Enhancing any digital photographic image and taking control of exposure, detail and color has become even easier with the latest version of Adjust Photoshop Plug-In from Topaz Labs. In simplest terms, it helps you produce an HDR-like image from a single photo.
You’ll be able to do all this creativity with Adjust 5 from a single interface that logically presents all the features and controls without the need to jump from page to page. The left portion of the “dashboard” includes 107 new presets in addition to all those found in Adjust 4. Presets are easy to select because they are organized into 6 collections, plus a separate folder for your favorite presets. The 6 preset collections have titles that reflect the actual effects you’re most likely to use.
Photo © Maxine NIBLOCK
The HDR collection of presets is particularly helpful. You’re able to start with a single image and build from “simple” effects instead of starting with an “extreme” HDR image and eliminating radical effects to create your vision.
Topaz Labs has also added a multiple-effects option to Adjust 5. No longer must you move back and forth from Photoshop and Adjust to apply more than one effect.
On the right of the interface is where adjustment controls reside. At the top of this screen section is a new histogram. Topaz Labs has also expanded the number of adjustment options. One of the most significant is the Local Adjustments Tab, which is applied with a Brush tool. It is also highly versatile with its own set of adjustments for strength and other characteristics, such as edge awareness. The Brush has a built-in sensitivity to edges and shields them during the process. Dodging, burning and smoothing images are also easily completed with the Brush tool. It is specifically handy if you don’t have the skills to create a layer mask.
Another sparkling capability of Topaz Labs’ Adjust 5 is Adaptive Exposure. Use this tool to boost contrast in specific areas of an image, bring back details that were lost in highlights or shadows and control overall contrast and brightness. Adaptive Exposure also includes a Regions slider. With it, you’re able to overlay a grid and select the number of regions, or squares, the grid displays. A tighter grid pattern provides you with more control of color and detail within each small square and adds a feeling of greater depth to the image.
The Detail tab is another part of Topaz Labs’ Adjust 5 that will attract your attention. Not only does this feature remove or retrieve details, but also gives you the tools to be creative with an image’s details. Detail size, sharpness and the portion to be creatively enhanced are all at your control.
The Detail Tab also comes with even more precise control with the use of Process Details Independent of Exposure (PDIE). With this feature activated, color and exposure are locked in place, but the details of the photo are processed independently. You can choose to use this function to reduce the effect of stark details in consistent areas, such as sky and water, or not apply PDIE, so an image reflects the actual grittiness originally captured.
Control the effect strength by adjusting the transparency slider. Add as much or as little effect to your image. This is a key improvement to the latest version of Adjust. Many users were unhappy with the previous versions because it was very easy to go overboard with the strength and harshness of effects. Discussions among photographers and their feedback to Topaz Labs have resulted in this beneficial upgrade. The built-in transparency option makes it easy to adjust the strength of the applied effects without having to leave the program (and use Photoshop’s transparency slider).
Topaz Labs has also added a number of “finishing touches” to Adjust 5, such as options for borders, grain, warmth, vignettes and more. These new features offer additional in-program adjustments, so you’re able to create more effects and streamline the workflow. Now, you can do it all in Adjust 5!
All photos © Steve Rich
All PhotographyTalk.com members and visitors qualify for a special 15% discount when they use the code, “topazphototalk,” and order the Adjust 5 Photoshop Plug-In from the Topaz Labs Web site at http://www.topazlabs.com/adjust/#2.