Let’s get technical! Topaz, Photomatix, and Lightroom adjustments

Richard Charpentier Arizona, HDR, Photographing Arizona, Photography, Photomatix, Photoshop, Tech Tips Leave a Comment

This morning I decided to toy with Topaz Adjust and Detail on the next round of photos.  Yesterday I played with HDR in a big way, why not mess with some other tools to see what we get?  So, that’s what I set about doing this morning, but then I had a thought.  Another round of comparisons!

The first image I submit for your consideration is the original “as shot” 0EV exposure.  The photo was taken at 1/400 of a second, F/11, ISO 200, at 17mm.  Not much to tell, you can just check it out.

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As is, no hanky panky here. It's a little flat for me.

Image number 2 went through a few Lightroom adjustments only.  In the Develop module I tinkered with Clarity (+100), Vibrance (+48), Strong Contrast on the point curve, and pushed up the Yellow and Orange Saturation (+40 each).  That’s all that was changed in Lightroom2, so check it out!

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Some minor adjustments via the RAW editor in Lightroom2

The next image for your consideration was adjusted in Photoshop CS4 with Topaz Detail.  This gets a little more complex, so first I’ll show you a screen capture of what I did to achieve the results.

Screen shot 2009-11-10 at 10.13.17 AMWhat you’re looking at here is the Layers pallet from CS4.  I opened the file as a Smart Object from Lightroom so I could access the RAW editor.  I duplicated the original Smart Object Layer, double clicked the copy, and got into the RAW editor.

Screen shot 2009-11-10 at 10.28.17 AMYou can actually see what I altered in the RAW editor.  Just pushed the clarity and vibrance.  Nothing else.  Once finished I hit okay.  Then I added a Mask, selected the sky because I felt the Vibrance made the blue too unreal, and I painted with a 50% black brush to tone the sky down.  If you look back at the Layers pallet you’ll see where I brushed the sky in the mask.  Finally, I selected the adjusted and masked layer and popped open Topaz Detail.  In Detail I simply pushed up the micro detail, and the medium detail to my liking.  The result?

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My Photoshop and Topaz Detail adjusted image

Finally, I went to the Photomatix well once again and gave the same image a whirl.  Rather than getting super detailed in the description I’ve also included a screen capture from my Photomatix settings to show you what I did for the image.

Screen shot 2009-11-10 at 9.54.32 AMHere’s the result……

hdrscurve (1 of 1)So, 4 versions of the same image.  Each has its own merritts.  Which one is “right?”  Well, I suppose that depends on what you think is “right.”  For me, I enjoy each of them.  I think the minor changes in the Lightroom2 edits jumps out to me the most here.  Now maybe you’ll understand why I spend so much time sorting and playing with images.  It’s fun to present the scene you’d like to portray.  That’s part of my enjoyment when it comes to post production!

Hope this post was informational for you, and enjoyable of course!

Now, back to checking out photos from the recent trip!

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