Topaz DeNoise 6 Update

Just a quick note to let you know there is a new update to Topaz DeNoise photo editing software available Thursday, Feb 25 and it’s got some great new features!

Fence Before & After DeNoise

Fence Before & After DeNoise

Topaz DeNoise 6

Specializing in extremely noisy high ISO images, DeNoise removes distracting image noise while preserving image detail, giving you the image you wanted without the noise you don’t. Major features introduced in Topaz DeNoise 6 include:

• Standalone Application – DeNoise 6 now works as a standalone product and doesn’t require a host editor to work. Although it can still be used as a plugin through Photoshop, Lightroom, and other supported host programs.
• Camera Specific Presets – DeNoise 6 introduces dozens of presets based on various camera profiles, with multiple ISO presets for each camera.
• Batch Processing (in standalone mode only) – DeNoise 6 introduces batch processing, allowing you to process a whole folder of images at once. That means no more need for Photoshop actions or Lightroom Presets! Note that batch processing is only available in the standalone version, not the plugin version.
• Support for High DPI (4k) monitors in Windows 7/8/10

Bottles Before & After DeNoise

Bottles Before & After DeNoise

With Topaz DeNoise 6, you can shoot anywhere in any light and still get crisp, clear and noise-free images 🙂

As always, those who already own Topaz DeNoise can get this brand new update for FREE!

If you’d like to get Topaz DeNoise 6, it will be on sale for only $49.99 (regularly $79.99) from February 25th – March 20th with coupon code “NOISEFREE” – that’s $30 off!! Get Topaz DeNoise 6 now and start getting the images you want without the noise you don’t!

 

Tettagouche Sunrise

I was recently going through some old photos that I hadn’t gotten around to processing and found a batch from the North Shore of Lake Superior that I took last September when I was up shooting the Superior Fall Trail Races. After pulling an all nighter shooting the 100 milers running under the Aurora Borealis, I headed to Finland to catch the pre-dawn start of the 50 mile race. No time to nap – I headed down the hill to Tettagouche State Park to capture the sunrise. Tettagouche is a spectacular place (as are all of the North Shore state parks), but the lakeside cliffs in this area are big enough to boast some awesome rock climbing and are stunning to look at. Here are a few different edits of the same shot:

Tettagouche Sunrise

First up was the edit I did in black and white, but I just couldn’t get it to pop the way I wanted. I took it into Topaz Labs BW Effects 2 and went with one of the Quad Tone Redscale filters to get this effect.

Tettagouche Sunrise, Quad Tone Redscale

Tettagouche Sunrise Quad Tone Redscale

Next I tried the same original image in Topaz Restyle. This is a fun program that focuses on using different color palettes and some of the presets are things that I’d never think of. It’s a great tool for experimenting with different colors and providing inspiration. This was my favorite of all the edits I tried in Restyle:

Tettagouche Sunrise Pink Plums

Tettagouche Sunrise Topaz Restyle Pink Plums

Another edit using Topaz Texture Effects. This is a new product that just came out at the end of last year and it’s one of my all time favorites! Can be used as a plug-in with Lightroom or Photoshop, or even as a stand alone program. I originally wrote about it here and again here. This was my favorite edit in Texture Effects:

Tettagouche Sunrise Texture

Tettagouche Sunrise Texture Effects Dirty Sunset

A fourth edit using Nik Color Efex Pro 4. I like their split filters, especially the warm / cool sets, but this time I went with one of the violet / pink options:

Tettagouche Sunrise Violet Pink

Tettagouche Sunrise Nik Violet Pink

I like all of them for different reasons and really can’t decide which I like best. Which edit is your favorite?

For larger views or to purchase, check them out in the Landscape Gallery.

Inverting Images In Photoshop

As an outdoor photographer and digital artist, I find it fun to experiment with creative effects in post-processing. Here is a super easy and super fast way to completely transform a photograph by inverting images in Photoshop and then applying textures and colors in Topaz Texture Effects.

Here is an image of birch trees reflecting in a pond at Crex Meadows Wildlife Area near Grantsburg, Wisconsin. Not a bad image, but nothing that really makes my head turn, either.

Birch Reflection Straight Out of Camera

Straight Out of Camera

I tried a few other edits using different color palettes, but nothing really got my attention. Here is an edit using Topaz Restyle to make it more of a cooler tones “winter” look:

Topaz Restyle Frozen Landscape

Topaz Restyle Frozen Landscape

Another edit using Nik Color Efex Pro to give it a warmer look:

Warmer Edit

Warmer Edit

These edits were “OK” but nothing special.

Inverting Images

Then I tried inverting the original image in Photoshop. By inverting, I don’t mean flipping it upside down – I mean making it look more like a negative. Simply open the image in Photoshop and hit “Ctrl” “I” (command “I” on a Mac).

Inverted Image

Inverted Image

I then took the inverted image in to Topaz Texture Effects and added texture and a color overlay. This is surreal!

Inverted Birch Reflection

Inverted and edited with Topaz Texture Effects

It really is that easy! Complete transformation of a typical landscape photograph in about 5 minutes. While I like the looks I got with the other edits, inverting images in Photoshop gives this particular image a completely different and surreal look that really grabs my attention. With just a fast and simple trick. I don’t think this type of edit would work with every image, but for trees or forest scenes it seems to come out rather nicely. Give it a try and see what you think!

Happy inverting!

 

North Woods Winter Birds: Northern Cardinal

My favorite song bird in Minnesota is a year long resident! The Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) does not migrate and stays within a few kilometers of it’s birthplace for life. Even during sub-zero winter months, these guys and gals can be found hanging around bird feeders (they especially like sunflower seeds), thick bushes, or woodland edges.

Male Northern Cardinal

Male Northern Cardinal

The bright red males are striking at any time of year, but even more so during the winter when the entire North Woods landscape is essentially black and white (with some drab browns thrown in for good measure). Males are bright red overall with a black mask and throat, a red crest, and a large thick red bill.

Females are mostly brown with dull red wings and tail and a reddish crest. They have a black mask and throat and large thick red bill similar to the males. Both genders measure 8.5-9 inches long and have a 10-12 inch wingspan.

Female Northern Cardinal

Female Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinals are one of the few species of North American songbirds where the females sing, even while she’s sitting on the nest! It is thought that this may give her mate information about when to bring food to the nest. Mated pairs share song phrases with the female song being slightly longer and more complex. Check out some calls and songs here.

Speaking of the nest, the female Northern Cardinal builds an open cup-like nest 3-10 feet off the ground well hidden in dense shrubs or vines. The nest is built with twigs, bark strips, weeds or grass, leaves, and pine needles. It measures about 4 inches across (inner diameter of 3 inches, and 2-3 inches tall. The nest can take anywhere from a few days to more than a week to build. They typically lay 3-4 eggs which are incubated by the female for about two weeks. Both parents feed the nestlings – usually insects. The young will leave the nest approximately 9-11 days after hatching. The mated pair may then have another brood or two during the warm summer season.

The Northern Cardinal diet consists mostly of seeds, berries, and insects. They seem to be particularly fond of sunflower seeds when visiting feeders, but will eat other seeds as well.

Male Northern Cardinal Portrait

Male Northern Cardinal at a bird feeder

Northern Cardinals are typically seen in pairs during the warmer breeding season, but will form larger flocks during the winter. Mated pairs may stay together through the winter, but some pairs will split up before the next breeding season. Their populations are stable and they seem to be thriving in their current range 🙂

What is your favorite song bird? Does it stay in your area all year, or does it migrate?

If you’d like to see more images of Northern Cardinals, check out the Wildlife Gallery to view or purchase.

 

Topaz Texture Effects Basic Tour

If you follow my blog at all, you know that I’m a HUGE fan of Topaz Labs photo editing products. While most photo editing software plug-ins need to work within Photoshop or Lightroom, Topaz Texture Effects works as a plug-in as well as a stand alone program. I personally find their software very easy to use, but there are plenty of free tutorials available on YouTube if you need a little help or would like to get some tips and tricks that may not be as obvious. For example, check out this video tutorial of Topaz Texture Effects basic tour by Mark Johnson:

Mark goes through all of the different layer adjustment options:

  • Basic Adjustment
  • Split Tone
  • Texture
  • Borders
  • Vignette
  • Light Leak
  • Edge Exposure
  • Edge Blur
  • Dust and Scratches
  • Diffusion
  • Film Grain
  • Posterize
  • Double Exposure
  • Color Overlay

Import Your Own Textures

The cool thing is – you don’t have to settle for one of the 275+ assets that come pre-loaded with the software; you can upload your own assets and use them within the program as well. Mark shows you just how simple it is.

Share With the Online Community

Furthermore, there is an online community that you get instant access to within the program where you can download pre-sets that others have created! If you want to create your own pre-sets from scratch, you can do that too – and share them with the online community with a single click if you wish. Mark shows you how to do that, too.

Fully Customize Your Image

You can edit any layer in the preloaded pre-sets by deleting, changing, or adding different adjustment options to each image. You can add multiple layers of similar adjustments if you’d like; two different light leaks, for example. Since every adjustment comes with a layer mask, you can customize each layer by choosing what parts of the image you want to apply a particular effect to. You don’t even have to start with a pre-set; you can simply open an image in Texture Effects and edit from scratch like I did with this double exposure of Sandhill Cranes and the moon 🙂

Sandhill Cranes Moon Texture

Save $20 Thru January

Since Topaz Labs just updated Texture Effects by fixing some minor bugs and adding EVEN MORE textures and assets, they are offering $20 off the software through January 31, 2016! That means you get it for only $49.99 instead of a still bargain price of $69.99.

Rain Drops on Rose

Added “rain drops” to this rose using new “weather” texture in the latest Topaz Texture Effects update.

Like all Topaz Labs products, you can get a FREE 30 day trial on their software and any future updates are always FREE 🙂

Save $20 on Topaz Texture Effects Thru January!

In case you’ve missed the previous sales, Topaz Texture Effects just had it’s first upgrade since inception a few months ago and they’re celebrating with a BIG SALE! Save $20 on Topaz Texture Effects through January 31, 2016! Regularly priced at $69.99, you can now snag it for only $49.99!

Great Horned Owl Silhouette Moon

I already wrote a post introducing the original program which 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, but now it’s even better 🙂

Trumpeter Swans in Flight

Original Photo

Trumpeter Swans Sun Rays

Edited in  Topaz Texture Effects

The update includes:

  • 42 NEW textures
  • 15 NEW effects
  • A whole new Weather category in the Texture Adjustment panel
  • Performance enhancements
Rain Drops on Rose

Added “rain drops” to this rose using new “weather” texture in the latest Topaz Texture Effects update.

All of this added to an already spectacular product that works as a stand alone photo editing program as well as a plug-in for Photoshop or Lightroom 🙂

I enjoy many of Topaz Labs photo editing software products, but they hit it out of the park with this one IMHO.

As with all Topaz products – try it free for 30 days. And unlike most of the competition, upgrades are FREE for life 🙂

Special Discount For Upper Midwest Trail Runners

As many of you know, I sometimes shoot trail races here in the North Woods of Minnesota. I am happy to announce that North Woods Photos will be offering a 20% discount on any and all products in the Trail Races and North Woods Photos galleries to members of the Upper Midwest Trail Runners club for 2016!

Milky Way Runner

Superior 100 Mile Trail Race

Save 20% on:

  • Prints from my professional lab – archival inks & papers (including lustre, pearl, metallic)
  • Gallery wrapped canvases
  • Metal prints
  • iphone cases for 5/5s, 6/6s, 6+/6s+
  • Full resolution digital downloads with a print release if you’d rather print yourself or use a consumer lab (photos of race participants only).

Learn more about the print products available in the FAQ. Digital downloads are full resolution jpg files at 300 dpi and are not watermarked.

Get Your Discount

The discount is only available to current members of Upper Midwest Trail Runners, so be sure to sign up! Simply shoot an email to info thingy umtr dot net to get your coupon code, then go to the galleries and fill up your shopping cart (and I mean fill ‘er up)!

Use the coupon code at checkout to get 20% off your order – which can include my regular art in addition to any race photos. Makes a great gift for yourself, friends, or family!

Note:  The proofing site only allows you to order from one gallery at a time, so if you DO decide to order prints from the North Woods gallery in addition to Trail Race prints – please let me know before you order so I can move your race photos into the Trail Running folder of the North Woods gallery. Otherwise, you’d have to place two separate orders and pay for shipping on each. If you only want a digital file for your race and prints of my other art, you’ll need to order separately since digital files are not available for non-race images. If you only want race photos, you can do it all in one order even if you have both prints and digitals.

Get Your Stuff

Prints and products are delivered directly from my professional lab to you. Once you complete your order, it comes to me for approval and the order is sent to the lab. Please be aware that I’ve given you the power to crop photos as you see fit – and not all photos are going to work well with some sizes. When placing items in the shopping cart, you may see some red areas on the image depending on the size you choose. The red areas are the parts that will be cut off that image during printing to make it your chosen size. You can drag the image to change the crop. There are no refunds once the order has been sent since they begin the printing process right away. Turn around time depends on what products you order, but prints usually arrive at your doorstep within a week.

For digital downloads, you’ll get an email with a download link shortly after completing your purchase. Since these are high resolution files, download time will depend on your internet connection and service provider. Currently, there is no MN sales tax on digital photos.

As always, low resolution digital files will be posted on the North Woods Photos FaceBook page (so please “like” it) and will be FREE 🙂

Which Races For 2016?

I don’t know yet – it depends on lots of factors (both personal and professional), but I’ll try to let you know as soon as I do! I tend to favor ultras 🙂

Other Questions?

Do not hesitate to contact me at any time if you have questions or concerns.

Happy Trails – and try to bust out of that walk when you see the camera 😉

Selfie Photo For Bio Page

So, with the New Year I felt like I really needed to update the boring photo I had on my bio page. Had an idea for a selfie photo that would require hiking and lugging camera gear a few miles in the snow, with a short bit off trail. Piece of cake for an outdoor photographer in Minnesota 😉 Since I’m not a portrait or wedding photographer, I see no need to go with a traditional head-shot for marketing purposes. That’s what everybody else does – and it’s just not me.

Kelly Doyle, Outdoor Photographer & Digital Artist, Owner of North Woods Photos

I don’t usually shoot people (except during trail races), but today I shot myself. Only photographers can get away with that kind of crap and live to tell about it 😉

Which edit do you like best?

Kelly Doyle, Outdoor Photographer & Digital Artist, Owner of North Woods Photos

Color, no texture

Kelly Doyle, Outdoor Photographer & Digital Artist, Owner of North Woods Photos

A few scratches to rough it up a bit more than it already is

Kelly Doyle, Outdoor Photographer & Digital Artist, Owner of North Woods Photos

Black & White

Kelly Doyle, Outdoor Photographer & Digital Artist, Owner of North Woods Photos

Monotone with some texture

I guess I’ve already tipped my hand about the selfie photo I prefer, but I’d love to hear other opinions! I’ve got a few other versions with different poses, but this is what I narrowed it down to. Let’s just say… I learned (to my horror) that I need to learn more about how to use the Liquefy filter in Photoshop.

Leave a comment and let me know which edit you like best!

Topaz Labs Holiday Sale!

In case you missed all of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, you still have time to capitalize on Topaz Labs Holiday Sale!

If you’ve visited this site before, you know that I LOVE Topaz Labs photo editing software products! Their products have saved me more hours than I can count in the photo editing process and some of their presets even help stimulate new ideas.

The discount applies to any one of their 17 different products, or you can get the entire suite (highly recommended).

Topaz Labs products come with pre-loaded presets, but also allow you total control to just start from scratch or edit any preset you may start with.

Bitchin’.

Favorite Topaz Labs Products

Clarity: this isn’t just a simple clarity slider like you find in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw. This one allows you to control contrast at the micro, low, medium and high levels without getting artificial artifacts – as well as mask out areas of the image where you don’t want the effect applied. Works as a plug-in to Photoshop or Lightroom.

Detail: crystal clear sharpness without noise. I especially like this product for macro shots of flowers or foliage, or fur and feathers on critters. Want to see every last detail of that Bald Eagle feather? Here ya go. Works as a plug-in to Photoshop or Lightroom.

Impression: awesome for converting photos to a variety of different painterly effects or drawings. Watercolors, oils, Monet, charcoal drawings – no problem. Works as a stand alone or as a plug-in.

Canada Goose Pair abstract

Adjust: this is an older product and one that I’m just starting to use. It has an amazing technology called “adaptive exposure” that I still can’t really wrap my head around, but it evens out shadows and highlights without getting artificial looking or noisy. Certainly not like just moving the highlights and shadows sliders. Also allows for adjustments to color and detail. Works as a plug-in to Photoshop or Lightroom.

Glow: one of the newer products and one that’s easy to go “over the top” with. Yes, you can add electrifying effects to photos and make them otherworldly. I find it a cool program to use as a subtle way to bump up color or other smoothing effects when you dial it waaaay down. The fur and feather presets are my typical starting point, even if the image I’m applying it to doesn’t have fur or feathers. Neon can be a ton of fun, too 🙂

Simplify: I like this one for creating painterly effects, too. I gave a tutorial about how I used it to create surreal forest effects recently. Works as a plug-in to Photoshop or Lightroom.

Impressionist Painterly Effect

Impressionist Painterly Effect in Topaz Simplify

Restyle: want to mess around with color palates? This is the product for you! Another program that comes with a ton of presets (some you’d never think of on your own) that can also be tweaked to taste. Comes as a stand alone program or works as a plug-in.

Remask: the easiest mask selection tool I have found thus far for making composites. Hands down.

Star Effects: just did a tutorial about a sneaky little trick in this product that makes adding realistic star effects to images a snap. Works as a plug-in.

Split Rock Lighthouse Star

Texture Effects: this is a brand new product and one of my all time favorites – for real! You can not only add textures, but you can create double exposures with ease – especially since it’s ridiculously easy to add your own texture files (or any other file, for that matter). I wrote a post about Texture Effects recently and will probably write a quick tutorial about how to do double exposures with it soon. It comes with a boat load of high resolution textures, dust and scratches, and other assets, so it’s a monster download! Another unique feature – you can create your own presets and share with the Topaz community – as well as download other people’s presets if you want to. Works as a stand alone or plug-in.

Sandhill Cranes Moon Texture

This is just a sampling of what’s available from Topaz – they have 17 different products currently available. I also appreciate that any future updates to their products are FREE rather than asking you to pay for an upgrade. Any new products are offered at a discount to those who’ve purchased from them in the past.

Topaz offers a 30 day free trial if you want to try before you buy. Or go ahead, take advantage of the Topaz Labs holiday sale and buy it now to save 35% 🙂

Blowout Holiday Sale on Gallery Wrapped Canvas Art

Just in time for last minute holiday shoppers, I’m having a blowout sale on gallery wrapped canvas pieces that have already been printed and are ready for you to pick up and take home – today! Wildlife, landscapes, nature, outdoor abstracts – there’s something for everyone who enjoys the outdoors! All of my pieces have all been printed by a professional lab using archival inks and materials and are ready to hang. All they need is your wall to hang on and be admired from 😉

Save Up to 50% on Select Pieces

These pieces are currently on display at Dow Art Gallery and Picture Framing on University Ave in St. Paul. Stop in during business hours to purchase.

North Woods Photos Wall at Dow Art Gallery

North Woods Photos Wall at Dow Art Gallery

Each of the four 12 x 18 pieces shown on the top of the gallery wall: Water Lily Reflection, Pattison Sunset, Lena, and Canada Lynx Kitten retail for $155 + tax. Sale price is only $79 + tax!

The Yellow Flower Abstract & Frosty Maple (not shown here) measure 11 x 14 inches and 1.5 inches thick and retail for $135 + tax. Sale price is only $69 + tax!

The Morning Glory Butterfly measures 11 x 11 inches and retails for $97. Sale price is only $59 + tax!

These pieces are not currently on display but are available for purchase:

Gallery Wall 1

The two Bald Eagle pieces at the top are photographs that have been digitized to make them look like watercolor paintings. They both measure 16 x 20 inches and retail for $185 + tax. Sale price is only $99 + tax!

The Trumpeter Swan Reflection at the bottom is a black and white photograph on canvas, measures 12 x 24 inches and retails for $175 + tax. Sale price is only $99 + tax!

Trumpeter Swan Reflection

I also have a single wood print available. Crex Meadows Crane Sunset measures 8 x 12 inches on 1/2 inch maple board and has keyholes drilled in the back so it’s ready to hang. The grain of the wood shows through on lighter portions of the photo (like the sky). Printed by a professional lab using archival inks. Since every board is unique, this piece is truly one of a kind! Retails for $149 + tax. Sale price is only $75 + tax!

Crex Meadows Sunset on Maple

All of these pieces come ready to hang and don’t need any other framing or hardware. Local buyers may arrange to purchase and pick-up locally to save shipping costs (and avoid any potential damage caused by shipping).

Shipping is available anywhere in the continental US and will vary depending on the piece and my cost to ship to your location. These pieces are available on a first come, first served basis. Additional gallery wrapped canvases can still be ordered through the online gallery at the regular price.

If you have any questions about a particular piece or would like to see a better photo, shoot me a message! We can also meet at Dow Art Gallery if you’d like to see anything in person before purchasing. There won’t be another sale on gallery wrapped canvas art any better than this, so get it while you can!