*Topaz Impression and Glow, both 25% off w/ @topazlabs

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Need a little artistic inspiration?  Try running one of your images through Topaz Impression, a beautiful paint and mixed media plugin and/or Glow, Topaz’ deliciously surreal fractal effect plugin.  These two offerings are both on sale for 25% off right now by using the code TOPAZART at checkout over at Topaz Labs HERE.  As always, Topaz offers full free trials for those interested, and I’d highly suggest checking them out if these effects suit your style.  You can download those free trials directly from Topaz HERE.  If you like them, jump on this sale before it disappears.

Come on in to see some more examples and thoughts on how and why I use these two awesome pieces of software in my own work.

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*@Topazlabs ReMask Prime?! A powerful standalone quick selection app for Mac users + FREE GIVEAWAY! (not an April Fools Joke)

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Firstly, this is not an April Fools ruse.  I am giving away activation codes for this new software 🙂 Technology can be embraced or ignored, it can be celebrated or feared, or it can fumble somewhere in between all those things.  I myself, really enjoy much of what is on offer, especially as a photographer.  I totally appreciate those that take a purist approach, but for me, I love playing with digital imagery using various software applications, and here my friends, is a very cool, very affordable piece of remarkable software.  Enter, Topaz ReMask Prime (click here to see in in the Mac App Store).  A fully functional, standalone desktop version of the irreplaceable ReMask software.  If you already own ReMask and run it as a plugin for PS, you’ll probably not need a standalone version (although, I’m starting to see a benefit), but for those who do not, this is a very cheap way to see the power of ReMask in all its glory.

Come on in to see some info and examples from Topaz ReMask Prime, a new standalone app built on the standard ReMask plugin…

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*New Aurora HDR Pro for Mac OS from @wearmacphun

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While the practice of merging exposures is a topic of much debate, I don’t really care.  If you’re not into it, I totally understand and respect that.  I too enjoy capturing and processing final images using single frames for 90%+ of my own photography.  For the other stuff though, I do love me a nicely balanced, merged exposure and have for many, many years.  I find the ability to bracket and merge in post a valuable tool when needing to be in and out of a space in a shorter amount of time (as opposed to setting up multiple lights for each and every shot which can limit the total amount of finished shots in the same time period).  I’d like to say that clients will happily pay for 4 or 5 hours while you set up and shoot, but I’ve not found many that will A) have that much down time to shoot unless I want to shoot at 3 in the morning, which I totally don’t) or B) have the budget for, or see the value in a photographer that takes that long to shoot a space.  Time is money, and the more I can save myself (and price my time to the client accordingly) the better off I’ll be. 

Over my personal journey with HDR, I’ve used quite a few programs (HDR Soft/Photomatix, Everimaging HDR, HDR Efex, Photoshop…) and when Macphun and Trey Ratcliff recently announced Aurora HDR for Mac users, I was very interested.  Much of my actual paid photography work falls into the interior design and hospitality realm, working with that wonderful group of folks at the ELK Collective.  

My goal has always been a natural representation of light and space, which as many know, can be tricky when tonemapping images through an HDR program.  When shooting an interior space, I want to take advantage of the actual dynamic range, getting detail in the highlights and shadows when and where I feel necessary, not just tone mapping for a more dramatic effect.  Well, I chose to process my most recent shoot using solely Aurora HDR Pro, and here’s what I found out about that program along the way…   Continue reading

*The Topaz plugin half off sale is here with @topazlabs

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Starting today through the end of the month, Topaz is offering everything for 50% off.  The entire collection (normally $500) is available for $250 HERE, and as an extra added bonus, for those of us who already own some or many Topaz plugins, we can still take advantage of the sale by logging into our account via the Topaz Labs website (here) and gaining the 50% off on additional plugins by using the code “BLACKFRIDAY2015” at checkout.  The Complete Collection is already at a 50% discount from the full price for all plugins individually ($1,010), so really, if starting from scratch, this is really a 75% discount from purchasing the plugins one by one, which is kind of nuts.  

I’ve never shied away from praise for the various Topaz plugins I use regularly, and feel that there are a handful of irreplaceable plugins in my workflow.  The complete collection includes 17 plugins from DeNoise, ReMask, Adjust and Clarity to the brand new Texture Effects.

Come on in for more details and to see the full list of plugins… 

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*Brand New Topaz Glow! Fractalize your vision.

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Topaz has just released a brand new plugin which aims to put another major artistic tool in your quiver.  On sale through December as an introductory promotion, Click HERE to download a free trial or to purchase, and follow along.

Want to see more?  C’mon in and let me introduce you to this cool, new plugin…

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*MacPhun Tonality Pro. The new king of B&W conversion?

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If I were to ask you, which black and white software do you feel is the best out right now, what would you say?  NIK Silver Efex Pro?  Alien Skin Exposure 6?  OnOne Perfect B&W?  Topaz B&W Effects?  While I can, and would make arguments for a couple of these, I have to say that this question for Mac users just got a whole lot harder.

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*Topaz ReStyle, killer quick cross processing effects. Brand new and on Sale!

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Topaz continues to kick out awesome plugins, and their newest release ReStyle keeps with the recent pattern. Like most Topaz Plugins, us early adopters get a substantial discount which they offer as soon as the software is released. Read on for my take and a few examples, or if you’re already sold, go here to TopazLabs.com and use the code “restyleit” to get 50% off ($59.99 reg, or $29.99 now through August 31st).

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*FotoMagico4, slick slideshows made easy.

I was asked to review FotoMagico4 recently.  Knowing nothing about the software, I found it an interesting task when I read up on what FotoMagico was.  Being a parent to two young kids, I’m always looking for fun ways to document our events or outings for family and the sake of familial posterity.  Being a photographer, I’m always on the lookout for ways to present a streamlined visual product.  Coming at it from either of my personal directions, FotoMagico seems to tick all the boxes.  Learning a software program from the ground up can be daunting, so I put my head down and got to work learning this new version from Boinx Software.  Luckily, it proved to be pretty intuitive once I got going.  Read on for my experiences and opinions…

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*Everything you need to know about digital photography (well, almost). Two years of tips, tricks and various freebies, revisited.

With my blog’s second anniversary coming up, I wanted to thank everyone that has stopped by, commented and added to the content.  It’s been a fun couple of years and has been far more educational for me than I’d ever thought it would have been.  I wanted to make a list of my more popular posts as well as some that can help some of us who may be just stumbling into the fold.  Any of us who have recently acquired a new camera and may be wanting to learn how to use it to its potential, or are looking to build up a few post processing techniques, I’ve compiled some of the more useful and popular posts below…

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*Fractalius for Mac!?

 

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Using Topaz Glow in place of Topaz Clean gives me much better results.

 

No, the developers of Fractalius haven’t quite broken down and offered those of us using macs the plugin we’ve been pining for, but I have found a way to get similar results.  You may have seen a very cool effect in the threads or photo pools in your favorite photography forum.  I, like many, found myself attracted to the effect produced and became discouraged when I found out that the software that enabled the digital artists I’d been admiring, was a Windows only program.  I’m no fanboy, nor do I get paid to push one brand over another so I in no way mean to stoke any ‘which is better’ type conversation, but merely pass along a work around that I’ve found to create a similar effect for very, very little money…

The program is called Topaz Glow, and it’s awesome (see it via Topaz Labs HERE).

You can see my new, user review on Topaz Glow HERE.

 

 

Enjoy and we’d love to see any examples in our flickr group HERE!
Thanks for reading and happy shooting,
Tyson