Monthly Archives: August 2013

Topaz Clarity and Highlight Recovery in Lightroom

In 2006 I captured 6 images with my Canon 20D and used autopano pro to stitch them together and process what I thought was an amazing image of Hopi Point on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  When I look at what I can do with the new software the lyrics of the Bob Dylan song come to mind “Times They Are A-Changin‘”

Dawn of a new day - Hopi Point, South Rim Grand Canyon

Dawn of a new day – Hopi Point, South Rim Grand Canyon

This is the image processed in 2006 with all the latest technology available.

Original image processed in 2006

Original image processed in 2006

When processing new images with the new software available in Topaz and Lightroom I think of images I need to revisit. In this image I was able to bring back the highlight in the sun’s rays bursting through the storm clouds with the Highlight recovery tool in Lightroom. In the early versions of Adobe I was not able to bring back the highlights. Using the Shadow Recovery tool I was also able to bring out more detail in the shadow area.

Highlight and Shadows recovered in Lightroom

Highlight and Shadows recovered in Lightroom

Then to add the finishing touches I used Topaz Clarity to bring back the mood of the stormy October morning that I shared with fellow photographer Darren Plant and my brother Robert.

Dawn of a new day - Hopi Point, South Rim Grand Canyon

Dawn of a new day – Hopi Point, South Rim Grand Canyon

The reason I decided to teach workshops is that I have found that these mornings have more meaning to me when shared.

“A journey shared is a journey remembered”

To save 15% on Topaz products click here 

To check locations and dates for this year’s Italian and other Location Workshops click here


The Lens Correction tool can correct a number of common camera lens distortion flaws

One of the ways you can use the Lens Correction tool is to correct Vertical distortions in a portrait. Open the raw image in Camera Raw select the Lens Correction Pallet and then click on the Manual tab to use the transform sliders. In this image I used the Vertical slider to bring back proper perspective to the image.

Lens Correction Tool

Lens Correction Tool

The Lens Correction tool can correct a number of common camera lens distortion flaws such as barrel or pincushion distortion, chromatic aberration and vignetting.

Finished Cropped Image

Finished Cropped Image

I set the vertical slider adjustment at +47 to tilt the image back and eliminate the perspective distortion. To correct the darker edges I set the Lens Vignetting slider at +51 which blended the exposure of the perimeter of the image with the center of the image.

The Lens Correction tool can be used in Camera Raw where I processed this image or in CS6 under Filter > Distort > Lens Correction. This tool can correct a number of common camera lens distortion flaws such as barrel distortion, chromatic aberration, vignette, and perspective flaws. In my screen capture I have used the Lens Correction tool to correct the vertical perspective distortion caused when I shoot this picture of my nephew with the camera angled down to include his graduation cake.

Using Lens Correction I transform the perspective of this image in just a few seconds but it took my sister and her husband Joe a lifetime of persistent reinforcement to transform Robert into an Eagle Scout, Honor Student and nice young man.

R. J. I hope you work hard and enjoy college! Love You!!

To save 15% on Topaz products click here

To check locations and dates for this year’s Italian and other Location Workshops click here


San Gimignano landscape, November Italian workshop

For me photography is a lifelong learning process. I am constantly learning how to use new and old Photoshop tools and software plugins.  They were created to make our images more lifelike. For me the purpose of these tools is to create an image that makes you feel like you are looking through a window onto a landscape.

Landscape near San Gimignano processes using Topaz Software

Landscape near San Gimignano processes using Topaz Software

Last weekend I participated in the Rochester Village Fine Art Fair and I had a request for special cropping of a few images from Italy. Often when I go back to the images, I rework them with the new techniques I have learned and new software that I have available to me.

This is one of the images I cropped and reworked to show the client. It was originally captured on a 6×7 negative in San Gimignano, Tuscany at the hotel where this year’s workshop group will be staying. It is a wonderful location just a short walk from the town center.

San Gimignano unprocessed from the original negative

San Gimignano unprocessed from the original negative

To save 15% on Topaz products click here

To check locations and dates for this year’s Italian and other Location Workshops click here


Depth of Field – Charleston Workshop

Paul Godwin who has been on three workshops sent me two images from last springs Charleston workshop that shows what I think is amazing use of infinite depth of field.

These two images of Paul’s demonstrates not only great composition but also his technical use of infinite depth of field.

White Garden Bridge

Morning Reflections – White Garden Bridge

Red Garden Bridge

Red Garden Bridge

Depth of Field is one of the techniques I work on with clients on all of the workshops. With the right settings and equipment an image can have infinite depth of field where the foreground which is inches away from the lens and the background which can be hundreds of yards or a mile away are both sharp as a tack.

Often I enjoy an image that has selective focus where there is a focus point that is sharp as a tack with the foreground and background have a soft focus. Soft focus images are more artistic but Art Fair clients seldom buy a soft focus image.

Each spring I give a workshop in Charleston, which has always been one of my favorite places to capture images. The rich history of Charleston and its wonderful gardens whose spring blooms give us amazing subject matter for the class.

Paul Godwin emailed a very nice comment on my teaching that I appreciated.

“Paul, you are a great teacher and I have been able to improve my shots thanks to you.”

To save 15% on Topaz products click here

To check locations and dates for the 2014 Charleston workshop click here


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