomly move the sliders to create a new effect each time you click it. This can be a fun way to see which direction you might want to take your photos in.

Here is an example of a photo I took with my cell phone while leaving class one day. I loved the way the sunlight was streaming down and illuminating some objects while leaving others darkened. It reminded me of good triumphing over evil, in my case the light at the end of the tunnel of a long semester of hard work. Click on the images below to see an enlarged image of the original and the edited version.  Then read on to see how I got there.

Before-After Comparison

I opened this photo in Adjust from Photoshop and proceeded to click the “I Feel Lucky” button several times. Each time I saw an effect I might like to work from, I took a screenshot with the Global Adjustments tab settings open for future reference. This would allow me to look back at the original settings at any time. Within no time I had captured screenshots of 12 different randomly selected creative directions.

12 Random “I Feel Lucky” Edits from Topaz Adjust

NOTE: You can also find an “I Feel Lucky” button when you are in the presets grid view, next to the Keywords search box. This will generate 12 random presets displayed in a grid, but I found clicking the button in the main interface much more satisfying. 🙂

Grid UI Screenshot_marked

I Feel Lucky Dice Screenshot from Presets_marked

Of the randomly generated options I chose one that had an illustrative style and saturated sky.
Adjust Random_SCAD Sculpture Lab 09

It may look like too drastic a change from the original, but it gave me a place to start in my creative process and showed me the possibilities. I knew I wanted to enhance the saturation in the sky without losing the emphasis of the warm light beaming down onto the roofed area and without the dramatic shift in color tones. I decreased the Saturation, Saturation Boost and the Brightness in addition to a few other minor tweaks in the Global Adjustments panel.

Global Adjustments ChangesI also wanted to minimize the brightness and detail of the foreground so that the focus would remain on the sun’s illumination of the roofed structure. Using the Brush Out function on the Local Adjustments tab with relatively low Opacity and Hardness I created a mask in the lower left corner. By masking out the effect in this area I was able to control the direction the eye might be drawn to.  You can see the faint mask in the screenshot below.

Local Adjustments ChangesTo ensure that my effects weren’t too over the top I reduced the Transparency slider in the Finishing Touches panel to .35 before applying the changes and going back into Photoshop.

Finishing Touches screenshotSubtlety can be the key for impactful images. Beyond the Transparency slider and masking capabilities available within Adjust you can also use Photoshop blend modes for even more control. Once back in Photoshop I duplicated my Adjust layer and used the Multiply blend mode at 40% opacity to build on my effect even further.

PSD Layers Screenshot

The next time you feel stuck in a creative rut or just want to explore the possibilities available, try the “I Feel Lucky” button in Topaz Adjust.

Download the free trial for 30-days. For a limited time, until July 31st,  you can buy the program for only $29.99 using the code JULYADJUST.

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