*Topaz ReMask4 – Free upgrade now available!

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If you hadn’t heard, Topaz has ReMask on sale for half off this month, and they’ve also just updated it to version 4!

download a full free trial, update for free or purchase via Topazlabs website HERE

- enter “julyremask” to get 50% off

If you own ReMask3, simply download and instal the newer version from the link above and you’re golden!

The interface has been streamlined and simplified while it still provides the same amazing tool for the extraction of subjects by simple, quick and efficient selection and masking for a variety of host programs.

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I’ve reviewed ReMask twice and continue to find uses for it which saves me an amazing amount of time in Photoshop.  I’ve rambled on about it but it really is an amazing tool and time saver which I’d suggest trying out for yourself. With the new version, it has streamlined it into a quicker, more user-friendly interface which falls in line with the more recent design changes for other Topaz plugins.  Click these links to see my reviews and simple tutorials if interested:

Topaz ReMask Tutorial and Review

Topaz ReMask3 – Why have I not been using this until now?

Try it out.  We have until the end of this month to take advantage of the 50% off sale.

Enjoy and feel free to fire off any questions, I’d love to try and help answer them.

Happy shooting,

Tyson

*Topaz ReMask On Sale! If you use photoshop, you should try it, trust me.

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Another month, another killer Topaz sale.  This time around, it’s ReMask.  On sale for half off through the end of the month, they’re also going to be offering a free, “substantial” update for existing customers, so if you’re a ReMask user, get on it!  I’d reviewed Re-Mask a while ago, and I have been using it religiously since.  You can find Re-Mask HERE via the Topaz website for 50% off!!! ($35, normally $70)  Use code “julyremask” to get the discount.  If you’d like to hear more about my thoughts and see a quick example/tutorial on how to get started with it, come on in…

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*Alien Skin Exposure 6, now available!

P1050201 Alien Skin is a company focused on producing very high end and useful software plugins.  Two of my favorites from Alien Skin have always been Exposure for the remarkable film emulation filters, and Bokeh for the focus control.  Now, Alien Skin has chosen to merge both of these into one super plugin in Exposure 6. Continue reading

*Topaz Clean, on sale through May

I first stumbled into my relationship with Topaz by way of their edge manipulation and texture smoothing plugin, Clean (on sale through May for 50% off HERE, use “mayclean” at checkout).  Normally $30, you can get it for $15 currently. I had been trying to find a way to replicate the effects of Fractalius, which is a PC only plugin.  Through my exploration, I found my way to Topaz Clean, and the rest is history.  (you can read my Fractalius for Mac post HERE).  While not a perfect substitute, there are ways to utilize the edge manipulation in Clean to get a similar effect and because of this initial review, it began my Topaz obsession which has grown to include DeNoise, ReMask, Clarity, ReStyle, B&W Effects, Star Effects, Detail and Simplify.  Come on in for a couple examples and my thoughts.

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*Helpful Topaz Workflow Suggestions

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image © Darcy from Topaz – all rights reserved, used with permission

Hi all.  Darcy from Topaz Labs was nice enough to share this simple yet remarkably helpful graphic showing us the proper order to best utilize and stage different Topaz plugins.

As many of you know, I’m a bit of a honk for the Topaz products as I really feel they offer an amazing value in the plugin universe.  I’ve fielded quite a few emails over the years asking about when is it best to implement noise reduction versus sharpening, etc and I’ve always said it is good to get your initial, simple exposure tweaks done in your host or digital asset management software (lightroom, aperture, et al) and then before altering the pixels any further, run through noise reduction before doing anything to sharpen or further define the pixels as that would also further define the noise or any artifacts, color shifts, posterization, etc.  Sharpening should be the last thing done to any image, and now we have a cool step by step in visual form.  Thanks Darcy!

Darcy has laid this out wonderfully in Topaz terms, and for those of you who’ve been getting into the Topaz plugins like myself, I’d imagine this graphic will do well to help us streamline our workflow through the various Topaz plugins.

Currently, Topaz Detail 3 is on sale for 50% off through April (click HERE and use “aprdetail” to get 50% off)!  What is normally a $40 plugin is now $20, so head over and download the free trial to give it a go.  If you like it, buy it before the end of the month to qualify for the half price license.

You can head over to Topaz Labs website to see what they offer, or below are reviews I’ve done of some more of the Topaz plugins that I use often, and love.

Topaz DeNoise 5, the best noise reduction software I’ve ever used.

Topaz Clarity, possibly my favorite enhancement plugin.

Topaz ReMask, anyone using photoshop masks should download this. Now.

Topaz Simplify, art filters with the click of a button.

Have a look, have a go, and enjoy.  Please feel free to share your results (or any imagery) with our ever growing community on Flickr HERE, and connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks and happy shooting!

Tyson

 

*Topaz Detail 3, my first run

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Hi all and welcome to a quick review on your Topaz special plugin of the month!  This month Topaz is running a special on Detail 3 for 50% off!  Normally $39.99, if you use the code “aprdetail” HERE on Topazlabs website, the price drops down to $19.99!!!

That’s all well and good, but what does Detail do?  I had not tried it until I was made aware of the sale, so here is my experience and thoughts on what I think it is best at doing.

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*Fun with soul windows. Eye retouching techniques using Photoshop.

 

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A couple years ago, I’d posted a tutorial on simple eye enhancement techniques and I wanted to revisit and build on that.  Lately, “Photoshop” has seemed to be getting absolutely bludgeoned and cast as some evil, socially destructive outcast.  Used as a verb, photoshopping has become akin to kicking a blind puppy, and then forcing it into a life of anorexia.  While I am in no way a fan of, nor support using photoshop to unnaturally build unrealistic body proportions, or overly plasticize a face to perfection, I will make the case that retouching is an art and like anything has boundaries.  If viewing retouching from a creative angle, there are things that can be a lot of fun.  If viewing retouching from a practical angle, it can be effective.  Going overboard in any direction can certainly lead to criticism, but so many forms of artistic manipulation have and will always continue to draw ire.  For this post, I want to play around with both the creative and practical angles in regards to enhancing one’s eyes in a portrait.  Thank you to my friends Mat and Heather from Mirrorlessons – Bestmirrorlesscamerareviews.com for the shot you see above.  Eyes are often a focal point in many a good portrait, so why not add a bit of punch to that focal point?  Come on in to see how I achieve this quickly and easily.  If interested, you can download these eye enhancement Photoshop actions for free…

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*Hallelujah!!! Apple finally supports Lumix GM1 RAW files! (as well as XE2, XT1, and others)

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I may be speaking to a small audience on this one, but I cannot contain my momentary excitement, er, relief.  For those GM1 shooters who’ve been using Lightroom or ACR, DXO or Silkypix, this news will be of little consequence.  For those of us who use Apple’s Aperture, today is a good day.  FINALLY (seriously Apple, this camera was announced last Fall and has been in shooters hands for almost 5 months!) Apple has decided to properly support the .RW2 RAW files from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1.

Along with the GM1, below are the cameras that are now supported in Apple’s most recent Digital Camera RAW Update 5.04:

  • Fujifilm X-E2
  • Fujifilm X-T1
  • Nikon D3300
  • Nikon 1 AW1
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GM1
  • Pentax K-3

If you’re a shooter with any of the above cameras, and use Aperture as your Digital Asset Management software, you can download the new version of Digital Camera RAW v5.04 – HERE or just go to your Software Update and it should be sitting there ready to go.

I will be testing the RAW files from the GM1 shortly and will have an article posted in due time.  In the mean time, if you’d like to receive that when it is posted, feel free to enter your email at the top right of the page to subscribe or find me on Facebook or Twitter.

Happy shooting,

Tyson

*Topaz DeNoise5, updated and on sale for 50% off!

Topaz DeNoise5 On Sale

Hi guys!  Your monthly Topaz deal is here!  Topaz Labs is offering up DeNoise for 50% off.  I have written up a more in depth review on DeNoise 5 before, and feel it is one of the best, and most effective plugins I use.  It’s pretty amazing to see what this software can do for your high ISO images.  Topaz is running this sale through the end of March via Topaz Labs Website HERE.  Just use the code “mardenoise” at checkout to get the discount.  C’mon in to see some before and after examples…

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*Topaz – Simplify 4, quick and easy digital painting filters with a click!

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Topaz continues to improve they’re line of valuable plugins with the new release of Simplify 4.  Currently on sale through the end of this month for $19.99 (50% off!) when using the code “febsimplify” during checkout, Simplify 4 provides a quick, easy and very controllable plugin for a variety of painting and line drawing effects.  You can see it on Topazlabs.com HERE, or come on in to see a screen shot and read my ramblings on why I think this is a pretty amazing plugin for $20.

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