Happy Veteran’s Day! Thank you to all who have served or are serving in the United States Armed Forces!
If you’ve ever experimented with adding textures to your photos in post processing, you know that it can be a fairly time consuming experiment. In the past, I’ve always used Photoshop and had to add several layers to an image to get all of the effects that I wanted. I’ve even added several layers just of different textures and then clicked the little “eye” icon on or off to see how each one would look on the actual image (not to mention scrolling through the blending modes). I do have a software program that has some texture pre-sets, but any time they update their software (which is usually at least once a year), they want you to purchase it all over again to get the updates. As of today, Topaz Labs has introduced a brand new product to their outstanding line-up of photo post processing software: Topaz Texture Effects! Now you can preview a bunch of different effects applied to your image simply by scrolling over with a mouse, then making a selection with a single click! And any time Topaz updates their software, you get those updates free of charge 🙂
Topaz Texture Effects allows users to create a variety of textured, toned, and lighting effects in a fraction of the time it takes in Photoshop or other editing software. The program includes a library of over 150 expertly crafted presets, 275+ high-resolution textures and effects, and instant access to effects other Topaz users have shared with the new Topaz Community.
Check out these before and after images made with a single click:
From soft and subtle lighting effects:
… to high impact grunge and contrast:
… turn a good photo into an amazing image with just a single click!
If you want to tweak one of the 150 presets that come with the software, you can do any part of it easily. The program comes with 275+ high-resolution (5000x5000px) image textures, light leaks, dust and scratches, borders, color overlays, etc and you can edit any of them by clicking the black circle with horizontal lines icon – or start your own from scratch.
You can also upload other textures that you may have downloaded elsewhere or created from scratch yourself and use it within the software.
You can even add masks and do basic image edits.
Topaz Texture Effects can be used as a stand alone program or as a plug-in to other software programs.
Photoshop CS4+, Photoshop CC, Photoshop Elements 6+,
Paintshop Pro X, Serif PhotoPlus X5+, Lightroom
*Not compatible with Fusion Express
Mac OSX 10.8+
Windows 7/8/10 x 64bit + OpenGL 3.2
*Does not support Windows 32bit
Topaz Texture Effects will retail for $69.99, however you can purchase for only $49.99 ($20 off) off until November 20 by using this coupon code: TEXTUREFX
As always, they offer a 30 day free trial on all of their software products.
You’re welcome 😉
There’s more to making a “pretty picture” than just composing the shot and getting your aperture, shutter speed, exposure and focus just right. Photo editing in post processing is a completely different and important skill in and of itself. It can be time consuming, turn a “meh” shot into a “wow!” shot and can be a ton of fun. And since I shoot in RAW, post processing is a necessity. Here’s just one recent example of how changing the color scheme of a shot from the North Shore of Lake Superior in northeastern Minnesota gives it a whole new look and feel:
Straight Out of the Camera
This is what it looked like straight out of the camera with no editing at all. I took this shot just before 9 am in mid-September, so the light wasn’t horrible but was starting to get a little harsh. It was a 13 second exposure using a polarizer and a 9 stop ND filter.
A Variety of Photo Edits
Just basic edits to bump up the shadows and add a touch of clarity & vibrance, then a bit of split toning to warm up the rocks and brighten the blues in the sky and water.
Topaz Labs has some of my favorite plug-ins to stimulate new ideas and ReStyle has some pretty crazy options to choose from! I like the way you can create different moods just by changing the color, tone, or contrast of the image, which can make it look like you were there at a different time of day or night. Some look realistic and some are way out there. Here are just two examples:
Nik Collection Color Efex Pro 4
Nik has some interesting plug-ins as well. For landscapes, I like the cool / warm grad filters in Color Efex Pro. I think this is my favorite edit of the bunch for this particular image!
Nik Collection Silver Efex Pro 2
If I’m in a hurry and want to convert a shot to black and white, Silver Efex Pro is my starting point! You’d be surprised at how many different options there are just in black and white! Otherwise, there’s always curves and channels in Photoshop where I can dial it in EXACTLY the way I want it – if I take the time.
As you can see, the exact same image can take on a completely different mood just by doing basic edits. Some of the third party filter plug-ins can make it very easy to experiment, which sometimes gives me ideas that I wouldn’t necessarily have thought of otherwise. In addition to color scheme changes, there are endless other options as well, such as adding textures (OnOne has some good textures that can be used in Perfect Effects), painterly effects (Topaz Impression is awesome), double exposures, or more extreme edits in Photoshop. Although I don’t usually rely on plug-ins (I like to treat each image as a stand alone subject), it’s fun to try new things!
How do you do your photo editing? Which of these edits do you like best?