Posts Tagged ‘topaz labs’


Rusty Old Truck_5364


On Friday past my brother Gregg (founder of Work Cabin), and I decided to meet up at the Rockwood Auto Yard for a few hours to photograph old cars and trucks in the fields and forest. There is a certain beauty that can be found within the old relics as they sit in a constant state of decay, as forest and field take hold. Here are three of my favorite images processed with Topaz Labs Clarity and Nik Color Efex’s Detail Extractor, which were used to enhance the details in the rust, dents and peeling paint.

At first I had reservations about photographing the wrecks so late in the season, but now think that it was probably one of the best times as the fallen leaves on the colorful wrecks added an extra special element to some of the scenes. And I am a firm believer in getting out to create photographs regardless of the weather conditions, seasons, or time of day. The more this is done the easier it is to ‘see’ the images that are waiting to be photographed. As I compile my list of workshops that will commence in the Spring of 2014, I will most certainly be adding a few visits to this cool location, to capture the dilapidated wrecks throughout the seasons.

Please click on each of the images to see the larger, sharper versions of each. And stay tuned for more grungy images from the day and also some lovely waterfall images, as we saved just enough time to photograph the nearby Hilton Falls too :)

Rusty Old Car_5412

Rusty Old Car_5395

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Rusty Old Wreck - Original Capture

Rusty Old Wreck – Original Capture

Above you will see the original version of a lovely, rusty old wreck that was photographed today during one of Denise Ippolito’s numerous workshops that are planned during her visit to the Toronto area. This morning the weather conditions could not have been better as we were presented with lots of fog and some rain and drizzle to help saturate the colors of the rusted old wrecks we were photographing. Denise will also be presenting her “A Blend of Art & Nature Photography” lecture for the Toronto Digital Photography Club on Tuesday evening at 7:30 pm at the Edithvale Community Centre in North York. To find out more about how to sign up for the lecture, please click here.

Below you will see the various creative renditions I conjured up using various photoshop plug-ins. Each of the image captions will inform you of the software used to create the effect as presented. Please remember to click on each of the images to see the larger, sharper versions. Also, please take a moment to let us know which is your favorite of these renditions.

Rusty Old Wreck - Topaz Black & White Effects 2

Rusty Old Wreck – Topaz Black & White Effects 2


Rusty Old Wreck - Silver Efex Pro 2

Rusty Old Wreck – Silver Efex Pro 2


Rusty Old Wreck - Nik HDR Efex

Rusty Old Wreck – Nik HDR Efex


Rusty Old Wreck - Fractalius

Rusty Old Wreck – Fractalius





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Rosseau River_1635Rosseau River in Ontario’s Muskoka Region

Recently I purchased the new Nikon 18-35mm lens and have had a blast using it on my favorite subjects – waterfalls and bullfrogs.  If I could only have one lens it would most certainly be a wide angle zoom lens. The corner-to-corner sharpness of this lens is amazing. I will do a more in-depth summary of my thoughts on this lens in the near future. Above is a recent capture made along the Rosseau River. The water levels were quite low during my visit and I was able to cross the river to an area that is inaccessible during periods of higher flow. This image was created using the Nikon 18-35mm lens on a Nikon D800 firmly mounted on my tripod. An ISO of 250 was selected with the aperture set to f16 for an exposure of 1.3 seconds. After reviewing a few test images on the D800′s LCD screen to critique the amount of blur to the flowing river, I determined this to be the look I wanted to achieve. Below you will see a Black & White conversion of the image and a creative rendition too. The B&W version was created using Nik / Google’s Silver Efex Pro 2, while the creative version was created with Topaz Labs Black & White Effects 2.

Please remember to click on each of the images to view the larger, sharper version and take a moment to let us know which is your favorite and why.

Rosseau River_1635-B&WRosseau River in B&W (Silver Efex Pro 2)

Rosseau River_1635-B&W EffectsRosseau River – B&W Effects 2

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Ferns in B&W_9675-1

Topaz Labs Restyle – Grass Swing Preset

I have been working on few black and white conversions of some recently captured images and was about to prepare a blog post for them, but then I was notified of a cool new photoshop plug-in available from Topaz Labs called Restyle. By entering the coupon code “restyleit” you will only pay $29.99 and this code will be good until the end of August. I downloaded the software this morning and began playing around with it. I select three images that I had converted to black and white and then began to explore various options by scrolling through the vast number of presets. Above you will see a black and white image of a cluster of ferns that was tweaked by selecting the preset ‘Grass Swing.’ As I explore this new plug-in in my creative tool-kit a little more I will do a more in-depth blog post to discuss its pros and cons.

In the images below, which are both from along the Rosseau River in Ontario Canada’s popular Muskoka Region – a killer destination for autumn color. I have indicated in the image captions which preset was used on these black and white conversions to achieve the desired effect. To find out more about this cool new plug-in and to download your own copy please click here.

Do remember to click on the images to see the larger, sharper versions and let me know your thoughts and favorite image with the Restyle effect applied :)

Topaz Labs Restyle - Dark Dreams

Topaz Labs Restyle – Dark Dreams


Topaz Labs Restyle - Blue Black Ice

Topaz Labs Restyle – Blue Black Ice


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Rosseau River_7406Lower Rosseau Falls, Muskoka, Ontario

I have been having a rather hectic week. Last weekend was our annual opening of the cottage on Horseshoe Lake in Ontario’s Parry Sound region, and there is always tons of work to be done to get it ready for the coming season. After much of the work was completed it was time to take a break and make the short drive over to Lower Rosseau Falls on the Rosseau River in Ontario’s Muskoka District. It almost felt like an autumn photo trip as many of the newly emerging maple leaves were brilliant reds and yellows.

These two images have been processed differently than usual as I having been using the new photoshop plug-in Clarity from Topaz Labs. I have only first begun to use the software but so far I am loving the way it naturally boosts the contrast in the images. To find out more about this new product from Topaz Labs please click here. And if you decide to purchase the software use the coupon code “claritynew” and pay a mere $29.99 US. That’s exactly what I did tonight!

Do remember to click on each of the images to see the larger, sharper versions and let me know what you think of the Topaz Clarity treatment.

Rosseau River_7524Lower Rosseau Falls, Muskoka, Ontario

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Old Wreck_7229-Yellowed 2Old Wreck In Field – Silver Effects Pro 2 – Yellowed 2 Preset

After dropping my daughter off at school the other day I decided it was time to drive to a local conservation area not far from my home. As I made my way there the rains began to come in and were getting heavier. As I drove along the concession road bound for my intended destination I happened upon this old wreck sitting at the edge of an agricultural field. I could not resist the temptation and slammed on the brakes, grabbed my gear and proceeded to create a few images that I could take home to play around with on a rather wet and dreary day.

In the first image I chose to use Nik/Google’s Silver Effects Pro 2 and the Yellowed 2 preset as a starting point. I just love the aged look and border that this preset creates. To create the additional variations below I used Topaz Labs Adjust 5 – Psychedelic Preset and two of my custom presets from the Photoshop plug-in Fractalius. Denise Ippolito and I have written an eGuide for the Fractalius plug-in that should be available shortly.

For folks who love to get creative with there imagery I highly recommend heading to Kitchener, Ontario on June 3rd as Denise will be doing a presentation for the Grips Camera Club, click here for more information.

Hope you enjoy the old wreck creations. Do remember to click on the images to see the larger, sharper version.

Which is your favorite rendering?

Old Wreck_7232-topazOld Wreck – Topaz Adjust 5 – Psychedelic Preset

Old Wreck_7232-fractaliusOld Wreck – Fractalius

Old Wreck_7232-Fractalius 2Old Wreck – Fractalius

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Old Wreck_7202

As I departed Tiny Marsh the other day, due to the heavy rains, I came upon this old truck that was rusting away beside a storage shed with colorful turquoise aluminum siding and an old collection of tires perfectly lined up in front of the truck. Since the rain had slowed to a steady drizzle at this point in my travels home I stopped to create a couple of images of the scene from the side of the road. I knew when I arrived home I would use Topaz Adjust 5 to grunge the old wreck. For this type of rendering I will select one of the ‘Detail’ presets and using heavy-handed slider settings create the grunge-look achieved in the photo above. I find the grunge-look for old wrecks to be most addictive but finding old wrecks like this can be like looking for a needle-in-a-haystack.

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Aux Sables River in Chutes Provincial Park

Chutes Provincial Park is a small, but very photogenic park to visit, it is located in the town of Massey, Ontario along the Trans-Canada Highway. The Aux Sables River flows through this park. Along the way, there are several sets of rapids and a few small cascades along the river’s course. This river setting is best photographed in over-cast light. As I drove to Lake Superior Provincial Park last September I was passing through the town of Massey on an over-cast, drizzly day so I made a stop in hopes of walking along the Twin Bridges Trail to photograph various locations along the river. After making a few images of the main cascade I ventured further along the trail, but the over-cast conditions cleared and the lighting became rather harsh so I packed up and continued onward to Lake Superior. Here are a couple of fresh images of Chutes Provincial Park’s main attraction and I also applied Topaz Labs’ B&W Effects using my custom preset “Waterfall Setting” that I created for an artistic rendition of the waterfall. A Nikon 12-24mm lens and Nikon polarizing filter was used in the making of these images.

Aux Sables River in Chutes Provincial Park

Custom “Waterfall Setting” preset in Topaz Labs BW Effects

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Spencer Gorge Wilderness Area

I have been busy processing a backlog of images from this past spring, summer and fall and also trying to catch up on much needed rest. While going through my files I came across this small cascade that I photographed at Webster’s Falls in the Spencer Gorge Wilderness Area in Hamilton, Ontario. This is found along the Niagara Escarpment. The Hamilton region is noted for its numerous waterfalls on the Niagara Escarpment, many of them really only show any flow after periods of significant rainfall. I found this one to be particularly attractive with the escarpment wall for a backdrop. After processing the image file I decided to run it through Topaz Labs B&W Effects to create the effect you see above.

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Katherine Cove on Lake Superior – B&W Effects

While wandering back along a section of the Coastal Trail in Ontario’s Lake Superior Provincial Park at Katherine Cove this pattern, caused by a previous wave, caught my attention. I used my 12-24mm lens and positioned my tripod low to the ground and chose a vertical composition so that this interesting pattern could dominate the foreground of this photograph. I was able to squeeze off a couple of frames before a rogue wave came ashore and washed away the design. Above is a version converted to black and white using the new photoshop plugin from Topaz Labs called B&W Effects. There is a free trial version available for download, but until October 3rd you can use Topaz Lab’s discount code from the website and purchase the plugin for a mere $29.99. Below you will see the original, colour version of the image which do you prefer?

Katherine Cove on Lake Superior – colour version

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