Topaz Clarity vs Topaz Adjust Comparison

Topaz Adjust Version
Topaz Adjust Version

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I wanted to see how Topaz Clarity would compare to Topaz Adjust in terms of rendering a more realistic faux HDR image so I went back in my library to some work I did at the Bonneville Salt Flats during the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials.

The image above was processed in Topaz Adjust 4 and shows a lot of halos as well as a very surreal rendering of the racers themselves. I reprocessed the original file using Topaz Clarity which really improved on the result as you can see in the second version below. There is a lot less noise in the sky and the skin tones are more realistic though the shadow areas are not as open as in the earlier version. All in all Topaz Clarity made a smoother version while still compensating for the extreme lighting conditions of shooting at midday on the salt flats.

Topaz Clarity Version
Topaz Clarity Version

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Below is another image of a sunrise over the entrance to the Bonneville Salt Flats that I used Topaz Clarity to process. It has fewer problems with halos and noise while still extracting a great deal of information from the single frame exposure I used to create it.

Bonneville Sunrise
Bonneville Sunrise

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I like the way that Topaz Clarity handles these types of images and suggest that you give the Topaz software a trial of your own to see if it is something you want to add to your processing tools and techniques. Topaz is running a summer sale offer of the entire Topaz Bundle for $199 until July 7, 2013 which makes it a really good deal. If you want to trial or purchase any of the Topaz products please use the link below which credits me with your purchase and pays me a small commission.

http://www.topazlabs.com/705.html

 

6 thoughts on “Topaz Clarity vs Topaz Adjust Comparison

  1. I definitely prefer the Clarity version, Nick. When processing calls attention to itself more than it does interpreting or enhancing the photo, that’s a problem, and I sort of feel that way about the Adjust version. Thanks for showing these.

  2. Of course, it’s all personal preference … but I’d be tempted to pop them both into Photoshop … Adjust version on top, Clarity on bottom, then just mask down to the Clarity for the sky and wherever else the halos are bothering you. Then bring the opacity of the Adjust layer down so that there’s slightly less of the WOW factor, if that bothers you (which, personally for me it does not) … but it might bring the intensity of the now-masked sky and the balance of the rest of the Adjust image into line with each other a bit more. It’s a lot like makeup — blend – blend – blend!!! Bottom line .. it never has to be a either / or decision.

  3. Yeah, I agree, because in this particular case… your subject matter lends itself to the more edgy Adjust rendition. The blend would be interesting. I have been using both, and since I often do a lot of manual adjusting after selecting a preset, I am finding I still favor Adjust, so far. Your example is helping me see where I might push the envelope with Clarity. Thanks for posting!

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