*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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*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 Star Effects, on sale just in time for the holidays

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With the recent kitchen sink sale that Topaz had, it got me curious about some of the other plugins on offer.  I love DeNoise, Clarity and ReMask, but what about all these other cool, quirky plugins?  Topaz Star Effects allows a user controlled enhancement for any point of light in your image, and through the month of December, it is on sale at 50% off for $14.99 here at Topazlabs.com when using the code “decstar” at checkout.  Well, if you have an extra few bucks lying around, and would like to enhance any points of light in your images, check this out…

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*Topaz Adjust, on sale in all its popular image enhancing glory!

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What may be seen by many Topaz plugin users as the quintessential Topaz offering, Topaz Adjust is being offered for 50% off through the end of September.  Using coupon code “septadjust” you can get what is probably Topaz most useful and popular plugin for $24.99, or apply the same discount code from the complete collection for a $25 discount!!!  This was the very first plugin from Topaz that I ever bought, I paid full price, and I’m still thrilled with it.  I use many of the Adjust filters as layers in my imagery, and particularly to enhance my HDR interior shots that I use for my grow’d up photography (you can click the above before/after comparison to see what a single click can do).  It is extremely cheap for the power it provides.  It can be used for nice, subtle detail enhancement, full blown surreality or anything in-between.  Visit Topaz Labs website HERE to try or buy this awesome plugin.

*Super deal on fisheye and Topaz Re-Style on sale for 4 more days!

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A couple super deals have popped up.  Please excuse the quick break from the normally scheduled programing…  For my fellow micro 4/3 shooters, the above lens is temporarily on sale, and for all my fellow post processing enthusiasts, Topaz Re-Style is 50% off for just 4 more days.

The Bower (Rokinon/Samyang/whoever else they sell this lens under) micro 4/3, 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye, is now on sale for $199 at B&H HERE (price is now fluctuating between $200-250 or so), and also includes the 4% reward and Free Shipping!  If you’ve been on the fence, this is an amazing deal on a great lens (Normally about $300).  You can read my opinions on the Rokinon version (same lens) HERE.  Oddly, it is only the Bower version that is on sale, but it is the same lens as the Rokinon that I own, use and love.

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Also, Topaz Re-Style is about to wrap up it’s introductory sale this Saturday, at which point it will go up to “full” price ($59.99).  Right now, through Saturday, you can get Re-Style for 50% off HERE for $29.99 when using the code “restyleit”, enter the discount code at checkout.  I recently reviewed Re-Style HERE. Also, you can get the $30 discount off of the full collection of Topaz plugins by using that same “restyleit” discount code.

Thank you, happy shooting and carry on…

Cheers,

Tyson

*Topaz ReStyle, killer quick cross processing effects. Brand new and on Sale!

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Topaz continues to kick out awesome plugins, and their newest release ReStyle keeps with the recent pattern. Like most Topaz Plugins, us early adopters get a substantial discount which they offer as soon as the software is released. Read on for my take and a few examples, or if you’re already sold, go here to TopazLabs.com and use the code “restyleit” to get 50% off ($59.99 reg, or $29.99 now through August 31st).

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*All Alien Skin Plugins are 50% off until the end of the month!

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If you’ve been waiting for an Alien Skin software sale, now may very well be the time.  I’ve not ever seen them offer any more than 50% (I don’t even remember seeing a half off sale in the past!) so it is as good as I’ve seen it!

I like the AS plugins a lot, and have been absolutely loving the new Exposure 5.  You can read my take on some of their plugins via the links below, and you can buy any of these directly from AlienSkin.com (click here). I get no kickbacks from Alien Skin, and have no monetary incentive to sell their plugins, I just really enjoy using them and for those who may also be interested, it won’t get much cheaper than this.  Go get you some.

Exposure 5, the best gets better

Bokeh 2, blur it out

Snap Art 3, release your inner artist

*Alien Skin Exposure 5, the best keeps getting better.

Exposure 5

There are quite a few film emulation plugins to choose from.  Looking at the sheer multitude of cross processed filters or “film” replications on offer from different plugins can be daunting.  To me, the difference is in the details, and none does a better job in my opinion than Alien Skin’s Exposure has.  When choosing a plugin, the biggest and most important features lie mainly in interface, tools available and when discussing a film replication, the actual grain structure and implementation is key.  Like past Exposure releases, Exposure 5 gives you a full library of Black and White as well as Color film filters.  Many plugins emulate a similar result, but none has paid as much attention to detail, grain reproduction and fidelity as Alien Skin Exposure 5 has, to my eye.  With Exposure 5, the new release adds a new user interface and some sweet new controls.  Read on for some of the details…

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