It’s that time of year again! Complete Topaz Collection 50% off.

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The gears of time continue to grind, and we’re at that most opportunistic time of year for photographers.  Personally, you couldn’t pay me to wake up the morning after our Thanksgiving holiday to wait in line for a $0.99 DVD player at Walmart.  It’s a silly tradition built on a consumer culture’s need to find a deal at any cost.  Luckily for us, the marketing world has found opportunity in offering online deals for almost anything available, and for those of us that can hold off until this time of year, many killer deals can be found.  

As is often the case, Topaz has brought their half off deal to the black Friday party yet again, and it is an amazing deal.  You get all 17 Topaz plugins for $250, which is 50% off the already halved price of the Complete Collection, so in reality, it’s more like a 75% off sale if you were to individually buy these programs one or two at a time.  For those who already own one or many Topaz plugins, don’t fret!  They offer a “Collection Upgrade” where if you sign in on the website, it will automatically deduct the pricing for the plugins you’ve bought and registered, and offer you the remaining plugins at an even further decreased price.  This only works if upgrading to the Complete Collection though, as singular plugins will stay at full price.  The sale runs from Friday November 25th, through Wednesday November 30th.  You can always download full free trials of any or all Topaz plugins, but I’d try them soon if you want to go this route as it will be another year at least before getting a crack at all 17 of the plugins for the price of a few of them. Click the link below to go directly to the Topaz sale site.

Find the sale on Topaz website HERE, and use code “BLACKFRIDAY16” at checkout to receive the sale price.

I’ve written about and reviewed many of the Topaz plugins over the years here on the blog.  I thoroughly enjoy, and constantly use a solid handful of them.  Here are links to my reviews for a few of my favorites:

Topaz DeNoise – comparing DeNoise 5 vs DeNoise 6 

Topaz ReMask – If you’ve ever had to select anything in Photoshop, try this.  Seriously.

Topaz Clarity – Professional punch and definition with a single click.

Topaz Glow – Some seriously slick fractal effects

Topaz Adjust – A library of effects in a single plugin

Topaz Impression – Artistically visualize your imagery

I could go on, but rather than add to a list of links, just let me know if you have any particular questions on any of the plugins and I’d be happy to give you my personal opinion or any insight that I can.

Happy holiday season and thanks for stopping by.

I hope you and yours are well, and happy shooting.

tyson

Battle of some Portrait Primes. Full Frame vs m4/3, Zeiss vs Leica, let the pissing contest commence…

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Well hi there!  Been a while.  Yes, I’ve been focused largely on launching the Nauti Straps stuff (utterly shameless plug, of which it will not be the last, surely) which has been going smashingly thus far, so thank you to everyone who’s supported me in that venture.  That said and done, I’ve been long wanting to compare these two premier portrait focal length prime lenses for the two formats I shoot in concert in the Sony FE and micro 4/3 systems.  

Enter the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Sonnar FE mount lens for Sony E mount cameras, and the Panasonic Leica 42.5mm f/1.2 DG Nocticron lens for micro 4/3 system shooters.

C’mon in for comparisons, pixel peeping galore and my thoughts as someone who has been shooting these two lenses for the better part of the last year.

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*Get it off the screen! Beautiful print options via @DigitalSilver Imaging

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Remember that really cool feeling of camping out in the dark room, focusing and projecting your image onto photo sensitive paper?  Watching your creation materialize before your eyes in the developer as you lightly rocked the chemicals back and forth, only to see your final image come to life for the first time?  I do.  It’s what sparked my love affair with photography, and if you never got to experience that, I think you should try to find a local community college or community space that still has enlargers, and give it a try.  Now, fast forward… Do you remember me telling you about Digital Silver Imaging and their unique, digital silver gelatin printing process?  To quickly summarize, DSI (find them here) has a process that takes your digital files, and exposes them like a negative, onto photo sensitive paper, and develops them in photo chemistry producing a beautiful, museum quality, archival print.  The beauty and depth of a digital file, with the organic analog feeling of a silver gelatin print, is a very cool, very harmonious and nostalgic thing.  Well, I’ve been back in contact with those fine folks, and after some delightful conversation surrounding the next step in actual mounting of said beautiful prints, this is what came back to me…

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Topaz to release Glow 2. Get it early! Free upgrade, or on sale at 30% off for new users w/ @topazlabs

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Have you used Topaz Glow yet?  If not, please go to Topaz’ website HERE and download the full free trial of the newly updated, and not quite yet publicly available Glow 2.  It’s okay, we’ll wait.  Free upgrade (as is Topaz’ awesome policy on every update they offer) and available on sale for 30% off using code “GLOW2” at checkout for new users (normally $69.99 on sale for $48.99).  There are a few effects in the digital photography realm that are instant attention grabbers.   The Glow effect is one of them.

Glow 2 will not be officially released until Tuesday the 16th, but as a Topaz affiliate, I’m able to share the release with readers early.  Go HERE, and you can either try or buy Glow 2.0, 5 days early.

I was a giddy fan when Glow was originally released, and it provided me with a true (and superior) alternative to Fractalius, being a Mac user.  So much so, that my original article Fractalius for Mac needed to be updated to replace my designed effect through Topaz Clean 3, to Topaz Glow to replicate the effect for us Mac OS users.  Since then, I’ve had a ton of fun with Glow, and find even more pleasure using the free update in Glow 2.

C’mon in to see more…

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*Who the @#$! needs film? Comparing film to film replication software w/ @alienskin

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(*this article was originally written for, and appeared on the Alien Skin blog, by me, HERE.)

Put out your torches, and put down your pitchforks.  I love film.  I shoot film, and have a freezer and fridge full of it from 35mm Kodak Gold and Ilford Delta, to 120 Tri X and Portra 160 NC.  The question I’ve struggled with though, is why?  Why do I still shoot film?  It’s expensive to process, ridiculously tedious to digitize and even with expensive drum scanning, still doesn’t reach the depth and range of modern digital files.  Well, the answer for me has been nostalgia, the feel of the image, and the ability to take a step back, and focus on shooting in a more organic way that coincides with my initial falling in love with photography in the first place.  A beautiful reality though, is that through software, and remarkable sensor technology, we can quickly and easily replicate the look of film if we want, taking care of one of those (my) criteria.

This post is not meant to be any more than a personal experiment in which I’ll look to answer this question for myself when using my go to digital solution when wanting to help analogize results within my digital reality and workflow because, while I may not need film, I sure do love to replicate the look and feel of it.  C’mon in…

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*Topaz Impression 2, a major upgrade to a radical digital painting conversion program. w/ @topazlabs

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Summer is upon us, and so too are the deals and updates showering us with their bounty.  If you’ve been around for a little while, you may have seen my article written after getting to beta the original Topaz Impression.  (spoiler: I loved it).  Now, Topaz has released Impression 2 with new tools and filters, and get this, it’s free for those of us who bought the original Impression.  If you’ve not yet updated, or you’d like to give it a free trial, you can go directly to Topaz Labs Website HERE.  If you’d like to buy it, use this link, and input “2IMPRESS” at checkout to get the normally priced $99 program for 40% off ($59.99!).

If you’d like to see more from me, and read more about why I love Impression, c’mon in…

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*Times, they just keep getting better. @alienskin offering total package for 30% off through end of June!

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Hello dear friends.  Long time no see!  I’ve been so wrapped up with the launch of the Nauti Straps stuff (and all the work from the ‘real’ job) that my blogging has suffered.  For that I am sorry.  Good news though!  For those who’ve been waiting for a sale on Exposure X, Alien Skin has been working toward combining all of their photo apps into one super monster of a program, for a while now, and it now lives in the Exposure X Bundle.  First it was a beautifully integrated Bokeh module into Exposure (while Exposure stayed the same price), and now, with the release of the Exposure X Bundle, it has added Blow Up 3 and Snap Art 4, all as a super group of software.  You can see more info on all, download free trials or go for the gold and buy it over at Alien Skin software’s website HERE.

I’ve certainly shilled at length for Alien Skin in the past, but c’mon in for a little on why I use, and don’t ever want to get by without, Exposure X.

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