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Thursday
Sep032009

Topaz Adjust Review- Single Exposure HDR's And Much, Much, More

Take a look at these:

Portsmouth Skyline, Topaz Adjust


Explosion! Museum, Topaz Adjust


Both are single exposure photographs edited in the Photoshop / Elements / Paintshop Pro Plug-In "Topaz Adjust", created by the great people over at Topaz Labs.

Topaz Adjust is a Plug-In, that is to say that it's a piece of software that works inside your main photo-editing program, whether that be the full Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or any other software that is compatible with Photoshop plug-ins. You fire up Photoshop, open your image, then go to the filters menu and choose Topaz Adjust. You're then whisked into a separate programme where you make your edits, then when you're done you're returned to Photoshop to finish your work. Easy.

But what does Topaz Adjust do? That's a tricky question, because it does so much. It enhances the detail in your photo's, makes them more dynamic, and gives you a level of control that's outstanding. To see if you might be interested in the type of images Topaz Adjust can help you create, why not check out this slide show of Flickr images tagged Topaz Adjust.

Lots of the photographs have a HDR look - which really means they're full of detail, in the shadows and the high-lights. The beauty of Topaz Adjust is that you can get this look with single exposures - so you don't have to worry about your subject or background moving between shots, which usually happens with multiple exposures.

Let's dive in and look at how easy is to use the software. I've loaded an image into Photoshop, and fired up Topaz Adjust:

topaz_screen_shot_500pxls


Topaz Adjust ships with 22 presets which you can use as a starting point for your editing. Just scroll through the different options, and by clicking on the previews on the left your main image in the middle is changed too. Click on "View Original" image to check the difference it makes.

The presets vary from simple and subtle colour pops and contrast or detail enhancement, right through to "Alien Sky" extreme HDR conversions and Psychedelic treatments. You can just choose one of these as a starting point, and then work through the tabs, nudging the sliders as you go, experimenting with the changes each one makes. You can be as dramatic or naturalistic as you like - you have total control over the final look.

I won't go into details about how each tab works in this review, and in fact the controls are so intuitive that you'll pick it up extremely quickly anyway. I particularly applaud the inclusion of Noise Reduction in the final tab, and again you have control over how the Plug-In removes the noise - how much and over what threshold.

Topaz Adjust opens up a whole new world of photo manipulation that is simple, quick, and easy to use. You don't need to be a Photoshop Expert to create dynamic and striking images - in fact, you should go over to the Topaz Labs site and download the free, 30 day trial and have a play. If you like it (and I'm sure you will), the price for the full version is a bargain US$49.99.

It's brilliant that we now have a tool that can help us create intricately detailed HDR-like shots, without the need for multiple exposures.

Topaz Adjust - highly recommended!

Thanks, Rob.

UPDATE: If you do decide to buy Topaz Adjust, enter the coupon code "robnunnphoto" (no quote-marks) for a 10% discount. This is a limited time offer, so use it quick!

Moth, Topaz Adjust


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Reader Comments (2)

Adjust rocks!!!! You should also have a look at Detail on the Topaz website - similar, but different (if that makes any sense). They are both great products.
Love your pics :-)

September 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCharles Stander

Hi Charles,

Detail is on my to-do list - looks like a great plug-in too, great photos on your site too!

Thanks, Rob.

September 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRob_Nunn

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