I recently taught a Webinar on Topaz Labs website called “Spice up your images without HDR” (link to wrap up article for attendees). During this video (which will be available soon here), I show how easy it is to create a nice enhancement to what starts off as a nice but kinda blah photo.
The challenge I gave myself for this photo was to only use Topaz Labs products and simply experiment. You can see from my layers pallet below that I relied heavily on Topaz Labs Adjust 5. After getting the look I wanted with those presets, I had a little more noise than I wanted so I used Denoise 5 to clean it up. Finally I used Lens Effects for the final touches. This gave me that HDR-Like look that I wanted without actually using HDR.
The effect was a little overdone so I put them all in a group (in this case I just needed to do it to the last layer) and reduced the opacity to tone down the effect. Some areas were a little too crispy with detail so I used a mask on the group to soften that (again, in this case I could have just done it to the layer, but I was trying to demonstrate the features of layer groups).
This gave a pleasing result, but I wanted to bring it back to reality and give it a little darker midtone feel so I create a black and white layer with an opacity of 80% to give it “the look” that you see in the finished image.
For those who are interested, here’s the original as it came out of the camera.
Lost? Don’t worry, it’ll all make more sense when you watch me do it in the webinar video – coming soon.
I went pretty fast here, but I’ll update this article with the video once it becomes available. Hopefully you enjoy seeing how it was done though and you can try yourself using the free demo versions of the products mentioned in this article. Here’s links to those demo versions:
Go try out the free demos or order today using these links:
Other articles you may enjoy
If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy these:
- Topaz Adjust 5.0
- Topaz Labs Black & White Effects 2
- Topaz Labs DeNoise 3.0
- Topaz Labs InFocus
- Topaz Labs ReMask 3.0
- Topaz Labs Star Effects
- What Photoshop books should I read?
- What plug-ins should I buy? (for Photoshop & Lightroom)
- Which Printer Should I Buy? Epson or Canon?
If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.