Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Playing around with Lensbaby and Topaz Labs

I decided to spend a little more time with my Lensbaby and Topaz Adjust.  I took a photo of a succulent, which I think, is from the Echeveria family.  I bought one and now it has grown out of the pot on its own adventure.

I used a Lensbaby Composer Pro with Double Glass optic f2.8, ISO 200, 1/250sec. The sweet spot is on the Echeveria, but as you can see it is not dead center.  The background is an old oil can with the pot plant on top that the Echeveria is creeping out of (blurred areas of colour are the stems of the other Echeveria flowers).

The photo was opened in Photoshop Elements 10, Levels and Curves adjusted followed by some sharpening in Topaz Detail.  Getting a sharp image with a Lensbaby takes some practice, especially if you are used to using Auto Focus (which I am).

Once sharpening was done the photo was opened in Topaz Adjust and I went through the presets and settled on Clarity from the Vibrant Collection.  I fiddled with the sliders on the right until I was happy.  I wanted to bring out the blue in the plant and add more contrast to make it a bit edgy.

The blurred background is straight off the camera created by the Lensbaby.  The lens has a more creative blurred effect than other lenses at their widest aperture.

Result

Original

As you can see, Topaz Adjust and Topaz Detail really make a difference.  This is just one in hundreds of thousands of ways you can use the presets to be creative.  I like a bit of a grungy effect in some of my photos.

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Topaz Labs is one of my favourite plug-ins and the best software I have ever purchased.

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