Tag: Photoshop

Topaz Black Friday Sale: November 27 through December 2nd.

This is a quick reminder to let you know that the Complete Collection sale starts tomorrow and runs through December 2nd. If you have been waiting for the Complete Collection to go on sale this is your chance. The Complete Collection will be on sale for $199.99 (normally it’s $379.99) with this promo code: blackfriday2013

Please use this link to order the Complete Collection:


THE TOPAZ LABS Image Enhancement Bundle is designed for photographers that want the look and feel of hours of photoshop work in less time and with more ease.

The action packed bundle enables photographers to enhance their photographic visions quickly and easily, with flexible adjustments that are easy to apply and customize. With simple solutions essential to the post processing workflow, Topaz Labs’ software makes it easy to achieve advanced corrective and creative Photoshop techniques – often in just a single click!


Enjoy simple integration into your existing workflow. No host? No problem. The all new photoFXlab is your One-Stop Topaz workshop! With access to your Topaz plug-ins and extras like an intuitive layered workflow, built-in masking, advanced edge-aware brushes, unique toning ability, and support of select 3rd party plug-ins, your Topaz photo enhancement workflow is now easier and even more effective!  Learn more at:


Open Up a World of Unlimited Creative Photo Possibilities

Let’s face it, the image your digial camera captures isn’t always what you envisioned. When this happens we all just want a quick and easy way to bring our original vision to life, and give our photos that WOW factor! Topaz software is the most effective way to supercharge your post-processing workflow and get the looks that you want without spending all day on the computer – or breaking the bank. Whether you’re a photo enthu- siast, hobbyist, an advanced amateur or an experienced pro, you can benefit from the flexibility and convenience offered by this robust image enhancement toolset.

1. Browse & Apply presets for a quick 1-click workflow
2. Preview your original and adjusted image
3. Customize your image with intuitive adjustment sliders

Put the Topaz Labs programs to the test with your photos using a FREE fully- functional 30-day trial. Sign up today at: http://www.topazlabs.com/705.html to get started.

Make photos pop with creative exposure, detail and color tools.

Enhance detail and sharpen with no halos or artifacts.

High-quality noise reduction. Remove noise, preserve detail.

Simulate lenses, filters and specialty camera effects.

Masking is made easy with this fast and easy-to-use tool.

Control over unique smoothing, texturing and edge stylization.

Create traditional and stylized black and white images.

Quickly and effectively sharpen, refine and deblur images.

Instantly transform any photo into an artistic work of art.

Restore optimal JPEG image integrity and remove artifacts.



Using HDR Photography to Create Your Own Personal Style Workshop

Nick Roberts – Using HDR Photography to Create Your Own Personal Style Tickets in Louisville, KY, United States.

Fourth of July Funnel Cakes
Fourth of July Funnel Cakes

Click on the image to enlarge it.

There is still time to join me for my HDR workshop in Louisville, KY, November 9, 2013. Learn how to use HDR techniques and NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 to create images that reflect your own personal style in this hands on workshop. You’ll be taught how to shoot for HDR along with what equipment you’ll need.

Ohio River Sunset Panorama
Ohio River Sunset Panorama

Click on the image to enlarge it.

We will also go over shooting handheld brackets, using single frames and software plugins to create faux HDR and applying plugins from Topaz Labs and onOne Software to get unique results without beating your brains out in Photoshop. My past workshop participants have all said it was well worth the time and money to attend and they still share images with me that show how well the class prepared them to build their HDR expertise.

Parkland Morning
Parklands Morning

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Learn how to create images that defy the cliched, halo riddled, over saturated, grungy look that many people think of when thinking about HDR. After this workshop you will have the knowledge and the tools to create realistic yet powerful HDR images that show your vision for the subject without drawing attention to the technique that you used. In addition to learning how to use HDR to improve your images we will also talk about composition and it’s contribution to successful and memorable images.


I have an affiliate relationship with Topaz Labs and onOne Software, and earn a small commission, which helps support this site, on any sales that are made by using the links below. Even if you aren’t ready to make a purchase you can use the links to access a Free 30 day trial of any of these products to determine whether or not they will fit your own digital workflow.



One additional thing to note is that both Topaz FX and onOne Perfect Photo Suite can be used as stand alone photo editing programs as well as plugins for Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture and Photoshop Elements. Both Topaz FX and onOne Perfect Photo Suite have built in layering features that make it possible to combine their own plugins when using them.


HDR of Robyn Keith at Work

Robyn Keith  #2
Robyn Keith #2

Click on the image to enlarge it in another window.

The woman in this image is Robyn Keith. Robyn is a carpenter and I wanted to capture her at work with the rising sun behind her. The light was really rich the morning I shot this and the sparks flying from her cutting wheel also caught me eye. I also liked the way the morning sunlight was reflecting off the surface of the concrete form that she was working on and tying the sparks, the sunlit sky and the reflections together.

This HDR image was created in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 from my standard bracket set of +2, o and -2 EV. Because she was moving slightly while cutting off the rebar, I had to apply 80% anti-ghosting to eliminate some ghosting around her head. When applying anti-ghosting I always strive to use the smallest percentage possible to avoid creating other artifacts in the image. In this case 80% was the lowest amount I could use; anything less than that amount left ghosts of her head and hands. I could have dealt with that issue inside Photoshop but the anti-ghosting settings in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 usually are a much simpler approach and work very well in most cases.After merging the three frames I applied the Balanced preset to do my basic tone-mapping. I like to use that preset because it adds a small amount of contrast to the initial merger and sets the stage for me to adjust the shadows and highlights without adding too much of an over-processed HDR feel to the merged files. As usual I returned the merged files to Aperture 3 where I completed adjusting it and sharpened it.

onOne Software Announces Perfect Photo Suite 8

boxes_3 editions

OnOne Software Announces Perfect Photo Suite 8, a complete photo editor for every workflow. The new Perfect Enhance module, Perfect Eraser, Perfect Batch utility, and re-engineered Perfect Effects module create a complete photo editing solution that seamlessly integrates into any workflow.

OnOne Software, Inc., a leading developer of innovative and timesaving solutions for digital photography, today announced Perfect Photo Suite 8—the photographer’s choice for photo editing. Perfect Photo Suite 8 is a full-featured, standalone photo editor that integrates seamlessly with Adobe® Photoshop®, Lightroom®, Photoshop Elements, and Apple® Aperture® and it includes all the best tools a photographer needs to create extraordinary images. Key new features include the Perfect Enhance module for essential photo adjustments, the Perfect Eraser with content-aware fill technology, the Perfect Batch processing utility for applying workflows to multiple images at once, and a re-engineered Perfect Effects module with twice as many filters, customizable presets, and integrated FocalPoint™ technology.

The new tools and capabilities alongside Perfect Photo Suite 8’s eight modules—Effects, Enhance, B&W, Portrait, Mask, Layers, Resize, and Browse—allow photographers to enhance, retouch, and stylize images in a layered workflow, replace backgrounds, create high-quality enlargements, prepare images for output, and batch process workflows. The modules share a unified interface, each targeting a specific image processing task. Each module provides only the tools necessary to complete the job at hand, eliminating screen clutter and confusion for the user.

We listened intently to the digital photography community about what they wanted for their image processing in today’s world of plug-ins, online apps, and subscriptions,” said Craig Keudell, president of onOne Software. “We made it a priority to respond quickly and design a cohesive new product that continues to focus on photography and is built for photographers of all levels, from enthusiasts to professionals. We’ve leveraged our extensive experience as a plug-in company and evolved the Perfect Photo Suite into a complete and powerful photo editor that, unlike existing plug-in collections, works as one, elegantly designed product that seamlessly integrates into any workflow.”

New in Perfect Photo Suite 8:

• Perfect Enhance module – Perfect Enhance provides essential tools for basic enhancements. Use it to adjust brightness and contrast, remove a color cast, remove dust spots and power lines, and add sharpening and vignettes. It is an ideal module to start with when using Perfect Photo Suite 8 as a standalone application or when quick corrections are needed.

• Perfect Eraser – Using content-aware fill technology and simple brush strokes, the Perfect Eraser removes objects and automatically reconstructs the image with realistic results.

Twice as Many Filters – The Effects module now includes new adjustable filters including: HDR Look, Dynamic Contrast for tonal clarity, Vintage, Grunge, Antique, and more.

Customizable Presets – All built-in presets included in Perfect Photo Suite 8 may be deconstructed by their filter settings and personally customized.

FocalPoint is now in the Effects Module – The best parts of FocalPoint technology to create bokeh, tilt-shift, and selective focus effects after the shot, are now in the Effects module as the

Lens Blur filter.

New Browse module – Images can be browsed and directly accessed from Perfect Photo Suite wherever they are stored—on the computer, an external drive, a connected network, and even on a cloud-based storage service like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Apple’s photo stream.

Perfect Batch Utility – Powerful batch processing of actions from one or multiple modules, including the insertion of a watermark.

Multiple File Handling: As a photo editor, you can now open and work with more than one image at a time. Move between images to edit or copy layers from one file to the next.

Improved Masking Bug: Redesigned Masking Bug in the Effects and Layers modules make mask creation easier and more intuitive.

Higher Quality Effects: Performance enhancements improve effects by minimizing artifacts without sacrificing processing speed.

Improved RAW file handling: Open and process RAW files faster and with better quality. Support for new cameras also added.

Availability and Pricing

The new Perfect Photo Suite 8 will be available November 26, 2013. Pre-orders are available immediately at www.onOnesoftware.com/affiliates/idevaffiliate.php?id=459. Perfect Photo Suite 8 is available in three editions: Premium, Standard, and an edition for Adobe Lightroom & Apple Aperture. The Premium Edition works with Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, Photoshop Elements, and as a standalone application. Owners of previous versions of Perfect Photo Suite Premium Edition can upgrade for $99.95. New users may pre-order the Premium Edition for $179.95. For a limited time, pre-orders of Perfect Photo Suite 8 Premium Edition will include a complimentary Essential Video Guide to Perfect Photo Suite 8, which provides a comprehensive collection of getting started training videos for Perfect Photo Suite 8 ($40 value).

Perfect Photo Suite 8 for Adobe Lightroom & Apple Aperture works with Lightroom, Aperture, Photoshop Elements, and as a standalone application. It is available for $129.95 | $79.95 upgrade. The Standard Edition works as a complete standalone photo editor and is available for $79.95. New users who pre-order Perfect Photo Suite 8 will immediately receive a complimentary license for Perfect Photo Suite 7.5. Customers who pre-order Perfect Photo Suite 8 will receive all upcoming Loyalty Rewards that will be delivered monthly to owners of the Perfect Photo Suite 8. For those who have purchased Perfect Photo Suite 7.5 on or after August 1, 2013, onOne Software will issue a complimentary upgrade to Perfect Photo Suite 8 via download when it is available. For more information on Perfect Photo Suite 8, visit http://www.onOnesoftware.com/affiliates/idevaffiliate.php?id=459

About onOne Software

onOne Software, Inc., is a leading developer of innovative software tools and apps for digital photography and offers time-saving software solutions for photographers of all levels, from enthusiasts to professionals. Leveraging its extensive history as successful plug-in developer for Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Lightroom, and Apple Aperture, and continued development of cutting-edge technology, onOne publishes unified solutions that offer both full-featured photo editing capabilities and the flexibility of traditional plug-ins.

For additional information, visit OnOne using the link below:


Faux HDR with Topaz Adjust

Patina Pickup
Patina Pickup

Click on the image to enlarge it in another window.

Today I’m wrapping up my automotive theme of the past week with this shot from the NSRA Streetrod Nationals a couple of years ago. Unlike most of my current work this image is a single frame which means it isn’t a true HDR image. I used Topaz Adjust to create the overall feeling of the shot and emphasize the sky and clouds while still rendering the truck’s shadow detail. By working with Topaz Adjust I was able to pull out the wonderful colors and tones that were in the image.

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s posts and writings. My goal with SpeedDemon2 is to share my workflow and discoveries as I evaluate and apply the many plug-ins that are out there today. I won’t claim that I’m an expert with any of them but after several years of exploring them I do have a pretty good handle on their strengths and their shortcomings. Plug-ins won’t make a poor composition or a badly exposed image better but when applied to photographs that are well thought out and  well executed they can definitely add interest and a personal style to your work.

Topaz, NIK and OnOne are really expanding the capabilities and usability of their products as they learn from their customers what they, the end users, want and need. The ability to combine presets, modify the presets and also create your own presets is rapidly expanding the range of styles and results we can get without spending hours or days inside Photoshop. Adobe’s decision to stop selling it’s creative suite and offering a subscription only model is, in my opinion, driving this expansion of features and functionality and will ultimately benefit all of us who enjoy creating photographic art.

On that note I want to mention that Topaz Labs has added another incredible program to their already extensive line. Topaz ReStyle is their latest offering and from my short exploration yesterday I think it will be a great addition to my workflow. ReStyle contains over 1000 presets and each one is fully customizable to allow the artist to fully explore his or her vision for their images. It is on sale at an introductory price of  $29.99 (the regular price after 08/31/2013 is $59.99)with the coupon code restyleit.

Use this link to go to the Topaz Labs website and download a free 30 day trial or take advantage of the introductory pricing which is good until August 31, 2013.