November is my birthday month, as many Facebook friends have just acknowledged – and November’s gemstone is Topaz, which just happens to also be a great collection of plug-ins for processing your images. I use Topaz products regularly in my workflow. I just received word that the folks over at Topaz have just added a gallery of my images using their plug-ins. Thank you, Topaz!
Many of you know that I use and love Nik’s products daily. Yet each plug-in application out there offers something a little different, and as a visual artist, I’m interested in how each of them can add to my process of creating artistic results to my photographs. So today, I played around with Topaz Adjust on this image that I made while in Silverton, Colorado last month.
I started by thinking about how I felt about the subject. When I was there, I was struck by the many layers of paint were laid down on this ole’ truck over its lifetime, indicating a long life and perhaps different owners. I wanted to bring that out. I also liked the texture of the rust, the stage of decay it was in as I felt that told the story of being abandoned, left to rust through. I wanted to bring that out too. And finally, I was drawn to the neat colors in the paint layers and how they worked together. By adjusting exposure, brightness, details, contrast and saturation in Topaz Adjust, I was able to bring this out to my satisfaction.
You can see the original image below – only the crop and spotting were duplicated between them before processing.
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Listened to your NIK Software presentation last night on HDR and I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your presentation style.
I fall into the category of being a advanced amateur and now learning to to enjoy the post-processing aspect. I have found that Photoshop presents a steep learning curve and I like the approach that NIK and others have taken with the simplicity of their plug-ins.
Like John I tend to ‘over cook’, but with your presentation yesterday, I plan to revisit some of my photographs and ‘re tweak’ where needed.
I also wanted to comment on how much I enjoy your style and work.
Thanks, Marshall! Appreciate your comments very much. I too was over-cooking in the beginning of using HDR, but found that I really want many of my images to be ‘real’ yet with a little extra something in there. Thank you for attending the seminar. Each of us presenters brings something different to the topic, in terms of our approach and in terms of our vision. So listening to them all (I have too!) is a great resource. have a great day!
Topaz Labs has a policy of no personal contact with its customers. They do not list a phone number on their website, and if you email them with a technical problem they get back to you in their own good time. If it’s an immediate problem, you’re just out of luck. I lost hours of work on an image because the Topaz plugin I was using froze my whole Photoshop session and there was no way to contact Topaz except by email, which I did, and never got a response. When I talked to a Topaz rep at the Photo Expo in NYC last week about this issue he just turned away from me and ignored me while he talked to another attendee. Customer relations are NOT at the top of their priorities.
Sorry to hear you had problems, Hasi. I have not experienced that so I can’t relate but I can emphathize with your feelings if that had happened to me from any company.
Hello brenda 🙂 ive emailed you before but i was on your website and i couldnt find how to email the proper way so i found this and i was wondering since im still working on my project about you for my photography class if i could ask you some questions about your work and what have the struggles/success you have had along the way ? ok if you could reply asap that would be helpful thank you soo much
sincerly, Lyndsie !
I just emailed you offline so you can post questions to me there, Lyndsie. Thanks for persisting to get to me and the website contact link should be working fine now…
Yet another great photo! You have such a marvelous refined eye when it comes to enhancing images. I have the Topaz bundle – Adjust and DeNoise are becoming my tools of choice so far – but I still tend to “overcook” images that I enhance. Your examples show what a little tweaking can do to take a flat image and make it pop.
Do you start with any of the Topaz presets or just with the base image and work from there? I’m finding myself using the default preset a lot and then making changes from that point.
Thank you for the comments! It’s pretty typical of me, not to overcook things – even in the kitchen, lol! I find myself moving the slider to extremes and then backing off, back and forth sometimes, as a way of judging how much adjustment to just about anything I do, until it just ‘feels’ right to me.
I start with default usually, although I do like certain presets – but even then I’ll modify those, to my taste.