Topaz Labs Photography collection review
Topaz Labs are photo plug-in developer based in Texas that makes a broad range of powerful software products for photographers.
Besides being able to load individual plug-ins from the application itself, you also have acces to Topaz Labs’ highly regarded effects in a searchable library. PhotoFX Lab has a layered workflow, meaning that it’s possible to duplicate your original image, make adjustments to individual layers either with the use of their plug-ins or directly from the interface, and blend these layers using various techniques. Which effects and plug-ins are available depends on the individual licences you have. So per example, you’ll only have acces to the B&W effects if you have purchased their B&W plug-in.
The Topaz Labs Photography Collection is a suite of very powerful plug-ins. The underlying technology can render fantastic results quickly and efficiently. It’s an ideal software collection if you’re an Adobe Lightroom user who prefers to stay outside the realm of Photoshop. I’m mentioning this because many of the features and functions available in Topaz Labs plug-ins are also possible with an advanced knowledge of Photoshop. Topaz Labs just makes it easier and faster to do.
My personal favorite plug-ins are Clarity, Detail and Adjust as I can quickly fix any problems I might encounter in my images with these three. If I feel a photo isn’t balanced right, quickly exporting it to Adjust and applying a suitable preset with some tweaks normally fixes the problem. The same goes for images that need some sharpening in Detail or Clarity.
I’ve also grown fond of ReStyle. It doesn’t work as well on all imagery, but it’s an easy and creative way of changing the color palette and mood of your library.
Glow is an interesting new addition to the suite and can give a bit of extra glamour or magic to a portrait.
For photos that don’t need that much work, I also like the basic functionality in PhotoFXLab. You can add some dynamics, clarity and sharpness via the sliders there. These also use Topaz Lab’s proprietary intelligent processes without the need for using any other plug-ins.