A lot of my experience of Topaz Adjust comes from just using it and seeing what it can do/what it can ‘murder’!!! In discriminating hands it is a tool to die for – the indiscriminate just die 😦 No, seriously, it is too easy to go way over the top with Topaz Adjust, and there is no better place to start than with say, the flickr Topaz Adjust group. Which is where I got a lot of my early tips on what to do/what not to do with TA. With TA, you are dealing with the introduction of a large amount of noise (other artefacts also arise…), so becoming the master of your de-noising software is also a key to winning with TA. Over-saturation, and the colour orange, also need to be managed – using your opacity sliders etc. And the last great bugbear – halos. They can easily be corrected too.
Topaz Adjust can be used for subtle shadow/highlight control, with or without tonal adjustments, as well as the more ‘in-your-face’ adjustments to contrast, brightness and colour. And each has its place – but feel free to go wild when you first discover TA – I know for me that was a wildly exhilarating, not to say intoxicating time, so excited I was when I saw the results. Blinded by the intoxication, I really believed that the “Technicolor Yawn” style of post-processing with TA was the bee’s knees!!! I got over it 🙂 In fact, anyone who’d like to see my first efforts – in fact all of my TA stuff – need look no further than:- flickr.com/photos/stonechat .
Some of my latest efforts:-
Queuing for Cash!
The Window Cleaners.
Something earlier, and cruder:-
Venice – the Vaporetto Stop. (Possibly for a stronger stomach!!!)
I first open the image in Photoshop (PS), then make a new layer to work on. I try several Topaz Adjust (TA) filters until I find the one that I like, apply that to the layer, add more TA until I get the look I really want, and then create another layer (using Smart Filters if you can) and set Layer Blend mode to Overlay. Then I select Other Filters/High Pass, set at 5 pixels – it sharpens the photo. You can save as a PSD file, or Flatten Layers and save as JPEG. Once I have used TA, I can then use my Topaz De Noise or Noiseware Community De-Noise as necessary. Gradients, crops, anything you like may be added. I hope to amend this preliminary ‘tutorial’ with some shots of the actual workflow I do in PS as I process my photos… watch this space!