Friday, March 1, 2013

PhotoThoughts: Treehouse-An All Topaz Software Edit with a Surprise Ending

Treehouse by Ron Martinsen (ronmart) on 500px.com - Copyright ® Ron Martinsen - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Treehouse by Ron Martinsen
Copyright ® Ron Martinsen- All Rights Reserved

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.

SNAGHTMLae282b

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.

Treehouse - Before Editing - Copyright ® Ron Martinsen- All Rights Reserved
Treehouse - Before Editing - Copyright ® Ron Martinsen- All Rights Reserved
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, f/5.6 @70 mm, 1/100, ISO 3200, No Flash, AWB

Lost? Don’t worry, it’ll all make more sense when you watch me do it in the webinar video – coming soon.

One little secret is that I did do noise reduction on the Background layer before doing the demo using Noiseware, but don’t tell anyone! ;-)

Conclusion

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:

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Go try out the free demos or order today using these links:

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1 comment:

Sallie said...

I am sad that I missed the webinar! I love to watch your process labeling each layer, I learn so much that way. I loved your past webinars and look forward to watching this one. Thank you!