A wild pony and I have a bit of a staring contest on Assateague Island, Maryland.
Very little processing work was done to this image. Of particular note, though, is the use of a brand new Photoshop plug-in from Topaz Labs, called Topaz InFocus. InFocus was used to bring more clarity to the pony’s hair, which was blowing in the wind. After that, I applied an 11-blade bokeh and a vignette effect along the edges using Alien Skin’s Bokeh filter, although it wasn’t really all that necessary… it just added a bit more depth to the image. No other adjustments were made!
Topaz InFocus is a completely new sharpening solution designed to restore image clarity, recover lost detail and refine with micro-contrast detail enhancement. The range of achievable sharpening possibilities have been dramatically improved and simplified with this new tool, allowing users to easily increase the sharpness and definition of any image.
With Topaz InFocus you can:
• Simply and effectively improve image clarity.
• Approximately reverse blur, recovering “lost” image detail.
• Refine subtle structure detail through micro-contrast enhancement.
• Effortlessly sharpen and refine image detail for a crisp, clear and vivid image.
A NYC cityscape before applying the Topaz InFocus filter (click the image to see a larger version in a new window):
The same NYC cityscape after applying the Topaz InFocus filter (click the image to see a larger version in a new window):
My Initial Impressions
If you have been a reader of my blog for a while, you know that I wouldn’t recommend a product that I haven’t used, or found to be useful to my workflow. But I can unreservedly suggest that you take a good (sharp) look at Topaz InFocus, as it may help to save images that were otherwise destined for the trash. As you can see from the sample images above, InFocus was very successful at pulling an out-of-focus image into an image with outstanding clarity. It also did a righteous number on the pony’s hair in the first image. The InFocus interface is clean and intuitive, like most Topaz plug-ins, and doesn’t require much of a learning curve.
That said, InFocus doesn’t work for every situation, and that should be kept in mind as you go back through your library of questionable images. As we know, when shooting RAW there is a great deal of latitude available in terms of exposure compensation, white balance, contrast, and the like, but if your original image is badly out of focus, there’s really not much that can be done. During my tests of Topaz InFocus, I fed it some images that were simply beyond salvation. Wishful thinking on my part… those images were really beyond help, and it was too much to expect them to become NatGeo material.
I noticed that the more small detail there is in the image, the more likely that Topaz InFocus would help. You can see this in the cityscape examples, especially, and in the pony’s hair, which is why I included that particular image in this post.
If you’ve ever used Topaz plug-ins, you’ll find that InFocus has an extremely simple interface, with the standard previews and preset areas, including space to store up to 99 of your own presets. For more detailed information on InFocus, please visit the Topaz website via any of the links on this page. You’ll find much more detail on this new product, along with links to tutorials and sample images.
Topaz InFocus is available today, although the official release isn’t schedule until Monday, November 22nd. The best part is that if you pop on Topaz InFocus before December 3rd, you can get a $40 discount (regularly $69.99) by entering the code “supersharp” when you check out. If you’re still not sure, the standard trial is available so that you can see it for yourself before buying.
For an explanation of how Topaz InFocus compares to Topaz Detail, click here.
Have fun going through you library looking for ‘meh’ images!
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”