The guys and girls over at Topaz are producing some amazing software for photographers and I wanted to share some of it with you here. They have been more than generous enough to offer all of my readers a BIG 15% discount on all of their products. Simply use the coupon code LukeZemePhotography
I use many of Topaz’s products but I have to say Topaz Adjust is awesome ! I use it on a lot of images as a part of my HDR process. Essentially, it’s a simple and easy to use filter program that you can apply to your images in Photoshop but there is also a standalone version. I recommend that you get the Full Photoshop Bundle ! as it has all of their products bundled into one neat package. I only recommend products which I know and trust and without a doubt these are amazing and essential to my workflow. What a filter does is takes the data from your image and then manipulates it and then you have control of making many adjustments to these elements. Topaz Adjust is set up so that once you’ve selected a filter you are then able to adjust elements of it using sliders, which appear up and down a column in the right hand side. You can see in the upper right hand corner a thumbnail of what your image was initially before you applied your filter. Also on the left hand side is a bunch of over 100 preset filters which are amazing ! If ever I want to give a bit of extra punch to an image when things just aren’t working, I come here to Topaz Adjust .
Is applying Filters to your images cheating ? God no ! is my response to that question… Artists have been adjusting imagery for centuries and I see this era as just another evolutionary step in that process. Topaz Adjust 5 takes what you already have and gives it that WOW factor. You still have to go out and do all the hard work in the field (finding the right location, lighting and composition) but adjust helps you to achieve a vision or spark creativity.
Here is an example showing in Large format the before and after effect of applying a Topaz Adjust Filter to one of your images
The great thing about using Filters in Photoshop is that you can apply the Filter to a copy of your image and then mask in the parts you like and throw away the rest ! If you dont know how to make a copy simply go down to the layers list on the bottom right, left click on the layer you want to copy and hit “Ctrl + J” and a copy will appear in the layers tab. Then you can select that layer and apply your Topaz Filter to it ! Wahlah ! Magic !
Here I am showing how I only wanted parts of the Topaz Filter, and I’ve brought up the mask (using the “” key when on the mask) and it is highlighted in red. Only taking parts of the filters is a very important part of HDR photography and becomes a part of how you use your own personal creativity.
The images I’ve shown you so far have been applied to my bracket HDR images which I have already combined using Photomatix. They would have been from a series of 5 or 7 bracketed images which go through a process of tonemapping and is a very important part of a HDR workflow. BUT the great thing about Topaz Adjust is that you can use it on a single image to give HDR like results as inside the filter there are a bunch of HDR presets ! Fantastic for those times you weren’t able to shoot of a bracket of HDR images but you want the image to have a HDR look.
The way to use the presets is easy !!! There are a bunch of them on the left hand side and clicking on one will yield you the results in a large version in the centre of the plugin screen. The option comes up almost immediately ! which is great because I hate waiting on computers and I don’t hate many things at all haha. Using the sliders on the right hand slide will make micro-adjustments within the selected preset and I highly recommend you playing with these. If you find you have come to a point where its not working and looking uglier and uglier simply click reset all ! and you can begin again 😉 There is even a built in Noise reduction tool ! on the slider column which is a very powerful tool in its own right.
So use my coupon code “LukeZemePhotography” to get a BIG 15% discount on all of their products !
I just wanted to finish by saying I’m under no control to say anything from Topaz and all these words and thoughts are my own. I’ve just found something great and wanted to share it with you all. If you have any questions or want to say thanks leave a message below.
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