You know how I love the Topaz suite of plug-ins. Topaz Adjust is my go-to plug-in for making my images pop, and Topaz DeNoise does an excellent job of getting rid of those ugly pixels from low-light images. Just recently I added Topaz Black & White effects to my toolbox, and I love the wide choice of presets and sliders that give the user total control of the resulting image.
So when I got the latest email from Topaz announcing a major upgrade to their Lens Effects plug-in, I jumped at it. I did not have this plug-in already, but through a special offer that’s good from now through Christmas Eve, I was able to purchase it new at the upgrade prices of $29.99.
The main reason I wanted to have this particular tool was to try my hand at the effect known as tilt/shift. I don’t have a tilt/shift lens in my gear collection, but this plug-in does a pretty decent job of mimicking the effect through some judicious blurring of parts of the image.
If you’re not familiar with tilt/shift, the effect is meant to take an image from the real world and make it look like it’s a toy or a model. Ideally, the image is shot from an overhead vantage point (visualize looking down at a model train on a table). The idea is to have some small part of the image be in sharp focus while the rest of the image is blurred, making it look like a small toy model of what it really is.
Here’s my first attempt at the tilt/shift effect, using Topaz Lens Effects. This photo was made in Jerome, Arizona, from the balcony of the Grand Hotel looking down upon the town in the early morning sunrise. This is the original unedited version:
Unedited original image - Jerome, Arizona
Now here is the edited version, using the tilt/shift preset in Topaz Lens Effects:
Edited with Tilt/Shift preset in Topaz Lens Effects
Notice how the pickup truck in the middle of the image begins to look like a toy model with the blurred foreground and background? Pretty cool, huh?
I can’t wait to try out some more images using this effect, as well as the other presets that are included with this plug-in! If you’re interested in trying it for yourself, here’s the link to the Topaz product page, and be sure to use the coupon code “simplefocus” that’s good through 12/24/2011. (And no, I’m not affiliated with Topaz and don’t get a cut!)
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