Topaz Labs make a whole bunch of awesome plug-ins, Topaz Adjust is my most often used one. It can really make a photo pop; the downside with it is that it can generate a lot of noise. (Noise is that grainy appearance you see sometimes in photos.) This new plugin (Topaz Clarity) works with Photoshop Elements, Photoshop and Lightroom.
I took this photo and enhanced with just a few clicks:
I reckon the effects are best used with suble amounts of clarity. If you want something less realistic, then stick with Topaz Adjust (or use in conjunction with Clarity).
Topaz Clarity uses proprietary technology that allows you to quickly and easily adjust various levels of contrast with no halos or artifacts. The results are compelling images with a very natural look. Here is a quick look at some of the features:
Clarity Module- The Dynamics section of this module allows you to selectively adjust contrast in your image, without adding halos or artifacts, resulting in a very natural looking, yet compelling image. The contrast sliders range from micro to high, and refer to the original image contrast variations allowing you to increase or decrease the contrast in that specific variation. The highlight of this module is the ability to adjust mid-tone contrast quickly and easily, something that would normally take many steps to achieve.
The Tone section gives you the ability to adjust the tone levels to retain a high range of tones in your image. It includes black, white, and mid-tone sliders that can bring back details in the shadows and highlights that would normally be lost with high contrast adjustments.
HSL Module- Topaz Clarity is the first to use a quality enhancement method in the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance adjustment module, which can produce strong adjustments with much less artifacts and noise. The HSL module allows you to selectively enhance specific colors in your image. It works by breaking your image into 8 different colors, giving maximum control over the colors in your image.
Advanced Masking Technology- incorporated several new features in the masking module to allow for more precise masking. Clarity offers three different types of brushes; normal, edge aware, and the new color aware. You now have the ability to feather the mask and control the color range. You also have the option of choosing a gradient mask that includes linear, radial, and reflected types of gradients. In addition, there is a separate mask for the Clarity module and the HSL module, which allows for much greater control of adjustment areas in your image.
Topaz Clarity comes with over 100 Presets- these are categorized by types of photography. This will enable photographers to quickly identify which presets would be most useful for their particular image.
Jump over to Topaz Labs and download a trial (use the code “stewartbaird” if you choose to buy it and get a 15% disc out).