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Creative Tips Lightroom Photo Editing Photoshop Topaz Labs

Topaz Labs Spring Sale

Save 40% – Topaz Labs Spring Sale!

Topaz Spring Sale

Take advantage of the best pricing this year on the complete lineup of Topaz products, with 40% off the entire TopazLabs.com store until 4/16/17. Whether you want amazing photo effects or technically perfect images, Topaz helps you create the looks you love faster than ever.

Yellow Tulips
Topaz Impression

What is the Collection?
With the recent addition of Topaz Texture Effects 2, Impression 2, and Glow 2, the Complete Collection includes all 17 plugin products, which individually would cost over $1000. We normally offer the Complete Collection at 50% off the price of buying the plugins individually. However, until the end of this sale you can take an additional 40% off the Collection and Collection upgrades.

Gooseberry Lower Falls HDR
Before
Gooseberry Lower Falls Winter Restyle
After using Topaz Restyle

What is a Collection upgrade?
If you’ve already purchased an individual product (or several products) from Topaz in the past, our system already discounts the collection upgrade price. As long as you’re signed into your account, you can get an additional 40% off your custom collection upgrade pricing through the end of the Spring sale. Whether you’re just starting or looking to expand your collection, there is never a better time to buy!

Painted Turtle Portrait
With Topaz Texture Effects

Ready to Purchase?

Use coupon code SPRING40 to take advantage of the Topaz Labs Spring Sale and save 40% on the Complete Collection or any individual program. Offer expires April 16, 2017.

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Lightroom Photo Editing Photoshop Special Offer Topaz Labs

Topaz Labs Black Friday Sale

Topaz Labs Black Friday Sale

If you like Topaz Labs Photo Editing Software products but haven’t pulled the trigger to purchase yet, I’ve got some great news! Topaz Labs Black Friday Sale is already on and it’s a doozy!

From NOW through November 30th, Topaz is offering 50% off of the full Topaz Complete Collection!

 

Topaz Labs Black Friday Sale includes all 17 products and you can get the whole shebang for HALF OFF!

Take advantage of the best pricing of the year on the complete lineup of Topaz products, with 50% off the Complete Collection through the end of November. Whether you want amazing photo effects or technically perfect images, Topaz helps you create the looks you love faster than ever.

What’s in the Topaz Complete Collection?

The Complete Collection includes:

  1. Topaz Adjust
  2. Topaz Black & White Effects
  3. Topaz Clarity
  4. Topaz Clean
  5. Topaz DeJPEG
  6. Topaz DeNoise
  7. Topaz Detail
  8. Topaz Glow
  9. Topaz Impression
  10. Topaz InFocus
  11. Topaz Lens Effects
  12. Topaz photoFXLab
  13. Topaz ReMask
  14. Topaz ReStyle
  15. Topaz Simplify
  16. Topaz Star Effects
  17. Topaz Texture Effects

*Note that this discount does not apply to individual plugin purchases, which are sold at full price.
If you’ve already purchased an individual product (or several products) from Topaz in the past, their system already discounts the collection upgrade price. As long as you’re signed into your account, you can get an additional 50% off your custom collection upgrade pricing through the end of November. Whether you’re just starting or looking to expand your collection, there has never a better time to buy!

affiliate_468x60_snowflake

Ready to Purchase?

Use coupon code BLACKFRIDAY16 at checkout between NOW – November 30, 2016.

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Creative Tips Lightroom Photo Editing Photoshop Topaz Labs tutorial

Topaz Texture Effects 2 Features

If you’re looking for an easy to use right out of the box photo editing software program, look no further than Topaz Labs! Topaz Labs now has 17 different products that enhance photo images easily and seamlessly with Photoshop or Lightroom. In the case of their newer products like Texture Effects 2, they also work as stand alone programs! Check out these Topaz Texture Effects 2 features:

Topaz Texture Effects 2 Features

I’ve already listed the major features of Topaz Texture Effects in earlier posts, but sometimes pictures are worth a thousand words – Especially for visual artists such as photographers. So here is a brief look:

Here are a few of my own images, including some double exposures:

Rock of Ages Lighthouse Antique

Rock of Ages, Isle Royale National Park

Grand Sable Dunes

Grand Sable Dunes, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Antique Tepee

Tepee, Blue Mounds State Park

Sandhill Cranes & Moon

Double Exposure of Sandhill Cranes & Moon

Topaz Texture Effects 2 Intro Tutorial

For a more in depth look at how the program works in real life, John Barclay did a 40+ minute tutorial that you can watch here:

This program is a TON of fun and if you already own Texture Effects, the upgrade to Texture Effects 2 is FREE!

Check it out with a 30 day free trial.

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Creative Tips Lightroom Photo Editing Photoshop Special Offer Topaz Labs

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 🙂

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Creative Tips Lightroom Photo Editing Photoshop Topaz Labs tutorial

Add Stars To Your Photos In A Few Easy Steps

In this tutorial, I will show you how to add stars to your photos in a few easy steps using Topaz Labs Star Effects.

Split Rock Lighthouse Star

Split Rock Lighthouse

Image Preparation

First, you will need to do any basic edits in your regular photo editing software. Topaz Star Effects works as a plug-in to Photoshop or Lightroom and is not a stand alone product.

Edit Your Image In Topaz Star Effects

When you first bring your prepped image in to Topaz Star Effects, you will notice three main areas of the screen. The left column shows the presets and the smaller image at the top of the stack gives you a preview of each preset as you hover over it. The large middle screen is what’s happening with your image as you apply the actions that you choose. For this particular image, I chose the preset “Lamp Post One” and at this point it looks like a hot mess.

Topaz Labs Star Effects

Now go over to the panel on the far right side of the screen. Under “Star Settings” you can choose different star types. For this image I went with traditional.

Topaz Labs Star Effects

Further down on the right side are the “Main Adjustments” – take the threshold slider all the way to the right. I think of the threshold as being similar to an opacity slider for a layer mask. Bringing it all the way to the right will hide all of the star effects.

Topaz Labs Star Effects

Go back up to “Star Settings” and you’ll notice there are show / hide stars buttons. Choose “show.” This will act similar to a brush on a mask in Photoshop – your mouse will look like a small button with crosshairs and anywhere you click on the image will allow the star effect to show through. In this image, I clicked on the reflector inside the lighthouse window so that only the one star shows in the image.

Topaz Labs Star Effects

You can fine tune your star effect further by going back down to the main adjustments and playing with luminance, how many points you want your star to have, size, spread, angle, etc. Further down on the right side there are even more adjustments for color, temperature settings, and additional adjustments for glow or ring flare. For this image, I only adjusted the number of points from twelve to six and I was done in minutes!

I find all of the Topaz products fun and easy to use – and I can do many things in a fraction of the time it would take in Photoshop. So, if you want to add stars to your photos in a few easy steps, give Topaz Star Effects a try! They have FREE 30 day trials on all of their software, and updates for each product are free for life 🙂

If you’d like to purchase a print of this image of Split Rock Lighthouse for your home or office decor, it’s now available in the Landscape gallery both with and without the star effect!

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Creative Tips Photo Editing Photoshop Topaz Labs

High Resolution Textures For Photoshop

Now available in their own online texture gallery are several “unique to the North Woods” high resolution textures available for purchase!

Lake Superior Shoreline Texture
Lake Superior Shoreline Texture

High Resolution Textures

These textures are all from photos that I took myself on a DSLR of some of the resources that can be unique to the Upper Midwest region, such as:

  • Lake Superior shoreline
  • Lake Michigan beaches
  • tree bark from birch and other North Woods species
  • rock and stones
  • plants and grasses
  • snow and ice

All of the textures have been adjusted to 50% gray in Photoshop (you’re welcome) and can be applied to your images in Photoshop or uploaded in to your own assets library in Topaz Texture Effects.

Lake Michigan Beach Texture
Lake Michigan Beach Texture

FAQ’s

How much do these unique high resolution textures cost?

Only $1 per single photo with a $5 minimum purchase.

That gives you a perpetual, non-exclusive license with significant freedoms and helps me cover costs associated with hosting the files on a proofing site, credit card processing / bank fees, file delivery, buying gas & groceries, paying the landlord, etc.

Who can use these high resolution textures?

You can use them for personal or commercial use.

Who retains copyright to any high resolution textures that I download from this site?

I do. ©Kelly Doyle. All Rights Reserved.

Do I need to provide attribution for any textures that I download from this site?

While a link back to this site is appreciated if you use one of my files to enhance your image, it is not required. Who the hell can remember where they downloaded all of their different textures from anyway? Let’s keep it simple.

Are there any restrictions on my use of textures that I download from this site?

Yes. You may not resell or redistribute any of my photos (duh), or allow the use of my photos on print-on-demand products. Simple. Other than that, you are granted a wide range of freedom to use the files in your projects and alter if desired.

Will the textures I download have watermarks?

No. The watermark that shows on the files in the proofing gallery will NOT be on the downloaded photo.

Is there a minimum order?

There is a $5 minimum at this time.

How do I get the files?

Just add the files you want to purchase to your shopping cart when you visit the texture gallery and you will get an email telling you how to access the download once your payment is processed. Please be sure to check your spam folder if you do not receive an email soon after completing your purchase (it will come from the proofing site, not from northwoodsphotos.com).

What format are the photos?

All the textures are high resolution jpg files at 300 dpi.

I will be adding more textures to the online gallery as time allows. If you have any other questions – feel free to ask! 🙂

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Creative Tips Photo Editing Special Offer Topaz Labs

Introducing Topaz Texture Effects!

Topaz Texture Effects Scratched Bronze

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:

Topaz Texture Effects before & after

cherries_ba

From soft and subtle lighting effects:

Crisp Morning Run1

… to high impact grunge and contrast:

After

… 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.

Topaz Texture Effects Main Interface
Topaz Texture Effects Main Interface

You can also upload other textures that you may have downloaded elsewhere or created from scratch yourself and use it within the software.

Topaz Texture Effects Texture Manager
Topaz Texture Effects Texture Manager

You can even add masks and do basic image edits.

Topaz Texture Effects Masking Module
Topaz Texture Effects Masking Module

Topaz Texture Effects can be used as a stand alone program or as a plug-in to other software programs.

Compatibility:
Photoshop CS4+, Photoshop CC, Photoshop Elements 6+,
Paintshop Pro X, Serif PhotoPlus X5+, Lightroom
*Not compatible with Fusion Express

System Requirements:
Mac OSX 10.8+
Windows 7/8/10 x 64bit + OpenGL 3.2
*Does not support Windows 32bit

 

Adjustment Stack View
Adjustment Stack View

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 😉

 

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Creative Tips Photo Editing Photoshop Topaz Labs

Same Photo, Different Looks With Photo Editing

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.

Sugarloaf Cove Straight out of the camera
Sugarloaf Cove Straight out of the camera

A Variety of Photo Edits

Lightroom

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.

Sugarloaf Cove Split Toning
Edited in Lightroom using split toning.

Topaz ReStyle

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:

Sugarloaf Cove

Sugarloaf Cove
Edits with Topaz Restyle

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!

Edit with Nik Color Efex Pro using a cool / warm filter.
Edit with Nik Color Efex Pro 4

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.

Sugarloaf Cove Black & White
Edit with Nik Silver Efex Pro 2

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?