*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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*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 ReMask 3, why have I not been using this until now!?

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Topaz is offering yet another one of their awesome plugins at a steep discount through the month of October (50% off using the code “OCTREMASK” CLICK HERE).  This time, it is ReMask, and I’m amazed that I have not used this plugin until now.  As I’m sure anyone who uses Photoshop or Elements can attest, the task of having to select and mask strands of flyaway hair, or pull a subject from a detailed background can be a bit of a pain… Worry no more, seriously, 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

*Creating an easily repeatable watermark

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With so many on line communities, forums and storage based solutions for photographers, we tend to share our images with far more people than we may be aware of.  I use flickr and have for years.  I have always kept my shared images on flickr to a maximum of 640 pixels by 640 pixels to minimize any actual usefulness to anyone who may want to steal them.  Now that flickr is seemingly trying to trick us into sharing larger files by giving us more showcase room, I feel uncomfortable putting certain images out there in any sizable way.  I’ve always been very cautious what I’ve put on there, largely because I know it has become the largest illegal stock stealing site the internet has ever seen.  Okay, that may be a bit of projective assumption, but I have had a few images stolen (that I am aware of) and used illegally.  The worst offender was a Nikon and Microsoft sponsored photography contest in the UK where I was alerted that three of my images were being used on the front page a few years back, without even a sniff of permission.  Yeah, a photography contest using stolen images… Anyhoo, c’mon in and I’ll show you how to create a quick action in photoshop where you can easily replicate a watermark with one click…

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