Monthly Archives: June 2013

Sunset is Waiting, Topaz Bundle Sale

Topaz is running a big promotion on there Bundle starting June 24th going through July 7th.

The promo code for this discount is: july4

Topaz Labs designed the software plug-ins for Photoshop that I used to processes this image, they help me produce an elegant image with a very intuitive software.

If you use my link at http://www.european-images.com/links.php they are able to see that I referred you and it gives me credit as an affiliate.

Topaz Labs designed the software plug-ins for Photoshop that I used to processes this image, they help me produce an elegant image with a very intuitive software.

Sunset is Waiting, Topaz Adjust 5

Sunset is Waiting, Topaz Adjust 5

Sunset is Waiting

Sunset is Waiting


Natural Arch, Valley of Fire – Nov. 2013 Southwest Workshop

Natural Arch, Valley of Fire - Processed using Topaz Clarity

Natural Arch, Valley of Fire – Processed using Topaz Clarity

Topaz Software

Southwest Natural sandstone rocks are unable to withstand the blasting of strong winds and the slow dissolving away by rains of the cementing materials holding its sand grains together, the weakened rock allows an arch to form. Eventually they grow too large to support their own weight and nature will reclaimed these beautiful arches. For me they are some of the Southwest’s greatest treasures and I look forward  to  photograph them this November. We will spend the first two days of this November’s Southwest Photo Workshop Tour capturing this and other great images in the Valley of Fire.

Natural Arch, Valley of Fire - unprocessed image

Natural Arch, Valley of Fire – unprocessed image

To process this image of Natural Arch in Nevada’s Valley of Fire painted desert I started with Topaz Clarity Sunset II and then used Topazes Vignette in Lens Effect and then brought it back into Clarity and applied Interior Strong.

When I look at Natural Arch I see two Indians chiefs relaxing at the end of a day’s hunt and enjoying the moon before she sets for the night. The first chiefs head if on the left with a flat head with his finger that is the arch resting on his nose in thought. The second chief is the darker red bolder behind and to the right of the arch.


San Gimignano, processed using Topaz Clarity

San Gimignano, Topaz Lens Effects, Vignette

San Gimignano, Topaz Clarity finished with Topaz Lens Effects, Vignette

Topaz software

I captured this image of San Gimignano, Italy at sunset in late October in 2012 while teaching a workshop.  The sky that evening had some clouds but not where I needed them and so we waited. The clients had taken some nice images of San Gimignano with  the vineyards in the foreground and a clear blue sky. We had starting the days shooting before sunrise and everyone was getting a little antsy and were ready for dinner. A few had already  pack up and were waiting by the van  to head home for the night.

I knew that the best chance for everyone to get a great image we needed to wait for the light. I had been on location once when the sky was uninteresting and decided to pack up and leave only to see a spectacular sunset in my rear view mirror. There is never any guaranties on what type of light we will have when we are out shooting but I can guarantee that we will be at great locations capturing the changing light and waiting for the  the magic to happen.

San Gimignano, unprocessed image

San Gimignano, unprocessed image

This unprocessed image was captured as the clouds rolled in after sunset with an aperture of  F/11 at .5sec.  After the sun set I was able to eliminate clipping in both the highlight and shadow areas.

Topaz Clarity Color and Contrast Boost II

Topaz Clarity Color and Contrast Boost II

I decided to process this image using Topazes new clarity software. Often I will stack an image in layers and this worked well for this image.  The 1st layer I applied Color and Contrast Boost II and liked the effect but like Oliver Twist I always want a little more.  The next layer I applied CityScape II  and which I liked even more but kept looking at other affects and liked Macro II. All these effects were processed in progressive layers with Topaz’s  Clarity software. But always wanting a little more I decided to vignette this image using the Lenses Effects software by Topaz and was excited with the finished image.

Topaz Clarity CityScape II

Topaz Clarity CityScape II

Topaz Clarity, Macro II

Topaz Clarity, Macro II


Morning Storm, Venice Lagoon, San Marco

Over the last couple of years the changes in the software for photography have made it an interesting time. This morning I revisited one of the morning images I captured in San Marco during a storm while teaching there and I am very excited on how it turned out. I would have been a completely acceptable darkroom image but by using Topaz software and a little healing and cloning in Photoshop I was able to make this image pop. When I look at this processed image I can feel the moisture on my face and the freshness of the salty breeze coming in from the lagoon.

Morning Storm, San Marco

Morning Storm, San Marco

Topaz Software

This October I plan on arriving in Venice a couple of days before the private workshop I am teaching there. It will be nice spending four or five days shooting in Venice in October before heading towards Lucca to start teach my scheduled workshops.

Morning Storm, San Marco, unprocessed image

Morning Storm, San Marco, unprocessed image

This is one of the rare weekends that I have off from the Art Fairs and teaching and it has been good catching up on odds and ends. Tonight a little after 6:00 pm I pick up my Uncle Jack at the train station in Ann Arbor and tomorrow morning at 12:30 am I retrieve my brother Robert from the airport and when everyone is rested and ready we descend on my sister to pester and help her get ready for my nephews High School Graduation party on Saturday.


Fire Canyon Arch- Southwest Photo Workshop Nov 8 – 14

Fire Canyon Arch is in the Valley of fire park where we will spend some time photographing during the Southwest Photo Workshop this November. Fire Canyon Arch is a wonderful sandstone formation where iron deposits which left brushstrokes of red painted into the earth. The winter light is better for capturing images in the Southwest and I captured this image a little before sunset last January. Nature has a her way of inspiring photographers. When I look at this arch I see the head of an elephant and the body of a lion.

Fire Canyon Arch, Valley of Fire

Fire Canyon Arch, Valley of Fire

I processed this image using Topaz Adjust 5. I first used Vibrant Crisp then I used Setting Sun Dynamic and the finished the image with a Vignette in Lens Effect and enjoyed layering the effects.  Topaz Adjust 5  has  a great set of programs.

Fire Canyon Arch unprocessed

Fire Canyon Arch unprocessed

I am off too an art fair at Crocker Park in Westlake Ohio this weekend but have next weekend off and wanted to start creating screen capture videos using the Topaz software next week. I just purchased a new Samsung computer with the third generation i7 third generation processor with state of the art video graphics that will help with my workflow. All the new software was making the processing on my older computer  a little slow. It is hard to believe that just a few years ago I was waving  cardboard wands that I made from cardboard discs and were taped to metal rods I had snipped  off coat hangers to burn and dodge the images in the darkroom. All of my friends would spend  hours making our special tools to make our images pop.


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