A few weeks ago I purchased the bundle of Topaz products, including Topaz Adjust. Since then I’ve been constantly amazed at what this software can do for a bland, single-image exposure.
Here’s an example of a shot that I took while visiting at my parents’ house last week. The skies were overcast and gray, so I didn’t have much natural light to work with. I was shooting hand-held, and my kit lens is not all that fast, so I had to bump up the ISO setting to get a fast-enough shutter speed to overcome my shaky grip. Click the images to view them larger:
I’m not sure what kind of plant this is, I just found it in the woods behind the house. I liked the image of the green plant still stubbornly hanging on while everything else was turning brown and dying, but I felt like the shot could be more dramatic if I could recover some of the color and detail that was lost in the soft lighting from the overcast day. I ran this shot through Topaz Adjust and Topaz DeNoise, with a little post-processing in Paintshop Pro X3 to enhance the edges, and look how it turned out:
Neither of the shots is exactly what my eye saw that day, so I’m not even going to debate which one is more realistic. I just know that I like the second one much better, and that is what my photography is all about–producing images that I enjoy viewing and sharing.
Here’s another example of a Topaz before-and after.
I revisited some of my shots from West Fork tonight, to see what I could do with some of the single images in Topaz Adjust. Here are the results (I really should remember to make notes of the presets and sliders that I used).
Be sure to click on the image to view large on black:
However, this next one just cried out to be processed as an HDR, with the shadowy details of the rock wall and the sunny highlights of the gold leaves. I just couldn’t resist running the bracketed series through Photomatix to produce this:
Next stop with the Nikon will be back in North Mississippi as I travel home for Thanksgiving. Hoping to get some great shots while I’m there, and also hoping I can get through airport security without being forced to baggage-check my gear. Have a great holiday everyone!
I only processed one image tonight, but I’m extremely happy with how it came out. Click on the small version below to view it larger in the lightbox:
This is an HDR created from three bracketed photos in Photomatix V4. Amazingly, I can find no obvious ghosting in this image, even though it was a breezy that day. This shot was taken deep in the canyon, which offered some protection from the wind….plus, I think I just got darned lucky.
After merging the photos and tonemapping them in Photmatix, I adjusted the image using the Curves tool in Paintshop Pro X3, and then bumped up the saturation and sharpened it slightly (Overlay).
I love this shot….it’s so peaceful and serene, and totally Zen.