And, even more Sharpen examples

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow click HERE. When you click the link, it will open in a new window and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the bottom-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos as this will pause the slideshow.

If you want the full experience, keep reading. BTW, you can click on photos for a larger version.

Yup. I’m still reworking old photos with Topaz Sharpen AI.

Yup, I’m still impressed with the sharpness gains, even from photos I thought already sharp.

Plus, I wanted to see how that sharpness translated into Black & Gray & White, a processing choice that already seems to enhance the sharpness and details of photos. For these experiments, I chose Nik Collection Silver Efex Pro 2 for the conversion to B&G&W.

Thus, the above is transformed into this . . .

Mind you, for each of the following color photos, one faces many choices when traveling down the monochrome path. Choices others are better suited to make than me. I don’t process enough B&G&W photos to have an intuitive feel what filters are best for which photos. I blindly feel way along a dim hallway until one of the switches I bump into lights up my “oh, that seems adequate” circuitry.

For instance, this photo . . .

. . . becomes this . . .

Is that the best processing to show off the flower? The best way to showcase the bee? Is it a good balance for the scene but not for the particulars?

Ah, my dear readers . . . had I studied photography, had I mastered the presentation of colors and shades of gray (I think there are around fifty or so), I would be able to bulshi . . . er . . . justify my choice of processing.

Since I don’t have the expertise, all I can say is . . .

. . . look at this next trio of photos.

I’ve always liked these photos, especially the middle photo. At full resolution, they are a bit grainier than I normally like and while I could go back and remove some of the noise, it’s good remembering what film used to look like when developed.

Where it any other bird than a bluebird, I would say the following B&G&W versions look just as good . . .

But I can’t. The colors are an integral part of those photos and the reductions to B&G&W — although not awful — don’t measure up.

It could be someone with more skill in B&G&W processing might come up with a version that is as stunning, but that’s not me, Bob. I mean, if all I was showing were the B&G&W photos, they would look great (especially if you click on them or see the full-size versions in SmugMug).

Side Note: Flickr was bought by SmugMug a few months ago. It’s a photo platform with thousands of users and many, many, amazing photos, all available for anyone to explore. Flickr was losing a lot of money and SmugMug buying it helped preserve the content. However, it’s still losing money. If you are a photographer looking for a place to share your photos, looking for a place to join other enthusiastic photographers in specialty groups, THIS link will take you to their membership drive and if you sign up and enter this code: 25in2019, you get 25% off the yearly membership price ($37.44 instead of $50). A price that is amazingly low given that you get unlimited storage for your account and even more amazing when considering the perks they offer for new members.

If you want to see how it looks, THIS is the link to the pictures I’m featuring in this post. I think they look as good there as they do on SmugMug for much less the price.

I especially wanted to try my hand at sharpening some photos I had of a Snowy Egret . . . here are the color versions . . .

And, of course, here are the B&G&W photos . . .

In particular, I was interested in the details of the plumage, especially given the subject itself is very bright (it was in full sun) and given that Sharpen AI lightens a photo, I was curious if it would maintain the details I had seen in the originals.

I think you can judge for yourselves that it does a pretty good job. These are not as large as the photos in SmugMug or Flickr, but they still show a fair amount of detail in the feathers.

I’ll end this post with sandpipers photos. The second is my favorite of these birds because I caught it with both legs off the ground.

And, here they are in B&G&W . . .

Next time, I’ll showcase landscapes . . . I think most readers will like what I pick.

Or, maybe not.

And now, the Color gallery . . .

And now, the B&G&W gallery . . .

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


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


If you’re new to this blog, it might be a good idea to read the FAQ page. If you’re considering subscribing to this blog, it’s definitively a good idea to read both the About page and the FAQ page.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Black & White, Black and White, DxO Software, Lightroom and Photoshop, Photo Post-processing, Photography Stuff, Software, Topaz Plug-ins and Studio, Topaz Sharpen AI and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to And, even more Sharpen examples

  1. etinkerbell says:

    Sono foto MERAVIGLIOSE!!! Bravo!!


    • disperser says:

      Grazie, etinkerbell. A volte l’Universo e la fortuna mi sorridono e mi fanno sembrare come se avessi talento. Hmm . . . Ho perso parte della mia competenza nello scrivere in Italiano; spero di averlo scritto (anche questo) correttamente.

      OK, OK, I used Google translate to check it, but it still doesn’t read exactly like I might have said it. Here, let me try again.

      Grazie, etinkerbell. La profondita del mio talento eccede i limiti della nostra capacita per riconoscere puro genio.

      There; that looks right..

      Liked by 1 person

  2. mvschulze says:

    Love the remarkable sharpness on most of these! M:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sandra getgood says:

    Love the birds….as always, really like the ones in color, as it’s almost like being at the shoreline myself, watching them. But you are doing some interesting work in black, white and gray, and I have to admit that those pictures are beautiful too.


    • disperser says:

      Thank you, Sandra.

      I occasionally wonder if I could find someone who works with Black and White photos more than I do and have them process the same photos.

      I’ve seen excellent work by B&W photographers but I always wonder on the contribution of the original photo versus the processing. Meaning, could they do much more with one of my photos than I can do? Probably, and I’d like to see what.


  4. I love birds, so this is right up my alley! What fantastic photos, Emilio!
    They are all great…the ones in color and the ones in B&G&W!
    I especially enjoy the birdies bathing!
    You’ve captured all of them so beautiful in action, doing their bird-stuff! The sandpiper “running on air” is so cool!
    It is a cold overcast day and your photos brought smiles and warmth!
    Thank you!
    Make it a great weekend!!!
    HUGS to you and Melisa!!!


  5. AnnMarie says:

    How is it that I missed this post? I just saw the email with your reply in Italian and was surprised to find that, even though we spoke about the bluebird photos, I had not seen this post. Anyway, lovely to read etinkerbell’s and your Italian comments. That egret looks magnificent and seeing so clearly the shine of the water on your running sandpiper’s little leg is awesome!


    • disperser says:

      Don’t know. I did a number of posts with similar names so perhaps you thought you’d already read it.

      As for Italian, I need to reread a few books I have as I think I’m losing some of my facility with Italian (not that I had that much).

      I also follow a few Italian sites and I’m surprised at my sometimes difficulty following what they write. It’s more the diction than the words. Meaning, how the words are used. That probably comes from language evolving in usage.

      I watched a fantasy series recently (presumably set in a different universe than ours since it has magic) with swords and horses and castles, etc. and two words threw me off my immersion in the story . . . “cool” and “psychology”. Cool, because it was used as we do here and there’s no indication they would have the same reference to it. Psychology because I don’t think that kind of society (something like our middle ages) would have that term in common use. In our world, the term was coined in the mid-1600, but, again, latin, religion, greeks, all of it plays a role on the development of the word and I don’t believe the people who spoke those words in the series would have derived it from their history and experience.


    • AnnMarie says:

      Yes, I think the post names may be the culprits!

      Anyway, many years ago when I was doing some writing and entertaining thoughts of a novel, I read up on some of the ‘rules’ and one of them was to be very careful in the words you had your characters ‘speak’ . . . mainly (as you noted so well) because many of our words today were not invented ‘back then’ or were not used in the way we do in recent times.

      As for Italian, luckily for me, because I speak it every single day with mother (and often with our Italian friends) and read/write it regularly, I feel very connected to my Italian roots and language. It’s still a normal and big part of me. However, I’d love a good current-evolved-Italian boost by visiting Italy . . . hopefully in the near future!


    • disperser says:

      That’s one of the things with the modern world . . . you can watch YouTube or other videos made by Italians and get a sense of the language as spoken by non-professionals (meaning, not newscasters or other people who regularly appear on television).

      However, you get the regional influences and cadence. I prefer straight Italian without the
      sing-song delivery I find in many things I hear.


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