Topaz Labs

  • 0

Topaz Labs

Topaz Labs

Topaz Labs provided us with software for processing our images on our Route 66 Tour.  My hope was to process these images as we went along, however I didn’t realize how little time we would have.  We rushed to finish in 30 days.

As a result we will post images as we process them.  I guess this is truly post processing.  (Oh… the puns will roll.)

Clarity

Topaz provides a suite of plug-ins.  They have names like Clarity, Impression, Glow, etc.  Clarity is basically your color, contrast and value settings.

Here is a before and after using Clarity…

copyright 2017 db walton

Before Topaz Clarity

copyright 2017 db walton

Processed with Topaz Clarity

Topaz Clarity comes with several presets that you can mouse-over to preview the effect.  You can also make your own adjustments and save them as presets.

Detail

The companion to Clarity is Detail.  If you bring out the colors and contrast, you next want to bring out the details.  Detail is Topaz’ sharpening tool.  It does a fantastic job.  Before getting TopazDetail I would hear other professional photographers talk about it and I would think… why can’t you do that in ____ ?

My experience with Topaz Detail thus far has been it is cleaner and leaves fewer digital artifacts and ghosting around the edges.  Here’s an extreme example, yet it is very good.

copyright 2017 db walton

Processed with TopazDetail

copyright 2017 db walton

Before TopazDetail

Glow

Glow is an interesting plug in.  It works on the edges of objects inside the image.  For example, where the sky meets a building would be an edge.  As a result, soft edges, like clouds get an interesting halo effect, while hard edges remain hard and sharp.

copyright 2017 db walton

Glow Applied

While there is banding in the sky, that’s to be expected with an effect like this.  The above image probably wouldn’t score an 80 at IPC because of the banding, but it might be a start for an artistic rendition.

copyright 2017 db walton

Before Topaz Glow

Above is what the out-of-the-camera image looks like.

Conclusion

While I haven’t reviewed every Topaz plugin (and I’m not finished either), they are fun to use.  Just mousing over the presets gives you ideas.

I’m not a big fan of push-a-button results.  Why?  Because anybody can do that, however, using push button plug ins are a good augmentation to your tools  I can easily see using these as part of an artistic workflow.

In addition, I can see using these with prudence to produce stunning results.  Detail and Clarity are two, if used correctly, can bring an image in to amazing color and clarity.  Over use them, however, and you can ruin an image.


  • 1

MO KS OK

MO KS OK

MO KS OK in one day.  We went from Missouri, through the corner of Kansas and ended in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  We covered a lot of miles.

Our stay last night at Enlight Inn.  I had the Hippy Shake for breakfast (because I’m a fan of Tommy James and the Shondels).  Kale and spinach in a shake never tasted this good.  Again, if you find yourself in Joplin, Missouri, you should stay at Enlight Inn.

copyright 2017 db walton

Paul tries out the Virtual Reality at Enlight Inn

copyright 2017 db walton

Owner of Enlight Inn (left) talks with two of her sisters at breakfast.

Driving Along

We’d stop when we would see anything interesting.  This old roadster was almost upstaged by a MG VW kit car, but this obviously is more authentic.

copyright 2017 db walton all rights resersved

Old Roadster

Inspiration for Disney Pixar Cars?

copyright 2017 db walton all rights resersved

Tow Mater

Or, was this the inspiration?

copyright 2017 db walton all rights resersved

Another Tow Mater

copyright 2017 db walton all rights resersved

Even Calls Himself Tow Mater

And, I can spot a Corvair for miles around.  Here is a coupe…

copyright 2017 db walton all rights resersved

ANOTHER CORVAIR

 

Blue Whale

We found the Blue Whale just before it got to dark.  What a cool creation.  This guy made it out of concrete.  It was originally a water park.

This iconic concrete whale is a landmark people think of when they hear Route 66.  It has an upper deck inside for viewing out the multiple blow holes.

copyright 2017 db walton all rights resersved

The Blue Whale

copyright 2017 db walton all rights resersved

The Blue Whale

Photo Shoot

We’re driving through Joplin, Missouri, this morning and we see a photographer with a light stand and flash.  We stopped.  It was so cool.

He was using MoLights!!!  He said he just bought one from Michael Mowbray.  I asked if he’d like to try the MoBD.  So, we got it out and set it up and had a fun time photographing his model.

Danny let us use his flash with our MoBD.  We brought our own transmitters (I used my TT350 MoLight) and Rachel posed for us.

copyright 2017 db walton all rights reserved

Rachel, Paul and Danny

copyright 2017 db walton all rights reserved

Me, Paul and Danny

copyright 2017 db walton all rights reserved

Me, Rachel and Paul

copyright 2017 db walton all rights reserved

Rachel and the Jimmy Johns Guy

copyright 2017 db walton all rights reserved

Using the MoBD

copyright 2017 db walton all rights reserved

Danny and Paul Shoot Away

Great Mexican Food

Mi Toritos in Galena, Kansas, smelled so good.  I told Paul, there’s a taco in there with my name on it.  So, I went in and ordered a chimichunga.  Paul came in and ordered the same thing.  We had a great talk with the guy running the place – Rafael.

copyright 2017 db walton

Mi Toritos

Tulsa, Oklahoma

A special thank you today to Fairfield Inn in Tulsa for putting up… I mean putting us up tonight.  Our room is clean, neat and roomy.

Other Mentions

A special Thank You to MoLight and owner Michael Mowbray for the MoBD.  Our surprise impromptu photo session with the MoBD went great.

Thank you to ACDsee, Anthropics, Alien Skin, Topaz Labs and On1 Software.  Without your products, our pictures would be bland.  (And, I wish we had more time for post processing, but we will after we get off the road.)

Thank you to Bay Photo Labs.  We told Danny all about you today, as well as a photographer we met from Santa Cruz.   (I think he was impressed that two guys from New York had contacts at Bay Photo Labs.)

 

 


  • 0

19 Days

19 Days

It is hard to believe, but it is only 19 days until we embark on Route 66.  Time passes quickly.  Most of all, we are excited!

Advertisers

A special thanks to our advertisers (aka sponsors):  presented in alphabetical order

  • Exclusive sponsors
    • Bay Photo Labs – our official photo lab!
    • Republic Wireless – our official provider of voice and data services!
  • Non-exclusive sponsors
    • ACDSee Software – Image processing software.
    • Alien Skin Software – Image processing software.
    • Anthropics – makers of PortraitPro, PortraitBodyPro, LandscapePro and SmartEditor
    • Fine Art by DB – Fine art prints for your home, office and business.
    • MoLight – Photographic lighting solutions
    • Nataliacha Doodley Do – Whimsical graphic arts (our logo was designed by Nataliacha Doodley Do)
    • On1 Software – Image processing software.
    • Topaz Labs – Image processing software.
    • Warner 5 Color – Pad printing.

Not Too Late

It is not to late to jump on the advertising bandwagon.   The last to join was Warner 5 Color.  They print on most anything.  In addition, they can even print on unusually shaped objects.

I shipped Warner 5 Color a few dozen hand mirrors and provided my logo and graphics for the back of the mirror.  They are strictly printers.  Therefore you provide the product to be printed on, and they do the printing.

copyright 2017 db walton - 19 days

Front of the Mirrors

copyright 2017 db walton - 19 days

Back of the Mirrors

After searching all over for something to provide them, I found these small hand mirrors.  Most noteworthy, they suggested I provide something for the mirror surface too!

These are the proof photos they emailed.  I can’t wait for them to arrive.  Furthermore we will be handing these out as a “thank you” to select people along Route 66.


  • 0

53 Days

53 Days

Only 53 days until Paul and I hit the road.  Things are coming together rapidly.  It is our advertisers who will help make this trip a success.

Advertising

After receiving a letter from a restaurant regarding “sponsorship”, I realized some people didn’t grow up in the era when you’d hear on the radio, “This show is sponsored by Brylcream.  Just a little dab’ll do you.”  Sponsorship is another way to connote advertising.

But, since it is coming across that we’re asking for charity, from now on we’ll talk about advertising, and not sponsoring.  My apologies for the confusion it may have created.

Live Advertisements

These are  live advertisements.  You can either let me or Paul wing it, or you can supply us with ad copy that we’ll read in our videos or reprint in our blog.  Here’s an example of how we might advertise one of our “sponsors” (aka advertisers):

“Here’s a great picture Paul took of a local diner.  Paul has processed it using Topaz Lab’s Simplify.  Topaz Simplify allows you, the photographer…”

I think you get the idea.

Advertise Anywhere

You don’t have to be on Route 66 to advertise with us.  Your business can be anywhere.  We will pick up a wide viewer audience geographically.  As a result, if you are looking for customers nationwide or worldwide, this is a great opportunity.

copyright 2017 db walton

Rusty Old Car Along Route 66

Don’t Wait

Don’t wait too long to decide.  Our days are limited and we can only advertise a finite number of businesses and products.