Tag: Spicify



This image is another photo from the NSRA Streetrod Nationals in Louisville, KY. I processed this image using the Topaz Adjust Spicify preset. Not a lot to add about processing except to point out that the fact that when using presets such as Spicify there is always the potential for excessive noise in the image. I processed this image at a time when I was just starting to use Topaz Adjust and looking back at the image I would probably dial the strength of the preset down some in an effort to reduce the noise in the sky and the reflections in the paint on the car.

I like the composition for a couple of reasons in particular the low camera angle that really emphasizes the voluptuous form of the car. The placement of the subject creates a tension as the car seems to be moving forward in the frame. I did this to showcase that massive grill and front bumper and to emphasize the front vanity license plate. The complimentary colors of the orange car with the blue sky add interest from the standpoint of color balance.

Texture Is Where You Find It.

Following up with yesterday’s post I wanted to share a few more images where texture is the dominant element. This first shot was taken in Arches National Park while hiking to a point to shoot some red rock vistas. The texture of the lizard’s skin against the sandstone combined with the visual texture of the shadows across the scene reinforce the feeling of the arid desert. I’m drawn to the sparkle of the individual grains of sand that make up his perch and the way that the light reflects under the ledge. Topaz Adjust was used to intensify the monochromatic tones in the scene while highlighting the overall contrast.

This image is a macro shot of the desert floor of the same trail that the previous image was taken on. The repetition of the same forms that make up the landscape are visible here in an area that is likely less than two inches across. The way that the shadows fall across the scene enhance the contrast and definition of the surface. Using Topaz to process this shot was a simple choice because of the ability of the Spicify preset to bring out the details while preserving the color and texture of the rock.

This final image is once again a macro shot of the desert floor. This was taken in Monument Valley and shows us how even at the smallest point the forces that formed monument valley’s huge buttes and mesas are at work carving away the layers of sandstone and creating new forms. On a grand scale geologic areas like this are referred to as “slick rock” and the tiny mesa in the middle of the scene could just as easily be seen in a landscape shot encompassing miles and miles of the valley. The Spicify preset in Topaz Adjust brings out the texture and color while allowing the scene to stand on the merits of it’s color and composition.

Using Texture as the Main Subject

Today I’d like to show some shots that rely on texture for their impact. I really like the way this first image came out after processing it in Topaz Adjust using the Spicify preset. The peeling paint and pitted chrome really jump out and the DeSoto badge adds a nice hit of color to balance with the rusted grill bars. I look at images such as this as studies in using texture as the focus of the image.

Here is another texture shot from the same DeSoto. I really like the way the crazed paint conveys a feeling of age and shows it’s inherent beauty. For me this image has an almost topographical feel as if we are looking at a surreal landscape. Topaz Adjust does a great job here of intensifying the colors and showing the texture in the subject.

This detail shot of the door on an old truck shows how isolating a section of one of these old cars can create an interesting image. I usually try to spend some time exploring the surface of these cars and searching for interesting compositions that isolate the texture and patina of time.

This last image is one of my favorite shots of a Buick I located in northern Alabama a few years back. I was drawn to the contrast of the chrome against the pitted and rusted surface of the metal. The many colors that were present in the paint and rust were brought out by processing this shot in Topaz Adjust using the Spicify preset. When I use these presets they are simply starting points for me and I usually spend a great deal of time playing with the various sliders to find the right combination for a given image.

1948 Buick

This Buick caught my eye at the Street Rod Nationals here in Louisville last summer. I decided to use Topaz Adjust to make a Black and White version and really like the way it came out. By getting down low with my camera I was able to create a dynamic composition that emphasizes the lines in the car.

Here is the same car processed in Topaz Adjust. The Spicify preset really brought out the color in the car and enhanced the clouds. I got in low and close to the car to compose this shot. I like the way that the car seems to be moving out of the frame, the details inside the headlight, the reflections of the sky and the way the metallic paint sparkles in the sun.

One tip I have for shooting these types of images is to use a polarizer. Using a polarizer intensifies the colors and subdues the glare that shooting at midday causes. The other tip I have for you is to get down on the ground and shoot up at the car. Don’t be afraid to get dirty lying on the ground; in the end the results are usually worth it.

This final image is of another 1948 Buick I found down in Alabama. It has been given a faux HDR look with Topaz Adjust. I took this shot early in the morning and shot it from a low angle to emphasize the grill and the massiveness of the car. The sky was very hazy that morning which resulted in it being nearly colorless but the Spicify preset brought a little color back into it. The halo around the tree is a result of pushing the preset a little too far but even at that I like this image.

Vintage Indian Racer

I really like the way this image turned out. The bike is a work of art and has been lovingly restored. The young man riding it is probably half the bike’s age. I really like the juxtaposition of the vintage bike with the modern leathers and helmet. The reflection of the other participants in the face shield and the golden glow on it are part of why I chose this image.

As in yesterday’s post this image went through processing in Aperture 3 and Topaz Adjust. The noise in the image works for me; much as the film grain in Kodak Tri-X did when I shot B&W film years ago.

The motorcycle and rider fill the foreground in the composition yet they still allow the viewer’s eye to move on into the scene through the negative space of the salt flat into the distant mountains. The shadows on the left hint at unseen spectators that are waiting in anticipation of seeing him speed off down the race course in pursuit of a world record.