*Topaz ReMask4 – Free upgrade now available!

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 10.44.49 AM

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.

IMG_4306

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.

IMG_0456 - 2008-08-17 at 16-20-00 - Version 2

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…

Continue reading

*Olympus 45mm f/1.8 Lens on sale!

IMG_7115

I’ve been on the fence for years now regarding a moderate/short tele micro 4/3 lens having been pretty happy with my adapted Contax G Zeiss 45mm f/2 Plannar lens, until fate dealt me a debilitating blow last week which saw my trusty 12-32mm pancake zoom bite the dust.  I’ll get into that in more detail later, but looking to replace it, and having a difficult time finding one, I came across the current Olympus Lens Rebates (click here to see them all).  The Oly 45mm f/1.8 lens is largely regarded as one of the best lenses for the system, especially for the price.  Right now, that normal price of $399 is down to $349 as Olympus has issued a $50 rebate which runs through June 14th, 2014 according to Oly’s website.

While I’ll do a more in depth review on this little gem shortly, come on in for my initial thoughts and sale links.

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.

Continue reading

*Helpful Topaz Workflow Suggestions

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 2.03.35 PM

 

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

TimberlinePano (1)

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.

Continue reading

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

simplifyblog

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.

Continue reading

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

P1060106_HDR

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…

Continue reading

*Another set of this guy’s opinions, or Mirrorless Lens buying guide!

IMG_6052 - Version 2 (1)

As requested from the camera body shopping guide post (thanks Tim and Chris), here are my opinions on the best lenses for the various mirrorless systems.  Keep in mind that I have not shot extensively with all of these lenses, or at least, many of the lenses for systems that aren’t the micro 4/3 system aside from the tire kicking in stores or when getting the chance to shoot friend’s gear, so my opinion is based on minimal use combined with personal intrigue and web based research.  Because I don’t own an X series or Alpha E (NEX, etc) camera body, I have not been able to access many of the lenses on offer for any period of time, but there are a few I have, as well as those that I would certainly look long and hard at if I was invested in these systems.  As for the micro 4/3 lenses, I have those down pretty well.  C’mon in and I’ll lay out my faves…

Continue reading

*One man’s opinion, or Holiday Shopping guide 2013!

P1060085

The season for the commercialization of spirituality (or, SFTCOS) is upon us and following suit, we have been absolutely bombarded with new offerings in the digital photography department.  Taking the holidays out of it, and looking at it purely from a gear point of view, it is truly an exciting time to be shopping around for the best bang for your (or a loved one’s) buck.

Over the last 4 years that I’ve written this blog, I’ve been asked quite a few questions about which cameras, lenses, systems, et al, are the best.  While I’ve chosen the gear I’ve chosen for my own personal reasons, there are so many others out there that offer their own set of pros and cons, and to put it plainly, there is no universal truth, nor answer to that question.

Come on in and I’ll give my take on which of the newly announced cameras over the last year or so are the most intriguing, interesting, best value or just plain confusing…

Continue reading