Tag: technology

The Surveyor

The Surveyor Takes His Readings.
The Surveyor Takes His Readings.

Click on the image to enlarge it in another window.

The surveyors on Walsh Construction’s Ohio River Bridges Project are a critical part of the bridge building process. Without them the whole project would grind to a halt. By continually measuring and checking the installation of the foundation components these folks assure that everything goes into place exactly as called for in the plans.

This image is a three exposure bracket set that was merged and tone mapped in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 before being returned to Aperture 3 for final adjustment. By using HDR techniques I was able to handle the wide dynamic range that was present due to the strong backlighting of the sun in the clouds behind the surveyor.

Topaz Labs Introduces It’s Latest Product “Clarity” Today


As I noted in yesterday’s post there are currently a lot of new and exciting products coming out to help in post-processing our images. Topaz Labs released one such breakthrough product today with the release of Topaz Clarity.

I am especially interested in the ability of Topaz Clarity to minimize halos and the new masking feature. I’ll be working with it over the next few days and sharing my thoughts and results with you as I explore these features.

Here are some of the unique features introduced in Topaz Clarity:

1. Selective Contrast Control. With Clarity, Topaz Labs has developed a cutting edge process of selecting specific contrast variations in your original image, allowing you to quickly target and then increase or decrease the contrast and clarity in that specific variation.

2. Breakthrough Halo-Free Algorithm. Boost contrast and clarity without emphasizing transitions between light and dark areas, eliminating the common problem of halos, noise and artifacts.

3. Advanced Hue/Saturation/Luminance Technology. Using IntelliColor technology, you can easily enhance your image with the HSL filter, getting stronger, yet more natural HSL adjustments.

4. Re-Imagined Masking Workflow. The masking module, now attached to each adjustment tab contains a comprehensive set of tools including an edge-aware brush, gradient mask, smart feather tool, color aware tool and more.

5. User Interface Design. With Clarity, they have continued to develop a cleaner, more modern and efficient interface to improve usability, workflow and overall aesthetics.


Clarity will retail for $49.99, but will be available at a special reduced price of $29.99 through May 31st with with this promo code: claritynew

Please use the Topaz link below when going to the Topaz Labs site. 


I’m an affiliate of Topaz Labs and earn a small commission on any sales made through my referral link which helps me offset the cost of producing SpeedDemon2. 


Topaz B&W Effects 2.1 Released

Topaz Labs announced yesterday that Topaz B&W Effects 2.1 has been released!  This upgrade is free  for all users who have already purchased Topaz B&W Effects. For those who don’t already own Topaz B&W and want to purchase Topaz B&W Effects 2.1 I have included a 15% discount code below.bw

Use the link below to Topaz Labs site where you can download a free 30 day trial.


Save 15% NOW by entering coupon code: “ NEW2TOPAZ ” during checkout.

New features include: 

A Zone System: Allows users to identify various zones in their images as well as observe the changes in zones as exposure and other adjustments are made. This is not an adjustment tool, but a visual aid.


Each number relates to a tonal range (0-3 are shadows, 4-7 are mid-tones and 8-10 are highlights) . The blue color will show where that particular zone is in the photo being edited on the image you are editing.

Borders: Prior versions of B&W Effects only had a choice of 2 borders: Solid Black or Solid White. This version adds many more options.

Tone Quicktools: Similar to the Color Filter buttons, quicktools have been added for Silver and Paper toning for: 1. Selenium, 2. Cyanotype (Gold/Blue), 3. Copper (Red), 4. Sepia and 5. Antique Dye *The 6th, white teardrop refers to No Tone

Apply Button: This feature allows a user to apply changes without having to exit the program. Multiple presets can be applied one on top of another and so forth.

Language SupportB&W v2.1 supports Spanish, French, German, (Brazilian) Portugese, Japanese and Chinese (Simplified and Taiwanese). If your machine has one of these languages set in the region/language settings, the UI will be rendered in that language.

I hope you enjoy the newest release. Feel free to post any feedback in the comment area below. Thanks and enjoy!

Why Blog?

iRobot eyes
iRobot eyes

I was reading Renard Moreau’s blog this morning http://renardmoreau.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/just-pondering-part-352/ and his daily post got me thinking about what blogging has done for me.

Here’s what I wrote:

“For me blogging about my photography has opened many new doors and at the same time it has forced me to search for meaning in my work. I have only been blogging for about ten months and already I am in contact with a worldwide network of creative people who share my interests.
I could not have planned this but through writing about and sharing my art I have grown in so many ways. I’ll soon be 65 years old and only wish that something like blogging had been available to me 40 years ago as I set out on my journey into art school and my path of creativity.
To those who are just beginning their journey I say; write every day, create every day and stay engaged with the world around you. The planet is shrinking one post at a time and there are so many creative minds to connect with. What exciting times these are and what wonders await us all.”

Be back soon…

I’m waiting for a new hard drive to arrive so I can get back to work. I have filled my 1TB to overflowing and due to the age of my iMac I needed one with firewire ports. I found one yesterday at B&H Photo and they shipped it this morning.

When you overfill a hard drive it becomes very slow and that drives me crazy. As soon as I get it I can transfer my library and get back to work. It’s frustrating but that’s what I get for procrastinating about getting the new one.