*Topaz Impression and Glow, both 25% off w/ @topazlabs


Need a little artistic inspiration?  Try running one of your images through Topaz Impression, a beautiful paint and mixed media plugin and/or Glow, Topaz’ deliciously surreal fractal effect plugin.  These two offerings are both on sale for 25% off right now by using the code TOPAZART at checkout over at Topaz Labs HERE.  As always, Topaz offers full free trials for those interested, and I’d highly suggest checking them out if these effects suit your style.  You can download those free trials directly from Topaz HERE.  If you like them, jump on this sale before it disappears.

Come on in to see some more examples and thoughts on how and why I use these two awesome pieces of software in my own work.

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*Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art Lens on the Sony a7II and Canon 5DII, a user review w/ @adorama


Sigma Art EF 20mm f/1.4 Lens review

Happy new year! I’ve been having a wonderful holiday season, largely thanks to Adorama for lending me this beaut of a lens.  The Sigma Art 20mm f/1.4 is the widest, f/1.4 full frame lens, and is the newest addition to the much vaunted line of f/1.4 Sigma Art Primes available in Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sigma mounts.  In this article, we’ll explore a bit of the more measurable aspects as well as the more touchy, feely parts of interacting with this lens.  I shot this lens on both the Canon EOS 5D mkII and the Sony a7II via the EF>FE Metabones MkIV smart adapter, and it performed equally as solid on both cameras.  Is this a viable option for full frame system shooters for fast, ultra wide applications?  Well, seeing as there has never been a full frame compatible lens this wide, this fast, it’s forging new ground for many shooters, and that is pretty rare in this day and age.  C’mon in to see some example images and read my rambling thoughts…

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*Topaz End of Year Sale, anything and everything 35% off w/ @topazlabs

Topaz Super Sale!

Hot on the heels of the Complete Collection Cyber Sale, Topaz Labs is offering anything and everything for 35% off.  If you’ve been waiting to try, grab or buy a Topaz plugin or two, now is an awesome time to do so.  You can find the sale on the Topaz Labs website HERE, and use code “TOPAZ2015” to get 35% off of anything that Topaz offers through the end of the year.

If you’d like to see more about my personal favorites, click the following links to my reviews.  I use many of the Topaz plugins, very often for personal stuff, along with most all my paid projects.

Topaz Adjust (reg $49.99, now $32.49) – the flagship Topaz plugin, and a great companion to high dynamic range photography.

Topaz Clarity (reg $49.99, now $32.49) – My go to for beautiful image definition through contrast without haloing.  Simply awesome. 

Topaz DeNoise (reg $79.99, now $51.99) – In my experience, this has been the best noise reduction plugin, hands down.

Topaz Glow (reg $69.99, now $45.49) – If ever you’ve searched for Fractalius, this is like that, only way better.  Fractalized and beautifully surreal effects.

Topaz Impression  (reg $99.99, now $64.99) – Adding a touch of hand painted flair, or going full blown Picasso, Impression is an awesome multi media simulation software.

Topaz ReMask (reg $69.99, now $45.49) – I might use ReMask more than any other plugin (topaz or otherwise).  If you use a layer based editor like Photoshop, and you’ve ever needed to select something (like oh, I don’t know, HAIR!), save yourself an amazing amount of time and try this out.  

You can try any and all of the Topaz plugins for free.  I really suggest that you do.  Don’t take my word for it.  Download the free trials via Topaz HERE, and give them a go.  If you do want to buy them, and you do so before December 31st, 2015, you can get 35% off using code “TOPAZ2015”!

Share your results with us via our Flickr Group HERE, or find me on the socials;  Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Instagram.  If you’d like to receive my reviews, tutorials and sale posts as I release them, feel free to add your email to the top right of the page here and you’ll get them emailed as soon as they’re posted.  I’m currently working on a couple fun lens reviews along with a full frame vs micro 4/3 sensor comparison which should be showing up soon after the new year.

If you’ve got any questions, fire them off.  Thanks for the read and I hope that all is well, wherever you are.

Happy holidays, and happy shooting,


*Alien Skin Snap Art 4, Instant digital painting effects

As seen above, Alien Skin has released Snap Art 4, featuring an example image from yours truly!  I am a big fan of the Alien Skin plugins and with this new release, they’ve continued to refine one of their most unique offerings.

the trail head

Painting has never been so easy.  With their most recent release, Alien Skin has yet again upped the ante on creative digital photography plugins.  Snap Art 4 provides many jumping off points and the final result can vary between a single click, or as much time as you’d like to throw at a painted rendition of your digital image.  The use of improved masks and even more creative controls, Snap Art 4 builds on what was already a powerful and fun tool.  C’mon in to see more examples and info…

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*Shooting tattoos

Tattoos by Josiah Laughlin Photography by TysonRobichaud

Shooting art can be a tricky task. Replicating the colors, texture and vibrance all while lighting it properly and controlling detail ruining reflection is challenging. Every canvas provides it’s own nuances and unique elements needing to be worked around, especially a canvas that is 3 dimensional and isn’t entirely static. All of these tattoos are original works by my friend Josiah Laughlin. He tattoos here in Portland, Oregon at Imperial Tattoo, and this is an ongoing series we’re collaborating on to document his portfolio. C’mon in to see more of his work and read through diagrams on how I shot them.

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*Photography vs Art

Where does a photograph stop and digital art begin?

Where does a photograph stop being a photograph and start becoming something different?  We’ll call it an ‘artistic interpretation’ for lack of a better description.  Or, are they one in the same no matter what level of manipulation has been applied?  I’ve been taking pictures for a while, more of my life than not if you don’t count the hiatus I took after college when I was bogged down with three jobs.  I still have some shots from that time period, but they are few and far between.  So, I feel like photography has been a part of my life for a while.  I’ve not spent too much time thinking about it in these terms until recently.  Prior, I’ve just enjoyed taking pictures but thanks to the internet and my epiphany that there are other people out there with opinions getting me to challenge my personal understanding, I feel like it is an entertaining idea to explore.  Is anything done to a photograph, after an image has been captured, by way of any kind of manipulation actually doing something that betrays the purity of photography, or is it just part of the progression?  Well… let us explore. Continue reading