Topaz Labs Black Friday Sale

Readers of the blog might have noticed I often like playing with the various Topaz Filters Plugins. Guess what? If you’re thinking you should splurge for an early Christmas Gift for yourself or your favorite photographer, Topaz Labs is having a SALE.

As an incentive (in case you need one), here’s me playing with a few of my recent photos. Don’t worry, you can look even if you’re not in the market for the package. 

BUT WAIT!! . . . as a bonus, a rare selfie! I don’t like photos of me floating around out there in the Interweb. Scary they be. Don’t believe me? Check THIS (don’t forget to look in the comments). 

I won’t identify the individual plugins because in many of these instances the result is obtained by applying a succession of plugins. 

As I said, all of these are recent photos, but a few have not appeared before on the blog. 

The above is a good reason to remind people that WP doesn’t show the photo at its best. While I don’t have a SmugMug gallery for this post, you can click on the individual photos and a larger version will open up in a new tab or window. I’ll also add a gallery at the end and that has the option to see the photo at the size that it was uploaded (1280 pxl for the longest side).

I seldom show a straight conversion. Often I’ll “boost” the photo in Lightroom after I get it back from Topaz. I could do it in Topaz — they have a gazillion adjustment levers — but I like to get in and out of processing a photo without fretting over the minutia of the filter. 

For instance, this is a modified photo of a teal-color VW at the Wal-Mart parking lot. I didn’t use the photo because I didn’t like the shadow across the hood. But . . . 

That has a number of filters stacked up, including a fisheye lens effect. Once I get back to Lightroom, I might be tempted to do this . . . 

Some will recognize this and perhaps agree that the “ancient” processing fits.

People who actually read my posts — as opposed to just glance at them and move on — might recognize the original photo that was the source of this abstract conversion.

Same for this final product. 

But, the plugins are more than just a way to create weird stuff . . . 

Occasionally, I use the plugins to “punch up” a photo. These next few illustrate the process taken way past what I would normally do. 

Sometimes what I get out of the program surprises me, as this next conversion did. 

And I mean “surprise” in a good way. 

Well, we have arrived at the end, so . . . What? Selfie? What selfie? 

OH, RIGHT! . . . the selfie. Well, this came about from me putting the phone down on the car seat after snapping the photo of the rocks (the second photo above). Here’s the selfie, although, technically, it’s not a proper selfie because I didn’t even know the phone had taken this shot. I damn near screamed as I scrolled through the day’s photos. 

Here’s the randomly arranged gallery for this uncharacteristically short post.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

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Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
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Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re  likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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14 Responses to Topaz Labs Black Friday Sale

  1. AnnMarie says:

    This is an “engaging” post . . . wonderful photos and effects . . . and two thumbs up for your selfie!!! Excellent angle and composition . . . your phone has quite the “eye”!

    Like

    • disperser says:

      All of those were processed quickly because I’m working on other stuff and wanted to get this out. Overall, I thought they came out well. And yes, the phone knows what it’s doing when it comes to photography.

      Like

  2. oneowner says:

    I’ve had a number of the Topaz plugins for years and they are among the best available. They do offer the free updates for life and I think that is a generous offering on their part. I seldom use any plugins these days but it’s nice to have a good suite available when you need it and I would also recommend these plugins, too. And there’s no law that says you can’t use more than one plugin on a single image (not yet, anyway).

    Like

    • disperser says:

      The free upgrades for life is a big deal for me and one of my major pet peeves with other software companies. ON1, especially, has lost me as a customer after their latest upgrade (well, not their latest, the original 2017 upgrade) which was buggy as hell and never did what they said it would do, and now they are asking for more money for their 2018 upgrade.

      Anyway, the reason for stacking effects is pure laziness on my part. It’s easier to just throw on an additional plugin rather than play with all the adjustments on the ones I’m working on. Even if they pass a law against it, I’ll still do it; let them try and catch me, if they can.

      Like

  3. I used several Topaz plug-ins when I was working with Photoshop Elements. Then I switched to Lightroom and for the last couple of years I have been using the Nik collection with LR. Maybe it’s time to switch to some other software. Are you familiar with any of the new stuff — like Affinity, Luminar, On 1?

    Like

    • disperser says:

      I could be wrong, but I think as long as you bought them, you can get the latest version of the ones you bought free of charge regardless of the platform. But, contact their support department to find out; they are good at getting back with customers and resolving things.

      I am familiar with ON1 (I was their customer for a number of years) and until this latest version, I was happy with their offerings. I don’t plan to keep supporting them by buying their latest update as it doesn’t do what I want. That said, it’s meant to be more of an editor than what it used to be. Their aim is to offer to photographers the power and functionality of Photoshop without the extra stuff. I would guess they would love to challenge Lightroom and Photoshop by incorporating the useful features of both. Like I said, they have diverged from my needs and I don’t plan to keep up with them.

      I have bought both Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer as capable programs that can replace a few Adobe offerings at a fraction of the price. I had read lots of reviews and watched YouTube reviews of actual users and I think I will support them, but I’ve not had much hands-on with those programs yet. I think that, based on just what I saw, Affinity Photo is a capable replacement for Photoshop because it has what photographers need in without all the other stuff that I never use that makes Photoshop a powerful but difficult program to master. I’ll report on it once I start using it. They have a ton of training videos available to users. As a side note, Serif was an early player in photo software that I used back in the 80s but had gotten away from as I moved on to Elements and Photoshop.

      I also use DxO and their integration with what used to be Nik Collections make it an intriguing choice for photographers. If I have to do some difficult processing on a photo, DxO is my program of choice. However, it’s much like using a surgeon as opposed to a general practitioner. DxO is to be wielded carefully and gently, but the results are great. It used to lack the ability for spot treatment, but with the addition of the U-Point technology, it should really shine (I have the latest version with U-Point integrated but have not used it much).

      Also, they plan to update Nik Collection and release it in 2018. I think I mentioned it in one of my posts. That too might be a useful tool to have when combined with the DxO technology for editing photos.

      I’ve not heard or read anything on Luminar.

      As far as Topaz, if you like/want what they do, there’s nothing that I’ve seen that comes close to matching them in speed and ease of use (and results). Their Adjust module is pretty powerful and I don’t use it as often as I should. Topaz also have a ton of training videos online.

      If you are shopping for software, look for reviews by regular users who point out both what they like and don’t like about the various programs.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You really know how to plug in those plugins! Cool effects that we connect with, too! Great photos, all of them!

    Keep your chin up, Emilio! Your phone took a great shot of you! That is a REALLY smart smartphone!

    I really like the 2nd photo from the bottom. And I do like the door photo!
    HUGS for you and Melisa! :-)

    Like

  5. WandaFaye says:

    Aaawwe, in order to get Topaz Labs at 50% off I have to buy the complete collection! I only want Impression in Studio. The monkeys are simple, they don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with the complete package. Think I’ll download the 30 day trial to see how it works.. before I buy it!

    Great selfie! Better watch where you put that Smartphone, it may be smarter than people think!!

    Like

    • disperser says:

      They do have other sales throughout the year. If you only want Impressions in Studio, you can just get Studio (free) and add Impression ($99). That’s cheaper than buying the package.

      That’s how I started with them; I bought a few plugins and after a while, I decided to buy the package. The good thing was that they gave me credit for already owning some of the plugins, so I was able to take advantage of one of their sales and also get credit for what I already owned. I really like this company because they don’t seem as greedy as many other companies and treat the customer well (so far). Plus, I like all their plugins and I have them when I need/want a particular effect. Plus, I like the peace of mind of knowing that if there are improvements, I’ll get the latest version updated for nothing.

      Listen to me . . . I sound like a salesman. But, honestly, you want to consider the one-time cost spread over the number of years that you will use the product. If you’re not going to use it much, then it’s not worth it.

      Like

      • WandaFaye says:

        If I can download it onto my ‘DESKTOP’ then I’ll buy it! You are working on commission, right? ;)

        Like

      • disperser says:

        I wish . . . actually, no. If I had any association with any company whose products I use, I think it would taint my reviews. Meaning, not that I would change what I write, but that people might assume I have a bias for one product versus another . . . which I do, but based on personal experience, and not personal gain.

        Like

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