I started using Topaz a long time ago; probably around 2008 but my memory seems to be fading. At the time I was impressed and over the intervening years I purchased quite a few other Topaz plug-ins. I found Black and White Effects, Detail, DeNoise and Clarity particularly good and I loved the lifetime license model. Every time they launched a new version of a plugin, I had a free upgrade.
Then Topaz launched Topaz Studio and there was a shift in focus to AI or artificial intelligence. I found the plug-ins I loved replaced by new AI versions or consigned to the “legacy” bin. I tried the free (at the time) version of Studio but it seemed like a way of selling add on filters and most weren’t as good as the now legacy plug-ins. But it was trying the new AI versions of some plug-ins that finally made up my mind. AI was a marketing gimmick.
My negative view of AI was reinforced when I tested Gigapixel AI around 12 months ago and found it almost unusable. Despite this I continued to hear good things, and then Topaz released Gigapixel AI 4. I downloaded a trial version of the software and was blown away by my results. Here’s the article with some of my tests.
Then recently a good friend shared some of his work, telling me he used Topaz Studio for the editing and saying how much he liked it. Given my Gigapixel experience, I decided to take a fresh look at Topaz Studio. Whilst I’m still learning the software, I found myself liking it a lot. It was Topaz Studio that I used to edit the image above and I’ve completely changed my view of Topaz. You can read my latest thoughts about Topaz Studio on Lenscraft.
Ultimately, I’ve ended up purchasing all the latest Topaz plug-ins (except for Video Enhance AI). Fortunately, I had a free upgrade to a few of these because of the old lifetime license promise (it’s nice to see them continuing with this).
I had thought that I was quite open-minded when it came to photo editing software, but this story probably shows otherwise. I’ve decided I need to investigate more and judge less in the future. And Dave, sorry for not listening to you.
As for the image, this is Formby Beach shortly after sunrise. It was January, bitterly cold and incredibly windy. Despite the conditions I managed a few shots I like but this looked like a failure. It’s only now that I’ve managed to bring out the pink hue in the sky that I find it growing on me.
I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.