Using NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and Topaz Labs Software Together to Add Drama to an Image

1929 Monument to Progress
A Monument to Progress From the Art Deco Era

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I was in the mood to experiment yesterday and decided to use this photo of the statue at the Indiana entrance of the Clark Memorial Bridge across the Ohio River in Jeffersonville Indiana as my source image. I first created a HDR image from a three frame bracket set of +2, 0 and-2 EV exposures where I applied the Balanced preset with Detail set for Accentuated and Drama set for Deep. I returned the merged file to Aperture 3 for some retouching of dust spots and other standard adjustments. After doing that I created a duplicate file and opened it in Topaz ReStyle where I applied a preset that I happened upon while experimenting with the Landscape presets. I don’t recall which one it is (I should write that stuff down) but I liked the feeling of Art Deco Posters that it gave the image. I also added a texture layer in OnOne Perfect Effects that simulates canvas.

After creating this image I spent a few hours applying different combinations of Topaz ReStyle and OnOne Perfect Effects to several other copies of the same image. It was very exciting to see how many ways I could change the overall feeling of one image simply through application of Various Topaz ReStyle and OnOne Perfect Effects.

1929 Monument to Progress
HDR Image of the Indiana Entrance to the Clark Memorial Bridge in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

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The image above is the source image that I created in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 before experimenting with Topaz ReStyle and OnOne Perfect Effects.

1929 Monument to Progress
There Was a Time When Design Was as Important as Function as in this Monument at the Entrance to the Clark Memorial Bridge in Jeffersonville, Indiana Illustrates.

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This version uses only a single Topaz Restyle preset to convey an entirely different feeling to the HDR source image.

Indiana entrance to the Clark Memorial Bridge #4
Apocalyptic Morning

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For this final image I worked with a HDR image that I then applied a Fiery preset in Topaz ReStyle to before taking it into OnOne Perfect Effects and using layers added a Glow preset and a Texture preset called Black Leather. In both instances I reduced the Opacity of the presets a lot to get this final version.

I had a blast experimenting with all three pieces of software and may do some further experimenting again soon.

6 thoughts on “Using NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and Topaz Labs Software Together to Add Drama to an Image

    1. I hit the wrong button too… 😉

      I really enjoyed the exercise and plan to do more of it. Thanks for the kind word too… glorious!!!… kinda has a nice ring to it doesn’t it? 🙂

  1. Hi Nick, these are amazing! BTW, I know what you mean of going through so many presets you forget and should write them down. What I do a lot of the time is take a screenshot while I’m in the program and save it.

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