What is CLARITY?
Topaz Labs have really come to the party with this plug in. I have been using the Topaz Labs plugins for a little over a year now and my favourite Topaz Plugin is Topaz Adjust, although they’re all good! I think you can save around $250 if you take the complete plugin package. This new one they have just released called Topaz Clarity is like having complete control over the contrast in your image, if you’re like me and use the clarity slider in Lightroom to enhance your images, then you’re going to love Topaz Clarity. Even after I have used Lightroom and photoshop to create what I think I am happy with, I have then used Topaz Clarity and I can get an image with even more depth, it’s like adding that little bit more when you thought there was nothing left!
Topaz Clarity essentially allows you to adjust areas of contrast in 4 areas, Micro, Low, Medium and High contrast areas. Each of these sliders effects your image in different ways, and rather than a one slider fits all approach like Lightroom, this gives you much more precise control over HOW the clarity and contrast is applied. You can also then decide how much of it is in your final image by using the Opacity slider or even better, with the Mask tool that I am suitably impressed with. Usually, the setting you need to bring the best out in parts of your image will create unwanted noise in the sky for example, with the masks you can make selections and decide where you want the effect applied.
In addition to the Clarity Adjustment you can also adjust Hue, Saturation and Luminosity that works well too. All of this means you can do most of your adjustments with this one plugin. It really is impressive. If you’re looking for another tool for your tool box then this should be on your list!
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Just a reminder if you’re buying any of the Topaz Labs products you can get a 15% discount by using the coupon code: ON3LEGS when you check out. CLICK HERE to go to the Topaz Labs Website now.
Topaz Clarity Before and After
Here you can see a screen grab of the difference between the image Before, and then the After I used Topaz Clarity to add a bit of punch! (Click on the picture to make it bigger and take a closer look)
Today’s iCandy – A Blue Kind of Day
Last Night I did a presentation for the Chinese Photographic Society of Australia, it was really fun. There were about 60 attendees and I was honoured to be a guest judge for their Bi-Monthly Photo comp. Anyway, after something like that I find it hard to wind down so instead of heading home I used the opportunity to check out Vivid Sydney again, I visualised getting a shot from up on the Harbour Bridge of the beams shooting across the harbour so I headed straight there to see if it was possible… and it was!
It just so happened that the colour that had the greatest definition was BLUE…and this just happens to be an important colour for today! If you’re a reader from outside of Australia, then this won’t mean much to you, in fact, if you’re outside of New South Wales or Queensland this may not mean much to you! But if you do live in one of those states, today is the first of 3 State of Origin matches, and Blue just happens to be the Team Colour for NSW!
Personally I am not a HUGE footy fan, but I would like to see the Blues win this year so I don’t have to listen to my QLD friends dribble any more 😉
The Technical Mumbo Jumbo
[tabbed tabs=”Camera|Mode|ISO|Aperture|Shutter|Lens|Filter|Other info”] [tab] I used my trusty D800 for this one [/tab] [tab] I took my courage pills and switched the camera to M for Maybe I know what I am doing? [/tab] [tab] ISO2500 – This seems to be a good ISO for night shooting and maintaining a faster shutter speed [/tab] [tab] f3.5 – to let more light in and enable me to shoot with a quickish shutter speed. The spot I was standing was shaking when cars and busses went past, so I could not use a longer shutter speed [/tab] [tab] 1/6th of a second [/tab] [tab] Nikon 70-200mm lens [/tab] [tab] No Filter [/tab] [tab] Not much to say… I used Lightroom to add clarity, vibrance and thats it… [/tab] [/tabbed]