Writing with Light

Posts tagged “Topaz Adjust

Black Friday Sale at Topaz Labs – The Complete Collection

You all know that I’m a big fan of Topaz Plug Ins and regularly use Topaz B&W Effects, Topaz Clarity, DeNoise and Detail just to name a few.

Topaz Labs is running a sale on their complete collection (and that doesn’t happen very often) starting today to Dec 2nd The Complete Collection is on sale for $199.99 (normally it’s $379.99) Use promo code blackfriday2013.

Happy Shopping!

Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee

Here’s one more from Falmouth, Jamaica. Oh and their coffee was quite good. If you look behind the palm tree you can see the ship…larger then any of the buildings in port (or the city for that matter).

Have a great weekend everyone.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Jamaica, coffee, Falmouth, port, travel photography

Fleur de Paris in NOLA

I did have something else to post today but given that New Orleans was thrust into the spotlight this Superbowl weekend I thought this was perhaps more apropos. Some how though I don’t think that Royale St. was as quiet…

Click on the link to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

New orleans, French Quarter, Royale street, Fleurs de Paris, travel, city


I’m Back!  Happy New Year. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and hopefully some time off. I must say that it was wonderful to be away. Every so often I get the travel itch…okay I always have the travel itch…so of course we planned a family vacation in order to reconnect with the kids and have some R&R. A vacation for me is not complete without some photography involved and there was a lot of that so all in all a success.

We spent a few days in New Orleans (a city which I’ve wanted to visit for some time) and it did not disappoint.  The people are wonderful and although I didn’t get to explore as much as I wanted to due to lack of time the French Quarter was all I had heard it to be. After a couple of days in NOLA we boarded the Navigator of the Seas and set sail for the Caribbean.  I opted not to purchase the WiFi package and totally disconnect for 7 days. Well once I got over my withdrawal symptoms I must say it was rejuvenating. If you haven’t completely disconnected from your email, internet, blog, text messages then you really must try it some day. Hey…I survived and not only did I survive I actually enjoyed not having the “pressure” to answer that text or email or tweet.

Actually I was so relaxed that I didn’t do anything (blog/photography business related) that I had planned to do. I was going to write some articles; do some pre-work on a few projects that I’m planning but I was having so much fun relaxing that I didn’t do it. I guess we all need to really take time off sometimes and recharge our batteries and that’s exactly what I did.

Now that I’m back I need to start processing all my images but here’s one from to start off the new year. The best time to photography the French Quarter is at sunrise. The streets are quiet with the exception of a few street artists staking their little piece of real estate in Jackson Square. I was walking down St Peters Street when I came across this little side street just steps from Jackson Square.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really looks better) or to Purchase a Print.

New Orleans, NOLA, St Peters, street, dawn,

A Cool Place To Eat

A couple of months ago I headed down to Buffalo with my family and thanks to Guy Fieri (of Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives) we tried the Lake Effect Diner. This diner is circa 1952 and was originally located in Wayne, Pennsylvania. It was saved from demolition and moved to Buffalo in 2001 where it was renovated and equipped with a state of the art kitchen. I love old diners and the best part of all of this…(Guy was right) the food was excellent.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really looks better or to Purchase a Print.

Lake Effects Diner, Buffalo, New York, diner, retro, vintage

Saying Good-Bye To A Friend

Yesterday was an exceptionally beautiful fall day. It was warm and the sun was shining, the leaves on the trees and the ones that had fallen to the ground were a blanket of glowing reds, yellows and oranges. At that moment I wish I was anywhere but where I was…saying good-bye to a dear and cherished friend.

I know that on Fridays I post my usual iPhone Friday instalment but truth be told the last thing I felt like doing was a blog post or processing images. I then remembered how much my dear friend enjoyed looking at my images and how she always had a word of encouragement for me.

There are people who come into our lives who leave an indelible mark and have a significant impact on the people they touch. My dear friend was such a person.  She was the type of person who you just felt you could confide in and trust. She always made me laugh, always had a kind word to say about others and was always interested, genuinely interested in what was going on in my life and the goings on of my family. If someone was in need; was ill; was going through any kind of strife she was there for them.  She was the epitome of what a wife, mother, daughter and certainly friend is and should be.

Her passing is a profound loss to all that loved and knew her. I know it is for me. There will forever be a hole in my heart.

I miss you Pearl, my dear friend.

Rouge River, Ontario, fall, fall colours, landscape,


Weekly Photo Challenge – Everyday Life

The minute I saw this weeks challenge I thought of this image but I was sure that I had shared it already. Imagine my surprise when I realized I hadn’t posted this yet.

For this weeks challenge…everyday life in Burano. I call this one “Neighbourhood Talk.”

Burano, Italy, venetian lagoon, colored houses, neighbourhood talk, street life

Painted Houses

Before I tell you a little bit about today’s image I just wanted to let you all know how very excited I am. A couple of weeks ago I entered Travel Supermarket’s Capture the Colour competition (you can see the blog post here). I found out last week that one of my images, “An Italian Vignette” won 2nd prize in the yellow category.

I was also quite excited that the image that won 1st prize in the Blue category was taken by one of the photographers that I nominated, Adam Allegro.  You can see all the winners on Travel Supermarket’s site here.

Now on to today’s image. This row of painted houses can be found in Portland, Maine. I didn’t go searching for this street. I actually didn’t even know it existed. This was on of those time when you’re driving along, minding your own business when all of a sudden you yell to your better half…”stop the car.” Needless to say my husband stopped. I had actually passed this street heading to Portland Head Lighthouse at about 4:30 that morning but it was too dark to see anything. We were returning to the lighthouse that afternoon and lucky this time I didn’t miss it.

I took 3 exposures and processed them in Photomatix and then ran the image through Topaz Adjust to give it a bit of an extra boost. (Don’t forget you can use the code ELPHOTO to get 15% off all Topaz products.)  The bulk of the work on this image was when I brought it back into Photoshop. There were electrical wires all through the images which took close to an hour of work to remove.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really looks better) or to Purchase a Print.

painted houses, Portland, Maine, row houses, street scene

Light in the City

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend and that all you Dad’s had a wonderful Father’s Day.

Back to Port Credit today…the original lighthouse, that sat a the mouth of the Credit River in Port Credit, Mississauga was in service from 1882 to 1918. In 1936 the lighthouse was destroyed by fire. In 1991 a replica of the lighthouse was built by the Lions Club of Credit Valley. The structure itself sits atop a sewage pumping station and house a tourist bureau in its base.

Click to enlarge (and a sharper view) or to purchase print.

Port Credit Lighthouse, Mississauga, Ontario

It’s Been A Year…Entry #52 – A Museum with a View

For those of you that have been following this blog you’ll know that I started this blog as a 52 week project. I wanted to challenge myself to shoot more often and I decided to start a blog and commit to posting a new image once a week. I started blogging using iWeb but quickly realized that it just lacked certain features and controls that I wanted on my site. Enter WordPress…after a lot of research, reading and immersing myself in all things having to do with weblogs I started this site.

The first post on my new WordPress site was on June 2, 2011. Now I’m sure that it’s quite obvious that I’ve been posting more than once a week. Buoyed by an indescribably wonderful photographic community and the many photographers and bloggers that I can now call “friends” this little blog grew every month. 52 weeks and just over 46, 550 hits later I can now say “Happy 1st Anniversary to the Little Blog that Could!”

One of the most wonderful benefits and outcomes of this blog is the wonderful community that I’ve now become a part of. I think I’ve said it before (and I will keep reiterating it) that the individuals in this photographic community are talented and generous with their time, knowledge and feedback, sharing information and tips that benefits not just myself but the whole community. You all foster in me a craving to learn more and be a better photographer. I thank you for that, I thank you for all your visits, comments and “likes” and I thank you for allowing me to be a part of this community.

So for Entry #52 I’ll take you back to Florence, Italy. This is a view of the Ponte Vecchio from the second floor of the Ufizi museum.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to purchase a print.

View of the Ponte Vecchio from The Ufizi Museum, Florence, Italy

The “Marilyn Monroe” Towers

These twin tower skyscrapers are part of a 5 tower development in Mississauga just west of Toronto. These are residential condominiums and at 50 and 56 stories, the tallest of any building in a North American suburban city. The Absolute Towers are part of the Absolute City Centre but they’ve been dubbed the “Marilyn Monroe” towers due to their curves.

Click to enlarge image or to purchase print.

Marilyn Monroe Towers, Absolute City Centre

For Father’s Day I’m having a 15% off sale on any product in my gallery until June 17th. Visit http://edithlevyphotography.smugmug.com/  Use coupon code DAD2012.

The Stables at Casa Loma

Casa Loma, located in mid-town Toronto, is the former house of financier Sir Henry Mill Pellatt. It was constructed over a 3 year period from 1911 to 1914. At 98 rooms it was the largest private residence in the city. Today it’s a museum and historic landmark. Just north of the main house is the stable, potting shed & greenhouse and hunting lodge. The latter was open this weekend for Doors Open Toronto, an annual weekend dedicated to the city’s architecture.

The main house and the stable complex is connected by underground tunnels and during World War 2 “the stables of Casa Loma served as the site for the development of ASDIC, which stands for Anti-Submarine Detection investigation Committee, an early sonar apparatus.”

I had to wait a while to get this shot as there was a family who was making a living sitting on this bench. I finally decided to roam around and explore the rest of the complex and then headed back to the stables to see if I could get my clear shot. As you can see I did. As I was walking out I was approached by someone who works there who informed me that I wasn’t allowed to use a tripod. I apologized profusely and headed for the exit, smiling. I so love these little wins.

Click to enlarge or the purchase a print.

stables of Casa Loma Toronto


Project 52 Entry #45

On Saturday afternoon my brother-in-law called to tell me that he had gone out early in the morning to shoot the Cherry Blossoms in High Park. To be honest I didn’t know we had Sakura trees (better known as Cherry Blossoms) in Toronto. Armed with this information I planned to get up early on Sunday and get down to High Park for sunrise to shoot these beautiful trees as they were in full bloom.

The weather in Toronto on Saturday was beautiful…sunny and warm, unfortunately Sunday was a different story altogether. I was up and out of the house at 5:15 determined to capture the Sakura in beautiful light as the sun rose. The sun never appeared. It went from dark to dark grey to lighter grey. Oh well at least I beat the crowds.

The Sakura trees were presented to Toronto by the Japanese Ambassador to Canada in 1959. They were a gift from the citizens of Tokyo to the citizens of Toronto in appreciation for Toronto accepting re-located Japanese-Canadians after the Second World War.  The Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom only one week after the first buds appear. “Due to their very short bloom time, Sakura blossoms are seen as a metaphor for life itself, luminous and beautiful, yet fleeting and ephemeral.”

Click on the image to see a larger more detailed version or to purchase a print.

The Corner Store at Via Della Panetteria

Project 52 Entry #44

I was revisiting some of my Italy shots and came across one that I really liked but realized I hadn’t posted. Actually there’s still a few of those.  This was shot on our last day in Rome just walking around the city. I just loved the look of this scene and wanted to capture it all in the frame. The store front, the terracotta colored wall, the bicycle, the signs. It all just fit together so nicely.

Click on the image for a larger more detailed view or to purchase a print.

Graffiti Wall Pano

Project 52 Entry #43

Back to the Don Valley Brickworks today. There was some really great graffiti all over this place. I really wanted to capture this particular wall of graffiti in its entirety but even with my 10 – 20mm wide angle lens I was missing parts of it. I created this panorama from 9 different images which I merged in Photoshop.   I then used Topaz Adjust to bring out the detail in the bricks.

You can now save 15% on any Topaz Labs products when you use the discount code ELPHOTO.

Click on the image to get a larger more detailed view.

Pipes Gone Wild

Project 52 Entry #42

While at Brickworks this weekend I decided to get up close and personal with some of the exposed piping and do some zoom bursts.  This is one exposure at 3.2 sec. I was gently zooming out while taking the shot. I used Topaz Adjust to bring in some slight detail into the bursts.

Click on the image for a larger view or to purchase a print.

Revisiting Brickworks

Back in September, I posted a couple of shots I took at Brickworks in Toronto. You can see those posts here and here. On Saturday I attended a full day lecture by guest photographer Tony Sweet and on Sunday was fortunate enough to participate in a workshop with him that was held at Evergreen Brickworks. I’m still in the midst of processing all my images (may take a while) but wanted to share one with you today.  As I look back at the images I posted back in September I can honestly say that I think I’ve come a long way in six months. Those images were all HDR bracketed exposures and while I shot brackets yesterday as well I was trying a few different techniques.

This image was a 13 second exposure, light painted with a flashlight. I processed the image in Photoshop then brought out a bit of detail in the brick with Topaz Adjust.

To see a larger image (its better viewed larger) or purchase a print just click on the image.

By The Lake – A Vintage View

This is another image from my stroll by the lake last weekend. I’ve been experimenting with textures recently and when I was processing this shot I was visualizing an old 50’s postcard look. I tried 2 different textures. In this first image I used a texture that was a bit more distressed looking and in Photoshop used the “screen” blending mode.

In this second image I used a different, much subtler texture, used a “soft light” blending mode and desaturated the overall image.

Now here’s where you come in…which one do you prefer?

Tunnel Vision

This walkway takes you from the main entrance of the Chateau Frontenac to the street. While my family was nice and toasty in our hotel room, I the intrepid photographer braved the cold and wind to get the ultimate shot!! Oh who am I kidding I lasted less the 10 mins before I couldn’t feel my fingers. I was able to get a few brackets of this scene before I headed in.

Bagel Time!

Now if you’re in Montreal on a Sunday morning (or any morning really) there’s a time-honoured tradition that you must have a bagel for breakfast…preferably with some lox and cream cheese. There are many great bagel places in Montreal, where they hand-roll and bake the bagels in a large wood fired stone oven. Our favourite (and home of the original Montreal Bagel) is Fairmount Bakery.

When it first opened in 1919 the bakery was located on a little lane just off of St. Lawrence Boulevard which was known back then as “The Main.” In 1949 the bakery moved to Fairmount Street (just one block north of St. Lawrence) where it still resides today. Mmmmm you just can’t beat a hot, fresh Montreal bagel (hmmm…I think I may hear from some New Yorkers after I post this 🙂 )

The image above is 3 bracketed exposures processed with Photomatix and then using Topaz Adjust 5 I applied the Vintage Grunge Preset 2 from the Film Collection.

Safed Artist

Project 52 – Entry #26

The city of Safed is located in northern Israel. Safed is considered one of Israel’s holiest cities and is the center of Kabbalah, also known as Jewish mysticism. This beautiful city is surrounded by pine forests and due to its high elevation experiences very hot summers and cold sometimes snowy winters.

In the 1950’s and 60’s, Safed was known as Israel’s art capital. The artist colony is located in the old city of Safed and while not as vibrant as it was back then, it is still there today.

Strolling through the old city we came upon this artist hard at work.

Topaz Adjust 5 & Sample Images

On Tuesday November 15th Topaz Labs will be releasing its latest update…Topaz Adjust 5. As a long time user of Topaz Adjust I was very excited to hear that they were updating the software but once I read what those updates would include…well let’s just say I’v been spending a lot of time in front of the computer.

Here are just some of the exciting new features and tools you’ll find in the new Topaz Adjust 5

  • Selective Brush. For easy dodging, burning smoothing and removing adjustments.
  • Finishing touches. Features options for borders, transparency, grain, warmth, vignettes and more.
  • Preset collections.  Presets are organized into unique collections.
  • Apply button. Stack multiple effects and presets during the same workflow.
  • Auto create layer. Automatically creates a new layer where your adjustments will be saved to.
  • Effect enable/disable. Clickable preview options that allow you to hide or view a set of adjustments for easy comparison.
  • Histogram. Built into the Preview Navigator window.
  • Ordered interface workflow. The interface is set up in numbered stages for a quick and easy workflow.
  • Individual tab reset buttons. Quickly reset the parameters in a specific adjustment tab without affecting your other settings.
  • Split Screen. Use the 2-screen split view for easy before and after comparison.

Topaz Labs have made some great changes to the plug-in. The interface is now very similar to Topaz Black & White Effects and while its always been intuitive and user friendly it now makes your workflow that much easier.

Original RAW file

Using Topaz Adjust 5

You can click on the images to view a larger size.

The first image is the original RAW file straight out of the camera.  This was taken on the Amalfi Coast in Italy and I wanted to give the image an old 60’s feel to it. The final image, under it, was created with Adjust 5 using the Film Collection and the Timeless IV preset. I gave it a slight boost in detail and added a vignette and then desaturated a touch to come up with this final image.

This new version really rocks but what I love most is that it automatically creates a new layer in Photoshop when you launch the plug-in. With over 100 presets, the new collections & presets really allow you to get creative with your images. The selective brush tool lets you easily and effectively make selective adjustments such as dodging & burning. The Smooth option lets you smooth out details when you need to clean up a sky and the Brush Out tool allows you to easily taper down the strength of effects or remove them altogether.

The tentative release date for Topaz Adjust 5 is NOvember 15th. Check the Topaz Labs site on that date for information.

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night…..

I found this lone tree when out shooting at the Cheltenham Badlands and loved the shape of it. I thought it would make a great shot for a Halloween themed post except that the original was a bit cheerier. I had a little fun with this one and making it just a tad over the top. Happy Halloween Everyone!

Concerto Veneziani

Sometimes you walk by something and it just makes you want to stop and take a minute to look carefully and take in the detail…the color…what’s around it.  I don’t know what it was about these concert posters. Maybe it was the wall that it was posted on or the old posters underneath and surrounding it. I just liked the look and feel of them.

As usual you can click to enlarge the picture and take in the detail.