By Robert Lachman
This week I’m going to review Topaz Adjust software by Topaz Labs, a plug-in for Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.
It’s a little hard to explain what this software does, except it’s fun to use and adds a lot of pop to your photos.
According to the company line, Topaz Adjust uses advanced algorithms to achieve unique exposure effects and adjustments in seconds. It offers the user full control over creative exposure, color, and detail effects, and has the ability to save and reuse presets for maximum convenience.
I always love when the software companies say they use advanced algorithms. I can barely pronounce it, how am I going to explain it.
This software takes your boring low-contrast photographs and gives them an HDR end result with added color saturation or the David Hill effect on your portraits.
It makes things a little more contrasty, brings out the color and just adds a different look to your photographs. I really recommend you try it just to see the different outcomes which can be achieved with Topaz Adjust.
The software is very easy to use. It’s a plug-in and I tested it with Photoshop Elements 6. It’s nice when the software will work with both Photoshop or Elements so more people will be able to use it.
It couldn’t be simpler to use. Just open your photo, go to the menu item filter, scroll down to Topaz Lab, then select Topaz Adjust.
The program opens your photo into a new adjustable size window. You can then decide the magnification of your image.
Now the fun part begins. They do have some presets which includes, vibrance, color blast clarity, photo pop, and enhance contrast. Double click on any of these to give you an idea of some of the effects which can be achieved.
The presets give some nice examples but move on to the sliders. This is where you can experience the power of the software. Work in a left to right order as the tutorial on the website recommends.
The first manual setting is is Exposure which reveals six powerful sliders. The important sliders here are adaptive exposure and regions. Give these a try first. A little goes a long way.
Next try Details which includes the strength and boost sliders. Move to the right and pick Color for added saturation. You may start to see some grain and noise as you work with some of the sliders.
The Noise option will smooth out the grain. It does take the computer time to work out the computations so be patient.
With large photographs this will take some time. You may be used to blazing speed with your high-powered computer but you’ll need to relax and let the software do it’s work
One important note, this is an experimental and artistic process so it doesn’t work with every photograph.
Topaz Adjust from Topaz Labs is just one of those programs that’s very enjoyable to work with, especially since you only use one photograph and unlike HDR software which relies on multiple images.
You just need to fire it up and start working the sliders. Find a photograph which needs some added pop and color to the clouds or sky or a building which doesn’t have enough saturation.
It can almost make your photographs look like stylized cartoons as you ramp up the effect. It gives your simple photos a super-graphic look.
It’s not for every photograph. A lot of times you might not want this, but for so many flat boring-looking photographs an extra-cool boost may just be the ticket. Be sure to check it out.