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Author Topic: Making Images Better by Topaz - clarity  (Read 11521 times)

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tab62

« on: May 27, 2013, 11:44 »
0
Has anyone tried this filter-

http://www.topazlabs.com/blog/topaz-clarity-released


Could this over process the images thus getting rejections?

Thanks

T


tab62

« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2013, 11:49 »
0
Just spoke to a friend of my mine and he told me that the majority of filters are for folks that don't know how to use Camera Raw or Photoshop very well. He feels that these filters are useless for the most part thus I will not purchase the Topaz...


« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2013, 12:09 »
+1
Just spoke to a friend of my mine and he told me that the majority of filters are for folks that don't know how to use Camera Raw or Photoshop very well. He feels that these filters are useless for the most part thus I will not purchase the Topaz...

Your friend speaks nonsense.  Or to be fair, there may be plenty of filters that can be replaced easily, but I have found many that can not.  I rely on Imagenomic Portraiture for my people shots; a light application softens the harsh effects of studio strobes and reduces my skin touchup work dramatically.  As far as Topaz filters go, I like Topaz Adjust for making scenic images pop, and I rely on Topaz ReMask to separate objects from their backgrounds.  I have a couple of others that I play with on occasion, but those are the ones that get the most use.  And I defy you to get an equivalent result in twice the time without them.

tab62

« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2013, 12:31 »
0
I will try the 30 days eval on these filters to mention to see how much time I take - I know I spend a lot of time on processing images thus could raise my production level. Thanks

T

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2013, 12:41 »
0
I will try the 30 days eval on these filters to mention to see how much time I take - I know I spend a lot of time on processing images thus could raise my production level. Thanks

T
I have acquaintances who think that the only people who use e.g. PS (etc) are those who can't 'take a decent photo with their camera'. It's what Michelle Obama calls 'a conversation'.

tab62

« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2013, 12:43 »
0
I know I try my best to get as much possibility done right in the camera since I suck in photoshop lol  :)


« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2013, 18:43 »
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I use Topaz.
I have made a series of photoshop actions that use many topas filters in small amounts in different layer blending modes.
So I just press the button and the action comes up with a suggestion, of which I take some percent.

I have a clarity/ pop action that I use all the time: levels, contrast, topaz, topaz, blending modes. The pictures end up bright and shining, sometimes too much, but then I just adjust the transparency.

My images are not rejected.
Not for that. That is.

... and yes, there are always some idiots that claim that photoshop is for correcting photos, and a photo should be done right in the camera.
They even endorse flaws, because, "thats the way the light was at the day".
Mostly it is because they cannot handle photoshop.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 18:49 by JPSDK »

dbvirago

« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2013, 20:13 »
0
I need to learn to use the Topaz filters the way that JPSDK does as I think that would give some good, quick results.

For me, it's more often a case where I look at one of my images and can 'see' it using a particular filter. For instance, when I saw  this one, I knew I wanted to give it a watercolor look, so I applied the Painting - Venice filter. I don't use it often, but like most tools, it has it's uses.




Beppe Grillo

« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2013, 00:50 »
+1
Generally I find the filters from the Topaz series a little too much aggressive.
I think that a good trick is to apply the filter(s) on a copy of the original layer, and then blend the transparency of this layer, as you need, to balance the result keeping it more "natural".

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2013, 01:07 »
0
agree. I use topaz from time to time, and usually only apply the filters to certain parts of the image (so make a new duplicate layer, convert to smart filter...). For a while it was my go to place for black and white conversions too.

« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2013, 03:38 »
0
Topaz denoise and remask are nice tools, remask might just be the best masking app out there...  I don't really care about the rest.

« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2013, 03:44 »
0
Just spoke to a friend of my mine and he told me that the majority of filters are for folks that don't know how to use Camera Raw or Photoshop very well. He feels that these filters are useless for the most part thus I will not purchase the Topaz...

... I rely on Imagenomic Portraiture for my people shots ...


That's is what he wrote. Imagenomic Portraiture was created exactly to target those who are at loss on what to do with a portrait in PP.

« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2013, 10:40 »
0
i've all Topaz filters and they're great, not as great like NIK but still great.

i see no reason to do it all by hand, no matter what he PS freaks say.

they're just angry because their skills are becoming more and more worthless.

let them bark at the moon and try Topaz or NIK, there's nothing better than these two companies in the PS arena.

« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2013, 10:42 »
0
I have acquaintances who think that the only people who use e.g. PS (etc) are those who can't 'take a decent photo with their camera'. It's what Michelle Obama calls 'a conversation'.

yeah and i've friends who disdain anything not shot a medium format film camera.
and then you look at their super boring images, technically perfect, but booooring.


« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2013, 11:05 »
+1
I have acquaintances who think that the only people who use e.g. PS (etc) are those who can't 'take a decent photo with their camera'. It's what Michelle Obama calls 'a conversation'.

Haha, and those people obviously must believe that the cover images on Vogue etc. are straight out of the camera.

They also believe that celebrities never age or have any wrinkles.

 ::)

aspp

« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2013, 11:13 »
0
I have acquaintances who think that the only people who use e.g. PS (etc) are those who can't 'take a decent photo with their camera'.

Probably the sort of people who used to get their snaps processed at the mini-mart !

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2013, 11:24 »
0
I have acquaintances who think that the only people who use e.g. PS (etc) are those who can't 'take a decent photo with their camera'.

Probably the sort of people who used to get their snaps processed at the mini-mart !

Not at all; all wildlife photographers, not interested in celebs or snaps.
I only made the point to say that people have opinions which work for them. Doesn't make them right for everyone else.

aspp

« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2013, 11:49 »
+1
I have acquaintances who think that the only people who use e.g. PS (etc) are those who can't 'take a decent photo with their camera'.

Probably the sort of people who used to get their snaps processed at the mini-mart !

Not at all; all wildlife photographers, not interested in celebs or snaps.
I only made the point to say that people have opinions which work for them. Doesn't make them right for everyone else.

In the film era, wildlife photographers would definitely have taken great care over exactly how their film was processed. Having first chosen which film they wanted to use for a particular look. Then when you had come all the way back from an expensive foreign trip you would definitely make sure to get a few rolls tested first and then processed at a lab you trusted. And maybe you would want some of it pushed or pulled a little or the contrast adjusted. And the same when it came to making prints - bringing out different parts of the image etc. You would want them to be just so - carefully choosing the right papers etc.

Post production today is completely analogous, just less messy.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 12:34 by aspp »

CD123

« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2013, 01:27 »
0
I do not own a top range camera, so my pictures does not always  come out 100% the way they should. Different lighting conditions creates different "flaws" in pictures. I use filters in Photoshop to get get the image to reflect at best what I saw through my viewfinder and to liven up the image if and where needed. Some filters can be harsh, but most are adjustable to your taste.

I normally use a 2 layer approach with the original image as bottom layer and apply the filter to the top layer. After that I change the filtered layer's occupancy to just use enough of the filter's effect to suite my taste or mask where I need it. 

If I had a $3000+ camera I would probably use the filters less. But I don't, so I do...  ;)
« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 01:35 by CD123 »

« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2013, 05:24 »
0
Quote
If I had a $3000+ camera I would probably use the filters less. But I don't, so I do.

This is not a question of camera but primarily a question of  lenses. And like Yuri Arcurs said once: "It's all about around the camera". I often use NIK filters.  I think, NIK filters are the best on the market. You can use these filters perfectly selective and save a lot of time.

Veneratio

« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2013, 05:28 »
0
The camera records what you saw, the processing - with or without filters - is what YOU WANT people to see.

CD123

« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2013, 05:57 »
0
The camera records what you saw, the processing - with or without filters - is what YOU WANT people to see.

Riiiight!!!!  :o  So the sensor, type of lens, etc, etc. has no effect. We should all be shooting with little instant cameras and save a bundle on expensive equipment then.

CD123

« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2013, 05:59 »
0
Quote
If I had a $3000+ camera I would probably use the filters less. But I don't, so I do.

This is not a question of camera but primarily a question of  lenses. And like Yuri Arcurs said once: "It's all about around the camera". I often use NIK filters.  I think, NIK filters are the best on the market. You can use these filters perfectly selective and save a lot of time.

You are obviously right (except perhaps for the quality of the sensor) - referred to camera but meant equipment (I use the kit lenses).

Veneratio

« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2013, 07:01 »
0
The camera records what you saw, the processing - with or without filters - is what YOU WANT people to see.

Riiiight!!!!  :o  So the sensor, type of lens, etc, etc. has no effect. We should all be shooting with little instant cameras and save a bundle on expensive equipment then.

Yeah, that's what I said wasn't it?  ::)

Camera produces the quality, the processing gives it the aesthetic appeal. Mind you, don't photographers say that a good photographer can take a great picture with any camera? The best camera is the one with you at the time?

The point I was trying to make Charl, was that the treatment applied in processing is not dictated by the image, or quality of it. A "look" can be applied to an image whether it was captured on a Hassy or Nikon Coolpix. We use expensive tools because they produce the quality and size we want, not the "look" we want.

CD123

« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2013, 07:59 »
0
The camera records what you saw, the processing - with or without filters - is what YOU WANT people to see.

Riiiight!!!!  :o  So the sensor, type of lens, etc, etc. has no effect. We should all be shooting with little instant cameras and save a bundle on expensive equipment then.

Yeah, that's what I said wasn't it?  ::)

Camera produces the quality, the processing gives it the aesthetic appeal. Mind you, don't photographers say that a good photographer can take a great picture with any camera? The best camera is the one with you at the time?

The point I was trying to make Charl, was that the treatment applied in processing is not dictated by the image, or quality of it. A "look" can be applied to an image whether it was captured on a Hassy or Nikon Coolpix. We use expensive tools because they produce the quality and size we want, not the "look" we want.

Only photographers who do not sell their images as stock will make that statement about "any camera", as their images does not get rejected for out of focus, etc. which is caused by sub standard equipment.

It also depends which filter you are using, as some are merely intended to improve picture quality and others add effect or both. 
« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 08:05 by CD123 »

Veneratio

« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2013, 08:24 »
0
The camera records what you saw, the processing - with or without filters - is what YOU WANT people to see.

Riiiight!!!!  :o  So the sensor, type of lens, etc, etc. has no effect. We should all be shooting with little instant cameras and save a bundle on expensive equipment then.

Yeah, that's what I said wasn't it?  ::)

Camera produces the quality, the processing gives it the aesthetic appeal. Mind you, don't photographers say that a good photographer can take a great picture with any camera? The best camera is the one with you at the time?

The point I was trying to make Charl, was that the treatment applied in processing is not dictated by the image, or quality of it. A "look" can be applied to an image whether it was captured on a Hassy or Nikon Coolpix. We use expensive tools because they produce the quality and size we want, not the "look" we want.

Only photographers who do not sell their images as stock will make that statement about "any camera", as their images does not get rejected for out of focus, etc. which is caused by sub standard equipment.

It also depends which filter you are using, as some are merely intended to improve picture quality and others add effect or both.

So cheap cameras are sub-standard and out of focus because they are cheap? Where do you draw the line between cheap and expensive so everyone knows which camera to buy to make sure their images are in focus?

Also, I thought we were on a thread about Topaz filters......

Anyway, not going to get into an argument about it Charl, have a good day mate, no hard feelings, just a discussion.

CD123

« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2013, 08:29 »
0
Anyway, not going to get into an argument about it Charl, have a good day mate, no hard feelings, just a discussion.
Ditto  ;)

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2013, 08:40 »
+1
Mind you, don't photographers say that a good photographer can take a great picture with any camera? The best camera is the one with you at the time?
I always said that, particuarly when I taught a beginners' photography class. I started off with the old jokes about togs vs camera and told the students about the Bert Hardy/Box Brownie photo.

Then I got astonished by the appalling IQ of some of the pics I was seeing, so I asked if I could use some in class (with the excuse that I hadn't used these models before). I was truly shocked. In the same images (taken as jpegs, which most users do, and some of the cameras only allowed jpegs anyway), there were areas smudged and areas 'oversharpened', even on the same focus plane and in good light. To my horror, I discovered that some of these cameras cost over 200 and in at least one case, over 300. Tiny wee digicompacts with allegedly gazillions of mp. I was truly shocked at the awful quality, as I have an old Nikon 3700 and a Canon G9 which are fine for most non-stock and some stock needs. My phone cam produces technically better images than most of these compacts, certainly in decent light.
Of course, I couldn't say to the sweet grannies whose "Son bought me the camera for Christmas" (a common scenario) and some of whom didn't have computers, that their actual physical cameras were cr*p. Luckily, they only wanted to see them on screen or print them out 7x5 or similar so for them it wasn't an issue, and certainly not one person asked me about these technical problems.

So now I'm really careful of the saying, "It's not the camera, it's the photographer".

All that said, I doubt if any software could rescue these particular images, bringing us back on topic.

fotorob

  • I am a professional stock photographer
« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2013, 08:43 »
0
Just spoke to a friend of my mine and he told me that the majority of filters are for folks that don't know how to use Camera Raw or Photoshop very well. He feels that these filters are useless for the most part thus I will not purchase the Topaz...

... I rely on Imagenomic Portraiture for my people shots ...


That's is what he wrote. Imagenomic Portraiture was created exactly to target those who are at loss on what to do with a portrait in PP.

I have to disagree a bit. I use Portraiture as well though I know how I could retouch portraits. BUT: Microstock is a numbers game and a filter like Portraiture is a huge time saver for me.

« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2013, 08:51 »
+1
Just spoke to a friend of my mine and he told me that the majority of filters are for folks that don't know how to use Camera Raw or Photoshop very well. He feels that these filters are useless for the most part thus I will not purchase the Topaz...

... I rely on Imagenomic Portraiture for my people shots ...


That's is what he wrote. Imagenomic Portraiture was created exactly to target those who are at loss on what to do with a portrait in PP.

I have to disagree a bit. I use Portraiture as well though I know how I could retouch portraits. BUT: Microstock is a numbers game and a filter like Portraiture is a huge time saver for me.

Thank you, Rob.  My point exactly.  Portraiture lets me do in a couple of seconds what might take many minutes otherwise.  Maybe I'd get a result as good, maybe not.  (Probably not, but maybe.)  But to me the convenience is worth the price.

I have friends who can spend an hour or more retouching a single image.  They get great results, better than I can get in a minute or two.  It's all a question of how much you value your time and how much that potential improvement in quality is worth.

And let's also admit that filters can be fun.  They can take our images in directions we might not have taken otherwise.  There's value in that too.

I object to anyone who suggests that filters are somehow wrong or cheating or that somebody who uses them has inferior skills.  Any of those may be true, or they may be false.  Don't ascribe motives to actions unless you know.  And you can't know about anyone but yourself.

« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2013, 11:03 »
0
There is another thing.
You can use filters to homogenize elements coming from different pictures, when they are put together in a composition.

« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2013, 11:13 »
+2
The camera records what you saw....

Completely wrong: the focal length is almost always different, and cameras record colors and especially the contrast of light and shadow totally differently. Actually you need to process . out of your shot to get what you saw - mostly very strong highlight and shadow correction.

« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2013, 07:11 »
0
Riiiight!!!!  :o  So the sensor, type of lens, etc, etc. has no effect. We should all be shooting with little instant cameras and save a bundle on expensive equipment then.

a mid-end camera will suffice.

try the new Nikon D7100 for instance, the sensor is almost on par with the D600, 24 MP and no-antialiasing.
very very nice output, but many of you guys will think it's a toy as it's only priced 1200$ or maybe even less.

wrong ! you can make amazing things with that toy and a good lens.

and in any case nowadays the image is just the "first step".
it's with LR & PS that you craft the final product.

i'd say PS is 50% of the image today or even more considering how you can make selective editings at pixel level.

yeah there's plenty of old farts still screaming about film camera but F-k it .. it's 2013 ... there's nothing better than PS or LR they're more important than cameras actually and lenses are certainly above cameras too.

cameras are more and more irrilevant, only your combined skills count.
never as today it's all about the photographer and not about his gear.

Veneratio

« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2013, 07:34 »
-1
The camera records what you saw....

Completely wrong: the focal length is almost always different, and cameras record colors and especially the contrast of light and shadow totally differently. Actually you need to process . out of your shot to get what you saw - mostly very strong highlight and shadow correction.

What the 4ell does it record when you press the shutter button then???  :o

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2013, 07:55 »
+2
The camera records what you saw....

Completely wrong: the focal length is almost always different, and cameras record colors and especially the contrast of light and shadow totally differently. Actually you need to process . out of your shot to get what you saw - mostly very strong highlight and shadow correction.

What the 4ell does it record when you press the shutter button then???  :o

Seldom what we actually saw, even if simply because our eyes/brain can process and resolve a far higher dynamic range than the sensor can. In plenty of other cases, our brain processes what we see into what we'd like to see, or what we think the scene should be like. The camera doesn't self-edit.

« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2013, 12:46 »
0
OP asked about Clarity - has anyone used it.  It is on sale until the end of the month, which is TODAY.  I was looking at it a couple weeks ago and then forgot!

CD123

« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2013, 17:29 »
0
Do not know this one. I use Perfectly Clear from Athentech and is very satisfied with it, especially as it leaves you totally in control to increase or decrease the suggested changes at will.

tab62

« Reply #37 on: May 30, 2013, 20:05 »
0
is there a filter that would make my images more commercial value able?

« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2013, 20:40 »
0
I have most of the Topaz filters. I tried Clarity for a view days, liked it, and bought it. I have submitted about 5 photos so far that I used clarity on and all were accepted where they have already been reviewed.

It does seem to save me time as I can get to a result I am looking for faster. And in some cases I am not sure I could achieve the same results with PS alone. Although I am sure others can.

For me, It is worth the 30 bucks.

« Reply #39 on: May 30, 2013, 21:24 »
0
Thanks Sbonk!

ruxpriencdiam

    This user is banned.
  • Location. Third stone from the sun
« Reply #40 on: June 07, 2013, 16:22 »
-2
Signed up for the trial as soon as it was announced then on the last night it was on sale I purchased it to go along with remask3 adjust5 which has good noise removal on it detail2 and 3 that I already have as well.

Submitted images using clarity with detail and adjust5 adjustments done and they are accepted and approved.

As with anything it is about how you use it.

Overuse and you will introduce noise and artifacts but minor changes are sweet.

For those shooting RAW you need to get a grip on exposure  and learn how to shoot jpg and nail the exposure because with the topaz products when you shoot jpg and nail the exposure you can really pull out some amazing detail and colors with minor adjustments.

We are talking microstock so why shoot RAW and spend tons of time making color adjustments just shoot jpg one shot nail it make a minor adjustment and move on seconds VS minutes.

ruxpriencdiam

    This user is banned.
  • Location. Third stone from the sun
« Reply #41 on: June 07, 2013, 16:41 »
-1
Deleted :(
« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 19:13 by ruxpriencdiam »

« Reply #42 on: June 08, 2013, 03:04 »
+1
....We are talking microstock so why shoot RAW and spend tons of time making color adjustments just shoot jpg one shot nail it make a minor adjustment and move on seconds VS minutes.
RAW can be as quick as jpg.  Why not nail the RAW, spend seconds making minor adjustment and have a better result than you can get with jpg?  I started using jpg only for microstock but now I use mostly RAW. 

But I think this has been argued to death many times before, about as interesting as the Mac vs PC debates.

« Reply #43 on: June 13, 2013, 03:11 »
0
I know a lot of portrait photographers who love the Topaz filters - and some of them blow up their work to fit over people's fireplaces - saving time is key for them. Sometimes it's about efficiency, not art. These are all serious photographers who get it right in the camera - they have studios with great lighting setups and they shoot classical portraits - but no portrait client wants to see the wrinkles etc that high quality equipment picks up

I haven't tried them since I'm happy with the Nik filters which I often use (you may want to check them out too). I find they're a good place to start, then go in and tweak things more with my tablet in PS. They're great both when I want to do something creative: "Detail Extractor" (a new one for me since I got the full set via the google buyout) is great when you really want to push a photo but don't want to go the full HD route. It's a great combo (with Tonal Contrast and sometimes Dark Detail Extractor-all in moderation) with Silver effects to bring out detail in Black & White images too. "Dynamic Skin Softener" and "Graduated Neutral Density" can make quick work of many photos - I find the neutral density filter adds a bit of clarity and skin softener does just what it says. I can do that work all by hand in PS but  sometimes the program does it for me - at least it's a worthwhile place to start and saves time.
 
A photo can be more than what the camera saw - that's the real fun. When you start adding textures and painting things in with your tablet - it's more than just photography - and it's not done to fix a bad photo but to enhance or even drastically change a good one.

Even if you're shooting jpeg you should shoot jpeg/RAW (great if you need to get news pix out fast). I had photos from Scotland taken with my D70 (6MP Kit lens). Really dark because I had knocked into the EV +/- button. I never deleted them and years later when I got LR3, realized that I could lighten them up, upsize them and they passed Alamy QC. The software got better and so what wouldn've been a noisy mess 3 years earlier was now a series of lovely photos - and what detail in the skies! I'm so glad I didn't delete them - but having the RAW data made all the difference.

I do go on when I have insomnia ... sorry  ;)


« Reply #44 on: June 13, 2013, 03:18 »
0
The problem I find with jpeg+raw is that I'd like to slightly overexpose the raw compared to the jpeg.  If I'm exposing to not clip the highlights in the jpeg, the raw is going to lose a lot of its usefulness.  If I expose the raw so that I can get the highlights details back using the raw converter, the jpeg will have clipped highlights.

So I tend to use either raw or jpeg and don't bother with raw+jpeg.


 

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